News for Summer 2014

Rutgers University-Newark and Newark Fairmount Promise Neighborhood Partners Donate More Than 1,100 Books to Newark’s Thirteenth Avenue School 

(NEWARK, NJ, June 25, 2014) – On Friday, June 20, representatives from the Office of University-Community Partnerships (OUCP) at Rutgers University-Newark, the School of Health Related Professions’ Health Information Management (HIM) Program at Rutgers Behavioral and Health Sciences campus, and the United Way of Essex and West Hudson delivered 1,170 donated books to Thirteenth Avenue School in Newark, NJ.  Thirteenth Avenue School is one of several Newark Public Schools associated with the Newark Fairmount Promise Neighborhood (NFPN). NFPN is part of the federal Promise Neighborhoods initiative funded by the U.S. Department of Education. NFPN’s primary goal is to improve educational outcomes among Fairmount children and families from cradle to college and career.

The book donation was made on Summer Learning Day, a national advocacy day sponsored by the National Summer Learning Association. Summer Learning Day is designed to spread awareness about the importance of summer learning for youth as a means of closing the achievement gap and supporting healthy development in communities across the country.

Thirteenth Avenue School students and parents proudly display their chosen books delivered by Rutgers University and Newark Fairmount Promise Neighborhood representatives. Pictured (l to r): Dr. Diane Hill, Assistant Chancellor, Rutgers University-Newark; Keith Green, CE, United Way of Essex and West Hudson; Dr. Rolando Herts, OUCP, Rutgers University-Newark; Professor Barbara Manger, HIM, Rutgers University-Newark; Tia Collier, NFPN.


Professor Manger spearheaded the book collection and collaborated with Dr. Rolando Herts and the OUCP team to distribute the books in support of an NFPN/Thirteenth Avenue literacy initiative.   In January 2014, the initiative gained momentum after an announcement was emailed throughout the RBHS faculty-staff-student listserv. Professor Manger amassed more than 1,170 books donated by RBHS employees, students, and community partners. The two largest single donors were Junior Girl Scout Troup 94379 from Denville, NJ, and Abyssinian Baptist Church of Newark. With the support of the United Way of Essex West Hudson, a NFPN managing partner, the books were sorted and labeled according to grade level to facilitate distribution to the students and their families attending Thirteenth Avenue’s end of year honor assembly and celebration.

“Organizing this book drive was a lot of work, but it certainly was worth it. We have been trying to be involved in community service for many years,” said Professor Manger. “Thanks to OUCP’s strong partnerships with the community, we finally were able to make this happen.”


Ready for the Ivy League

(NEWARK, NJ, June 25, 2014)  This July, RU Ready for Work, the high school job and career-readiness program administered through the Office of University-Community Partnerships will see one of its participants go off to college!  Actually, he is going to attend Yale University in New Haven, Connecticut, for a unique academic summer experience.  Wiljeamps Saint-Louis, a junior at Bard Early College High School, is one of 200 outstanding high school students who has been accepted into the Yale University Young Global Scholars Program.

The program was originally founded as a small pre-collegiate summer program thirteen years ago as the Ivy Scholars Program. According to the university, the name change from Ivy Scholars to Young Global Scholars reflects the program’s continuing mission to educate increasing numbers of international students and to expose students from the United States and abroad to global issues, international affairs, American government in comparative perspective, and policy leadership.

The program currently runs three different sessions during the summer: Science, Policy, and Innovation; Politics, Law, and Economics; and Studies in Grand Strategy. The two-week program is highly selective, and Wiljeamps will attend the session on Politics, Law, and Economics.   He will be among a group of students representing over 100 different countries and all 50 U.S. states.

So impressed by his achievements, the Global Scholars Selection Committee offered him a full tuition scholarship to attend the program, including instruction, room and board.

A highly motivated and ambitious student, Wiljeamps aspires to attend Waseda University in Tokyo, Japan, after he graduates from high school next year.  He chose Waseda University so that he could become fully immersed in the Japanese culture that has intrigued him since elementary school.  He speaks six languages: French (his native language), Arabic, Creole, Chinese, English, conversational Japanese, and he is currently learning Spanish in his spare time.

Before he enrolled in Bard Early College High School, Wiljeamps attended Bragaw Avenue Elementary School and American History High School.  An unpublished author of short stories, Wiljeamps has a love of philosophy, poetry and abstract concepts.  He also has the mind of an inventor, seeking to create a world made simple through creative technological advances that he hopes to develop.

We congratulate and wish him continued success in both his current and future academic pursuits.


RU Ready For Work Continues Its Tradition Of Success With The Graduating Class Of 2014

(NEWARK, NJ, July 11, 2014) – RU Ready’s graduating class of 2014 continued a longstanding tradition of academic excellence and post-secondary placement.  This year, all 20 graduating seniors were admitted into a college or university.  Of these, 8 will matriculate at Rutgers University-Newark in fall 2014. The remaining students accepted invitations from New Jersey-based institutions including Fairleigh Dickinson University, Kean University, and Ramapo College, as well as Mercy College in New York and Lawrence University in Wisconsin.

Historically, a significant percentage of RU Ready for Work participants received top honors in their graduating classes.  This year was no exception.  The graduating class of 2014 boasts two valedictorians (Bard Early College High School and West Side High School) and a salutatorian (West Side High School) as well as several individuals who graduated in the top ten percent of their class.  This marks the second time in its six-year history that a RU Ready for Work student ranked at the top of the West Side High School graduating class. The 2012 class valedictorian was also a program participant.

RU Ready for Work is a school-based youth development demonstration program model created and administered by the Office of University-Community Partnerships (OUCP). RU Ready for Work fosters the development of skills that prepare Newark youth to compete successfully for high demand positions in today’s workforce.

RU Ready for Work features two primary components. The after school component, which is implemented during the academic year, is designed to facilitate improved academic achievement while providing students with self- and career exploration opportunities. Together with individual guidance and counseling, these elements enhance students’ abilities to identify, chart, and implement their career goals.

The RU Ready for Work summer component provides participants with work internships that enable them to simultaneously apply their work readiness skills and enhance their job/career preparation. In addition, the program introduces students to a broad range of social, cultural, and interpersonal enrichment opportunities to enhance their development and to spark their interest, curiosity, and participation in their own community and the world beyond.

College bound and bound to succeed

RU Ready for Work provides a broad range of academic, professional, and personal development support services to all program participants throughout the academic year.  One of the hallmarks of the RU Ready for Work program is a specialized college and career planning component for high school seniors that shepherds students through college selection and application processes. Seniors meet with RU Ready professional staff at Rutgers University-Newark regularly where they receive personalized assistance with completing personal statements and other college application materials. They also learn the finer points of financial aid planning including FAFSA application completion and competing for scholarships.

Michael Dillard, RUR Team Member and Coordinator for Public Service Track, gives a “thumb up” as he shares with RU Ready worksite mentors the good news about the program’s 100% college matriculation rate for class of 2014 RU Ready high school graduates. 

Participants also meet with representatives from Rutgers University’s Office of Admissions, Educational Opportunity Fund, and Office of Financial Aid to deepen their understanding of post-secondary student support program opportunities. Meeting with these Rutgers professionals helps the seniors navigate college application and admissions processes while gaining appreciation for opportunities at Rutgers University-Newark.

While navigating their post-graduate planning, seniors continue receiving academic, professional, and personal enrichment opportunities offered through the program.  With their post-secondary plans completed, seniors are assigned to an internship site. Internships allow the seniors to hone skills developed through the program and to build their social capital by working with key leaders in various capacities. The internships provide students with an opportunity to gain hands-on professional experience that will help them as they enter college and the workforce.