A message from... Joseph Dagher, Scholarship Recipient, Class of 2012
In the fall of 2009, I came from Beirut, Lebanon to Housatonic Community College, with the ultimate goal of becoming an aerospace engineer. This place soon became my second home: I was surrounded by brilliant teachers, many new friends and helpful staff. In January 2010, with my own studies going well, I started working as a math tutor at HCC's academic support center where it became a joy to me to help other students overcome their educational obstacles. I also became a member of a team of engineering students working on a Sustainable Living Project, a program sponsored by the National Science Foundation and NASA to "improve the quality of life in cities such as Bridgeport."
However, when being a full time international student paying an out-of-state rate of tuition became a challenge for me, the HCC Foundation became my salvation by helping me to solve that issue. Every semester, I was honored to receive scholarship funding that relieved the financial pressure and gave me the motivation to push my academic abilities to their limits. I graduated his past May with an Engineering Science Degree and a 3.31 GPA. I was also selected for Who's Who Among Students in American Junior Colleges and awarded the Beverly G. Anderson Award in recognition of my "academic success and involvement in activities that improve and support the community."
Since graduation, I have been working in a practical training program, employed at the Schwerdtle Stamp Company in Bridgeport. My next step is to pursue my degree in industrial engineering at Mississippi State University, starting next fall (2013). I owe my success to my supportive family, to my outstanding teachers, to the HCC Foundation and everyone behind this generous entity that gave to me and is still giving optimistic students the chance to achieve their dreams, and to everyone who stood by my side along my way at HCC.
I have been blessed with many opportunities and many, wonderful supporters. I vow that as I move forward in my life and in my career, I will do whatever I can to help other students in need reach their potential as well.