Immediate: May 25, 2010
Media Contact: Alicia Steger 516.572.9634
Iliana Habib Named Valedictorian for the Class of 2010 at Nassau Community College
Garden City, NY – Iliana Habib, a resident of Farmingdale and Nassau Community College’s valedictorian for the class of 2010, will be the first one to tell you that getting an education isn’t easy. “I have come to realize that an education is a gift that one must struggle to earn,” she said. Iliana knows that all kinds of issues might affect a person’s ability to go to college, including personal, financial and academic ones. But she also knows that with perseverance, a determined person who makes the effort can succeed. Not only did Iliana achieve her dream of going to college, she maintained a perfect 4.0 average at Nassau while working and found time to pursue her dream of becoming a professional artist.
The 20-year-old graduated from MacArthur High School and then started classes at an art school in Manhattan. However, family issues necessitated that she leave school, and she was unsure of when or how she’d be able to return. Eight months later, Iliana’s determination and family members’ support prompted her to return to school. It was then that she came to Nassau. “I was pleasantly surprised when I came to NCC,” said Iliana, who was accepted to NCC as a photography major on a full scholarship. “While I was pleased with my personal academic success, I was even more happy that my professors were so knowledgeable and nurturing and that there were so many other ways to find out about how to become an artist,” she said. Iliana also participated in the photography club.
While she’s extremely appreciative of the inspiration and assistance she has received on her journey through higher education so far, Iliana tries to inspire herself as well. Part of that self-inspiration is her determination to finish any project she starts. One example she gives of that is her portfolio. “I find personal satisfaction and a sense of accomplishment in producing a completed body of work, from the learning process, through creation and editing, to printing and presenting,” she said.
Iliana once heard someone say, “Character is who we are under pressure, not who we are when everything is fine,” and she believes that the struggles she has been through have helped her grow as a person. Working hard at college and at two part-time jobs, she kept her grades up. Now she’s graduating from Nassau, heading to her four-year school and on the path to a career in the art profession.
In the fall, Iliana will be heading to SUNY New Paltz to continue her education. “My experience at Nassau has prepared me as a college student,” she noted, adding that she formed friendships at NCC that she hopes to keep for the rest of her life.
About Nassau Community College
Nassau Community College, a division of the State University of New York, is an institution where nearly 23,000 full- and part-time students and almost 15,000 continuing and professional students start and continue their successful journey through higher education. More than 70 fields of study are offered on a 225-acre campus located in the center of Long Island. As the largest single-campus two-year college in New York State, Nassau Community College maintains a national reputation for excellence.