NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ - Plainfield Public Schools Community Engagement Liaison Gloria Montealegre was awarded the Community Partner Award by Rutgers University Upward Bound and Upward Bound Math-Sciences Pre-College Programs in New Brunswick on Wednesday, June 5.

The presentation was made by Jackasha Wiley, Director of the Upward Bound and Pre-College Initiatives, during a reception to celebrate the Upward Bound graduation that included 22 Class of 2019 Plainfield Public High School students.

“Our Community Partner Award highlights the contributions of people who have supported our program and continue to support us to help us meet our mission and objectives,” said Ms. Wiley. “For the past four years Ms. Montealegre, as Community Liaison for Plainfield Schools, has assisted us in recruitment and has supported our access week during Read to the Youth Literacy Campaign, to make sure our TRIO Programs (literacy program) take place at seven to 10 schools in the district. She helps make things happen for us.”

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Wiley added, “This is a small token of our appreciation. Your hard work and commitment to Plainfield Public Schools does not go unnoticed.”

At a Board of Education meeting in March, Principal Kevin Stansbury introduced Maxson Middle School students who were accepted into the program, and will stay in it throughout high school.  "We're very proud of these young people, and to their parents who came with them, I want to thank you.  This is the face of Maxson Middle School, these young people here." 

The board's student liaison, Ajaleen Frazier, a 12th grader at PAAAS, congratulated the students at that meeting.  "I'm actually a part of the Upward Bound program and I'm graduating from it this year, so unfortunately, I'm not going to be there with you guys." 

She added, "I just want to let you guys know that this program is very beneficial to the community and to you guys yourself.  I took that program very seriously."  Frazier told the students she applied to Rutgers, and thanks to Upward Bound, she learned about FAFSA®, or Free Application for Federal Student Aid, grants, and subsidized loans.

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