Bianca Jimenez of greater Riverdale is labeled a student who is underrepresented.
Such students at the University of Scranton in Pennsylvania had their day in the sun during commencement.
The university’s class of 2022 participated in the Jesuit school’s “Donning of the stole” ceremony, including Bianca Jimenez.
Nearly 60 members of the school participated to celebrate their accomplishments as they earned their undergraduate degree.
The ceremony was a student-led initiative organized by the student committee and Jose Sanchez, assistant director of the University’s Cross Cultural Centers.
The point was to highlight student success as they overcame barriers and obstacles such students face — particularly students of color.
Seventy percent of Scranton’s Class of 2022 stole students made the dean’s list. Many of the students honored include a Fulbright scholar.
Jimenez earned a bachelor’s degree in physiology with a minor in biochemistry. She was also on the dean’s list.
Out of school, Jimenez participated in the Health Professions Organization, Kindness for Chemo, virtual shadowing and worked a work-study job for both the Edward R. Leahy Center Clinic and the school’s human resources department.
She also acted as a senior caregiver at Home Instead, a virtual volunteer tutor at Tutors for Change, a virtual research volunteer at Zooniverse and a philosophy tutor.
A handful of students from Bronx Community College who participated in the 15th cohort of the Kaplan Educational Foundation program on Aug. 3 celebrated their acceptance into a four-year university.
The students who transferred to four-year schools are:
• Elhadj Barry — Brown University
• Aïssata Diop — Smith College
• Fambougouri Diane — Tufts University
• Gabriel Morillo — Haverford College
These students worked hard with the help of an organization that acknowledges difficulties for students who are underrepresented and uncertain about finding themselves in four-year colleges or universities.
The Kaplan Educational Foundation, which was established in 2006, helps high-potential, low-income community college students complete their associate’s degree and successfully transfer to a bachelor’s degree program in the most prestigious schools.
According to the foundation, 87 percent of its students receive their bachelor’s degree.
The program focuses on a holistic approach. Students are provided extensive tutoring, academic advisement, leadership, career training, stipends for living expenses, and other resources to support their goals.
“While COVID-19 continued to create challenges for our scholars, given the fact that the diverse and resilient talent that the nation needs to fuel the economy can be found in our community colleges, we felt it was particularly important that we remain committed to our mission and celebrate the achievements of our students at this time,” said Nolvia Delgado, executive director of Kaplan.