Gateway to College at Camden County College is a scholarship program for the students of the Camden City School district, ages 16-20, who have either left school or are behind in credits for their age and grade level, but have a desire to get back on track and earn a diploma and more. What makes Gateway to College truly unique is that our students will not only have a second chance to earn a high school diploma, but Gateway participants will also be earning college credits towards an associate's degree or certificate.
It's all about education. In today's global economy, more than 80 percent of the fastest growing jobs will require education or training beyond high school. Additionally, adults without a high school diploma are twice as likely to be unemployed. Therefore, without a high school diploma, your options are limited.
What makes Gateway to College truly unique is its focus on wrap-around student support services. Resource Specialists, much like school guidance counselors or advisors, are always there to help. They are there to help students during difficult times, to assist them during difficult times, and to help them plan for the future. Furthermore, they provide academic and transcript reviews, and provide direct access to school and community resources.
For many at-risk youth, completing school can be difficult due to all the challenges they face in life. Gateway to College helps students with these challenges so that they may focus on school. Issues like housing, transportation, childcare, and much more can be resolved with the access to resources that Gateway to College provides.
Gateway to College at Camden County College is an educational alternative for out-of-school youth who may not have had success in other learning environments. We are looking for students who have the desire and determination to learn, work hard and earn a high school diploma and a college degree.
Kyeisha Grant was part of the Camden County College Gateway to College's very fist semester. She started during the fall 2011 semester at age 18. When she first joined our program, she was not far from graduation; she had 111 credits. Unfortunitely, traditional high school did not work for her. Kyeisha gave birth to her daughter and although she was close to graduation, it became too difficult to juggle school with being a new mother. She had no support system in or out of school.
Her turning point was when she heard of the Gateway to College program. Kyeisha knew that this would be the program for her because it would allow her to be more independent, to successfully balance going to school with motherhood.
"Gateway to College made a difference for me because it taught me to surround myself with the right people. Here, there are students that have the same goals. They can help me be successful since we are trying to achieve the same thing."
What makes Kyeisha's story so compelling is that the beginning is not uncommon; too often young girls become pregnant and their education is pushed to the backburner. Kyeisha, however, was determined to do whatever it took to get her high school diploma and go on to college. She wants to make her daughter proud.
Kyeisha was one of the first students to graduate from our program. She graduated in June 2012 with a GPA of 3.19; she earned 32.5 high school and 18.5 college credits during her short time here. She is now enrolled as a college student at Camden County College. She plans on becoming a math teacher.
"Gateway changed the way I viewed myself and my future because I would want to give up, but this program gave me the extra push and confidence I needed to go on. It helped me see that there are others with problems, some just like me, but they can be successful, so there is a chance that I can too."