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RCC Graduating Student Spotlight: Lauren Fernandes

portrait of Lauren Fernandes

Student Government Association President Lauren Fernandes developed leadership skills that will serve her well in whatever direction her career path takes her.

Having attended a conference in April with other student leaders from throughout SUNY demonstrated to her the power of advocacy and student voices to enact meaningful change. She realized that young people, especially college students, have a unique opportunity to fight for the futures they want to live.

“This has been an invaluable experience for me,” she said. “It really impassioned me to make this type of change possible.”

Fernandes is looking forward to RCC's Commencement on May 23, as it represents the culmination of two years of hard work academically. She is proud to have won a berth in the Sam Draper Honors program, and is poised to earn a liberal arts degree in math and science. She also serves as vice president of the Chemistry Club.

Fernandes appreciated and benefited greatly from the mentorship of her professors, and especially enjoyed her honors inorganic and organic chemistry courses with Dr. Adessa Butler and Dr. Louis Rosenfeld. Her interest in economics was sparked by her honors macroeconomics course taught by business instructor George Repic. Her passion for advocacy was re-inspired in her honors speech class with Professor Wilma Frank.

Education was strongly emphasized in Fernandes's household. Her parents emigrated from India and met in New York, handling the challenge of assimilating into a new culture and working hard to provide for their family. Fernandes's mother was a homemaker who decided to return to school, enrolling in RCC's occupational therapy program.

“My parents' education got them where they are today,” she said. “They seized every opportunity they had despite the hardships they faced as immigrants, and this will always motivate me.”

Attending RCC allowed Fernandes to meet so many people who encompass Rockland County's diversity. She's met and maintained relationships with people from different cultures, perspectives and ways of thinking, which is an experience she has found indispensable.

Fernandes intends to major in economics and political science at Hunter College, a CUNY school. She hopes to be able to design her own major in the CUNY Bachelor of Arts program and concentrate in economics and environmental policy.

“It's easy to just go to class and go home but my extracurriculars have so greatly enriched my experience here, and I've forged some amazing relationships with my peers,” said Fernandes. “RCC has a lot to offer, and it's the students' job to take advantage of it.”