Lga Students Earn Finch Scholarships

Helps Prepare Women For Careers

Two LaGuardia Community College students who graduated with honors from the Long Island City institution this year have received the highly-selective Finch College scholarships.

Zineb Bouizy, a liberal arts math and science graduate, and Harmonie Kobanghe, a liberal arts social sciences and humanities graduate, were among four community college women to be awarded a $2,000 grant toward completing their four-year degrees.

In the fall, Bouizy will attend City College’s Grove School of Engineering as a civil engineering major and Kobanghe will attend Georgetown University and pursue a major in international relations and a minor in women’s and gender studies.

The finch grant, which is awarded by the Finch College Alumnae Association Foundation, makes it possible for women to continue college and begin preparing for professional careers.

“This generous grant will allow me to afford the increased expense of a four-year college without sacrificing my commitment to academic excellence,” Bouizy said.

Kobanghe said she will use her award toward purchasing a laptop computer, which she could not afford while attending LaGuardia.

“I was always struggling to pay my tuition as an international student,” she stated. “This award will allow me to make this valuable purchase that will be a valuable academic tool.”

Bouizy, a native of Morocco, enrolled at LaGuardia in 2009 to pursue her long-time dream of becoming an environmental civil engineer and mathematician. She maintained a 3.8 GPA and also tutored students in the Math Learning Center. This summer, she enrolled in a science program at Barnard College.

“I’m willing to do whatever it takes to uncover my hidden talent, advance my current knowledge and learn new skills,” she said.

Kobanghe, whose parents fled the war-torn Democratic Republic of the Congo and settled in France, said she feels compelled to earn her law degree and return to the Congo to use the “weapon of education” to advocate for women ravaged by the war.

Her interest in social justice was cultivated at LaGuardia. A class in U.S. power and politics opened her eyes to injustices in the criminal justice system toward minorities and prompted her to volunteer at Rikers Island. There she interviewed over 50 inmates and encouraged them to register for the jail’s GED classes.

“This program will provide me with a strong cross cultural understanding of the interconnections among globalization, human rights abuse and sexual violence against women,” Kobanghe said of the award program.

After earning a bachelor’s degree, she plans on completing a law degree with a focus on international women’s human rights. She hopes to become a human rights lawyer and create an international organization to help the women of the Congo who were victims of violence reclaim their lives, become empowered and gain a voice in the governance of their nations.

For more information on La- Guardia Community College, visit www.laguardia.edu.

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