College summer program for kids

July 24, 2009 3:56:23 PM PDT
For many kids, summer is typically a time to kick back and relax. But for a group of 200 middle schoolers, this summer is filled with some serious school work. They're spending their days on the Newark campus of Rutgers University, a very big and first step towards college life"I know that only knowledge equals success, so college will prepare me for the success I need to have," said Terrell Woods.

The University calls the young students "future scholars".

"They're doing poetry, they're writing letters, they're doing essays and they're doing a community service projects at the end of their course," said program director Traymanesha Moore. "They're studying statistics, algebra one and geometry."

This is the second year of the program. Two hundred 7th graders are invited into the program each year, with the promise of a free college education from Rutgers.

"It takes a burden from my parents. They don't have to pay, 'cause at the moment they don't have the money necessary to pay for tuition," said Arif Nahid.

The scholarships will be paid for with private funding. Students are expected to maintain at least a "B" average through high school. They get year round tutoring and support, with classes on Rutgers campuses each summer.

"Interacting with professors and undergraduates here, seeing themselves in the classroom, seeing themselves on the college campus, I think is vital to their development," said program director Aramis Gutierrez.

The students are chosen for their grades and their potential.

"It's not an option, it's an opportunity and it opens doors and things like this you can't turn away from," said Shakeerah West."

Administrators for the Rutgers Future Scholars program would like to start a movement among other universities, encouraging them to reach out to more urban students and point those students in the direction of a college education.

Web produced by Maura Sweeneyr


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