Model Senators’ Advice to Queensborough Students: It’s Never too Late to Get Your Degree and Always Register to Vote!

Published: March 26, 2019

Matthew DiBono encapsulates what it means to be a successful community college student. He excels in his studies, is a member of the Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society, and Alpha Beta Gamma, participated in the 2018 Pipeline to Justice Summer Pre-Law Program, and, in February, elected Model Senator for the 2019 Model NYS Senate Session. He also happens to be running for Congress in New York’s sixth Congressional District.

The backdrop to Matthew’s remarkable success and ambition began soon after he graduated from high school.

“I enrolled at Queensborough for two semesters, but was interested in banking so I left to work full-time in that field. The experience was valuable however these companies don’t let you move too high up the ladder without a college degree. After a 16-year hiatus out in the workforce, and a family of my own to support, I came back to Queensborough to complete my education.”

Matthew, who has lived in Queens his whole life, explained that returning to Queensborough has provided him with a wealth of opportunities to rediscover his self-confidence and academic ability. “My professors have helped me improve my writing, my public speaking skills and my overall knowledge of culture and different areas of study. I also learned that it’s never too late to get your degree, no matter your age or how long you have been out of the classroom.”

He continued, “Over the summer, I was one of 18 students who spent two weeks at the CUNY School of Law, representing Queensborough and learning more about the law as a potential career path. This experience was important because I’m considering a career in politics and the skills I would receive from law school would be instrumental.”

One of several highlights of Matthew’s academic career at Queensborough was being nominated as Model Senator for the 2019 Model NYS Senate Session. He attended several seminars at John Jay College of Criminal Justice, which entailed three weekly seminars on Government, Legislature, and Public Speaking. The final seminar was held at the SUNY Global Center in Manhattan before debating on a live piece of legislation on the Senate Chamber floor in Albany.

“My one regret was not having the time to run for Student Government, a fantastic way for students to gain the leadership skills to represent the best interests of the student body.”

Matthew, who will be graduating from Queensborough this spring with an A.S. degree in Business Administration, has a message for students: get involved in student activities, attend as many cultural events as you can, participate in recreational programs and, just as importantly, register to vote!

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