Interview with CPL Alum Cherishe Cumma-Clarke
Cherishe Cumma-Clarke was a mentee with CUNY Peer Leaders from 2017 until her graduation in 2019, while attending New York CIty College of Technology. She credits Lauren Melendez and Cathy Davidson as her “academic backbone” during her college career. Lauren wrote a letter of recommendation and was a reference for Cherishe’s first official job at New York University. Cherishe is currently in the Higher Education and Student Affairs Graduate program at New York University, in which Cathy wrote a letter of recommendation in support of admissions. According to Cherishe, CPL created a safe space for students to speak their truth, remained flexible and accommodating, and provided nutritious food/snacks for mentees. Her favorite CPL memory was a trip to see the Broadway musical Ain’t Too Proud: The Life and Times of The Temptations.The Futures Initiative arranged a meet and greet where students interacted with the main actors and actresses. CPL provided life changing enrichment activities that had an everlasting impact on Cherishe’s life.
Cherishe’s full interview is published below.
Q: What CUNY school did you graduate from/attend during CPL affiliation?
New York City College of Technlogy.
Q: Year of graduation?
Q: Preferred Pronouns?
Q: Year(s) affiliated with CPL?
2017, 2018, and 2019.
Q: Favorite CPL memory?
My favorite CPL Memory was the all expense paid trip to see the Ain’t Too Proud – The Life and Times of The Temptations Broadway musical. Not only was the play incredible but FI arranged a meet and greet session where we interacted with the main actors and actresses in the play.
Q: How did the CPL Program contribute to your academic/professional goals?
The CPL Family supported me through all of my academic and professional ventures. CPL never gave up on me and never turned me away no matter how many references, resources, or letters of recommendations that I requested. Lauren and Cathy were my academic backbones throughout my college career. Lauren wrote me a letter of recommendation and was a reference for my first official job at New York University. Cathy wrote me a letter of recommendation that helped me get admitted to my current Higher Education and Student Affairs graduate program at New York University.
Q: Current career (either path or goals)?
Financial Aid Administrator, Federal Programs at New York University.
Q: How would you describe the ways in which CPL mentors and supports students?
CPL provides in-depth and well thought out support to all of the students participating in the program. As a student who participated in the program for multiple years, I always felt that CPL as a whole took more of a realistic approach to how they assisted the students involved in the program. CPL was always flexible with meet-up times, provided food that was nutritious and filling, created a safe space for students to speak their truth, but most of all the CPL provided life-changing enrichment activities that had an everlasting impact on my life.