Nassau prides itself on its students' leadership and sense of responsibility to help uplift others in their neighborhoods, reflecting the abiding spirit of a community college. As a freshman, Ryan Ramsaroop already demonstrates an inspiring readiness to translate his ideals into action. The focus of his efforts has been to care for immigrants, the hungry and the poor. He assists at our campus food pantry, The NEST (Nassau Empowerment and Support for Tomorrow), and is an active member of our Campus Ministry that helps serve meals in soup kitchens and nursing homes. Ryan's parents' immigration experience has motivated him to become well-informed about the issues involved in such a complex process. He shares with friends and peers his knowledge on how to utilize the resources offered by our government, encouraging other student volunteers to share their time to help empower those in need. Civic-minded, collaborative and compassionate, Ryan identifies a problem and works to reach across boundaries for resolution. His contributions reflect a deep conviction in caring service of others and are invaluable to our students, the College and the wider community. His commitment to social justice is commensurate with the mission of both the College and a Fellows' recipient.
My parents immigrated to this country with three children. Adjusting to a new environment in the Bronx projects with inadequate resources, from food to finances to social support, was a tough challenge. Witnessing their struggles inspired my passion to engage the related issues of immigration, poverty and hunger. After completing high school I waited three years to be able to afford the cost of college. My family had little understanding of how to gain access to higher education until a relative informed us about financial aid. I am now majoring in Computer Technology. I spend my non-classroom hours at "The NEST", Nassau Community College's food pantry, and am amazed by the number of students in daily need. As a member of the Campus Ministry, I volunteer in soup kitchens and distribute clothing in my neighborhood. I am always pleased to convey my knowledge on the complex, confusing issue of immigration. It fills my heart with joy knowing that my volunteering makes a difference. Sharing my time and learning to help the less advantaged is a solid Christian moral value. Elizabeth Andrew's quote, "Volunteers do not necessarily have the time, they just have the heart" describes who I aspire to be.