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Addressing Student Basic Needs in New York

Overcoming Challenges Within CUNY

During my time at Hostos Community College, I had many responsibilities, like schoolwork and a part-time job. I faced tough challenges, such as not always having enough food or a stable place to live, and not getting enough help for my mental health. At first, I was excited and determined about my classes, but soon, I felt a lot of pressure from money problems.

It was hard to balance my classes with work, and I hardly had any time for myself. One big problem was that there weren’t enough mental health resources on campus. The counseling services were busy, so it took a long time to get an appointment, and there weren’t enough therapists to help everyone. Also, it was hard for me to ask for help because people didn’t always understand mental health problems, and I felt very alone dealing with depression and anxiety. But even with all these problems, I found comfort and support from my friends, teachers, and people in the community.

Even though things were tough, I stayed strong and kept working hard to get through it all. I believe that if you stay brave and keep trying, you can handle anything. So, even though my time at Hostos was challenging, I didn’t give up. With help from others and my own determination, I became stronger and more determined to face whatever comes my way.

Kayla Phillip attended Hostos Community College in NY and was part of the YAP.