Piotr Hreska’s early academic pursuits were marked by the dichotomy of creative arts versus the precise world of legal studies. Departing from his native Poland, this promising law student left everything behind to fulfill his “American dream” in New York City. Upon his arrival, he enrolled in the photography program at Queensborough Community College. Always focusing on the positives, he later called it the most rewarding choice of his life.
Hreska cited his introspective nature and a drive to share his thoughts and ideas with others among the main reasons to enter CUNY Baccalaureate and design his specific degree. The program allowed him to structure an academic curriculum around his personal interests. Guided by his faculty mentor, Professor Reiner Leist from the Hunter College Art Department, Hreska developed an Area of Concentration in “Photography and Writing,” merging the visual language of images with courses focusing on writing skills. This allowed him not only to articulate his artistic vision but also smoothed his linguistic transition to the new world.
Earning an overall GPA of 3.97, Hreska still found time to work with several professional photographers obtaining field experience with the camera. He volunteered with the CUNY BA Academic Conference Series providing photo coverage to various special events. His photographs appear on the CUNY BA Website and are featured on several blog posts. He emphasized that the crucial part of his CUNY BA experience was an opportunity to closely interact with faculty where he met world-class artists such as Jules Allen, Malik Gaines, Melinda Goodman, Reiner Leist, Nicole Tchampell and Kathleen Wentrack. They inspired him and provided never-ending source of motivation.
Undeterred by recent studies that the U.S. lags far behind European counties in social mobility, Hreska pursues his “American dream” of becoming an artist and staring a new life in New York. It is such stories that make our city so great and CUNY Baccalaureate best place to realize your potential.