This Rutgers-Camden computer classroom doesn’t have the volume of a floor, but there are high stakes. Rutgers-Camden Future Scholars "get $100,000 and they can see how well their own stocks do,” says Ellen Crain with Susquehanna Bank.
It’s virtual cash, but the bank is supporting (with real money and volunteer teachers) the university’s Future Scholars Program.
“The idea is to prepare these students starting in 7th grade and get them ready to enter into college,” says Tammy Hunt, who runs the program. Alec, an eighth grader at Camden’s Leap Charter School, says, “It teaches us how to make quick decisions within the time we have. We have to make smart decisions as well.”
Santa Comes to Rutgers to Help Raise Funds for Future Scholars
The Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade Claus stopped at Busch Campus at Rutgers to help raise funds for the Rutgers Future Scholars program. (Rutgers Today, Nov 14, 2011)
>>> Check out the video to see if you can guess the identity of the Rutgers alum who is Macy's real Santa. (But shhhh .. it's a secret)
Future Scholars Program is a Family Affair for Rutgers-Camden Students
CAMDEN — Like almost everything else they do, the Jarows and Chmuras approach civic engagement as a family.
David Jarow, twin sister Dana Jarow, and cousin Amber Chmura are mentoring Camden teenagers in the Rutgers Future Scholars Program, a university-wide initiative that introduces first-generation, low-income, and academically talented youth to the promise and opportunities of a college education.
David, Dana, and Amber grew up next door to each other in Winslow, graduated from Winslow Township High School together, and even decided to come to Rutgers–Camden as a family.
It was only natural that they all become involved with the Future Scholars Program...
Susquehanna Bank Provides Support for Camden Kids in
Rutgers Future Scholars Program
Thanks to a $61,758 investment
from Susquehanna Bank to the Rutgers Future Scholars
100 Camden children in grades 8 and 9 are preparing for
success in college now. Launched
in June 2008, the Rutgers Future Scholars program enrolls
50 rising eighth-grade students in the Camden public
school system and the LEAP University Academy Charter
School each summer. The multi-pronged Rutgers initiative
works to prepare the participants for college by providing
the teens with academic and social development support
throughout their secondary school careers and tuition
support at Rutgers upon graduation from high school and
admittance to Rutgers.
video features incoming Rutgers-Camden Future Scholars,describes
the Rutgers Future Scholars program, introduces
its Rutgers-Camden leaders and highlights Susquehanna
Bank's supportive role in the local Camden community.
The Susquehanna Bank grant allows Rutgers to
nearly double the number of Rutgers students
serving as tutors for Camden children and teens. (To
start the video, click on the arrow)
On Friday November 20, 2009 a diverse group of scholars and practitioners gathered together at Rutgers-Camden to discuss challenges and opportunities for urban youth at the Urban Youth Symposium, sponsored by the Office of the President.
Future Scholars from the class of 2017 attended the symposium and shared their unique insight about the everyday life of youth in Camden offered their thoughts and opinions about what can be done to positively impact the lives of urban youth.
one-half of Black and Latino youth combined in the United
States fail to graduate from high school,researchers
University have found, leading to poverty and unemployment
and threatening the U.S. competitiveness in the global
are coming to grips with the fact that they are a
part of the solution and have a means to make a change,” says
DiversityInc CEO Luke Visconti, who sits on the Rutgers
Board of Trustees and co-chairs the fundraising committee
for the Rutgers Future Scholars Program. ...
The Rutgers Future Scholars Program was
featured in the Fall 2009 Rutgers Magazine. The article
demonstrates that after only one year of
operation, the Rutgers Future Scholars program is showing
positive early results and tremendous promise, however,
it also addresses the support required to make it a success.
opportunity, there is no hope. At least that is the
standard Aramis Gutierrez thinks is true as the Rutgers
Future Scholars Program Director.
The program provides the opportunity of a college education at any three of the
University’s campuses for first-generation, low-income and academically
promising middle school students mostly from the University’s four communities:
New Brunswick, Piscataway, Newark and Camden.
Recruiting Future Scholars:
Hope, Opportunity, and Free Tuition
by Megan Schramm-Possinger - DiversityInc Magazine (May/June
In response to
New Jersey's growing High School drop out rates in low
income and urban communities, Rutgers, The State University
of New Jersey, launched an aggressive initiative in October
2008: The Rutgers Future Scholars Program. It is designed
to give promising, motivated 7th graders educational
A group of Camden eighth graders took a tour of Cooper
University Hospital last week and caught a glimpse of what
their futures could hold.
They weren't just any eighth graders. All were members
of the inaugural class of Rutgers Future Scholars, a program
launched by the university a year ago to help more youngsters
from low-income communities graduate from college.
200 middle school students piled into the stands of the
Louis Brown Athletic Center on Saturday as the Rutgers
women’s basketball team
faced off against the University of South Florida.
The students are part of the new presidential initiative
called the Rutgers Future Scholars program, which aims
to increase the numbers of academically ambitious high
school graduates who come from low-income backgrounds.
Boswell’s longtime interest – well,
longtime for a 13-year-old – in forensic science
was confirmed this summer when he spent a week on the
Rutgers–Camden campus in some of the first activities
of the Rutgers
Future Scholars Program.Bo swell, an eighth-grader
Poynt Professional Development School in Camden, learned
about how to reconstruct the details of a car accident
by analyzing paint scrapes and crumpled metal. He also
played the role of defense attorney in a grisly hypothetical
case of cannibalism.“It was fun, but hard at the
same time,” James
said. “It was enjoyable, and it made you think.”The
work that week was so taxing that James could only relate
a few details to his mother, Joanna Henriquez, when he
got home. “He would talk about his day
for about an hour, and then he would be knocked out,” Henriquez
said. “It’s a different style of learning
than what they teach in the public schools.”The
Future Scholars Program is Rutgers’ way of
taking responsibility for strengthening the educational
pipeline in New Jersey – ensuring that as many
students as possible gain skills and nurture talents
necessary to make the transition from high school to
college, and then to meet the challenges of college successfully.
Pressure mounts on colleges to reduce barriers for
that pool of talent. by Stacy Teicher Khadaroo
- Staff writer of The
Christian Science Monitor
Amherst, Mass. - The road to a
college education in America is paved with good grades
and hard work. But it also takes money and knowing
how to navigate a complex admissions route – two
factors that have contributed to poor students' underrepresentation
on many campuses.
About 50 percent of low-income students enroll in
college right after high school, compared with 80 percent
of high-income students, according to the National
Center for Education Statistics. That's a gap of 30
percentage points, a gap that over the past 30 years
has fluctuated between 22 and 49 points.
For low-income students with high
achievement levels, the college attendance rate is
higher – about
77 percent – but that's about the same rate as
high-income students with much lower achievement scores,
according the College Board, a nonprofit association
in New York that tracks and promotes college attendance.
As competition intensifies in
the global marketplace – and
as the numbers of people in developing countries who
complete college is quickly increasing – pressure
is mounting in the US to remove barriers to higher
education and develop the pool of talent represented
by low-income students.
"Higher education used to be one of the ways to get
to the American middle class.... [Now] it's the only
way," because of the loss of low-skill, high-wage jobs,
says Thomas Mortenson, an Iowa-based senior scholar
with the Pell Institute for the Study of Opportunity
in Higher Education in Washington. "That places a very
different set of responsibilities on higher education.
If in fact they're going to play a socially constructive,
economically constructive ... role, they have to diversify
He and other advocates for low-income students take
many of the top-ranked public and private universities
to task for the small percentages of low-income students
they enroll. At the University of Virginia, for instance,
about 7 percent of students in 2006 received federal
Pell Grants, a common proxy that researchers use for
low-income status. At Yale, it was about 8 percent.
By comparison, some top-ranked schools such as the
University of California, Berkeley, and Smith College
in Northampton, Mass., have at least a quarter of their
student bodies receiving Pell Grants. (See www.economicdiversity.org,
run by the Project on Student Debt.)
Amherst College, a top-ranked
college in central Massachusetts, is one example
of a school that welcomes pressure to do better.
With an endowment valued at nearly $1.7 billion, "it's morally incumbent upon us to do everything
in our power to make [this kind of] education possible
for as broad a range as we can," says Amherst dean
of admissions Tom Parker.
About 12 percent of students at Amherst received Pell
Grants in 2006, and about 20 percent overall are low-income,
if the count includes those who are similarly eligible
for grants through other channels, Mr. Parker says.
Amherst makes sure the financial-aid packages it offers
cover students' need through government and Amherst
grants and campus jobs. The college used to include
loans in its aid packages, but nearly a decade ago,
it stopped asking students to take out loans if their
families earned under $60,000; it gave them more grants
instead. Last year, it expanded the no-loan policy
to everyone on financial aid, meaning many middle-class
students can also graduate debt-free.
Dozens of colleges made similar announcements in the
past year. In part, these moves are seen as a response
to pressures from some members of Congress who want
wealthy colleges to use more of their endowment funds
to improve affordability. Congress recently expanded
maximum Pell Grant amounts.
For Amherst and other colleges that value diversity
as an important contributor to all students' education,
socioeconomic diversity is gaining more attention.
As restrictions have cropped up on traditional affirmative-action
categories such as race, attention to low-income students
is sometimes seen as a way to help keep up representation
But at private schools like Amherst, that's not the
motivation, Parker says. Indeed, the Pell Grant recipients
there are about equally African-American, white, Hispanic,
Some parents wonder if their child
might be paying more to subsidize low-income students,
Parker says, but that's not the case, because funding
for financial aid primarily comes from colleges'
endowments. Many donors, in fact, dedicate their
endowment gifts to financial aid. Even students who
pay the full price of tuition, fees, and room and
board – about
$47,000 – aren't paying the full amount it costs
for the college to house and educate each student,
which adds up to nearly $80,000.
But financial aid alone isn't enough to boost low-income
enrollments, many colleges have found. Amherst has
hired more admissions staff to do outreach, and it
pays for several hundred low-income students a year
to visit campus. It also works with nonprofit groups
such as QuestBridge, which identifies talented applicants
from low-income backgrounds.
Current Amherst students from low-income backgrounds
can earn their work-study money by mentoring high school
counterparts through the college-application and financial-aid
process, whether or not they want to apply to Amherst.
Ashley Armato worked as a mentor as a student at Amherst,
where she recently graduated and started a one-year
job in the admissions office. As the daughter of a
firefighter and a maid, neither of whom went to college,
she understood the challenges facing those she mentored.
Students often started off assuming they could afford
only community colleges, but she was able to explain
financial aid and help them expand their options. She
also reassured a lot of parents, sometimes speaking
with them in Spanish.
Some four-year colleges and universities are aiming
even younger in the pipeline to help ensure students
have enough preparation to be strong applicants.
Rutgers University, the flagship public institution
in New Jersey, recently created the Future Scholars
Program, in which up to 200 local eighth-graders will
participate in enrichment activities all the way through
high school. The students meet income requirements
and will be the first generation in their family to
attend college, and they are promised full scholarships
for tuition and fees if they are accepted into Rutgers.
The university has launched a fundraising campaign
and expects the costs to be covered through private
donations and existing state and federal programs.
"I thought a lot about college – every day,
every day," says Feliciano Cintron of Camden, N.J.,
who was selected for the program this summer. "As
soon as this opportunity came … I just took
it and said, 'I can't let go of this.' "
PISCATAWAY -- On June
26, more than 130 of the nearly 200 inaugural Rutgers
Future Scholars attended a welcome session at the Allison
Road Classroom Building on Rutgers’ Busch
Campus. At the Math and Science Learning Center, the eighth graders got a feel
for the kinds of hands-on learning they will engage in over the next several
years. The Future Scholars met one another for the first time and planted the
seeds for educational and personal enrichment that will shape them as they grow
into knowledge seekers who will, in turn, shape the world around them.
Teens Prepare to Enter Rutgers Future Scholars Program
CAMDEN -- Starting this summer, 50 rising
eighth-grade students in the Camden public school system
will begin to prepare for college through a comprehensive
Rutgers program that will provide the teens with academic
and social development support throughout their secondary
school careers and tuition support at Rutgers upon graduation
from high school.
The Rutgers Future Scholars program launches
this summer as a multipronged initiative to strengthen
Rutgers’ commitment to diversity and to encourage
enrollment by talented students in underrepresented populations
from the university’s host communities. Rutgers,
The State University of New Jersey, has regional campuses
in Camden, New Brunswick/Piscataway, and Newark.
Rutgers President Richard
L. McCormick initiated the program in an effort to reach minority
and low-income students who “might otherwise never
consider college within their grasp.”
In the City of Camden, the inaugural Rutgers
Future Scholars class will spend an intensive weeklong
introduction to college life during July 7-11, when the
Camden teens will meet current Rutgers-Camden students
who graduated from Camden schools; engage in programs
related to the fine arts on the Rutgers-Camden campus;
and attend courses in such areas as science and law.
The students also will learn about career
opportunities through sessions at the Rutgers-Camden
Career Center and will engage in athletics activities
on the Rutgers-Camden campus.
“Our goal during this week is to
introduce these students to the many opportunities that
college has to offer,” explains Nyeema Watson,
associate director of the Rutgers-Camden Center for Children
and Childhood Studies and director of the Rutgers Future
Scholars program in Camden.
During subsequent summers, the current
Rutgers Future Scholars will participate in four-to-six-week
residential summer programs designed to promote academic
skills in mathematics, language arts, and the sciences.
Watson notes that the Camden teens will
be mentored by Rutgers students throughout the academic
year, and will be invited to the Rutgers-Camden campus
regularly to participate in cultural, academic, and athletic
collegiate activities, including a Rutgers class. Rutgers
Future Scholars will be offered PSAT and SAT training.
“This program will help Camden teens
to prepare for college,” says Watson. “Perhaps
more importantly, we intend to help keep these students
in high school so that they graduate.”
The project has special significance for
Watson, a 1995 graduate of Woodrow Wilson High School
in Camden. “It was difficult for me to get ready
for college,” she recalls. “Camden’s
teachers are all deeply dedicated to their students.
This Rutgers program offers that extra support that will
help to change the lives of Camden’s kids.
“The most important aspect of the
program will be the relationship between the students,
their families, the school district, and Rutgers, with
all parties working together to support these students
in their academic and social development,” continues
Watson, who was appointed by New Jersey Gov. Jon S. Corzine
to serve on the Camden City Board of Education.
“Rutgers-Camden is proud to welcome
the first Camden class of the Rutgers Future Scholars
program,” says Rutgers-Camden Interim Chancellor
Margaret Marsh. “This exciting pilot program is
just one example of our dedication to extending wide
and open access to the life-changing opportunities that
a Rutgers degree offers.
“While this is an ambitious program,
it simply cannot accept every Camden child or teen. Rutgers
will continue to work with the Camden school district
to offer support on how to help all students build their
academic skills and stay engaged and committed to the
education process while in middle and high school,” continues
The Rutgers Future Scholars program will
select a new cohort of students annually until each host
city has a total of 200. Students are selected jointly
by school districts and Rutgers. Participating students
must demonstrate financial need and academic potential,
and come from underrepresented family backgrounds.
The families of Rutgers Future Scholars
will be asked to help their students to maintain a 90-percent
attendance rate a grade-point average of 2.5 or better
(out of 4.0).
Camden families interested in learning
more about the Rutgers Future Scholars program are encouraged
to contact Nyeema Watson at (856) 225-6738.
Future Scholars Program
Center for Children
and Childhood Studies | 325 Cooper Street,
Camden, NJ 08102
Tel: 856-225-2885 | email