BE, Electrical Engineering
For three years, Fernando Guevara wore a hard hat by day and a thinking cap by night. Ineligible for student aid while awaiting adjustment of his immigration status, the Ecuadorian native worked in construction to pay for his studies; he attended classes at City College in the evenings.
That went on until 2009, when Mr. Guevara, who came to the United States at age ten, finally received a green card, making him eligible for financial aid. It was a much- needed boost for the electrical engineering major, who graduates May 28 with a 3.5 GPA.
Laboring on construction sites around New York City was character building, says Mr. Guevara, a standout in the SEEK (Search for Education, Elevation, and Knowledge) Program.
“It was very hard work, but it motivated me to work even harder in school since I was paying my own money and I didn’t want it to go to waste,” he explains. “The work made me stronger and a better student.”
He worked hard in class, too, making dean’s list three times. He was also inducted into the Chi Alpha Epsilon Honor Society, which recognizes outstanding students who enter college via educational opportunity programs, and was named a SEEK Scholar. Last year, Mr. Guevara received the SEEK Engineering Award.
His other affiliations include Tau Beta Pi, the national engineering honor society, and Eta Kappa Nu, the national electrical and computer engineering honor society.
An East Harlem resident and pianist in a local Pentecostal church, Mr. Guevara credits his faith, too, for his focus. “It’s kept me on the straight and narrow,” he notes.
Next stop for him is graduate school, where he hopes to continue on the path to a career as a systems engineer. He has applied to City College and New York University.