2015 Student Advocacy Day

Baltimore City Community College

  • Toni Guiriba

    Toni Guiriba

  • Torre’ Lewis

    Torre’ Lewis

"I knew BCCC and Year Up would give me what I needed."

Torre’ Lewis was working at a fast food restaurant when he first heard about Year Up, a national training program helping predominantly low-income urban young adults develop real skills for real jobs with real success.  After learning about the opportunities – classes at Baltimore City Community College and an internship with a Fortune 500 company – he decided to pursue it. He was accepted into the first cohort of Year Up Baltimore, the program’s first pilot project with a community college.

“I had to determine what my priorities were and where I wanted to be years from now. I knew BCCC and Year Up would give me what I needed,” he stated.

In addition to studies at the college, Torre’ did a six-month internship with the Legal and Compliance department at Morgan Stanley. “I gained great work experience in every function of the department—and made great connections!”

To meet high expectations, Torre’ relied upon a high level of support at BCCC. Motivated to make the most of his opportunities, Torre’ is navigating his second year at BCCC as a Granville T. Woods Scholar, having achieved the academic excellence to qualify for the scholarship program. “If I can change my life, others can too.”

"I love math and science. I took Intro to Robotics at BCCC."

First-year Baltimore City Community College bioengineering student Toni Guiriba knows what it’s like to manage change. She came to BCCC after moving to Baltimore all the way from the Philippines. Her mother suggested she enroll in a community college rather than a four-year institution to save on the cost of tuition. She could build upon her experiences in her new country in the nurturing atmosphere of BCCC. Toni, who was always a high achiever, found herself having to start from scratch in the U.S. Today, through the help of faculty mentors in the BCCC math and engineering programs, Toni is leading her peers to new heights of personal and academic accomplishment.

As a summer 2012 intern in the National Institutes of Health Community College Summer Enrichment Program, Toni performed research under a Principal Investigator at the National Institute on Aging. She is a member of Phi Theta Kappa International Honor Society and was presented an American Chemical Society certificate for outstanding achievement in Chemistry. She will graduate in June with an associate of science degree in engineering transfer. “I love math and science,” she says. “When I took Intro to Robotics at BCCC I realized I wanted to make that my minor and further my interest in nanotechnology.”