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Fifty-Ninth Commencement



Meet Members of the Class of 2024

Leandra Suriel


Class of 2024
Leandra Suriel


Leandra Suriel's collegiate journey was an artistic adventure and a melting pot of passion, paint, and perspective. This Dominican dream-weaver followed her artistic desires straight to the nurturing embrace of Kingsborough Community College, emerging with an associate degree as vibrant as her brushstrokes.

The Sunset Park, Brooklyn-based immigrant painter waxes nostalgic about her path to KCC. “I was brought here by my father to pursue a better life for my future and pursue an education. To be frank, I chose Kingsborough because it was the fastest with the financial aid offer, so I had to make a rapid decision after graduating high school," Suriel said. "And honestly, I don’t regret it. KCC has been wonderful in all aspects."

Suriel is the first in her family to walk across a college commencement stage. While admittedly "not a fan of studying," her love for art won: "Although I don’t like to study, surprisingly, I find art interesting enough to want to learn more."

Her major was a no-brainer: fine arts, drawing, and painting. “I love drawing and painting because it’s what I like to do and it keeps me happy. It's what I want to keep doing in the future. Plus, life is too beautiful not to."

Suriel blossomed in KCC's greenhouse of creative enrichment. She joined the sculpture club, taught by its "angel" leader, Gabriel Bennett, and awakened to the nuances of her craft. "When I learned how light and shadow work in both drawing and painting, I discovered an interesting perspective to explore," she recounted.

With a KCC degree under her belt, Suriel hopes to transfer to a 4-year CUNY or Hofstra to study studio art. Her dream? "To have my own business, studio, and quiet place with many animals."

To those considering their own academic odyssey, Suriel's sage advice rings true: "DO NOT waste money, especially financial aid. Take notes, pay attention, come to class, be nice, less nosy, and do you."