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Students Flock To Queens Schools – QNS.com

Students Flock To Queens Schools

The night before Hurricane Katrina made landfall ravaging the Gulf Coast, Udora Choi, an 18-year-old Bayside resident, evacuated her Tulane University dorm and boarded a bus with two classmates for Houston, Texas, hoping to escape the storm’s destruction.
“I was just thinking how am I going to get home because air flights were ridiculous, and I couldn’t even get a flight out, so I just had to talk to some friends to see what they were doing, and then I ended up going to Houston,” Choi said. “Luckily, one of our good friends from Tulane lived in Houston, Texas, and he hadn’t moved in yet, so him and his mom came to pick us up; they were great.”
After spending two days in Texas, Choi, who went down to the New Orleans school before the start of class as a volunteer helping with freshman orientation, was finally able to locate a flight back to New York, but she knew, like so many other students in similar situations, her sophomore year of college would no longer be the same.
Choi, who graduated Cardozo High School, looked to Queens College for assistance. Shortly after the hurricane hit, the college announced that they would offer admittance to students who were displaced by the hurricane.
“Students will come here for a semester to continue their education then probably return to their schools if conditions permit,” said Director of Admissions Vincent Angrisani.
Kaye Park, 20, also a Cardozo graduate and Tulane sophomore, was scheduled to leave for Tulane the day before Hurricane Katrina hit, but she never left New York.
“I heard that it was coming, but I didn’t understand the severity of the warning,” she said, since last year students were told to leave campus because of a potential hurricane, but only minimal wind damage affected the campus. Park also started classes at Queens College last week.
Both Park and Choi developed a close connection to Tulane and found it difficult to watch the coverage of the rescue and recovery operations.
“Watching the news the day after it hit was almost surreal,” Park said. After the levees broke, “I just stopped watching the news; it was just too much.”
While both students are adjusting to their new school, they are hopeful to return to Tulane for spring semester.
“I really hope they reopen because I have become attached to Tulane,” Choi said.

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