Four Hostos students were selected as scholars of the 2023 Kaplan Leadership Program (KLP), a longstanding advising initiative of the Kaplan Educational Foundation (KEF). José González, Yassine Gaye, Fatima Bah, and Andre Watson are this year’s awardees. With four out of eleven spots earned by Hostos students, the College became the institution with the most participants in KLP’s 2023 classification. They will join a cohort that receives mentoring to transfer into four-year colleges successfully.

The students have started meeting with their Kaplan mentors to work on their applications. Each year, they must apply to 25 schools. The program covers many costs: applications, travel, and books.

Additionally, all students are advised on the availability of all-expenses-paid financial aid programs at each of their desired institutions.

“This year’s scholars are some of the best Hostos has to offer and will be great contributors to the universities they choose to go to. Kaplan and Hostos are making their road to success a little smoother,” said Jason Libfeld, Student Leadership Coordinator in the Student Development and Enrollment Management (SDEM) division. Libfeld is one of the Hostos Champions, the on-campus mentoring team supporting this year’s scholars.

The other members of the crew are Marina Esquilín (Scholarships Office), Berkis Cruz-Eusebio (Career Services/ASAP), Marsha Milan Bethel (Admissions Advisor), Rocio Rayo (Transfer Services), and Ursula Sanders (Wellness Office).

“[I am] eternally grateful to my colleagues who served as their mentors, guiding them through the highly competitive application process. Can’t wait to see the impact that our scholars will have in the world,” expressed Johanna Gómez, Assistant Dean of Student Life at SDEM.

According to awardee and Accounting major José González, the achievement sets an example for future generations. “Being selected for Kaplan is a monumental opportunity to get closer to my dreams and be a role model to those that come after me,” he affirmed. “I am very excited and grateful to take the next steps in the college transfer process,” added awardee Yassine Gaye, who majors in Chemical Engineering and serves as Student Affairs Commissioner in the Student Government Association at Hostos. 

The opportunity the KLP gives to students comes at significant junctures in each of their lives. “As a single mother, not only is KEF giving me a chance but also providing me with all the support a determined student would need to achieve greatness. I am genuinely happy and grateful,” stated Fatima Bah, Mathematics major. 

Hostos has an established success record with KLP. In past years, students have transferred to Stanford University, Cornell University, New York University, and others.

We wish all the best to our 2023 Kaplan Scholars!