Providing opportunities for individuals from other countries to develop leadership, professional skills and English language proficiency, while studying at a community college in the United States
June 20, 2016
Syed Minhaj Hossain has been drawing ever since he was a child. He initially attended university in his home country of Bangladesh to study business administration. However, after two years, he knew it wasn’t for him and he studying animation in the Multimedia and Creative Technology department at Daffodil International University.
He then saw an advertisement for the Community College Initiative Program offered through the U.S. State Department. He applied for the program and, after a 10-month process, was selected to attend College of DuPage.
“Bangladesh is a developing company,” he said. “Everyone wants to go to America but there are some misconceptions. What I found is that people are helpful, friendly and, in many ways, the same as us.”
Hossain also participated in the annual Animation Night presentation of student works. He described his project as “an inspirational story for the young generation.” He combined hand-drawn animation and digital painting to tell the story of a retiring CEO who, in hand-picking his successor, gives potential candidates one year to complete a task before judging who is the most honest applicant.
After earning his MPTV/Animation certificate, Hossain is returning to Daffodil University to finish his degree. He has two career dreams: to work in Hollywood at a major animation studio and to promote animation in Bangladesh, where he would like to open his own studio.
“I want to teach students in my country what I have learned at COD,” he said. “Being part of the CCI Program wasn’t just about animation, it was about taking advantage of a big opportunity. What I found at College of DuPage were a lot more resources than I ever had before. Professor Tony Venezia and the Animation program are amazing. He is one of the best professors I’ve ever met and he takes time to help students one by one.”
October 5, 2015
It has been a busy first month of 2016 for the 2015-16 CCI participants! After a much needed winter break, all 147 students representing 12 countries (Bangladesh, Brazil, Colombia, Cote d'Ivoire, Egypt, Ghana, India, Indonesia, Kenya, Pakistan, South Africa and Turkey), embarked on a tristate journey for the annual Pathways to Success Program (PSP) which took place in Washington D.C., Philadelphia and New York City from January 10th to January 17th.
This ‘Year of Firsts’ boasted an exciting schedule. For the first time in CCI history, all three consortia met under one roof, hosted by NOVA’s beautiful Schlesinger center. The goals of this event were connecting, networking, learning and collaborating. State Department Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA) Assistant Secretary Evan Ryan, who offered words of wisdom and motivation to the group of nearly 250 students and took the time to sit in for some candid photographs. This was followed by a panel of experts on the topics of entrepreneurship, innovation and global change and concluded with a lively Networking discussion.
The theme of the PSP was Connectivity – allowing students to connect to their own experiences and strengths and also to one another in an effort to plan for their future. Students presented on important global topics – including research presentations and moving presentational acting. Numerous connectivity workshops were provided that allowed students to reflect on their experience in the United States, refocus on their upcoming semester and on their return, Action Plan for the upcoming future and understanding their own leadership abilities. A favorite amongst the students was the String Activity workshop which shows how we are all interconnected in this world even if not immediately apparent.
For more detail on the Peacebuilding workshop and David J. Smith please visit: http://davidjsmithconsulting.com/2016/01/13/community-college-initiative-program-creating-learning-opportunities-for-international-opportunities-at-u-s-community-colleges/
The connectivity theme continued with an engaging and interactive discussion by Mr. David J. Smith on peacebuilding and tolerance. Mr. Smith, the President of the Forage Center for Peacebuilding and Humanitarian Education and former senior manager at the U.S. Institute of Peace is a leading authority on peacebuilding, conflict resolution, and civic and global education. In a very dynamic session, Mr. Smith and the CCI participants explored the current state of challenges and discussed tangible means by which each CCI participant could promote peacebuilding across borders via “Peacebuilding Action Plans”. The impact of the workshop was palpable as CCI students are still discussing how they can make these action plans a reality.
The CCC CCI participants made CCI history once again by being the first group to collectively visit the White House!
After exploring historic Philadelphia, and getting the first ever CCI group photo on the legendary Rocky Steps at the Philadelphia Museum of Art, the CCC group made its way to New York City.
The 2015-16 students had not time to slow down while in New York City – a combination of cultural and educational exploration kept them very busy. Students toured the UN, met with two United States diplomats at the United States Mission to the UN, visited Ellis Island and the Statue of Liberty, saw the city from the top of the Empire State Building and cheered each other on during the farewell celebration and awards ceremony – where exemplary academic and leadership achievements were recognized.
Students were also able to tour Ground Zero with survivors and families of the 9/11 tragedy who now volunteer with the 9/11 Tribute Center. The students were awestricken with the first account stories. The CCI participants made quite an impact on some of the volunteers at the Tribute Center: The following is from the 9/11 Tribute Center Facebook Page:
Many thanks to everyone that made this event possible and so very unforgettable. What a great way to start the New Year 2016.
The PSP was a great success! And if the eventful week wasn’t enough, after returning on Sunday evening, our determined CCI students got up early the following day to show their support for the Martin Luther King Day of Service. The following are a few examples of our student’s exemplary service! The following are a few examples of the CCI students' noble work:
The 2015-2016, NOVA Annandale and Alexandria campuses participated in the George Washington University’s MLK Day of Service on Monday, January 18th. Throughout the day, the students worked alongside students from GW and members of the community. They were able to share their experiences and culture, while volunteering their time to help sick children. Additionally, they learned more about Dr. King and his legacy.
The event started with a welcome from GW’s President, Steven Knapp, and a keynote address by Stacey Stewart, the U.S. president of United Way Worldwide. Following the opening addresses, the participants were dismissed by project groups for lunch. After lunch we went to our service project, which was to assemble craft packets for children in the hospital. The sponsoring organization is called Caitlin’s Smiles. We assembled packets for children to make bookmarks and friendship bracelets. From there we moved onto a workshop entitled “Realizing King’s Dream with the Principles of Kwanzaa” given by Sam P.K. Collins. Mr. Collins is a grassroots journalist and founder of AllEyesonDC, a news organization that focuses on issues that affect people of African descent in the D.C. metropolitan region through words and film. During the workshop the students learned about the origins and principles of Kwanzaa and Mr. Collins talk about the need for African self-determination and economic empowerment within the black community, a philosophy that Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. embraced toward the end of his life. The workshop was very interactive and the students were very engaged in the conversation and shared their own experiences and views. After the workshop, Sifiso Ngobeni, journalism and media student from South Africa, exchanged contact information and set up a meeting for some time in the next week. Mr. Collins was very impressed with Sifiso and excited to hear that he is studying journalism.
The students were featured in the GW Blog
The participants of the Miami Dade College - Wolfson campus took part in a large MLK Speaking event that is the biggest in the county. It addressed leadership, celebrating and embracing diversity as well as volunteerism in the community. The following link has more information: http://www.dailyherald.com/article/20160115/news/160119279/.
The CCI students of BHCC went to several different locations to conduct their day of service for MLK. The Early Childhood Education students went with their internship site – Jumpstart, and other students went individually to other site. Several participated with Boston Cares MLK Day of Service held at the Boston Latin School. They made literacy games and reading journals that were donated to three elementary schools across the city. The event involved 650 volunteers total and was attended by the Superintendent of BPS, Dr. Tommy Chang, as well as Mayor Walsh.
One student, spent his day volunteering at the Women’s Lunch Place, washing dishes and serving lunch.
And lastly, several others volunteered as ushers for the tribute to MLK Jr. at the Boston Children Chorus.
The entire CCI 2015-16 cohort at Scottsdale Community College volunteered to rebuild a wildlife water tank at the 51 Ranch in Yavapai County, Arizona. The group partnered with Arizona Game & Fish Department, and the Mule Deer Foundation to make this one-day project happen. The 50,000 gallon water tank and rain catchment was originally built in the 1970s. Rotting wood from age and forest fires needed to be replaced as well as a new wildlife water drinker installed. Students helped to replace posts, attach catchment sheeting, and replace the old drinker. This catchment and drinker will serve to help deer, elk, bobcat, bear, mountain lions, as well as cattle during long dry summer months. The Mule Deer Foundation provided a nice presentation about the importance of public-private partnerships in the conservation of native species in Arizona. Water resources like this are critical to creating sustainable habitats.
The CCI students of Houston Community College volunteered for the 22nd Annual MLK Grande-Parade in Houston. As a collaborative group effort, all fourteen were active and contributed over five hours of community service that day. Students had fun, learned about the importance of Martin Luther King, and why we celebrate this day in the USA.
Thank you 2015-16 CCI participants for your dedication to service learning in the United States!
Our logo is the culmination of CCIP participants coming together to design a logo that represents their program. A competition was held, and the insignia you see above, won the prize! The focal point of the design are the three C’s intertwined with one another – and stand for Community College Consortium. Within each ‘C’ a primary element of the program is represented = Education, Community and Understanding – three pillars of CCIP intertwined with one another to create an enriching, once-in-a-lifetime experience for the participants. And lastly, the color selected, represent the most dominant common flag color in the represented countries.