Congressional Earmark Scholars

The Building Transfer Pathways and Pipelines Initiative is made possible with the support of a 1 million dollar congressional earmark grant championed by Congressman Ritchie Torres and President Daisy Cocco De Filippis. With the support of this funding, Hostos Community College will partner with three four-year institutions to support transfer. Included in our cohort of earmark scholars are students studying Public Health transferring to Columbia University, students majoring in Engineering transferring to the City College Grove School of Engineering, and Liberal Arts students interested in Arts Administration and Business transferring to Queens College. This valuable funding will provide our students with tuition, stipends, laptops, and metrocards throughout their studies at Hostos and their four year destination. Hostos Community College is proud of our scholars and looks forward to celebrating their achievements and milestones. 

Engineering Students


Aaron ArjuneLall is an Electrical Engineering student who is fascinated by developing sustainable green energy solutions. Aaron, previously developed a solar-powered room lighting system that could recharge itself using sunshine. In his spare time, he enjoys collecting ancient electrical items and watching the growth of his chosen sector.

Joel Javier

Joel Javier is an Electrical Engineering major. He would like to continue his undergraduate studies at City College and possibly attend graduate school. His career goal is to work in some capacity as an engineer for public benefit. He enjoys long walks and doing math problems

Jose Keppis Jose Armando Keppis is a very curious and dedicated student pursuing Civil Engineering with a focus on Environmental Engineering. He aspires to contribute to the innovation and management of our environment and its facets through Research and Development, Consulting, and Project Management for a federal Agency's like the Environmental Protection Agency. He is also an adventurous person who has found a strong community in academia and scientific research. He hopes to become the first of his generation to earn a graduate degree.
Erika M Mata

Erika M Mata is majoring in Mechanical Engineering. Her career goals are to get her Bachelors Degree, and to complete her Masters and a Doctorate in Biomedical Engineering.
Additionally, she wants to make a Foundation to provide STEM programs to young, minority populations, to not only experience, at elementary years, but also to fall in love with STEM careers that will improve College enrollment and graduation rate as well.  She has an 11-year-old son and is from Mexico City. She loves swimming, writing, dancing and going to the movies. 

Soro Bello Melendez  
Sor Bello Melendez is majoring in Liberal Arts and Science, Civil Engineering. Her undergraduate research in progress is: “Phytoremediation of Water Pollution by Heavy Metals: The effect of Thai, Genovese, and Purple Basil, on the concentration of lead and copper in water” as an LSAMP (Louis Stokes Alliance Minority Program) scholar. Although she has faced many challenges in her academic journey, including the language barrier, it did not stop her from continuing to pursue her career goals to major as a civil engineer and to become a structural and design engineer in future. She wants to make her parents and family proud. She acknowledges all the support she has received from her professors at Hostos Community College and she is extremely grateful for receiving the NextGen Engineering scholarship which allows her to continue chasing her dreams.
Brando Mendez Brando Mendez is 21 years old, and originally from Ecuador. He grew up in a small  country town where from a young age his parents taught him the value of hard work and perseverance. He is pursuing a degree in Civil Engineering at Hostos Community College, where he has maintained a high GPA while participating in various extracurricular activities and being part of student organizations. His goals are to finish his education, and in the future, to travel around the world getting to know new places, people and cultures.
John Santana

John Santana is currently majoring in mechanical engineering sciences at Hostos Community College. His end goal is to acquire a B.S. or M.S. degree in mechanical engineering and possibly a minor in mathematics later down the road. His career goal is to explore the mechanical engineering field with proper exposure. He also wants to network with professionals to expand his horizon of knowledge. In his free time, he likes to go out and eat or have adventures with friends. However, when at home, he likes to relax and play video games.

Kanou Zerbo Kanou Zerbo is majoring in engineering. Since she was a teenager, she always has been attracted by the entire mechanism of electricity; it is the reason that enlightens her paths to her career to become an electrical engineer. Her goal is to go all the way to her PhD and open her own electrical company to encourage and show to other women that they also can do it. Above all she likes to cook, read books and dance.  

Public Health

Hawa Antonet Abraham Hawa Antonet Abraham is from Freetown, Sierra Leone. When she moved to the US, she was filled with joy because of the world of opportunities she imagined would be waiting for her to develop her potential. Following the Ebola virus outbreak in West Africa and then the global coronavirus pandemic, her focus changed to public health as she saw how immigrant communities were missing out on critical information on how to prevent virus transmission within their communities and how misinformation/conspiracies were preventing them from accessing health care. After successfully completing her Associates Degree in Community Health at Hostos College, she is excited to be selected for the inaugural NextGen Public Health Scholar 2+2+2 Program to pursue a bachelor's degree in Sociology at Columbia School of General Studies and a master's in public health at Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health.
Maria Jesus Vasquez Maria Jesus Vasquez Guillen is pursuing a major in Neuroscience and Behavior and a master’s degree in public health at Columbia University as part of the 2+2+2 Next Generation Public Health Scholar program sponsored by Hostos Community College and Columbia University. Her long-term goal is to create strategies that improve the well-being and health of Brown and Black communities, reduce disparities, and promote representation of minorities in the healthcare system. In her free time, she likes to read books, watch documentaries, care for her plants, and work out.
Andrea Vasquez Guillen is originally from Venezuela. After earning her Associates Degree in Liberal Arts and Science from Hostos CC, she transferred to Columbia University as part of the NextGen 2+2+2 Public Health Scholars, where she is majoring in Neuroscience and Behavior. Her path has been fueled by a profound passion for science and research. When she is not immersed in academia, she often plays tennis or volunteers at her mentor's lab. She is deeply committed to combating health disparities and creating innovative interventions for disease prevention, control, and diagnosis. Her ultimate goal is to develop strategies for effectively eradicating infectious diseases, driven by the belief that it's achievable with the right approach.
Renata Tedaldi Renata Tedaldi was born in Quito, Ecuador and immigrated to the United States when she was 2 years old. She grew up, for the majority of her life, as an undocumented immigrant and as a DACA recipient. In September 2021 she became a legal permanent resident and the first thing she did was enroll to the next semester available at Hostos Community College. She works as an office manager at a dental practice and a psychological practice. Growing up with little to no access to healthcare motivated her to pursue a career in public health. She wants to be able to make an impact in the population’s health outcomes, especially minority populations.
Ansumana Jammeh Ansumana Jammeh pursues an Associate of Arts in Liberal Arts and Science with a concentration in Healthcare Management. He aspires to become a public health physician and research scientist at a national/state health department or research institution that focuses on health disparities and improving health outcomes in underserved populations. In the future, he plans to use his epidemiological background to identify the root causes of health disparities marginalized populations face in our communities and develop innovative solutions to address these concerns through community clinics, outreach, health education and promotion programs.

Arts Administration

Tiffany Wilson Tiffany Wilson is a proud mother of a gorgeous one-year-old child, as well as a Business Management Major student who likes engaging with others. Tiffany aspires to work in Training and Development while improving her event-planning skills to experience the joy and fulfillment she derives from aiding others. Tiffany, a self-motivated and driven individual who wants to do better for herself and her child, wants to be able to network her skills and experiences gained from previous employment to better market herself as a college graduate with two years of managerial experience who is willing to adapt to and learn new cultures.
Marie Keita is grateful for the Arts and Arts Administration Scholarship, as it aligns perfectly with her passion for creativity and her commitment to pursuing excellence in the arts. She hails from a diverse background that has influenced her artistic sensibilities. From a young age, she found interest and inspiration in the world of art. She is West African and grew up in the South Bronx; she was raised by a single mother of four and some of the many joys of her childhood were music, paintings, and dance. Her surroundings have always influenced her artistically and getting this scholarship will push her toward achieving her goals. She is committed to utilizing this scholarship to make a positive impact through her art, whether by inspiring others, advocating for social change, or bringing something different to the world with the knowledge she attains.
Victoria Redillo is currently majoring in Digital Design and Animation. She dreams of being able to work as a character designer one day and if she has the patience for it, an animator. She has spent a good decade teaching herself how to draw and design characters and hopes to jump into the animation industry and make a living off her work. A fun fact about Victoria- she usually binges through horror podcasts while she works; it’s great background noise!