I am limitless
An adult student, continuing her education at Queensborough, learns a lot about herself
At 26, Nechama Itenberg finally feels comfortable, learning.
“Parts of high school for me, like some teenagers, were terrible. So was adulting,” says the Israeli-born, Kew Gardens resident.
“But that’s over now. I really feel the enjoyment of learning,” Itenberg affirms, having returned to Queensborough Community College this fall to complete her Associate’s degree in Marketing.
Learning, however, has not come easily to the current president of Queensborough’s Vicki Kasomenakis Business Society. She was diagnosed with dyslexia in third grade, where she received support and help from teachers at yeshiva “who loved me very much.”
Much of Itenberg’s success at college today, and the good feelings she has about continuing her education, are the result of her positive encounters with Queensborough students and staff and benefits she experienced as a full-time student.
“I heard from friends that Queensborough was the best. That’s why I came,” Itenberg says, specifically referring to the college’s Services for Students with Disabilities office and the Center for Tutoring and Academic Support.
“The people are very special. The help here is excellent. It’s a matter of using your voice and accessing the assistance you need.”
Itenberg also praises Queensborough's Student Government Association. The organization helped her network and acquire full-time employment as a summer camp aquatics director, through contacts made during its annual spring job fair.
“Camp was hard work, but I loved the kids and the work experience -- managing 15 staff and 300 boys and girls on the North Shore -- was excellent.”
Itenberg reserves most of her admiration, however, for Queensborough professors such as Alfred McDonald (Accounting) and the late John Gilleaudeau (Social Sciences).
“You pushed me harder than I knew I could be pushed. You helped me in so many ways,” she wrote in a tribute to Gilleaudeau.
“I had no direction. I had no idea of what I was capable of, yet they believed in me. My GPA is 3.97 and I have no limitations,” Itenberg says with conviction, planning to attend Columbia University for finance or accounting studies next year.
Enrolled in CUNY’s College Discovery (the university’s longest-running opportunities program that provides comprehensive academic, financial, and social support to students), she discloses that maintaining inner-strength and self-confidence is a daily challenge.
Today, the one-time waitress, qualified beautician, certified life guard instructor and special-needs caregiver (who works with people who have Down Syndrome and their families) feels strong and says she is undeterred.
“I’m at Queensborough,” Itenberg effuses. “I feel validated and I am appreciated here.”
On her way to see Breaking Benjamin, part of the Jones Beach summer concert series, Itenberg reveals that she had waited a long time for some direction; she had the drive but lacked a roadmap until Queensborough.
Ten years after the band’s Top 40 hit, “I Will Not Bow”, Itenberg finds herself in control and behind the wheel, ready to go in the direction of her choice.
“The world is so big and exciting. My goal now is to remain open, to grow, and be of service to others.”
Contact: Michael Donahue or Alice Doyle