The "Born in the Bronx" photographic history of Hip Hop exhibit, currently on display in the Longwood Art Gallery @ Hostos, provided a surprisingly apt backdrop for the Hostos Community College Foundation’s Gift of Philanthropy celebration on Thursday, November 30. Though posters, photographs, and memorabilia from the early days of a global counter-culture phenomenon seem at odds with a wine and cheese donor appreciation event, Hip Hop and Hostos are born of the same movement – a resonant call from the Latino, Afro-Latino and Black community of the South Bronx to be recognized, respected, and valued for their economic and cultural contributions to this city.

The well-attended event gathered dedicated supporters of Hostos – those who have fought for the College since it was just an idea, and new friends who have joined our movement for educational equity and socioeconomic mobility in the South Bronx. In a brief program, Vice President of Institutional Advancement Colette Atkins and Board Treasurer Carolyn McLaughlin thanked donors for their generous support and emphasized how impactful their contributions are at the College. In the 2023 academic year, more than 350 students received over $450,000 in internal scholarships.

President Daisy Cocco De Filippis echoed the message of gratitude and proudly touted the accomplishments of the College and its students, especially alumnus and former scholarship recipient Ifeanyi Obinali, president and CEO of LEAD Security Group, who has come full circle to become a donor and speaker at the College. Cira Ángeles, who previously served on the Hostos Community College Foundation Board and is the current board chairperson for the Nasry Michelen Foundation, encouraged all in attendance to, “find that place in the community [where you] can make a difference” and reflected that she is “blessed to be a part of this home that is Hostos.” The Nasry Michelen Foundation was founded in honor of Hostos’ first president, Dr. Nasry Michelen, and last year it finalized an endowed scholarship for at Hostos.

A student government leader and scholarship recipient Laura Cuevas spoke warmly of her time at Hostos, “this place has allowed me to grow, not just in knowledge, but also in confidence,” and she expressed how scholarships help students to “see the future they envision come closer to fruition.” Ifeanyi Obinali expressed how honored he feels to be able to give back to the institution that gave him the resources and education he needed to build a successful, growing business. “I was a direct beneficiary of this funding…and individuals like you are the reason I am standing here today.” He reminded all those in attendance that, “its one thing to go to class, its another thing to go to school,” distinguishing the difference between attending classes and really delving into the opportunities and resources made available by the College. For Hostos students, scholarships make “going to school” possible, freeing up valuable time and alleviating financial stress.

Development Officer Idelsa Méndez closed out the evening, expressing her gratitude to all those who give throughout the year, from our event sponsors that helped us raise more than $400,000 and $120,000 at our 55th Anniversary Gala and 2023 Golf Outing, respectively, and the individuals who helped raise more than $63,000 just two days earlier on CUNYTuesday.

Special thanks are due to the Division of Institutional Advancement, and the Foundation Board members, faculty, staff, and friends of the College who attended. The Foundation and the College are grateful to have such dedicated partners in our mission.

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