First President's Challenge Scholarship Recipient Begins Classes at SUNY Ulster

Oct

09

First President's Challenge Scholarship Recipient Begins Classes at SUNY Ulster

Scholarship Awarded to Select Eighth Grade, First Generation, College-Bound County Students

First President’s Challenge Scholarship Recipient Begins Classes at SUNY Ulster

Scholarship Awarded to Select Eighth Grade, First Generation, College-Bound County Students

 

October 9, 2019 – Stone Ridge, NY – Abigail DeGraw, the first of one hundred students currently part of the SUNY Ulster President’s Challenge Scholarship (PCS) program, has started taking classes at SUNY Ulster for the fall 2019 semester. Abigail is an early graduate of Rondout Valley High School who was among the first recipients selected for the PCS in 2016. The PCS is a full scholarship awarded to eighth grade students in Ulster County who meet specific criteria.

 

Abigail intends to achieve an Associate’s degree in Science while at SUNY Ulster and hopes to transfer after graduation to get certificates in radiology and sonography. She was awarded the President’s Challenge Scholarship in 2016 along with five other students in the PCS pilot group from the Rondout Valley Central School District. She is being sponsored by the Dominic J. Giamei Jr. Memorial Fund.

 

Abigail says, “My experience with the President’s Challenge Scholarship has been good. I have always felt welcome and happy while at SUNY Ulster!”

 

The President’s Challenge Scholarship is offered to eighth grade students who fit the following requirements:

  • First generation college bound students
  • 80% cumulative GPA in grade 8
  • 75% cumulative GPA in four core classes (English, Math, Science and Social Studies) through mid-April, and 85% or higher attendance in school
  • Minimal disciplinary infractions
  • Preference given to students with economic need

 

Recipients are accepted upon completion of an application, essay, interview, and selection by a committee. Guidance counseling and mentoring services are provided by the sponsoring school throughout high school to better prepare the student for a two-year college education and entrance to SUNY Ulster. Upon successful graduation from high school, recipients are offered the opportunity to attend SUNY Ulster tuition-free for two years. The PCS is administered and sponsored through the Ulster Community College Foundation, Inc. and is in honor of President Emeritus Robert T. Brown.

 

Today, the Ulster Community College Foundation, Inc. celebrates the growth of the President’s Challenge Scholarship Program from six students in 2016 to 100 in 2019. This year, the Foundation will look to attract donors to the program who will support fifty 8th grade students from each of the nine school districts in Ulster County. Each year thereafter, a new class of fifty students will be accepted into the PCS program. The Foundation is also excited to host these students on the SUNY Ulster campus throughout high school. On October 1, close to 100 high school students came to SUNY Ulster from all nine school districts for the first campus visit of 2019-2020.

 

Dr. Alan Roberts, President of SUNY Ulster, says, "This initiative helps us break the cycle of poverty by making higher education a reality for students in our county who might not otherwise pursue a college education. Motivating students to think about their future educational plans while they are in eighth grade is just the beginning. The lives of the students who participate in this program will be changed forever.”

 

For more information on the President’s Challenge Scholarship, visit https://www.sunyulster.edu/foundation/presidentschallenge/sponsorship_grid.php, or contact Nancy Clarke by email at clarken@sunyulster.edu or by phone at (845) 688-1927.

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