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September 30, 2014

Giving College Students the Extra Help They Need to Succeed

National Grid Foundation Teams With Project Access

With a $15,000 grant, the National Grid Foundation is showing its support for the College’s Project Access Program, an initiative at St. Francis College that provides extra tutoring, mentoring, and monitoring for students who may not be entirely ready for the college experience.

“National Grid Foundation believes in the value of education and the power that education has in transforming lives,” said Albert Wiltshire, Vice Chairman of the National Grid Foundation at an event on September 15 held to welcome the new class of students to the fall semester.

(Watch the National Grid Foundation Event)

The funds from the Foundation will be used to increase the amount of Math, English, and Liberal Arts tutoring offered through the program, which is housed in the College’s Academic Enhancement Center.

“Students who come through the Project Access program have the opportunity to realize their dreams and fulfill their promise,” said Stefan Spezio, Director of the College’s Academic Enhancement Center. Spezio added that recognizing the true potential within the Access students is the cornerstone of the program.

national grid foundation project access

Over the past 10 years more than 1,100 students have been helped by Project Access, including many who attended the event.

Phoebe Lee ’15 quickly rose through the academic ranks at St. Francis and is working as an intern while completing the College’s five-year Bachelor’s and Master’s degree program in Accounting. She told the incoming freshmen “Do not be afraid to step out of your comfort zone because college is about adventures. It is about learning new knowledge and experience new challenges. You’re going on this ride with many ups and downs along the way. But it’s worth it at the end because you’re going to see a lot of opportunities coming up for you.” Lee hopes her next opportunity is to work at a “big 4” accounting firm.

Frank Randall ‘15 attended the Project Access Program during his freshman year and credits it with helping him achieve a 3.8 GPA and a spot in the Duns Scotus Honor Society. Randall interned for Assemblywoman Nicole Malliotakis where was able to help those affected by Hurricane Sandy and spent a summer interning at the International Center for Terrorism Studies in Washington D.C. where he worked on an article about the crisis in Ukraine. He plans to attend law school and become an Assistant District Attorney. “All of this would not be possible without the help of the Project Access Program instructors and tutors who, with kindness, expertise, and patience, allowed me to succeed.”

Anthony Carucci ’13 graduated from St. Francis with a degree in Physical Education. He enrolled in Project Access upon his arrival as a freshman. He is currently a personal trainer and works with clients at gyms throughout the city including Harbor Fitness and Equinox. In addition to his work, Anthony is continuing his academic career at Brooklyn College where he is pursuing a Master’s Degree in Exercise Science. With his experience and academic credentials, Anthony hopes to become a strength and conditioning coach at either the collegiate or professional level.

About National Grid Foundation: The National Grid Foundation was created to enhance the quality of life across its grant making territory. The Foundation’s ongoing challenge is to create opportunities for solutions to educational and environmental issues. Its objective is based on the principle that giving people the tools to build hope is an essential ingredient in the development of individuals, families and communities. Since its inception in December of 1998, the Foundation has provided more than $18 million in grants to hundreds of organizations.

Attached photo: Project Access students Anthony Carucci ’13, Frank Randall ’15, Phoebe Lee ’15, Sara Yellen ’15, and Bálint T?th ’15 with Vice-Chairman of the National Grid Foundation Albert Wiltshire ‘78.

St. Francis College, founded in 1859 by the Franciscan Brothers of Brooklyn, is located in Brooklyn Heights, N.Y. Since its founding, the College has pursued its Franciscan mission to provide an affordable, high-quality education to students from New York City’s five boroughs and beyond.


St. Francis College, 180 Remsen Street, Brooklyn Heights, NY 11201

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