“I saw myself in a classroom about to take an exam,” Robert Pineda explains. “The dream felt very meaningful and real.”
When Robert had that dream, it was 2015. He was seeing what God saw for him. On May 11, when President Michael Scales hands Robert his Bachelor of Science degree, it will confirm that believing is seeing.
What distinguishes this rising Nyack alumnus from most of his peers is that he finished high school in 1987, the same year that Pastor David Wilkerson founded Times Square Church(TSC)—where Robert is now a member and an employee on the maintenance crew.
Initially, he wasn’t academically qualified for admission to Nyack, but his humility transcended his capability. After taking exams and writing a required entrance essay, he was on track to earn an associate’s degree. But God’s plan exceeded even that goal.
“I don’t know if it’s like this at every college, but I was not just a number at Nyack,” Robert shares. At a recent brunch for graduating seniors on the New York City campus, the interdisciplinary studies major pointed out that Assistant Professor of Pastoral Ministries, Dr. Carlos Velez, urged him to pursue a bachelor’s degree. There were times when that objective was easier said than done. Robert described how there were times when he would lay prostrate before the Lord imploring Him for help. Not only will Robert Pineda receive his degree summa cum laude, but he is also a member of New York State Pi Chapter of Alpha Chi National Honor Society.
What’s next for Robert?
He’d love to teach Bible and theology at Nyack College one day. “For now,” he says, “I have been accepted to earn my master’s degree at Hebrew University in Jerusalem; so I am leaving Times Square Church to study in Israel for two years. After completing my degree, I will return to TSC.”
Robert has his passport for global engagement and far more than the credential of a degree, he credits his alma mater with giving him so much more. “Nyack helped me to learn to think and form an opinion. Nyack gave me a lot of confidence. Nyack caused me to grow in faith. Nyack gave me an example of what I want to do in my future. I learned that I can succeed in life.”
Onward and upward, Robert!