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We love inclusion at York College and it shows

York College is a thriving, active campus due in part to its, diverse culture.

York’s appreciation for a student body of varied ethnic backgrounds, personalities, qualities and abilities, contribute to our success. Recently, the Center for Students with Disabilities (CSD) demonstrated this with a polished photography exhibition and a day trip to the US Open, watching the Junior Girls Tennis Championship match and, for one lucky Cardinal counselor, having a selfie with the champion.

The photography exhibit officially opened September 8, with a breakfast reception fit for a queen, or president. Delicious pastries and a “Happy Birthday” cheer for a member of the Student Government Association (SGA), were welcomed additions to the event. President Eanes, Vice President Williams, and other administrators and professors came to see the photographs of York’s amazing CSD students.

The exhibition, appropriately entitled “My Strength and My Goals. ONE YORK” featured a selection of outgoing CSD students. As instructed during the photo session, each student was asked to 'express' their personality with a unique gesture and/or welcoming smile. As a result, the photos are singular in nature and fun.

My Strengths and My Goals. ONE YORK! is a true depiction of the unity, inclusion, and diversity seen on York's campus. The exhibition did not stop there; it has an 'interactive' element. Throughout the semester, we have York celebration flags for any students, faculty, and staff to write whatever accomplishment they would like to share, and/or why they like York, and pin the flag with their message on the bulletin board in the hallway outside of the CSD Offices. We would love everyone to write a few words of encouragement and share with the students by being ‘a part of’ the exhibition.

Later that week, Charmaine Townsell, the Director of Student Wellness, organized a day trip to the US Open to coincide with the Junior Wheelchair Championship matches. The Cardinals saw all the history and monuments of the tennis world displayed at the National Tennis Center, then the entire group settled on the grounds, seated at an umbrella covered table just a few feet away from the Wheelchair Junior Championship match, while also watching the mixed doubles wheelchair tennis semi-final on the big screen. The matches were an exciting and assertive display of talent. York’s students cheered as Jade Lanai won the Junior Girls Wheelchair Championship, and Dr. Truett Lee Vaigneur Jr. CUNY LEADS Specialist and Adjunct Professor (Behavorial Science who quickly snapped a selfie with the new US Open champ.

The students were treated to refreshments and enjoyed the warm afternoon air, the impeccable skill of the wheelchair players, and socializing. For York, it was a week full of recognition and celebration. Whether in framed photographs in an exhibition, or casually bonding while cheering on the wheelchair tennis champion, York students are holding their own. Whether on or off campus, it is always ONE YORK!

-Charmaine Townsell