Tricia Rega, CSI Scholarship Recipient
Tricia is an FDNY firefighter, and currently the only female firefighter assigned to Staten Island. Due to an injury that occurred while on duty, Tricia had to have an amputation of one of her fingers. As a result, she is now on limited desk duty.
Presently, Tricia is pursuing a degree in Women's Studies with the goal of working for a non-profit organization that encourages women to seek non-traditional jobs, noting that her scholarship is enabling her to remain in school. Tricia is constantly trying to improve herself as a student and individual.
"The scholarship funds are important to me because they give me some financial freedom. The funds help me to pursue other dreams and goals I have set for myself."
Georges Bouobda Tsemo, CSI Scholarship Recipient
Georges attended high school in Cameroon and came to the U.S. in 2007, entering CSI in the spring of that year. Currently pursuing a double major in Chemistry and Mathematics with a 3.95 GPA, he eventually hopes to attend medical school.
Georges's life in Cameroon was affected by illness, disease, and poverty. The death of two family members from cancer motivated him to immigrate to the U.S. and pursue a career in medical research, believing that he "should give back to the community as much as he was given."
Georges also gives back as a participant in the Black Male Initiative, mentoring high school students, and the Emerging Leaders Program, as well as a volunteer for Habitat for Humanity, the Hope Program, Staten Island University Hospital, New York Downtown Hospital, and Project Hospitality.
"With the living and education cost being higher is the U.S, the scholarship funds have allowed me to stay focused on my education and dream rather than worrying about financial incentives."
Ann Mackey, CSI Scholarship Recipient
Ann was fortunate enough to pursue her childhood dream of becoming a professional ballet dancer, but an ankle injury ended her career at the age of 26. In the midst of choosing the path that her new life would take, she was diagnosed with a life-threatening illness that required extensive medical care. While in recovery, she decided to pursue a career in nursing at the College of Staten Island so that she may help others who are experiencing the challenges that she had experienced.
Thanks to her scholarship funds, Ann is able to continue pursuing her degree at CSI, following a career path that will allow her to assist others the way that she has been helped. She is grateful for the scholarship funds that she has received, as they will allow her to focus her attention on her new dream to become a nurse. She will also be the first female in her family to receive a college degree.
"[My scholarship] shows me that my hard work pays off, and more importantly, that CSI recognizes and values it."
Marybeth Melendez-Perez, CSI Scholarship Recipient
A dual Psychology and Sociology major, Marybeth graduated from LaGuardia School for Music and the Arts. She entered John Jay College, where she started to lose her vision to progressive degenerative eye disease, which eventually rendered her visually impaired. In 1992, her diminishing sight forced her to retire from her position at a law firm (this was prior to the Americans with Disabilities Act), so she focused on raising her three children, one of whom inherited the same degenerative eye disease that she has.
In 2008, she enrolled at CSI and has relied on scholarships to continue her education. Marybeth states in her scholarship application, "Can you image for just a moment stepping into my darkened world?" Fortunately CSI scholarships are there to make her world a little brighter.
"Education comes at a cost, financially and emotionally. The CSI Scholarship dollars bridged the financial gap left behind by financial aid. It is the definitive factor in my ability to continue my education and purchase the necessary equipment that a student with a disability, like myself, needs in order to be a productive student. I provided the hard work and determination and the scholarships provided the means to solidify my future."
Michael Maslankowski, CSI Scholarship Recipient
Currently a Jeannette K. Watson Fellow, Michael is triple majoring in English, Cinema Studies, and Film Production with a 3.75 GPA. In addition to his studies, he mentors CSI freshmen students in the New Student Programs Office.
Michael worked three part-time jobs to help support his family because his father lost his job due to downsizing. With help from his scholarships, he now has the financial support to remain in school and concentrate on his studies.
"This scholarship gives me the enthusiasm for the everyday challenges I face and allows me to persevere."