PATERSON, NJ- June started off with a bang for Paterson high school students! On Saturday, June 2, NJCDC and Paterson Public Schools held the Fourth Annual Senior Sendoff at The Brownstone. The event celebrated the 370+ seniors from Paterson Public Schools who will attend four-year colleges this upcoming fall, and awarded them with nearly $20,000 in scholarships. The majority of the students honored will be first-generation college students in just a few short months.
In a city where only 10% of adults 25 and older have a bachelor's degree, going to a four-year college is noteworthy. During the Senior Sendoff, these accomplished students were not only awarded scholarships, but were also reminded that they have the support and admiration of Paterson Public Schools and NJCDC, as well as our donors and friends.
The Senior Sendoff was also a great opportunity to provide inspiration to younger Paterson high school students, many of whom were among the nearly 200 youth in attendance. The event further instilled in them the belief that they can--and will--attend and graduate from college. Guests were inspired by speakers that included Mayor-Elect Andre Sayegh, Paterson Public Schools Board of Education President Oshin Castillo, and Superintendent Eileen Shafer.
The highlight of the event was the presentation of nearly $20,000 in cash scholarships to 40 students, in amounts ranging from $250 to $1,000. The scholarship winners were accepted by the following four-year colleges and universities that include Berkeley College, Fairleigh Dickinson University, Montclair State University, Rutgers University, Seton Hall University, Emory University, and William Paterson University.
Funding for the event is raised by NJCDC through its network of friends and supporters. This year's donors included corporations such as ADP, Railroad Construction, TD Bank, Sterling Bank, Accurate Box Company, Ace Reprographics, Pike Construction, Dewberry Engineers, Bogue Systems, Langan, and SAX.
Individual donors included Abdul Hamden, Idida Rodriguez, Stewart Stimson & Yunior Caballero, Dr. Chris Irving, Ben Horten, Brendan Gill, Bob Guarasci, and Dr. Mannan Razzak, as well as NJCDC Board members Bob Daleo, Noreen Giblin, Christina Braden Moore, David Berninger, Martin Vergara and Don Buckley.
A number of elected and other officials also contributed, including Mayor-Elect Andre Sayegh, Senator Nellie Pou, Assemblyman Benjie Wimberly, Assemblywoman Shavonda Sumter, Mayor Jane Williams Warren, Sheriff Richard Berdnik, Freeholder Assad Akhter, Superintendent Eileen Shafer, Deputy Superintendent Susana Peron, Councilwomen Martiza Davila and Ruby Cotton and Commissioner Manny Martinez.
The Fourth Annual Senior Sendoff proved to be a day to remember for all, but especially for the scholarship recipients. Randy Roque, a JFK senior who will be attending Rutgers University, said, "NJCDC has helped me get one step closer to reaching my college dreams! I can never thank them enough for providing me with a scholarship. I hope to someday return the favor and help the next generation of students!" Fellow JFK senior Amel Hassan, who will be attending Emory University and received a transfer option from Cornell University, said, "I will never forget the kindness shown to me by NJCDC. This scholarship will help me get a college degree so I can someday help the community!"
This story is shared with permission from NJCDC