Student Success Stories

Community colleges attract immigrant students for a variety of reasons, including affordability and accessibility, contextualized ESL programs, whether it’s for the workplace or academic instruction; an effective way to transition to a four-year college or directly to a career; and a welcoming environment that offers flexibility in class programming, location, and schedules.

And immigrant students are a resource to community colleges. The diversity in countries, cultures, and experiences represented in the immigrant student population strengthens community colleges campuses and classrooms. Immigrant education programs have become a key component in advancing community college’s strategic goals and a critical link connecting colleges with their communities. Through peer-to-peer mentoring programs, immigrant students help one another and create a more supportive learning environment enabling students to succeed academically. And by starting up and participating in clubs and organizing events and workshops, immigrant students are developing important leadership and advocacy skills.

The success of our work is measured by the success of our immigrant students who have benefited from their community college experiences. Their stories are below:

Jibril Yahaya Luwaa

Westchester Community College
Country of origin: Ghana

As I prepare for my third semester in the Respiratory Care Program, I plan to continue my studies after graduation from Westchester Community College. Each day I spend at the college is a constant reminder of how desire and hard work can lead to success. The college’s superior facilities and the willingness of the professors to help students succeed have combined to make my time here a wonderful experience.

Satwinderjit Kaur

Johnson County Community College
Country of origin: India

After graduating from high school, I was eager and determined to reach my educational goals. I always dreamt of becoming a successful business woman. A four-year university was not an option for me due to the high cost. However, Johnson County Community College’s affordable tuition became my higher educational institute of choice and became my platform to broaden my horizons.

Cecilia G. Corral

South Texas College
Country of origin: Mexico

"I never thought I would get into Stanford and it was a thrill to receive the acceptance letter," said Corral. "I recently attended a welcoming event for incoming students and I was shocked that some of the faculty members and administrators already knew me by name. I felt very special and I am anxious to get back and start my studies."

Fernando Villavicencio

Miami Dade College
Country of origin: Ecuador

Fernando Villavicencio migrated three years ago from his native Guayaquil, Ecuador. With dreams to become a Mechanical Engineer, he came to the United States in search of the American Dream. When Fernando first arrived to this country, he did not speak a word of English and was unable to communicate effectively. He was certain he wanted to pursue an education, but thought it was impossible as a result of his hectic schedule and lack of knowledge of the English language.

Anne Sarie Yva Cossogue

Miami Dade College
Country of origin: Haiti

Anne Sarie Yva Cossogue migrated from Haiti two years ago in order to pursue a degree in Biology in hopes of becoming an obstetric-gynecologist. From an early age, Anne would dream of the day she would be able to pursue an education in this county. As a result, after finishing high school two and a half years ago, she migrated to the United States to obtain a college degree.

Nadine Khair

Westchester Community College
Country of origin: Jordan

Coming to Westchester Community College at age seventeen was daunting. However, I had a need to pursue an education in the United States. Since I have been at the college, I have become very active in and out of class. I am proud to say that I am part of the Honor Program and a member of the National Honor Society. In addition to my college activities, I also participate in programs sponsored by the Arabic church in my community and continue to hold a part-time job.

David Monges

Westchester Community College
Country of origin: Paraguay

Although I have just begun my undergraduate career, my plans are to complete a double major, and then transfer to a four-year university to complete my bachelor’s in Architecture. I am grateful to be able to attend Westchester Community College with the assistance of the Kathryn W. Davis Global Community Scholarship Program. The institution offers great opportunities and academic programs for all, including immigrants and non-traditional students.

Frank Gyamfi

Johnson County Community College
Country of origin: Ghana

Ever since a tender age, it has forever been my desire to pursue a career in the medical field to help people when they are ill. I am currently studying Pre-Pharmacy at Johnson County Community College because I want to be a pharmacist.

Karima Ben Ayed

Northern Virginia Community College
Country of origin: Germany

I’m an international student from Germany and I chose NOVA because it’s affordable. I’m able to experiment and take classes that are not necessarily required for my program, giving me ample time to figure out what I’d like to do in the long run.

Keyla Torres

Wright College
Country of origin: Honduras

Keyla Torres, an immigrant from Honduras, started anew at Wright College in 2004. Today, she is Eli’s Cheesecake Company’s Business Specialist. Like many other immigrants, Torres went to the United States in hopes of a brighter future. She graduated from Wright College in 2007 with an Associate’s Degree in Arts. Soon after, she transferred to Northwestern University, eventually graduating with a Bachelor’s Degree in 2009 with a major in Political Science and a minor in Economics.