Sixteen exceptional students will transfer to high-quality baccalaureate and postgraduate programs at Columbia University, City College's Grove School of Engineering, and Queens College.
Congressman Ritchie Torres presented $1 million in Community Project Funding to Hostos Community College on Monday, November 20, at the Hostos Research Center. Under the name “Building Transfer Pathways and Pipeline Initiative,” this funding will enable 16 exceptional students to transfer to high-quality baccalaureate and postgraduate programs in Public Health at Columbia University, Engineering at City College's Grove School, and Arts Administration at Queens College.
At the ceremony, Hostos President Daisy Cocco De Filippis welcomed Congressman Torres to the College, underscoring the pride of seeing this idea materialize.
“I still remember the first meeting I had with Congressman Torres and I am absolutely delighted at seeing the fruit of the labor of so many that have been involved with this initiative. I think I speak for everyone, congressman, when I express my gratitude to you and welcome you to your home at Hostos,” she said.
Congressman Torres followed by stating that Hostos embodies what the Bronx is about: an epicenter of opportunities for all, which he will continue to support as long as he serves in Congress.
“As the hardest hit borough during the pandemic, I was compelled to support the creation of this program to train the best public health scholars in the country, given the great need that we have for these professionals. I am very pleased to see this funding extend over to other transfer programs that will, without a doubt, showcase Hostos’ commitment to expanding access to higher education among Bronx students,” he indicated.
His words were echoed by one of the 16 students, Hawa Antonet Abraham, who is currently enrolled in her first year at Columbia University after finishing her degree at Hostos in Spring 2023. Hawa's gratitude for the assistance she received is profound, emphasizing how this support has been truly life-changing for her. From the uncertainties of being a refugee from Sierra Leone to pursuing a master’s degree in the Ivy League, her story exemplifies the profound impact that targeted support can have on an individual's life trajectory.
“Thanks to an opportunity like this, I was privileged enough to not have to decide between continuing my studies or halting my progress due to financial constraints. I am very honored to be a part of this wonderful cohort and cannot thank Congressman Torres nor President Cocco De Filippis enough for the opportunity they are giving me,” she shared.
Queens College President Frank Wu warmly welcomed attendees in a pre-recorded video, expressing genuine joy for the initiative. Meanwhile, Columbia School of General Studies Dean Lisa Rosen-Metsch commended Hostos for its pioneering vision in crafting such a distinctive program. “We are changing the world, setting a precedent that other schools will undoubtedly take note of and look to emulate."
Rawlins R. Beharry, the Assistant Dean for Undergraduate Affairs at The City College Grove School of Engineering, enthusiastically joined his colleagues in recognizing Hostos' commitment to pioneering innovative initiatives. Expressing particular delight, Beharry emphasized that what truly gratifies him is witnessing Hostos consistently emerge as a breeding ground for the finest transfer students in New York.
The Engineering cohort will continue their studies at the City College of New York.
The cohort is composed of Public Health scholars Hawa Antonet Abraham ‘23, María Jesus Vasquez Guillen ‘23, and Andrea Vasquez Guillen ‘23, and Renata Tedaldi and Ansumana Jammeh; Engineering transfer students Aaron ArjuneLall, Joel Javier, José Armando Keppis, Erika M. Mata, Sor Bello Meléndez, Brando Méndez, John Santana, and Kanou Zerbo; and Arts Administration scholars Tiffany Wilson, Marie Keita, and Victoria Redillo. They were all recognized at the event and presented with certificates.
The Public Health scholars transfer into Columbia University.
Also in attendance were the Dean of Faculty for the Queens College School of Social Sciences, Dr. Ekaterina Pechenkina; Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health Gelman Professor and Department of Epidemiology Chair, Dr. Charles Branas; GS Vice Dean Curtis Rodgers, GS Senior Associate Dean Ivonne Rojas, GS Associate Dean of Students, Sara Remedios Bloom; GS Director of Admissions, Matthew Rotstein; Hostos Senior Vice President of Administration and Finance Esther Rodríguez Chardavoyne; Hostos Provost and Vice President of Academic Affairs Shiang-Kwei Wang; Hostos Student Development and Enrollment Management Vice President La Toro Yates; Hostos Associate Dean of Academic Affairs Andrea Fabrizio; Hostos Research Programs Director Sofía Oviedo; Hostos Physical Sciences Professor Yoel Rodríguez; Hostos English Professor and Liberal Arts Coordinator Linda Hirsch; faculty, staff, and students.
The Arts Administration group will finish their bachelor's degree at Queens College.

About Eugenio María de Hostos Community College
Hostos Community College is an educational agent for change that has been transforming and improving the quality of life in the South Bronx and neighboring communities for over half a century. Since 1968, Hostos has been a gateway to intellectual growth and socioeconomic mobility, as well as a point of departure for lifelong learning, success in professional careers, and transfer to advanced higher education programs.
Hostos offers 28 associate degree programs and two certificate programs that facilitate secure transfer to The City University of New York’s (CUNY) four-year colleges or baccalaureate studies at other institutions. A two-time Aspen Prize for Community College Excellence finalist, the College has an award-winning Division of Continuing Education & Workforce Development that offers professional development courses and certificate-bearing workforce training programs. Hostos is part of CUNY, the nation’s leading urban public university, which serves more than 500,000 students at 25 colleges.
For inquiries, email