National Day of Healing

With the National Day of Healing just one day away (Thursday, November 15th at 12:30am) I would like to encourage everyone to continue utilizing the resources on campus. Some may or may not know that City Tech has a Counseling Office. Although election season is over, it is apparent that many are still shaken up from it.

City Tech is made to be a safe haven to all students and #PeaceatTech will continue to be spread. We want everyone to know that #YouAreNotAlone. When you may feel like things are not going your way or people aren’t hearing you out or maybe you’re just going through some personal issues, remember that City Tech is your sanctuary. There are plenty of resources here to help you succeed and flourish.

Remember to come out tomorrow from 11:30am to 12:30pm for the “National Day of Healing Event” at Borough Hall. ALL students are encouraged to attend. Brooklyn Borough President, Eric Adams will be present along with Chika Oneyjiukwa, the Chairperson of the University Student Senate.

Humans Of City Tech

Who would have thought a girl from Brooklyn, NY will grow to be a woman who is on her way to become a hospital CEO at twenty-three years old. Being successful in this world has always been imprinted in my head by my parents. If it was one thing I learned from my parents I would have to say it was never give up on what you believe is yours, learn from failures, use it and build it to what you want to achieve in life. With my family’s support and encouragement of never giving up I managed to transfer colleges and receive two degrees from New York City College of Technology. My Bachelors in Health Service Administration will be completed this fall 2016 term. During my two years at City Tech I was able to be a part of a wonderful team called Student Government Association, the Ohana Slate. I joined because as a student first I always enjoy great leadership and being a voice for my colleagues for any thought, issues, or feelings they may experience. It feels great to give students the opportunity to approach me and ask me questions where I can help direct them to what they would need to do. The most interesting part of being the voice for City Tech students I would have to say is hosting events or students to become a unity and giving them the opportunity to learn from each other and also hearing opinions or ideas they may have to help us as their student body. Being in SGA has helped me in many ways, dealing with now 18 members with 18 different personalities helps me grow even more as a person in my professional field of working. We really are a family and we encourage each other to do things we never thought we could do. The last thing I will say is that I am ready for my future and gods plan because I see great things coming my way in healthcare.”

a smiling woman in jeans and a white T-shirtAshley Frazier

Borough Hall is not alone…. It never was

In August 1776, the summer the Declaration of Independence was established, the American Revolution was still in effect. The battle of Long Island, better known as The battle of Brooklyn Heights, took place in all parts in Brooklyn extending all the way towards Long Island. This infamous fight is still popular and a beloved story by many Brooklynites. Retrospectively, the city was not modernized yet and cornfields overtook what is now buildings and roadways. George Washington led his soldiers through the vast fields and was later flanked and outnumbered by the redcoats (British and German army) nine hundred ninety-three was injured and three hundred sixty-four sacrificed their lives for this battle. Although the Americans was defeated in the end of this battle, the legacy still lives on. In the busy area of Court Street one can find a placard with the date, description, and quotes from the battle on what is now a Trader Joe’s establishment.

Although the park juxtaposed Borough Hall’s State Government Office is named Columbus park celebrating Christopher Columbus and his achievements, the most important part of the park that epitomizes Brooklyn , in my opinion, is the the statue of Henry Ward Beecher. The bronze and granite statue stands fourteen and a half feet tall created by John Quincy Adams Ward, who sculpted the figures, and Richard Morris Hunt, an architect who contributed the pedestal to the project. Beecher, a Connecticut born pastor was very radical person for his time. In 1847 he moved to Plymouth Congregational Church in Brooklyn heights which became the largest church and congregation in the United States  with a 3,000 congregational following. He had very strong views that was not always recepted by the main public. Beecher was an abolitionist, supporter of women’s suffrage, and protector of children in a time where people were regularly undermined, violated, and oppressed. Beecher wasn’t ashamed of his opinions and voiced them through writings, sermons, and other lectures. The statue was dedicated to him by showing his main objectives in life. An African-American girl places leaves at his feet on one side to represent his strong anti-slavery dynamic. On the other side depicts a boy aiding a girl as she places garland, also, at his feet to show his protection of children. The statues holds a great deal of poeticism by showing Beecher’s greatest achievements and how they influenced an entire community.

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Ironically, on this Thursday Borough Hall will be hosting a gathering for a campaign labeled National Day of Healing aka #Youarenotalone. As another Buzz blogger, Amanda,  mentioned last week the gathering is for peace, love, and contentment. In a time of so much hate and loneliness we have the ability to give back some love in the form of fellowship. As we congregate by 209 Joralemon (State Government Office) sharing peace and words of respect, we will also be overlooked by an influential respecter of people, Henry Ward Beecher.

Virtues from Motherhood: The Gift of Age

Every year no matter who you are or on what continent, you get another year older and celebrate another year of life. As a kid I couldn’t wait for my birthday because it was like my own personal holiday but once I passed 21 and more specifically once Ava turned 5 I started to dread that cake on the calendar. It wasn’t until I turned 25 that I started noticing the little gifts age had given me, and how sometimes we really can’t see things until we’ve ripened a little. Time hop is a magical little app that allows us to look back on, and cringe at, our younger selves and our declarations on social media and looking at mine I’ve become somewhat thankful for the gift of age.

Age gives us many things, wisdom, memories, bills, maybe a few wrinkles but most of all age gives us knowledge, power and self-worth. The other day I was driving home and I realized that all of my bills were paid, way ahead of time and chuckled to myself that a short three years ago I was frantic to be able to pay these same bills. With age I stopped being so materialistic and started to think long-term, saving money. Little things like that are just a few things I realized in myself that came solely with age. When I was 24 a coworker told me the world changes at 25 and she was right.

Besides being financially responsible age mentally changes you too. As you get older the things you worry about, the people you surround yourself with and the places you want to be change. As I got older the types of places and people I frequented changed I no longer wanted to be in bars every other weekend or be out late, suddenly brunch and weekends in central park seemed way more enjoyable. I couldn’t fathom spending 60$ on a night out anymore when I could use it for something else. Now don’t get me wrong a night out in celebration here or there is great but it certainly isn’t a life style.

Lifestyle becomes more about experience and peace of mind with age and that includes not having people in my life that required work to keep happy or keep up with. Relationships both friend and romantic shouldn’t be toxic or complicated so in the best interest of myself I no longer dealt with it. The memories of people who once filled my life with memories before are nice but they don’t have a place in the present anymore.


All in all while the idea of approaching my 30s terrifies me I’m excited to see where the breeze of age will lead me. SO tell me, what has age given you?

Academic Self-Discovery: Relatable Characters


The topic of finding out passions and going after dreams not only come into play in the real world but also in art and works of literature. By doing this, it allows the directed audience to see and relate to some of the struggles the characters face, making the characters feel more real as well as getting the intended story or message out there. This has been done in inspirational movies like “Gifted Hands” and “The Pursuit of Happyness” which focuses on the hardships the main characters face and their stories of perseverance to reaching their goals.

Two semesters ago I read a book with a collection of short stories called Drown by Junot Diaz. In this work of literature, the character Yunior struggles with wanting to explore more from the life he is given but does not know exactly what it is he is searching for. He wants to leave his neighborhood and his lifestyle of selling drugs yet has no direction or guidance to show him a way out. The book lets us know that Yunior has an interest in writing and if he chooses to leave his neighborhood to better himself, a career in writing could be what he decides to do. Yunior to me represents the fear of what if something does not work out and the moment before taking a chance. If Yunior decides to pursue a career in what he enjoys, it just might be what gets him out of his situations.

Yunior is a character that is written to feel relatable. Though I do not share the same experiences and hardships as him, I do understand what it’s like to be stuck. I sometimes get stuck in bad habits that hinder my growth in chasing the career that I want. Realizing that I do not wish to stay stuck is what I usually need to get out. It is what I believe Yunior will come to realize one day.

Have you read anything or seen movies/shows that is about characters chasing their dreams? If so, feel free to share. I’d love to check them out.

Introducing Marisol Velazquez: College – Going Back to Get Ahead

A woman, a boy, and two men with their arms around each other

Photo supplied by Marisol Velazquez

 Our Stories: An Intimate Connections Series by Pamela Drake

Marisol Velazquez, Director of the Auxiliary Enterprise Board Administrative Office at City Tech, recently returned back to school after 25 years to complete her bachelor’s degree, a decision a growing number of adults are facing. Marisol is a full-time mother, worker, and part-time student. With the love and support of her family, friends, and colleagues, she was able to continue her journey in pursuing her degrees. Currently, she is wrapping up her second semester towards finishing her bachelor’s degree. Her favorite quote is “Don’t ever give up on your dream. It is never too late to accomplish them”. Her children are her biggest fans.

  1. As a full-time working professional, why did you decide to return to school?

I returned to school to make a better life for my family; to complete my goal of having a bachelor’s degree; to make my family, especially my children proud, and most importantly, to be proud of myself.

  1. Did you have any fears about returning to school? What were they?

Yes. I was afraid because I wasn’t sure if I was going to do well (goes back to my insecurity of second-guessing myself) and I wasn’t sure if I could accomplish it.

  1. Describe yourself in one word? How does this word represent you?

Determined. I am determined to complete/accomplish any task or goals no matter how long it takes me.

  1. Now that you have returned to school, are you experiencing any obstacles?

Yes. One of my main obstacles is finding time to study while juggling a household and a full-time job. I see plenty of people doing it and make it look so easy but it’s not easy.

  1. What is still your biggest challenge or stumbling block(s) and what are the best ways you’ve found to overcome them?

My biggest challenge has been second guessing myself. The best way to overcome it is to trust my instincts.

  1. What’s the best advice you ever received?

Be thankful for what you have. Never take life for granted.

  1. What advice would you give others who want to return to school but are afraid?

It’s ok to be afraid, but do not let the fear stop you from what you want in life. There will always be obstacles to stop you from doing what you want but don’t let that overcome you. If you really want to do it, then fight those obstacles because, in the long run, it will be worth it.

  1. What surprising lessons have you learned along the way?

The best way to learn is to fail. Learn from your mistakes and try not to repeat them.

  1. How do you balance school, work, and family demands?

With the love and support of my family, friends, and colleagues, it has enabled me to continue my studies.

  1. What do you want your legacy to be? How do you want to be remembered?

I would like to be remembered as someone who was caring, kind, funny, but most importantly, for my personality.

  1. What’s next for you?

Going for my Master’s degree once I finish my bachelor’s degree.

The thought of going back to school after a long absence can be quite a challenge. Often, adults who are returning to school after years of not being in a classroom are apprehensive about not fitting in, taking good notes, studying, and doing well on a test. Many wonder whether it’s really worth it or whether they can afford it. There is no hard definitive answer to this question. It’s different for each person. Marisol, like many others, had concerns about the time and commitment involved. But figuring out what works for you means asking yourself a few key questions before making a decision: Why do you want to go back to school? Is your goal to change careers, grow professionally, or finish a degree program started years ago? By focusing on your motivation, you can best define educational goals. Marisol went back to demonstrate to her children the importance of education and so that they could be proud of her.

If going back to school is the right option for you, don’t let fear hold you back. It may be scary, but it could turn out to be the best decision of your life.

Beauties of the Hudson River Valley

The Hudson River Valley is home to some of the most beautiful scenery that New York has to offer, especially during the fall season. Before I came to City Tech, I used to go to college in Upstate New York. Never taking a moment for granted, I always appreciated my time there. Being in a rural town amongst the mountains was a nice change from being in an urban city amongst giant skyscrapers. The air, colors, mountains, flora, and atmosphere are all quite the opposite of everything we see down in the city. It’s a beautiful area, but personally it’s the friendships and memories that call for my occasional return to the Hudson River Valley. Here’s what I had the pleasure of seeing during my last trip.


a mountain top on a foggy day

orange mountains lit in sunlight

fuchsia and green leaves, up-close

a sun-lit fieldorange and dark purple leaves, close-up

A Fine Dining Experience at CityTech

a raspberry napoleon

Image by: Brianna Vasquez

I’m officially a senior in college which means that I’m one step closer to pursuing my dreams. When I was high school, I honestly had no idea of what I wanted to major in for my college education. I had truly considered not attending college at all. Until I finally realized, baking has always been nuanced into my life and it became a subject that I had wanted to pursue. I love being able to create edible masterpieces that bring smiles to people’s face simply by eating my desserts. I have had the opportunity to participate in all different advanced pastry classes, which has allowed to better perfect my craft of baking. It helped me to become more comfortable as a baker and truly understand the talent that I was given as an aspiring pastry chef.

mango mousse plated with kiwi and oranges

Image by: Brianna Vasquez

Many students barely know that there is a hospitality management program within the college which leads them to be unknowledgeable about what the college offers to students. There is a dining room located on the second floor of the Namm Building which is utilized to house guests to eat the meals and desserts that the hospitality students have prepared. Anyone can make a reservation by simply visiting the hospitality management office. When you arrive there, you can decide whether you want to dine for lunch or dinner, the date you wish to reserve, and the number of guests that will be attending.

a cupcake covered with toasted coconut chips and plated with diced mangoes

Image by: Brianna Vasquez

It is one of the most amazing experiences; personally I have both prepared foods for the dining room guests and been a guest. And it is truly a great food experience especially since it is free of any cost. So help yourself to a good meal and dessert or get the glass of wine to pair with your food. But if you choose to tip, which is absolutely accepted, it will be donated to either the City Tech Foundation or CHiPS. The City Tech Foundation funds the college and makes serving to the guests in the dining room possible. CHiPS (Christian Help in Park Slope) is a small community in Brooklyn that serves to aid hot, nutritious meals to the underprivileged as well as offering offer seasonal clothing, emergency pantry items, and shelter in a caring and respectful environment.  There are so many opportunities that lie within the doors of CityTech, but we must seek them out in order to appreciate the greater impact that the college has.

Diary of A Former Nomad: My Story, Part 1

Often times I feel like we become so caught up in the future we forget where we’ve been and the things we have gone through. A few weeks ago, I made the very brave decision to have my story published in City Tech’s SEEK ink. Each semester City Tech’s SEEK students come together to publish their art, poetry, and stories in a magazine which is published. Stories are shared of struggle, pain, and happiness. This being my final year at City Tech, I wanted to leave my mark and tell my story in some way. It is who I am and the way I have adjusted to life over the years. Each Wednesday for the next few weeks I will be posting a part of the story which was published. I hope you stay tuned for what’s coming. So without further ado here is my story, A Trial Subscription to Life Part 1:

I was born in a small rural village in a poor country. My parents were young and tried to give me the best of what they could afford, which lets’ be honest, wasn’t much but it was always enough. Compared to our neighbors and others, we had more but there were still days when there wasn’t any food on the table or a job for my father. There was always something he did have to do and that was abuse my mother. My younger memory of my father is that he was a man of few kind words but a thesaurus of hurtful and painful ones, and actions too. I remember little to nothing from my younger years. I remember a green tool box which my dad kept all the tools he owned to his name inside, my mom dressing up as Santa Claus for my kindergarten Christmas party, a pet parrot named Robert and my uncle.


My uncle was more of a father to me when I was younger than my father ever was. I remember not knowing my dad when I was little because I thought he didn’t like me because all he would do was yell at me and curse. But my uncle was my favorite person. The first person I wanted to play with in the morning and the last person I laughed with at night. As soon as I could climb off my bed and my mom opened the door to our home, I’d run up the steps of the house we shared with him and my mothers’ sister. My day of consuming bliss would begin. I laughed like a child would with him. Although I cannot remember much about what we did, I do remember the laughs we shared. They were the type of laughs that came from deep within. They were the type of laughs that echoed in each cavity of your body and soul, and made you feel awakened. I haven’t laughed like that in years. I haven’t felt that awakened either.


My uncle was my favorite person, but unknowingly to me he wasn’t my aunt’s favorite. And even though the jokes we all shared would make her laugh and shed tears of happiness it wasn’t enough. For my mother the tears of pain she shed would be enough. And when enough is enough your life changes, perhaps unexpectedly like mine did. In the blink of an eye, all I knew was gone. There would be no more familiar laughs, faces, or places to be seen. And in that moment of my oblivious childhood, little did I know it was all a lie. My happy little life of enough was over.


Stay tuned for what’s to come next.

National Day of Healing

With the Holiday season currently in “session” you can find people being jolly and happy very often. But this season is also difficult for a large group of people, for example those who lost a loved one.

Next Thursday, December 15th from 11:30am to 12:30pm a Professor from St. Francis College by the name of Andrea Andrews will be hosting her second annual “National Day of Healing” event at Brooklyn Borough Hall. This will be time for individuals to come together and reflect, taking 5 seconds (12:00:00pm-12:00:05pm) to send the message “you are not alone”. If you’re unable to attend the event, wherever you are, at exactly 12:00pn on this day, gather in a group or participate as an individual!

I encourage all that can attend to attend this event. Especially in a time that we are living in today with conflicts and racial slurs constantly being brought up, we all need to reflect and remind each other that they’re are not alone even when they feel they are we are all one.