Lerone Bleasdille City Tech’s 2010 Valedictorian
by Marc Toneatto
Apr 20, 2010 | 20038 views | 0 0 comments | 320 320 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Not even a hurricane could dampen CUNY City Tech’s 2010 valedictorian Lerone Bleasdille’s motivation for academic excellence. A native of Grenada, Bleasdille was caught smack dab in the middle of Hurricane Ivan in 2004, which destroyed a large amount of his homeland’s infrastructure.

His mother, then an administrator for the Prime Minister’s office, learned of CUNY’s humanitarian initiative to award college scholarships to 15 Grenadian students, of which he was one.

Before being awarded the scholarship, Bleasdille had already earned an associate degree in information technology from a Grenadian community college and was working as a commercial teller at a local bank.

“If I hadn’t received this scholarship, I would have stayed in my bank job for two more years,” said Bleasdille, 24, who now lives in East Flatbush. “Then, I would have taken a loan to try and get into a U.S. college,”

Bleasdille, who will be graduating with a bachelor of technology degree in computer systems, also has a knack for writing.

“I used to write poetry in high school and sometimes perform it,” said Bleasdille, who was praised by his first English professor at City Tech on his writing and decided to make it a hobby. For the past two years, Bleasdille has won first prize in the poetry and short story categories at College’s Literary Arts Festival competition. But Bleasdille will be setting the bar even higher for himself this year.

“I’m entering all sections of the competition – poetry, fiction, drama, humor and essay,” he said. “It’s my last semester, I might as well go all out!”

Bleasdille will put his writing skills to good use for his valedictory speech, which he will deliver on June 2, at Madison Square Garden.

“My speech will have two themes,” said Bleasdille. “Finding your passion, which is going to push you to succeed, and appreciating the value of negative people in your life as well as the positive, supportive ones. If someone negates what you want to do, it makes you want it more.”
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