Originally from the Dominican Republic, Sarah immigrated to New York City at the age of 11. From a young age, Sarah was interested in mental health, in part due to its unspoken stigma. She finds this mentality to uphold cycles of generational trauma that affect communities from within. Wanting to change that narrative, Sarah is now a Psychology major at BMCC, starting her journey toward becoming an art therapist, believing that art is a powerful tool in healing and rekindling with the world. Sarah hopes to expand her studies at Gallatin by examining social issues that affect the lives of people in marginalized communities and advocating for greater diversity and intersectionality in therapy.
Born and raised on Long Island, William Aparicio enrolled at BMCC to obtain something everlasting- an education. It was at BMCC as a Liberal Arts major that he rediscovered his passion for learning, a thing he hadn’t felt since middle school. It was there William found an interest in creative writing and human rights advocacy. William is constantly learning the realities of the world around him- things to which he had historically lived oblivious. It was this perfect whirlwind of newly arising passions blended with new perspectives gained at BMCC. William soon realized he wanted to better his community in New York and those around him, whether by human rights law or community organizing. William is looking forward to discerning how he can best enact change in the city with his Gallatin education.
Joely Castillo is a non-traditional student at BMCC majoring in Ethnic Studies. While on a break from schooling, she found herself working in the intimate care sector for over a decade. Through community with other domestic workers, Joely has become aware of some of the struggles of working-poor women in NYC. Reinvigorated by the idea of community building, and cultural and gender studies, she has come to BMCC to gather tools for change-making. Through her anthropological courses, she has created a deeper understanding of the global struggle of black and brown people in the diaspora. Joely is excited to come to Gallatin with hopes of expanding her interests in ethnic, race, and cultural studies. She hopes to continue to draw connections, as well as deepen them in her educational journey
Ana Melia Jourdain is a first-generation college student from the Lower East Side, currently residing in Harlem. A low income resident of New York City and the single parent to a young child with a disability, she has encountered and experienced many of the issues plaguing residents of her beloved city such as poverty, addiction, sexual and domestic violence, ableism, racism and many more. After her son’s Autism diagnosis opened up a world of injustices, especially for low-income children and their families, Ana had dedicated her future to advocating for disability rights, especially as it intersects with a flawed justice system. At BMCC, Ana is a Human Services major.
Stephanie is a multi-passionate performer, producer, and playwright with over 20 years of experience throughout New England and NYC where she’s resided for a decade. The pandemic gave her a unique chance to continue pursuing both her academic goals and passion for the arts as a nontraditional student in BMCC’s Music Performance program. Inspired by the Movement for Black Lives and her own lived experience as a black youth in Massachusetts, Stephanie knew social justice would be the foundation of any career path she chose. Through the GUIDE program, Stephanie plans to create racial-equity pedagogy and programming that serves to reframe education through an antiracist lens. She will achieve this by researching innovative ways of overcoming implicit bias, reshaping existing curriculum, creating more inclusive and intersectional structures, and incorporating the performing arts as a tool for radical expression. In her free time, Stephanie enjoys spending time with family and rollerskating.