The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, in partnership with Vaughn College of Aeronautics and Technology, announced the five recipients of the full tuition four-year LaGuardia Redevelopment Opportunity Scholarship.

The scholarship is part of the agency’s ongoing commitment to provide opportunities for members of the local Queens communities to share in the economic benefits of LaGuardia Airport’s redevelopment program.

The 2020 LaGuardia Redevelopment Opportunity Scholarship recipients are Kristian Nieves ’24, Alvin King ’24, and Suraiya Nawaz ’24 from East Elmhurst, Anton DeGuzman ’24 from Corona, and Chasisty Melo ’24 from Astoria.

“Vaughn College is a staple of the aviation community, in large part thanks to its close proximity to LaGuardia Airport,” said Port Authority Chairman Kevin O’Toole. “The Port Authority’s scholarship program ensures that qualified students have the resources they need to get a quality education and allows them to begin charting their course forward with guaranteed future placement within the agency.”

In addition to a tuition-free Vaughn College education and a position with the Port Authority upon graduation, all recipients are eligible to participate in a paid summer internship with the Port Authority.

“I’ve always wanted to work with planes, and I know how rare it is for students to have guaranteed jobs before they even start their first year of college,” said Suraiya Nawaz, scholarship recipient. “This scholarship is a big help for me and my family financially. I feel very grateful to have been selected.”

The five recipients of the 2019 scholarship will intern with the Port Authority this summer. Due to the circumstances of the COVID-19 pandemic, the internship program will be remote-based and the interns will be placed within the Port Authority Aviation Department, the LaGuardia General Manager’s Office, or the LaGuardia Redevelopment program for eight weeks.

“Our partnership with The Port Authority comes at a critical time when the neighborhoods surrounding LaGuardia Airport have been some of the hardest hit by this pandemic,” said Dr. Sharon B. DeVivo, president of Vaughn College. “This partnership demonstrates the Port’s ongoing commitment to Queens by providing critical funding and career support to students and their families. Coupled with a Vaughn degree that is focused on preparing students for a lifetime of opportunity, the students who receive this scholarship will be the long-term beneficiaries of this investment in their future.”