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May 15, 2019

Six St. Francis College Students Awarded Scholarships at Annual Project Access Dinner

St. Francis College students at a dinner and awards ceremony on April 24th, 2019.

Six exemplary St. Francis College students each received $6,000 scholarships at a dinner and awards ceremony on April 24th that commemorated the completion of this year's Project Access program.

Project Access is designed for first-year students who need to improve their writing, reading and critical thinking skills to ensure their academic success at St. Francis College. Participating students complete a supplemental writing course, take part in workshops and receive individual tutoring and mentoring.

In the 2018-19 academic year, St. Francis College enrolled thirty-five students in Project Access. The six scholarship recipients, selected for their extraordinary commitment to the program, are:

  • Simeon Alabi
  • Saron Berehe
  • Julian Laboriel
  • Amelissa Louissaint
  • Marjona Mardonova
  • Sevda Musayeva

"We always want to laud students' completion of Project Access as their first year at St. Francis comes to a close," said Justine Butler, St. Francis College's Director of Academic Enhancement and head of Project Access.

"They don't have to wait four years for their hard work and dedication to be recognized."

Since starting the program in 2003, St. Francis has identified a cohort of incoming first-year students each year to take part in Project Access, based on their scores on college placement exams. Students start with a multi-week intensive summer bridge session to transition academically from high school to college. They go on to take the program's cornerstone reading and writing class in the fall and receive other support over two semesters.

Project Access grants some students who complete the program scholarships to help pay for their next three years of college.

"Project Access helped me with workshops about grammar, mental health, studying tips, and provided me the benefits of The Enhancement Center," said Julian Laboriel, one of this year's Project Access scholarship recipients. "This program is great because it helps students who suffer with the transition of high school to college get more academic help and advice in Project Access meetings and from their Freshman Seminar advisor. On top of that they give free pizzas and beverages at most of their meetings. Project Access helped me a lot and will help future SFC students in need of more academic guidance like me."

"By being a member in Project Access Program, I gain more knowledge and confidence in order to be a successful student in St. Francis College," added scholarship recipient Marjona Mardonova. "Professors from Project Access always supported me from the beginning and I am very thankful to them. Project Access Programs provides additional support to students who can feel confused or lost in their first year of college, but with help from the program, I believe that students will be successful."

Project Access is funded by a grant from National Grid Foundation and through additional support from Northfield Bank Foundation.

About St. Francis College's Project Access

St. Francis College, in accordance with its history and its mission recognizes potential as much as accomplishment. The goal of Project Access is to help students realize their potential by further developing competencies in reading, writing, and critical thinking in order to thrive in the college community. The program goal is to provide greater outreach and support for students who have a history of underperforming in academic situations. We seek to carry out the college's desire to answer the call of St. Francis of Assisi by helping our students achieve academic excellence, learn to engage with the college community and the world around them, to experience a sense of fellowship with their classmates, and to develop themselves holistically.

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