Dream Act opens financial aid


Undocumented students who attend New York schools can now apply for state financial aid thanks to passage of the Dream Act in this year’s legislative session.

The state legislation, championed by the late Queens Sen. Jose Peralta, was inspired by the federal DREAM Act to offer legal status for eligible undocumented students who came to the United States as children. The bill never made it out of Congress.

Previously, undocumented students were ineligible for financial aid to pay for college tuition. The state Dream Act allows eligible students to apply for scholarships and grants for New York colleges and universities. The law also allows undocumented families to set up college savings accounts.

Lawmakers believe the newly available financial aid will help about 4,500 New York high school graduates go to college annually.


Local grads from tech institute

Mei Lin Yang graduated from New York Institute of Technology with a degree in physical therapy this spring.

The school’s graduating class boasted more than 2,700 students from 64 countries. The institute offers 90 undergraduate, graduate and professional degrees in more than 50 fields of study.


Engel sponsors school supply drive

School supplies are already expensive, but they can be out of reach for some students — especially those without homes.

U.S. Rep. Eliot Engel has joined forces with the Coalition for the Homeless to sponsor a back-to-school backpack and school supply drive to provide help to some of the 115,000 homeless schoolchildren in New York City.

Donations of new, unused backpack and school supplies can be made to Engel’s office at 3655 Johnson Ave.

For more information or to donate, visit


Manhattan prof wins teaching award

Mehnaz Afridi, a religious studies associate professor at Manhattan College, was selected for the annual Costello Excellence in Teaching award.

Afridi is director of the college’s Holocaust, Genocide and Interfaith Education Center, and has appeared in international media and education panels discussing interfaith education.

The Costello award is named for Brother Casimir Gabriel Costello, a former dean of the liberal arts department at Manhattan College. It’s given to faculty members who embody the college’s educational mission, and that of the Lasallian Christian Brothers.


Locals earn college honors

Micki Lee Coleman-Palansky was awarded faculty honors for the spring semester at Trinity College in Hartford, Connecticut. Faculty honors are granted to students who attain a minimum semester GPA of 3.667.

Monroe College named to its winter president’s list Yemessi Barberan, Bobby Florencio, Sandra Flores Soriano, Fathima Ifhaam, Stephanie Maurice, Evdokia Pabafikos, Brittney Pratt, Laura Rodriguez and Rachel Silva.