Guttman Community College is proud to announce its Valedictorian, Parker Giovan, and Salutatorian, Farah Reynoso, for the 2019 graduating class. Parker and Farah epitomize hard work and passion for learning. They are both dedicated to pursuing careers that will help underrepresented voices be heard.
Valedictorian Parker Giovan was born in South Korea, and when he was six months old he came to New York. Raised first in Washington Heights, and now a resident of the South Bronx, Parker enjoys the diversity of his neighborhoods, as well as their real sense of community. His comfort with multiculturalism might be something he learned from his father, who was raised in St. Thomas (U.S. Virgin Islands) in a family of seven people and a group of pets that included parrots, cats, Great Danes, and a monkey! In terms of his studies, Parker draws additional inspiration from his parents, both of whom attended college, and his brother James, who graduated from Brooklyn College. At Guttman, Parker has worked as a Peer Mentor, and this year he went on the Global Guttman trip to China, which he calls a life-altering experience. A Liberal Arts major (Humanities track), Parker enjoys the arts, literature, and politics. He will attend SUNY Binghamton next year, and he plans to major in political science. Parker envisions himself as someday serving in an elected position in government or working as a lobbyist to further advance America’s liberal agenda.
Farah Reynoso was born in the Dominican Republic and immigrated to the United States in 2014 when she was 14 years old. She did not know English when she arrived, and she admits it was hard to assimilate to the culture and the language and to get used to American food. As an immigrant, she knew that college can be difficult, especially if students do not have appropriate levels of support. Farah is grateful for being a Guttman student and for all the College’s opportunities, from improving her writing skills and working as a Peer Mentor to expanding her views about social and economic issues that affect our communities. Farah is most proud of being a volunteer at GrowNYC, where she is devoted to educating low-income New Yorkers to practice sustainability. She has majored in Human Services at Guttman and will now transfer to Hunter College to major in social work. Farah is passionate about working with individuals who are in the same place she was when she came to America and teaching them to tell their own story. Farah wants to be a voice for populations who have been silenced.