More Than Luck
Graduating magna cum laude, Elease A. Wiggins counts herself as one of a lucky handful of youths in her Bedford Stuyvesant neighborhood who had the good fortune and determination to pursue a higher education. She graduates this June with a Bachelor’s degree in Professional Studies with a concentration in Applied Management.
Throughout her time at Medgar, Wiggins immersed herself in campus culture beyond the classroom. “I quickly became skilled at balancing family life, community activities, while achieving academic excellence,” she said. In her freshman year, she became involved in the Student Government Association, serving as both the Corresponding Secretary and Evening Vice President. While in office, she lobbied on behalf of students, encouraged student/community involvement, and helped to organize voters’ registration, food and coat drives. She has been inducted into two honor societies, Upsilon Theta Pi Honor and Chi Alpha Epsilon-where she presently serves as treasurer. She participated in the Coalition of 100 Black Women Role Model program, and last spring, was recognized as a Woman of Distinction by the College community. Recently she was appointed by President Jackson to serve as a member of the Faculty/Student Disciplinary Committee. This past fall she interned at the New York State Education Department, and over the spring in the W.E.B. Dubois Center for Public Policy.
This recipient of the Provost and Dean’s List awards is not resting on her laurels as the first in her family to attend college. This summer, she begins graduate school classes at Queens College where she will pursue a Master’s degree in Urban Affairs. She is excited to be amidst a group of diverse individuals with similar research interests, and plans to shape policies and practices that will sustain the development of urban communities throughout New York City.
Wiggins says her greatest sense of fulfillment lies in the opportunities her education shall create for her daughter. “My now three-year-old daughter is my greatest inspiration, and my initial reason for returning to school. Every day I look into her eyes and promise her that I will provide her with the best life has to offer.”
Scholar. Leader. Hero.
Not in his neighborhood. After hearing of the assault and robbery of 85-year old Crown Heights resident Ms. Lillian France, graduate Keston Boyce led 20 members of a Youth Task Force in a grassroots effort, which raised $900 dollars from local community residents to replace the money stolen from her during the attack. Boyce’s own mother had been a robbery victim two years prior; this time he had an opportunity to make a difference.
No stranger to leadership, Boyce is a member of Pi Eta Kappa, Inc.-an honor society dedicated to fostering academic excellence and community service in young men. Excelling academically, he has been a Dean’s, Provost and President’s list scholar. He is the Sophomore Class President of the Student Government Association; a member of the Search for Education, Elevation and Knowledge Student Association; and the Chair of the Youth Task Force Initiative with State Senator Eric Adams. In 2008, he was selected as the Edward T. Rogowsky Scholar-a Public Affairs internship and award scholarship given to one CUNY student each year.
Boyce graduates magna cum laude this year with an Associate of Science degree in Business Administration. He is continuing his studies towards a Baccalaureate degree in Public Administration. He plans to attend law school after completing his studies at Medgar Evers.
“Medgar Evers College has been a great foundation. I believe that the institution- the administration, faculty, and the student body- has contributed greatly to my academic achievement,” said Boyce.