President’s Weekly Messages to Students
Tuesday, November 15, 2022
Cold Hands, Warm Thoughts
Dear KCC Students,
We have lucked out these past weeks because it has been unseasonably warmer so far this fall. But today as I stepped outside, I was reminded that winter is coming. As someone one who was born and grew up in the Caribbean, the transition to going to college in NJ was difficult. I remember I had class in a building I had to walk up a short hill to get to. On those days in the winter, I would see ice in the grass, and I would wonder why would anyone dump ice all the way up there. It took me a long time to realize that no one was dumping ice, that it was actually a stream that was frozen.
I even remember the first time I saw snow. I was on the way to the movies with my friends. I was sitting in the front seat of his car; we hadn’t pulled out of the parking lot yet and I saw white stuff falling from the sky. When it landed on the windshield, I saw the shape of a snowflake (I had never seen that before) and got so excited. To this day, I can never wrap my head around how it can be so cold (below zero temperatures) even with the sun shining! I have lived in the tri-state area for 36 years and every year around this time and up until it starts to get warm, I think about all the warm weather and the beaches back home in the U.S. Virgin Islands.
As I have made my way to and from work over the past few years, my thoughts have increasing been on the many people who experience housing insecurity; those who are without places to call home; those who live in shelters and those who live on the streets. Over the years, I have done what I could to make a difference like donating coats and making monetary contributions to organizations. This year, I decided to participate in the SleepOut movement. For one night, I joined a group of like- minded volunteers and gave up my bed, slept on the street and raised funds for a NY-based organization to help support young people to overcome homeless. We slept out in solidarity to bring awareness to the issue of homelessness affecting many young people. And that night I had the opportunity to hear from two people who were homeless about how their lives have changed because of the support they received.
At Kingsborough, the support we offer helps to keep you on track to earning your degree which will change your life in immeasurable ways. We are fortunate that we have a variety of offices that help students in need: from our Access Resource Center, that provides provide a wide range of holistic services to empower students to overcome life barriers in order to achieve their educational goals; to our Wellness Services that provides programming, services, support, and education relating to health, mental health, and general wellness. For more KCC Student Resources check out: https://www.kbcc.cuny.edu/studres/
KCC students, it's cold outside, but knowing that we have the resources and supports on campus to help students achieve their goals, always warms my heart.
Have a great week!
Claudia V. Schrader, Ed.D.