Medgar Evers College Class of 2017 Continues to Rise

Jonathan Arcentales, 22, Class of 2017 Valedictorian, is graduating with a B.S in Biology. He began thinking about his address to the class of 2017 by reflecting on his parents and their love and support. “It will show the true American dream,” he said.   Jonathan’s parents came to this country from Ecuador with middle-school educations and he is a first-generation college student. He has been accepted into the Physician Assistant Program at the SUNY Downstate Medical Center in Brooklyn to begin work on his Master’s Degree.  When he is not racking up great grades he has worked in the emergency room at Brooklyn Hospital Center as an emergency department scribe, which means that he transcribes important medical information into a computer. He has also worked in soup kitchens and as a tutor for adults and children.

One of the highlights of Sciancia Metelus’s time at MEC was in April 2016 -- she was named Medgar Evers’ representative for the CUNY Athletic Conference (CUNYAC) Cuba Goodwill Tour and she and other student-athletes visited a local youth clinic and local hospitals.   She was a 2016 Fall Scholar-Athlete, CUNY, and an Indoor Track and Field All-star for 2017.   Sciancia, 22, knows that the world of sports has many facets: she is obtaining a B.S. in Business and is entering a graduate program in sports management at Brooklyn College.

Roderick Hurley, 39, receiving a B.A. in Psychology, has long considered himself “something of a psychologist, slash, philosopher.” He wants to make a difference in the world, he said. He believes he is on the path to do so with his acceptance into a prestigious, fully-funded doctoral program in Critical Social/Personality Psychology at the CUNY Graduate Center. He has five children (ages 16 to 4) and returned to school after 15 years, having had a successful career as a musician.  The support and diversity he found at MEC helped him through.  He is the SGA Day Vice-President and a College Assistant in the Office of International Education.  He is also CUNY’s University Student Senate vice-chair for International Student Affairs.

Oluwatobi Olufeko, 20, has the distinction of being MEC’s first ASAP graduate after completing her Associate degree in August, 2015. She will graduate with a B.S. in Biology after only 3.5 years at MEC and will enter a doctoral program in Neuroscience at Stony Brook University. Tobi, as she is known, has been a RISE research scholar and has several scientific conference presentations to her name.   In 2016 she won first place in Neuroscience at the 20th Undergraduate Research Symposium in the Clinical and Biological Sciences at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County. Her interest in neuroscience, she said, comes from her deep desire to help people struggling with the myriad issues that come when things go wrong in the brain. “Black women are doing wonderful things in science,” she notes.

D’Andre Smith’s memories of MEC stretch way back: his mother worked at MEC years ago and he fondly remembers the College’s daycare center. His family has been a fast wind under his wings as he skipped two grades in elementary school and went to school year-round after entering MEC in the Fall of 2014.  Now, at age 19, he is earning his B.A. in Psychology and his goal is to earn a doctorate in Psychology. He has been accepted into the Master’s Degree program in Forensic Psychology at John Jay College of Criminal Justice. If he is not MEC’s youngest 2017 graduate then we do not know who is!