Photo Courtesy of Queens College
By Forum Staff
A South Richmond Hill man has received a full-tuition scholarship for his courses towards a Queens College master’s degree to teach students with disabilities, the school announced on Friday.
Meldryck Parraga, the first in his family to earn a college diploma, also will begin his first full-time teaching job this month at August Martin High School in Jamaica.
“This means the world to me – I never expected to receive a scholarship,” said Parraga, who is of Dominican and Ecuadorian descent. “It will provide me with the means to further my education while also allowing me to help out my parents. It definitely relieves the financial strain.”
According to Queens College, Parraga earned a BA in Social Studies Education (grades 7-12), with a minor in political science. And as the recipient of the Peter Greenman Scholarship, the tuition and fees for his graduate work at QC will be paid in full, the school noted.
“Like so many of our students who are immigrants or the children of immigrants, Meldryck took advantage of the opportunities that college offers and focused 100 percent on achieving his goals,” said Félix Matos Rodriguez, president of Queens College. “We’re very proud that he has received this scholarship and glad that he will be putting his education to work at a high school in his home borough.”
The Peter Greenman Scholarship for graduate study, funded by Community Teachers Initiative, Inc., was first offered at Queens College in 2015. It is awarded to outstanding students with financial need who have demonstrated an interest in teaching, tutoring, or otherwise helping students in the metro New York area, and have participated in activities that benefit the community. Parraga, the third Greenman Scholar at Queens College, will be joining a Division of Education that is one of the largest producers of teachers and educational leaders for schools in the five boroughs. By focusing on “transforming educational practices,” the division, according to Queens College, expands its impact on the well-being of students and families and conducts research and scholarship to promote equity, excellence and ethics in teaching.
So what motivated Parraga to focus on special-ed students?
“To me, teaching students with disabilities means providing the best education for people from all walks of life,” he said. “Too often it happens that students with disabilities aren’t held to the same standards, which isn’t fair to them because they can achieve just as much as anyone can.”