By Ilvea Lezama
Ryon (Ry-an) Chan is York’s new Student Government Association President (SGA). He was born in Guyana, and at the age of 19, he migrated to the United States for a better future. Chan is a descendant of a Chinese father and an Indian mother, he is the eldest of 4 siblings. He has been an inspiration to his younger siblings as a first-generation college student. He came to America with one goal in mind; to succeed and make the most of every single opportunity.
His journey to success has not been easy, he went from living in the streets when he first arrived in the United States to now becoming the voice of York students and a licensed realtor. Chan said, “Each and every one of us has a story to tell, we all have a journey and there is a story behind every successful person.”
“Being the president of the Student Government Association comes with a lot of work, responsibilities, sacrifices, trials, and challenges” said Chain. “I am doing this out of love and compassion, our race, our color, our ethnicity, our immigration status should not stop us or hinder us from where we want to be, where we want to go, how we want to achieve our goals, that shouldn’t hold us or keep us down. We must keep working towards it and fight a good fight. Determination is the Key to Success.”
As the eldest sibling, it is important for him to set an example for his younger siblings, he wants to show them that no matter the obstacles one might face, to never give up on their dreams. As a go-getter, he has inspired his two younger siblings to attend college, they are both currently attending Borough of Manhattan Community College (BMCC) in the pursuit of their associate degree.
BMCC means a lot to Chan, he said he has become the person he is today thanks to the college and the opportunities he was given there. “I took advantage of every workshop they offered, making full use of the opportunities. People should ask questions, if we’re not clear on something there is no harm in right or wrong questions, in right or wrong answers. That is how we all learn, by asking.”
Chan is estimated to graduate by next spring semester, he hopes to attend the CUNY Graduate School of Public Health and Health Policy. He envisions himself accomplishing his Ph.D. by the age of thirty. As a student with a special Immigration status, he said immigrant students are limited to certain resources and opportunities but wants to tell them to never give up on their dreams. “I faced a lot of hard times finding jobs and help in terms of financial aid, but as a determined person, I will do whatever it takes to achieve my goals,” said Chan.
One of his goals as SGA’s President this semester is to provide healthier food options at the food pantry and to provide better Wi-Fi for the students to do their homework and at the tutoring center. SGA will now have a suggestion box located at the Welcome Center for students to make suggestions on what changes they want to see.
Chan wants to thank BMCC for helping him become who he is today, with their guidance and opportunities. He wants to extend his gratitude to York’s ACE Program, York College Student Association Board Members, and SGA’s advisor Mrs. Sheila Beverly-Skinner.