Khamit Orumbaev

My name is Khamit Orumbaev. I work as a Math and Physics Tutor for the Accelerated Study in Associate Programs (ASAP) program and Math Lab at Borough of Manhattan Community College (BMCC). I also work as an Adjunct College Lab Technician (CLT) at the Department of Mathematics and teach Maple Lab Classes. Before migrating to the United States, I worked at the Physicotechnical Institute of the Academy of Sciences of Uzbekistan and as an Assistant Professor of Physics at the Tashkent University of Information Technologies.

I received my education in Russia where I graduated from Nizhny Novgorod State University with a Master’s degree in Physics. I like everything connected to science. I always feel excited when I explain concepts in math and physics to students. I like to closely follow how physics and digital technology shape technological progress. I enjoy playing chess and participating in competitions and also like to read books, watch YouTube videos and science fiction movies.


Lala Ouedraogo

My name is Lala Ouedraogo. I am a former student of Borough of Manhattan Community College (BMCC) and I graduated in spring 2020 with an associate degree in engineering science. I live in Texas where I pursue my bachelor’s degree with a major in petroleum engineering, and a minor in computer science. A fun fact about me is that I love to cook and I am a good cook when it comes to African food.

I work as a math tutor for Accelerated Study in Associate Programs (ASAP). Math is a fun and interesting subject and I do believe that everyone should love it.


Stephany A. Pineda Cardoso

I am nineteen years old and originally from Mexico. As a brown undocumented immigrant, I have overcome language, culture, and identity barriers. I received my communication studies associate degree from Borough of Manhattan Community College (BMCC), where I discovered my passion for social justice. I want to continue studying human behavior, and experience, and intersectionality while also pursuing my love for writing, music, and dancing.

In my spare time, I work on creative projects and help my community through Zoom workshops. I believe that through education we could pave the way to better understand each other.


Diya Qazeili Moushahwar

I am an educator, student, and community organizer. I am a proud Arab-American from Detroit, Michigan and I currently live in Washington Heights, the neighborhood I have called home for more than six years. I am a Borough of Manhattan Community College (BMCC) alumna and GUIDE Scholar at New York University (NYU) Gallatin developing a concentration entitled Science, Medicine, and Empire as well as minoring in Disability Studies.

In addition to tutoring for ASAP at BMCC, I am a 2021 Global Human Rights Fellow, focusing on the right to health for Palestinians, and a co-founder of Disability Collective. I also teach middle schoolers and organize with the Justice Center en el Barrio in uptown Manhattan. After graduating, I hope to continue to promote liberatory pedagogy, healthcare, and justice for all oppressed peoples.

Interviewee & Interviewer

Raymond Rojas

I am Raymond but you can call me Ray. I am a Latino born in Nicaragua and was raised in New York City. I am currently majoring in psychology and I am passionate about this field. My plan is to become a clinical psychologist and help my clients through cognitive behavioral therapy and psychotherapeutic methods. I also want to bring more awareness to the way cults operate and the effect they have on the psyche of their members and former members.

I am very social and enjoy meeting and interacting with people from all sorts of backgrounds. I am also artistic, creative, unorthodox, and I try to solve problems by thinking outside of the box. I will graduate from Borough of Manhattan Community College (BMCC) in summer 2021 and transfer to Hunter College in the fall of 2021.


Jessica Rosenthal

My name is Jessica Rosenthal, and I am a Borough of Manhattan Community College (BMCC) graduate and former ASAP English Tutor. I graduated from BMCC with a degree in liberal arts in 2018 and transferred to Hunter College, where I received my bachelor’s in political science and public policy in May 2020. I am currently at the end of a six-month fellowship with the NYC Comptroller’s Office, where I have been working on statutory hearings for claims against the city. 

I think we all ask ourselves how we can make a change in the world, especially when the world sometimes seems so unjust and scary. I try to overcome these fears by reminding myself that none of us is truly alone; we are intertwined and can both offer and seek support to improve the world around us. Personally, I find meaning through working in areas where I can feel part of a community, like BMCC, or where I can perform a public service and give back to others. In the future, I hope to attend law school and become an attorney, so that I can advocate for those who are oppressed or left behind by our current systems.  I am excited to be a part of this project. I hope to learn not only how others advocate for change, but also encourage other aspiring changemakers.


Wesley Sanders

I am a passionate writer and a voracious reader. I earned my associate degree in literature and creative writing from Borough of Manhattan Community College (BMCC). I am currently working towards my bachelor’s degree at New York University (NYU) where I am studying African American representation through storytelling as part of the Gallatin Guide program.

I am fascinated by how people of color are represented in all mediums and how that affects their identity. I plan on becoming a public school teacher and a young adult (YA) author. I am working on my first novel about a black superhero growing up in a city where even though he has superpowers, he has to overcome racism. 

Interviewee & Interviewer

Sejlo Sagbohan

Hello ladies and gentlemen, my name is Sejlo Sagbohan. I am a student at Borough of Manhattan Community College (BMCC) majoring in business management. I am hoping to own my real estate business by the time I get my associate degree. I would like to tell you a little bit about myself.  I love cooking, playing soccer and video games. I also enjoy traveling and helping my family and friends. I am a very hard worker and well educated. You can always catch me working out, watching a scary movie, or cooking in the kitchen late at night.


Jahkwan Taillefer

My name is Jahkwan Taillefer and I am an English and Computer Science Tutor  at the Accelerated Study in Associate Programs (ASAP) at Borough of Manhattan Community College (BMCC). I currently attend John Jay College of Criminal Justice as a computer science major and in my spare time, I work on developing video games. I work with computers because I find it fulfilling, most likely even career-worthy, even though I’m still mystified as to what job I’ll be committing to in the future. Above all else, I’m a single face in the sea that is New York City, a story that’s shared amongst millions waiting to be heard, and I encourage others to listen.

Interviewee, Interviewer & Website Designer

Anita Tarnai

In my role as the Academic Program Specialist at Accelerated Study in the Associate Programs (ASAP), I enjoy embarking on projects that offer a platform for students to share their insights and present an opportunity to connect with one another. The Becoming the Change Interview Project is a unique collection of interviews centered around the themes of identity and purpose. Students in these interviews reflect on the the changes they would like to see in the world and the roles they see themselves in making a positive change.

One of the highlights of my work at ASAP is to be able to collaborate with students and create lasting value, like this collection. Having watched the videos of the collection, I can say, that the range of issues brought to light as well as the perspectives shared make me fully appreciate the diversity of the student body of BMCC and the wisdom each student brings to this college community. I hope to see the birth of many more projects that offer students an opportunity to express themselves, develop new skills, get acquainted with each other’s perspective, learn from each other and, ultimately, bring us closer together as a community.

Project Founder & Manager