New York

Brooklyn Resident Helps Out Student

Picture by James Keivom/New York Daily News

It’s always heart-warming to hear of stories where people do great things for each other. This is one such story.   Last Sunday, the New York Daily News ran a story about undocumented immigrants who were struggling to pay for school since they didn’t qualify for financial aid.

A Student In Need

They featured Angy Rivera’s story and the $2500 bill that she was struggling to pay.   Brought to Queens from Columbia when she was three, Rivera was trying to work her way through a criminology program.

In order to gain financial assistance, she exposed her immigration status online and then asked for $5 donations on in exchange for bracelets that she makes.

The Man Who Helped

Luis Hernandez decided to do something else.   He paid off her entire bill, walking into the John Jay College bursar’s office this week to pay in full.

The retired subway conductor said,

“I’m just glad I was able to help her. I like to help out once in awhile, especially if it’s somebody trying to get an education.”

Hernandez, who lives in City Line, Brooklyn, was touched by her efforts to raise the fund. As he said, “I’m retired and I’ve got a little money to spend. I like helping out kids.”

Now, the Flushing, Queens student will be hitting the books, taking a full courseload for the next six months.   She plans to use her bracelet money for books and fees and to work hard.   While she had no plans to meet her benefactor, she did thank him on the phone.   As she said,   

“I told him, ‘This just made my next six months – you don’t know how big this is!’ ”

In response, he offered her some great advice.   He said, “you can do anything if you try your hardest.”


James Allenby is the editor of Gowanus Lounge, bringing to his position a vast background on New York, and especially Brooklyn history, culture and lifestyle. Born and bred in the heart of "the County of Kings" James Allenby knows what it means to be a Brooklynite, and imparts this meaning at all times to his readers. Contact James at info(at)