College became more financially attainable for 12 high-achieving students from Harlem and the Bronx who were recently awarded the City College of New York President’s Community Scholarship for the 2012 school year.

The students awarded are Jatnna Taveras, Yessica Gomez, Laura Arias, Jeremy Scales, Sergio Reyes, Christopher Guerrero, Naila Khawaja, Jhojanny Mateo, Cynthia Ortigoza, Muhammad Eid, Jennifer Guzman and Sue Johnson. They are all freshmen, going into CCNY.

Lisa Staiano-Coico, the president of CCNY, launched the scholarship in 2010. Staiano-Coico’s goal has always been to connect the college with its neighboring community. “There are so many outstanding young people in the community around City College who represent its greatest resource, and we’re proud to support them,” Staiano-Coico said in a press release. “It remains a priority of ours to expand our ties with our neighbors and to thank the community, and this is one way of doing both.” Since 2010, more than two dozen students have received this scholarship, but this is the biggest group to have received the award thus far.

Students who apply for the scholarships must apply to attend CCNY. Each applicant is also responsible for community service and maintaining excellent academic standing, in exchange for $5,000 support that is renewable for up to five years. This covers tuition, books and even transportation.

Without the scholarships, attending college would be difficult or impossible for some of the 2012 scholars.

Khawaja wants to be a doctor, and with the well-deserved scholarship, her dream can be made possible. The daughter of Pakistani immigrants, Khawaja is the first in her family to attend college. While at Thurgood Marshall Academy, she received many awards and even placed in the New York City Science and Engineering Fair’s Behavioral Sciences category. “Once I found out that I had been awarded the scholarship, I was extremely happy and my eyes filled with tears,” Khawaja says.

All the scholars are excited and thankful about being given the opportunity to attend college during fall 2012 without having to worry so much about the financial aspects. Various charitable donors make the opportunity obtainable.