There are many things that I have learned about in the course of this wonderful program called E.M.P.O.W.E.R. Among these things is respecting each other, helping each other when we need it but most of all, not to give up on your dreams. You see when I first came here two years ago, I thought “oh, it’s just going to be another program without results. I will stop going in three days” but something about it made me stay. Perhaps it was because in some way I found some sort of family. When I met every senior and I was a sophomore, I felt wanted. Everyone was nice and treated me as an equal. You see at first, I thought it would all just be academically based but then I saw that over the course of the year it was more than that and we bonded and this was shown at the end when everyone had a hard time saying goodbye. So I learned more than just academic material but also to value the true meaning of friends and maybe one day we’ll see each other again.
– Written by Luis H. NBHS Senior, December 2016 EMPOWER Participant
E.M.P.O.W.E.R. is not just a college program that looks good on your resume. It is more than that, this a place where we receive opportunities and experience that we cannot get anywhere else. The mentors and the staff are people that you won’t forget because it is who you know not what you know that gets you into places. That is something that I learned here and that me and my peers will never forget. This is my first year in E.M.P.O.W.E.R.program and being part of this team has shaped my senior year as I get ready for college. Ms.Damaris and the mentors have helped me get ready for the real world. With the educational lessons, to the networking opportunities it has been the best and there more to follow.
– Written by Brandy R. NBHS Senior, December 2016 EMPOWER Participant
Before E.M.P.O.W.E.R., I would procrastinate doing my homework or major project until the last minute, but now I don’t procrastinate. Instead, I complete my work early so then I could have time to do something I enjoy. I am not really a person who likes to ask for help but the volunteers from E.M.P.O.W.E.R. are all so friendly and helpful and they encourage me to do the best that I can. I feel so welcome and comfortable at E.M.P.O.W.E.R. The other students at E.M.P.O.W.E.R. are also great and brilliant people. I may not know them as well but they seem like lovely people and I could make some really great friends by the end of year.
– Written by Lydia’s F. Central Jersey College Prep. Senior, December 2016 EMPOWER Participant
The EMPOWER program is designed to help mentor and train rising college students in order to ensure their successful transition into a college environment, but its effects go far beyond this. The EMPOWER program provides (students) with a foundation as to what to expect in a real world setting. The skills acquired through the program may be applied to more than one aspect of daily life, and help to improve the way in which one relates and collaborates with others…upon walking through the door on the first day, one immediately becomes captivated by the cheerful and encouraging atmosphere. Everyone in the program sees and treats the rest as though they were family and not as simply being fellow members. A sense of care and dedication to accomplish and do more is irrefutably visible to anyone, even if they are not already acquainted with the purpose of the program. This type of environment allows for anyone to feel comfortable and to easily establish connections with the rest, thus allowing the need in one to achieve more while also motivating and inspiring fellow peers to strive for more.
– Written by Maria Dominguez, 2011-2013 EMPOWER Participant
The program has helped me network and be more outspoken. It has given the opportunity to give back to the community while having fun. Additionally, it has given me the opportunity to take a college class which has given me a new perspective.
– Written by Nadia Hercules, 2011-2014 EMPOWER Participant
E.M.P.O.W.E.R is not only about getting you ready for college; it also is an opportunity for you to help our community become a better place. Community service is a big part of E.M.P.O.W.E.R because the president of the program, Ms. Evelyn Rosa, loves to help people. For us high school students, we can get scholarships for doing community service. Not only that, but when you apply for a job, you can show that you like to volunteer and work well with others. Also, you can say that you have experience with working with kids, elders or just people. Doing community service can also be a lot of fun!
– Written by Humberto Rivera, 2012-2014 EMPOWER Participant
Being involved in the EMPOWER program at Middlesex County College this year has been amazing. Coming to EMPOWER as a new student, I was warmly welcomed by director Evelyn Rosa and the mentors. It was a way to tell myself that this school year was going to be great. As a senior, I had to stay focused and on top of all my classes in order to graduate because as graduation gets closer, the classes become more challenging. The mentors from EMPOWER helped me academically by tutoring me in my two AP classes and the honor classes as well. They also gave me guidance when I applied for colleges and scholarships. EMPOWER introduced us to many workshops like Domestic Violence, Healthy Relationships and Identity Theft. All the students participating in EMPOWER have many opportunities from volunteering in informative workshops to helpful activities.
– Written by Cristie Santiago, 2011-2013 EMPOWER Participant
When I started here at EMPOWER, I realized that I was accountable for making a big change in a scholar’s life. It is very important for every mentor to be mindful of the person that they are mentoring and to set a positive example before them. EMPOWER, has helped me to move beyond barriers that I deemed would be a challenge. I have learned a valuable skill, and will continue to grow more diverse, while giving sound advice and guidance to a generation that will one day be doing the same as I; “Giving back to their community “. Working with the scholars in EMPOWER has given me a fresh perspective on what I am capable of achieving. In less than a month I will be graduating from Rutgers University. Unfortunately, I may not see these amazing scholars again. However, I hope and pray that I have left my mark or a legacy that has a lasting impact which will encourage them to carry on the mission of mentoring, leadership and caring for others.
– Written By Donna Jones, 2012-2013 EMPOWER Mentor