Richard Hopkinson traveled past the borders of Guyana to the United States when he was only 12-years-old in search of a better life. The LaGuardia Community College student is now pushing his own limits as both an Honor student and proud ambassador of the President’s Society. “Here I can be anything.”
“I didn’t always think I was going to college. I felt like it wasn’t an option because I couldn’t afford it and it didn’t seem like I would make it beyond my responsibilities at work and home,” says the 24-year-old who spent years working in construction before entering LaGuardia.
His determination to secure a better future led the Criminal Justice major to apply to LaGuardia. “All the people are friendly, and there are so many activities to get involved in. ”You get a different sort of satisfaction from volunteering and being involved in giving back. LaGuardia has shown me the importance of working together,” says the human rights advocate who aspires to represent minority rights as a lawyer or police officer.
“I’ve loved it since I came here. The professors try to help us as much as possible,” he adds. “Professor Chaffee tells us about real life situations and how you have to make tough decisions. It’s an eye opener,” Richard shares about his Ethics and Moral Issues philosophy class.
On the recommendation of a friend at LaGuardia, Richard applied to the President’s Society, which afforded him the opportunity to participate within the College community.
A memorable experience for Richard was participating in Student Giving Day, with his fellow student ambassadors, where they raised over a $1000 to contribute to LaGuardia Community College Foundation scholarships that aid students who are struggling to stay in school.
The President’s Society also enriched his outlook on higher education, “It opened my train of thinking; I’m not just limited to a certain set of options. There is so much out there and I just have to be willing to explore it,” says Richard, who is currently researching Ivy League colleges.
Richard plans to graduate in Spring 2015 and transfer to SUNY Albany or John Jay. After obtaining his Bachelor’s degree he looks forward to joining the Navy, “I can travel and see the world while growing as an individual.”
“I’d like to be successful one day—not just survive, but thrive.”