Meet ACES Alumni

Raymond Castillo ’22

Raymond Castillo, who moved to the United States from the Dominican Republic in 2015, grew academically in St. Joe’s ACES program. As a mathematics and computer science major with a business administration minor, Castillo knew the ACES resources would help him succeed in his rigorous classes.

“I joined the ACES program because I knew it would provide me with grants and educational resources, such as tutoring, for me to excel as a college student at St. Joe’s,” he said.

Tutoring is one of Castillo’s most-used ACES resources.

“ACES kept me engaged in different events and activities, it also provided me with tutors who helped me by revising my schoolwork and assissted me with my essays.”

Tanzina Akter ’21

Tanzina Akter moved to the United States from Bangladesh in 2010 and began studying medical technology at St. Joseph’s. She joined the
ACES program to help immerse herself in a new country.

“The ACES program had a positive and successful impact on my education,” she said. “The ACES financial support helped me to continue my education at St. Joseph’s.

“I received a lot of support from the ACES program, as well as from my other professors, to be successful in academics.”

Amarfi Collado ’20

Amarfi Collado, Brooklyn Campus class valedictorian, who moved to the United States from the Dominican Republic in 2013, strengthened her
academic skills in the ACES program.

“Mastering the English language had been my top goal since moving to the U.S. As a freshman, I was confident that I would be able to manage the schoolwork at St. Joseph’s, but I also knew that in order to excel academically, I would need help.”

Amarfi knew the resources provided in the ACES program were exactly what she needed to succeed.

“I needed assistance — not any type of assistance, but one-on-one appointments with tutors who understood my needs as an ESL student,” she said. “The appointments and academic support from the ACES director gave me the necessary skills to manage challenging courses.”

Rono Hem ’19

Rono Hem was born in Bangladesh, where he attended St. Joseph’s higher secondary school in Dhaka. After coming to America in 2015 to pursue a degree in biology, he joined the ACES program to ease the transition as an international student.

“At the very beginning of the semester, I was struggling to finish the assigned novels from cover to cover in due time. I now feel significantly more confident in both my reading and writing skills,” he said.

Rono attributes much of his academic growth to ACES professors. “ACES professors are some of the most caring and involved educators I’ve had to date. My professors have provided me with detailed, constructive feedback and were more than happy to talk over questions at any convenient time for me.”

Ekram Alrowmeim ’19

Ekram Alrowmeim, who moved to the United States in June 2012 from Yemen, built new confidence in the ACES program at St. Joseph's University.

“Speaking a foreign language can be really intimidating. It’s hard to make yourself speak when you don’t feel confident. The ACES program gave me the confidence not just to speak English, but also to develop my reading and writing skills,” she said.

As an ACES student, Ekram has met culturally diverse students, like herself, coping with the same problems with English. “I feel very lucky because I am having the experience of a lifetime, learning alongside students from every corner of the globe.”

Adnan Hoq ’19

Adnan Hoq came to the United States as a freshman to study mathematics and computer science at St. Joseph’s. He said the ACES program has spearheaded his success in college.

“ACES has instilled essential management, interpersonal and leadership skills in me, which in turn helped me become successful in this highly competitive modern day and age,” he said.

Adnan explained that the ACES program made him feel at home.

“ACES was my first refuge as an international student in this foreign country, and played a pivotal role in making the acclimation process ever so smooth.”