Building a Brighter Future!

A monthly philanthropy newsletter from the Office of Institutional Advancement | December 2023

Happy New Year!

A Message from

Dr. Tasheka Sutton-Young

KCC Foundation Chair

Annual Scholarship Fundraiser

Celebrating 60 Years of Excellence


June 6, 2024

The Annual Scholarship Fundraiser, formerly known as the Annual Gala is the premier fundraising event for the KCC Foundation. Funds raised support students in the form of scholarships, emergency support, awards and other student services.

Happy New Year, KCC family; I hope 2024 is off to a wonderful start!

What a great year this will be for Kingsborough as we continue to celebrate our 60th Anniversary and recognize 60 years of positive impact as the only community college in Brooklyn; 60 years of graduates totaling over 80,000; 60 years of service to our students, neighbors, partners and our community at large.

This milestone year, we continue to acknowledge the achievements we have made over the last six decades, while striving to make KCC accessible for all students. We have had tremendous success in this area, and this year will be no different as we start planning for our Annual Scholarship Fundraiser, previously known as the Gala. This annual event raises vital funds for KCC students to enable their retention and completion. I hope that you, your family, friends and organizations will join us this year by investing in our students and their future.

While giving is such a personal choice, I hope that you choose our students and support their countless and diverse needs as well as celebrate their accomplishments.


Thank you for your generosity and your partnership in celebrating not only Kingsborough’s 60th Anniversary, but all the accomplishments of our students and the exciting future ahead!


Join me and the KCC Foundation Board at the Annual Scholarship Fundraiser on Thursday, June 6, 2024. Looking forward to seeing you all there! 

Dr. Tasheka Sutton-Young

KCC Foundation Chair

Nursing Pinning Ceremony

View event photos here

On December 14, Kingsborough celebrated the Nursing Pinning Ceremony, officially pinning 64 Associates in Applied Science Nursing graduates. The pinning ceremony marks the important transition from student to nurse and a celebration of that accomplishment with family, friends and faculty.

The pinning ceremony is closely tied to an award given to legendary nurse Florence Nightingale. Known as the mother of modern nursing, she was awarded the Red Cross of St. George in the 1860s for her tireless work during the Crimean War. To share this honor, Florence presented a medal of excellence to her brightest graduates. By 1916, the practice of the pinning ceremony was standard throughout the United States and England. The pin signifies that these educated men and women are competent to serve as nurses and provide healthcare to society.

Each nursing student chose a significant person in their life to dedicate the pin to such as a faculty member, a close friend or a family member. The person of choice joined the graduate on the stage where they pinned the new nurse. The new nurses recited The Nightingale Pledge, the promise to uphold the Hippocratic oath, do no harm, practice discretion and be dedicated to their patients. The ceremony concluded with a beautiful photo slideshow of the students during their studies and training.

We congratulate the Class of January 2024 Nurses and wish them wonderful careers serving our greater community.

KCC Grant Highlight BankUnited

In spring 2022, BankUnited awarded a generous grant for general operating support of the KCC Women’s Center under the leadership of Program Manager Frances Robinson, LMSW. The funds enabled the Center to provide strategic services that address the concerns of women who come to the center, in a safe, non-judgmental setting. The range of challenges that these women face include financial and career choices, housing and food insecurity, domestic violence, and particularly mental health, which has been exacerbated by the stresses of the pandemic. The Center's services include one-on-one counseling as well as workshops. The funds were also used to purchase a variety of essential supplies for the students who come to the center, including healthy snacks and to help promote the services of the Center to the campus community.

By providing essential services for our low to moderate-income female students and linking them to resources throughout campus, we empower them to complete their studies and continue on a pathway to 4-year colleges, and/or better jobs that increase their economic stability.

In 2023, KCC continued to build our partnership with BankUnited, securing a grant to support the Peer-to-Peer Mentoring Program at the Men’s Resource Center (MRC), which is directed by Dr. Michael Rodriguez.  The mentoring component matches upperclassmen with first year freshman based on similar majors and/or common interest. A crucial component of this project is workforce development, with a focus on job creation. The MRC works to ensure that mentors are trained to enter the workforce and ready to earn a meaningful wage at New York’s minimum wage level, if not higher, by using their experience to prepare for related jobs such as counseling and tutoring. Our goal is for the mentors to rise from the low to moderate-income bracket and prosper financially and professionally.

Vice President and Community Development Outreach Officer, Nia Rock is Kingsborough’s friend and ally at BankUnited, and we are very grateful for her support and guidance.

KCC Students & Alumni New Service

HETS - Hispanic Educational Technology Services

We are happy to announce that Kingsborough is partnering with Hispanic Educational Technology Services (HETS) , an organization that promotes, supports and enhances Hispanic/Latino student success opportunities in Higher Education. Services include Peterson's Test Prep and Peterson's Career Prep to improve your test score or advance your career.

For more information contact [email protected]

Donor Spotlight: Michelle Leder

The professor was unhappy.

There he was, trying to teach his class at Kingsborough Community College (KCC) like any other day, and a three-year old girl was singing “Old McDonald” at the top of her lungs. The girl’s mother was a student in that class, a single parent who could not afford childcare while she attended school. Today, that three-year old girl is Michelle Leder, the creator of the Ruth Gilden Childcare Center Special Award at KCC.

Michelle Leder and her mother, Ruth Gilden

Michelle named the award after her mother, who led a student movement to establish KCC’s very first childcare center in 1969. “Today, most people would consider on-campus childcare a ‘no-brainer,” Michelle says. “Back then, this opportunity simply did not exist.” She recalls how her mother, along with fellow students, had successfully lobbied then-KCC President Leon Goldstein to create a center.

Being able to drop Michelle off at a dedicated child center on-campus, rather than taking her to class, proved a game-changer for Ruth. After graduating from KCC, she earned her Bachelor’s degree from Brooklyn College and her Master’s of Public Administration from Baruch College. Ruth would go on to enjoy a distinguished career that included work with the Anti-Defamation League.

The founding of the KCC Childcare Co-op (now known as the KCC Child Development Center) was a game-changer for Michelle, too. Because Ruth had been given a chance to succeed academically, she was later able to provide the resources Michelle would need to do the same. A graduate of Brandeis University, Michelle has gone on to enjoy a successful career in journalism. Their mother-and-daughter story shows that something as simple as on-campus childcare can create opportunities that can span generations: “Without the co-op, my mother and I would have likely lived a very different life. To this day, I often wonder, ‘What would have happened if my mother could not earn her KCC degree?’” 

In 2022, Michelle established the Ruth Gilden Childcare Center Special Award to honor her mother’s legacy and provide financial support to high-achieving, hardworking KCC student-parents who rely on the Child Development Center. Before she passed away in March 2022, Ruth was a tireless agent of positive change: “My mother was fond of saying that ‘it is absolutely essential to give a damn’, and she lived by that philosophy every day. Being a student-parent is exceptionally difficult, and I hope this award can make a significant difference in the recipients’ lives.”

What Will Your KCC Legacy Be? 

Like Michelle Leder, you too can make a lasting impact on KCC students through establishing a scholarship or graduation award. Click Here to learn about the different kinds of scholarships available to students, and Click Here to make a life-changing donation today! You can also contact Dan La Noue, KCC’s Director of Major Gifts and Planned Giving, directly at 718.368.6540 or dan[email protected].

Scholarship of the Month

Ruth Gilden Childcare Center Special Award

Established in 2022 by Michelle Leder (see article above!), this award honors Michelle’s mother, Ruth Gilden, and is intended for KCC students who have children enrolled in the college’s Child Development Center. To qualify for this award, a student must also have a minimum GPA of 3.0 and submit an essay no more than 500 words that details a specific challenge(s) they have faced in their academic journey Examples of challenges include, but are not limited to: single parenthood, financial adversity, food insecurity, medical issues, physical or learning disabilities, cultural/language barriers, etc.

Interested in starting your own scholarship? Contact Daniel La Noue, Director of Major Gifts and Planned Giving, at 718.368.6540 or [email protected].


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