Two Valedictorians for the Guttman Community College Class of 2022
For the second time in the College’s history, two remarkable students have been selected as Valedictorians of the Guttman Community College Class of 2022. Kareem Ahmed and Luciana Vivanco Puccio have been extraordinary scholars and leaders. Both students achieved perfect cumulative GPAs during their years at Guttman. Mr. Ahmed and Ms. Puccio were honored for their achievements during the June 17th, 2022, commencement ceremony in Bryant Park.
Kareem Ahmed is graduating with a degree in Business Administration. He was born and raised in Cairo, Egypt, and came to the United States five years ago to pursue his dream of studying business. Kareem is a member of Phi Theta Kappa and was selected to be an America Needs You Fellow. As Co-Valedictorian, through his two years at Guttman, he accumulated a perfect grade point average.
The difficulties Kareem experienced obtaining a student visa and figuring out the nuances of becoming an international student inspired him to start his first business. His company, Monde, helps local students in Egypt interested in studying abroad navigate and simplify the process. The 26-year-old entrepreneur and his peers have grown Monde over the last four years and now employ more than ten people.
Kareem will continue studying business at Baruch College this fall. His dream and ultimate goal is to be able to create a non-profit that will bring the same quality education programs he’s experienced in New York back to Egypt. He wants to build a digital platform to make it
happen. Everything he’s learned at Guttman and will continue to learn at Baruch will give him the knowledge to make his dream come to life.
There were two main reasons why Kareem chose Guttman over other New York colleges. The first was an encounter with admissions staff who went the extra mile to make sure his high school diploma from Egypt was verified. The second was the appeal of the curriculum and program structure, starting with Summer Bridge. Kareem loves Guttman for the community it creates for its students.
Luciana Vivanco Puccio
Luciana Vivanco Puccio was born in Peru and moved to the US, on her own, four years ago. Today, the 21-year old feels embraced by New York and Guttman Community College. She began her college career during the pandemic and through her time here she’s earned a perfect grade point average. Luciana is also a proud member of Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society.
The guidance provided by the Summer Bridge program made her choose Guttman. The sense of community palpable even through multiple semesters of remote learning kept her here. As someone who’s very connected to her Peruvian heritage, Luciana says she loves the diversity of students at Guttman and the feeling of being welcomed and accepted by faculty, staff, and peers.
The 2022 Co-Valedictorian and Liberal Arts and Sciences major will continue her studies at Hunter College in the fall. She wants to pursue a career in child psychology, a field she’s been interested in since her own childhood. The way children learn and explore the world fascinates Luciana and she really enjoys their company. Luciana also loves learning and opening her mind to new ideas and points of view. The courses she’s taken at Guttman have helped her explore different facets of academia, culture, and society that she says she would not have been able to learn about back in
Luciana’s advice to her fellow graduates is to stay consistent. She says, “even the little steps are going to take you somewhere.” She acknowledges that motivation to pursue one’s goals might not always be there, but it is crucial to push through the tough times and keep going.