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College 101 Gives Teens from Tough Places Tools They Can Use

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They do it to expose teenagers from economically challenged backgrounds and “at risk” environments to a college campus. They do it because others once did it for them. And they do it to give back to the university that they love.

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Students, teachers and counselors of the School of Public Service in Brooklyn gather at entrance to the Charles B. Wang Center. (Photo by Jarvis Watson)

They are the members and former members of the Student African American Brotherhood (SAAB) who served as Stony Brook’s hosts for 31 students who came to campus from the High School of Public Service in Brooklyn, New York, to learn about the variety of ways to make their college education a reality.

This marks the tenth year that “College 101, A Day At Stony Brook” offered a full schedule of events, workshops, and networking opportunities designed to afford these students a new outlook on their future.

The event is a program coordinated by The Association for the Social Advancement of People (ASAP), a non-profit organization whose focus it is to teach financial literacy and social responsibility to high school students, particularly males, who reside in financially underprivileged communities.

SAAB Community Service Chair Daniel Verdejo worked with ASAP leaders Mandel Julien, Brikener Jean-Gilles and Harold Dangervil in coordinating the event. A student panel made up of campus leaders from SAAB, the EOP Student Association and Sigma Lambda Upsilon Sorority shared tips on how to prepare for the college application process, how to balance academic and social responsibilities, and how to choose a major that matches their passion and goals.

The majority of the College 101 program took place at the Charles B. Wang Building where the students enjoyed breakfast and listened to a guest speaker before splitting up into two groups and taking turns attending information sessions led by Financial Aid and EOP/Admissions.

After lunch it was time to stroll down the Academic Mall and visit the Campus Recreational Center where the students got a glimpse of Stony Brook’s student body enjoying the benefits of Campus Lifetime.

Later, Stony Brook Dean of Students Tim Ecklund spoke to the students.

Other groups and organizations that participated in the event by giving campus tours, a historical and cultural information session and serving lunch included Delta Sigma Phi Fraternity, Lambda Theta Alpha Sorority, MALIK Fraternity, Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, Phi Delta Sigma Fraternity, Sigma Iota Alpha Sorority and Sigma Lambda Upsilon.

“Inner-city kids have a difficult transition to college, especially if their individual educational experience attending a city school does not prepare them for it,” said junior Randy Ferguson, a Stony Brook economics major. “So that’s where we students step in and become the bridge to help those kids out.

“I wasn’t exposed to Stony Brook early on like this group was at College 101 and am fortunate I found out about this school, which I did at an event called Male Recruitment Weekend, led by Dr. Jarvis Watson. So it meant a lot to me to give back to these students and let them know there is a fine institution right in their backyard that can meet their needs,” Ferguson said.

  —Glenn Jochum; Photo by Jarvis Watson

 

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