Gateway to College Program Celebrates 100th Graduate Milestone, Receives Gift from PECO

Gateway to College Graduate - Spring 2017The award-winning Gateway to College program at Montgomery County Community College celebrated a significant milestone on Thursday, graduating its 100th student since the program started in 2013, and receiving some significant financial support from PECO.

Through Gateway to College, students who have dropped out of high school, or are significantly off track, complete their high school diplomas at college-based programs, such as the one at MCCC, while simultaneously earning college credits toward a post-secondary degree or certificate. Jack Wisniewski struggled with health problems throughout his high school year. His illnesses caused him to miss significant class time, and made it difficult for him to focus and concentrate when he was in school. As a result, he became disengaged from high school, until he found out about the Gateway to College program at MCCC. Now a graduate of the program, he is enrolling at Millersville University in the fall as a media broadcast major.

“We are very lucky to have this program,” said Wisniewski, who served as the student speaker for the ceremony. “None of this would be possible without this dedicated staff.”

During the ceremony, Ron Bradley, vice president for gas at PECO, presented Gateway to College Program Director Keima Sheriff with a check for $10,000 to support the program for the next academic year. Since Gateway to College started, PECO has provided $65,000 in funding for the program.

“I truly believe this program enables encouragement and hope,” Bradley said. “We are honored to support this program.”

gtc-s17-sIn March, the College was informed that the Gateway to College program was one of only eight programs nationwide to receive the Excellence Award from the Gateway to College National Network. The Network includes more than 40 programs at community colleges throughout the country.

Emily Froimson, president of the Gateway to College National Network, was on hand to present the graduation address.

“I can tell there is a tremendous amount of love, dedication and support in this program, and that’s what makes this program work,” Froimson said.

A total of 23 students graduated from the Gateway to College program during the ceremony, bringing the total number of graduates since the program started to 106. They include:

  • Tamyia Day
  • Jasmine Dupree
  • Andre Fernandes
  • Jacob Garrett
  • Taylor Lynn Guinan
  • Logan Harrison
  • Imraan Ismail
  • Soloman Jackson
  • Corzah Jenkins
  • Chyanna Lagarreta
  • Jessica Lindsay
  • Leilani Lopes
  • Daniel Madonna
  • Erin Neely
  • Zachary O’Connor
  • Shawn Pape
  • Robin Polen
  • Omowumi Popoola
  • Paige Shawell
  • Alexa Spadafora
  • Benjamin White
  • Clarena Wilson
  • Jack Wisniewsk