Hometown: Brooklyn, NY
Education: English, CUNY York College
Natalya Bennett grew up in Brooklyn, NY, and currently lives in Jamaica, Queens. She was raised by Caribbean parents, who always stressed the importance of a college education and supported her throughout her entire educational journey. She recently graduated from CUNY York College, where she majored in English and minored in Black Studies. Before attending CUNY York College, she attended a predominantly white institution and found it very difficult to fit in or make friends. This would negatively impact her experience and her motivation to complete college. She would eventually overcome this setback by transferring to a school with a more diverse student body. As a result, she was more comfortable and discovered her love of literature and writing. In spite of the challenges she faced before realizing her passion, one thing was always clear, she wanted to help others. Because of her experience attending schools that were either predominantly black or white, never a mixture of both, she decided to aim to work with disadvantaged schools and students and set out to reform the education system. Natalya chose Blue Engine because the organization’s goal to recognize and liberate the potential of all humans is aligned with her own life’s mission.