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Camp College opens the door to higher ed for first-generation students

posted Jul 17, 2015, 10:43 AM by Doreen Dedrick   [ updated Aug 27, 2015, 7:48 AM ]
[July 17, 2015] Seven Suffern High School juniors and seniors attended Camp College, an all-expenses paid weekend program hosted by Siena College and the New York State Association for College Admission Counseling on July 10-12. Transportation to and from the event was funded through a grant from Capital One.

Camp College participation is a component of the broader collaboration among Suffern High School guidance, ESL and AVID faculty members to prepare low income and first generation students for college success.

To be eligible for consideration, students are required to submit an essay and interview with Suffern High School ESL teacher and ASPIRA advisor Rob Mariani, guidance counselor Marissa Guijarro and science and AVID teacher Colleen Stritmater. Participants were selected based on grade point average, leadership potential and first generation status (i.e., the first in their family to go to college).

Stritmater led this year's Suffern High School delegation.

"Volunteering my time over the summer to mentor these students is as much of a learning experience for me as it is them. In 48 hours, our students have the opportunity to meet new people, experience dorm life, attend college classes and go to workshops on topics such as Finding the Right Fit, Financial Aid and Essay Writing. Finally, they attend a college fair where many of the college admission counselors serve as camp mentors. How many other students have this opportunity?" she said. "For me, I get to network with professionals in the college admissions field, which opens doors for all of my Suffern High School students, not just the ones attending camp. The mentor family extends across the state, and together we are opening the doors to the youth of New York State."

Photo caption: A group of students from Suffern High School toured the Siena College campus as part of the 2015 Camp College, co-hosted by Siena and NYSACAC.