SJC Partners with Project GRAD for Summer Program

July 28, 2014

PATCHOGUE, N.Y. – JULY 28, 2014 – St. Joseph’s College (SJC) hosted a summer program for Project GRAD Long Island, a nonprofit organization that aims to help underprivileged students succeed in college. During the month of July, 30 students from Patchogue-Medford, Riverhead, Longwood, Ronkonkoma and Mount Sinai School districts attended classes on SJC’s Long Island Campus in Patchogue, New York.

“The summer program at SJC was a core element of  Project GRAD because it created an opportunity for students—the great majority of whom will be first-generation college students—to pursue academically challenging studies on a college campus,” said Gail Lamberta, Ph.D., associate dean of SJC’s Long Island Campus. “The theme of this interdisciplinary, project-oriented program encompassed environmental sustainability, environmental studies, English, journalism and new media studies.”

Over the course of three and a half weeks, the students worked in small teams to design their own projects and present research, while SJC faculty members served as instructors and SJC students assisted as peer mentors. 

“Watching these students grow during the short duration of the program has been very rewarding,” said Jennifer Joniak ’15, Project GRAD mentor and speech pathology major on SJC’s Long Island Campus. “The students had so much energy and enthusiasm for learning, and this has been such a positive experience for all of us. The skills they have learned are invaluable and I believe that they will be able to use them throughout the rest of their lives.”

With the support of organizations and individuals throughout the community, Project GRAD creates a rigorous college-bound culture by raising the bar for achievement and offering summer institutes on local college campuses, connecting students to successful mentors and preparing them to enter and succeed in college.