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Meet Our Scholars

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Nickole Penaloza Barros

Queensborough Community College




Nickole Penaloza is a first-generation college student born in Cuenca, Ecuador. After struggling with mental illness and homelessness, she found herself at age 19 wondering if she would ever get the chance to go to college. When that chance came, she seized it. She uses her voice to amplify the voice of others in her community and on campus, whether that be through her volunteer work with progressive congress members, or her leadership roles in student government and clubs. She is passionate about activism and civil rights. Her goal is to give hope to anyone who has found themselves feeling hopeless about their future. Nickole plans to earn a Bachelor’s Degree in Marketing and start a nonprofit for at-risk teenagers struggling with homelessness, abuse, and at-risk LGBTQ teens.

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