Reading, PA - February 10, 2020 – Afaf Maslah a student at Reading Area Community College, has been named a 20
Reading, PA - February 10, 2020 – Afaf Maslah a student at Reading Area Community College, has been named a 2020 New Century Workforce Scholar and will receive a $1,250 scholarship.
This scholarship is the first of its kind to support students at associate degree-granting institutions on a national scale as they plan to enter the workforce upon the completion of a degree or certificate. The program is sponsored by The Coca-Cola Foundation and Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society.
“We believe education holds an extraordinary promise to change lives,” said Helen Smith Price, President, The Coca-Cola Foundation. “We hope that providing these college scholarships to deserving students will enable them to realize their full and unique potential.”
New Century Workforce Scholars are selected based on their academic accomplishments, leadership, activities, and how they extend their intellectual talents beyond the classroom. Over 2,200 students were nominated from more than 1,200 college campuses across the country. Only one New Century Workforce Scholar was selected from each state.
“We congratulate Afaf Maslah for receiving this prestigious scholarship, and we are honored to partner with The Coca-Cola Foundation to recognize her outstanding achievements,” said Phi Theta Kappa’s President and CEO Dr. Lynn Tincher-Ladner. “Scholarship programs like this are integral for creating opportunities for students to succeed as they prepare to enter the workforce and for putting college completion within reach.”
The New Century Workforce Scholars will be recognized during the Association of Community College Trustees’ (ACCT) Congress in Chicago, Illinois, in October.
About The Coca-Cola Foundation
The Coca-Cola Foundation is the global philanthropic arm of The Coca-Cola Company. Since its inception in 1984, the Foundation has awarded more than $1 billion in grants to support sustainable community initiatives around the world. For more information, please visit The Coca-Cola Foundation.
About Phi Theta Kappa
Phi Theta Kappa is the premier honor society recognizing the academic achievement of students at associate degree-granting colleges and helping them to grow as scholars and leaders. The Society is made up of more than 3.5 million members and nearly 1,300 chapters in 11 nations, with approximately 240,000 active members in the nation’s colleges. Learn more
RACC Associate Professors Denise Strohmayr and Teri Floyd-Brumm Win League for Innovation in the Community College’s Innovation of the Year Award
Reading, Pa. (March 5, 2020) – Reading Area Community College’s college success strategies course is a general education requirement across all degree programs. Data indicated this course was a barrier for some students, and RACC faculty began to work on a solution to help those students. Through a renewed focus and complete overhaul, faculty increased student success rates by 20 percent over a two-year period for a course success rate of 81 percent.
The two RACC staff members winning the award for leading this turnaround are RACC Foundational Studies Associate Professors Denise Strohmayr and Teri Floyd-Brumm. The redesign of the program, titled College Success Strategies: From Barrier to Gateway, included a redesign of the entire college success strategies program, defining new, streamlined program competencies and objectives and developing the skills essential to good career and/or life decision making.
A recent graduate of the program says, “The things I learned in this program have been tremendous in helping me to better remember lectures, understand text and organize my train of thought. I have practiced active listening in personal situations as well. All of this has reduced my stress level and the results have been extremely positive in my life.”
“We have been receiving such amazing feedback from the students coming out of the redesigned program,” says Reading Area Community College President Dr. Susan Looney. “Students are seeing immediate benefits both academically and personally. From practicing active listening and applying note taking strategies to improving reading comprehension using SQ3R. Denise and Teri have done a phenomenal job with this program and are well-deserving of this national recognition.”
Strohmayr and Floyd-Brumm received the award during the 2020 Innovations Conference held March 1-4, at the Hyatt Regency Seattle in Seattle, Washington.
About the League for Innovation in the Community College. The League for Innovation in the Community College (League) is an international nonprofit organization with a mission to cultivate innovation in the community college environment. The League hosts conferences and institutes, develops print and digital resources, and leads projects and initiatives with almost 500 member colleges, strategic partners, and a host of other government and nonprofit agencies in a continuing effort to advance the community college field and make a positive difference for students and communities.
Caption. RACC award winners from left: Denise Strohmayr, associate professor, Cynthia Seaman, senior vice president of academic affairs/provost, and associate professor Teri Floyd-Brumm.
Wyomissing, Pa. (February 18, 2020) – Qualifying veterans, active duty reservists, or national guard members can now receive full academic scholarships to the Reading Area Community College for career or vocational training thanks to the generosity of Berks regional businesses who contributed to a new Military Assistance Fund. Up to $36,000 a year will be provided through an effort led by Customers Bank. The scholarships will be funded from donations collected at the annual veterans luncheon which Customers Bank has been the presenting sponsor of for the last six years, and last year featured General David Petraeus as a keynote speaker. Contributions will be managed by the Berks Community Foundation, with the scholarship program being administered by Reading Area Community College.
The scholarships provided through the Military Assistance Fund assist current or former members of the armed services, reserves or National Guard. While there is substantial scholarship assistance available to some of these service members, these benefits are limited by time, length and nature of service, among other factors. The purpose of this fund is to close any gaps in financial aid while providing Reading Area Community College with the maximum flexibility to meet the educational needs of military families. Scholarship awards will cover tuition and fees for full-time students and individuals enrolled less than full-time due to other work and family obligations. Interested applicants will need a DD Form 214 certifying an Honorable Discharge.
“These scholarships are made possible through the generosity of local businesses and organizations that sponsor the annual Veterans Day Event. The event raises funds to support organizations dedicated to serving the needs of Berks County veterans,” said Richard Ehst, President and Chief Executive Officer of Customers Bank. “These scholarships are another way for us to thank those individuals who have or who are continuing to serve our country and help them achieve their educational goals. Like so many of our Veterans Day Event sponsors, Customers Bank has always placed a high value on education and we are immensely proud to help facilitate this additional support for our veterans.”
Beginning in winter 2020, the scholarship fund will contribute up to $36,000 annually to create scholarships for veterans of the U.S. Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines and Coast Guard. Current and previous members of the U.S. Army National Guard, Army Reserve, Navy Reserve, Marine Corps Reserve, Air National Guard, Air Force Reserve or Coast Guard Reserve are also eligible to apply for the scholarships.
The scholarship fund was announced today and recognized at an event with speakers Dr. Susan Looney, RACC president; Richard Ehst, president and chief executive officer of Customers Bank; Joseph L. Hartz, president of UGI Energy Services, LLC; Eric Schippers, senior vice president, public affairs at Penn National Gaming, Inc. and Pat Shields, owner and chief executive officer of Fromuth Tennis.
“As a proud ambassador of RACC’s mission of student success and the enrichment of our community, I am thankful for the generosity of all of the sponsors of the annual Veterans Day Event, and especially for Customers Bank in providing the essential financial support to help our Berks County veterans attain a college education,” says Dr. Susan D. Looney, RACC president.
“Without the continued support from key sponsors at the annual Veterans Day Event, we would not be able to make these important scholarships available,” added Ehst. “We are fortunate to have such wonderful organizations and corporate leadership in the region that share our commitment to supporting Berks County veterans. We are grateful for the continued support of Boscov’s, East Penn, EnerSys, First Energy Foundation, Penn National Gaming Foundation, Penske, Reading Hospital, Shields Family, Ubiquity, UGI, UGI Energy Services and the many others that have contributed over the years.”
To learn more about the available scholarships, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org or call 610-607-6239.
Reading Area Community College is an accredited, comprehensive, open-enrollment education institution that provides associate degree, certificate and diploma programs; career-focused training; transitional coursework; skills training for business and industry; personal enrichment programs and public service activities. Sponsored by Berks County, the college provides affordable access to meet identified community educational needs.
Sen Judy Schwank receives thanks from Nurse Aide Training Program grant recipients during tour of United Community Services facility
Reading, PA - February 10, 2020 – PA Senator Judy Schwank and members of her staff visited the United Community Services for Working Families facility on Front Street in Reading today. In January of 2020, Senator Schwank awarded a $25,000 educational grant to support the United Community Services home care and nurse aide training program for its YouthBuild students and members of the Berks community.
With a start date of March 2020, students completing the six-week training program are prepared to take the National Nurse Aide Assessment Program (NNAAP) Exam. This course is offered free to eligible applicants, and will be held on the Reading Area Community College campus.
During the tour, Senator Schwank had the opportunity to meet with student grant recipients, who were excited to meet the Senator in person and express their gratitude for the funding, which enabled then to enroll in the home care and nurse aide training.
“It is a thrill to see the students whose lives will be positively impacted by these grants,” says Senator Schwank. “The careers in this field are becoming increasingly more in demand in Berks County, and it is important to work with United Community Services and their partners to graduate students from these training program that create a seamless pathway from training to employment.”
United Community Services Executive Director Ryan Bradley adds, “We are so grateful for the generous support of Senator Schwank and her staff in providing the much needed educational grant. The home care and nurse aide training program grant will have a direct impact on local families and will help us provide them with the support and hope they need to be successful.”
To find out if you qualify for this opportunity, or for more information, please call 484.755.5007 or 610.374.3319.
United Community Services is community-based 501(c)(3) nonprofit located in Reading, PA. We serve as the community/labor liaison to the United Way of Berks County connecting individuals and families to the many services provided by the 34 partner agencies of the United Way.
Reading Area Community College and Court Appointed Special Advocates of Berks County Implement Bridging Cultures Partnership
January 16, 2020 - Alexis Jardine of Reading Area Community College (RACC) partnered with leaders in the Readi
January 16, 2020 - Alexis Jardine of Reading Area Community College (RACC) partnered with leaders in the Reading Hispanic community to present a two-day workshop for Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) of Berks County. Entitled “Bridging Cultures” the weekend workshop conducted on January 11 and 12, 2020, was the result of the partnership between the two organizations to improve outreach to Hispanic children.
“This workshop really gave practical tools to take back and apply to our jobs.” said Janine Torres, CASA Volunteer Advocate, “Building bridges between cultures is key to helping people live together in unity.”
According to the Annie E Casey Foundation Kids Count Data Center, there is an average of 500 children in foster care in Berks County each month. Of those children approximately 46% are from Hispanic families. “Our volunteers are caring professionals from a variety of fields, but they have little knowledge of Hispanic family practices and values.” said Nancy McCullar, Executive Director CASA Berks County, “We looked at how to best meet the needs of the children we served. Instead of the slow process of recruiting bicultural volunteers one by one, it made more sense for all of our volunteer advocates to learn how to work with and advocate for Hispanic children in foster care. Alexis Jardine and RACC put together a workshop that exceeded our expectations.”
Speakers at the two-day workshop included Waldo Alvarado, Director of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Reading School District, Sheila Negron, Former Director of Migrant Head Start Berks County, Dr. Danelle Bower, faculty RACC, and Mike Toledo, Executive Director, Centro Hispano among others. Successful communication methods with Hispanic families, comparing family values, understanding the four essential F’s, and new ways to think about cultural inclusion were some of the many topics covered in the workshops.
Shari Wapinsky, school nurse in Fleetwood School District and a CASA volunteer advocate, summed up everyone’s opinion when she said, “This workshop was amazing. This would be a great asset to all school districts to learn how to deal with cultural diversity.” Brenda Druck, CASA Volunteer Coordinator added, “I feel so much more comfortable about my ability to interact with children and families of the Latino Community. Learning that we can respect both cultures and bridge our differences to navigate a child through the court system was eye-opening.”
Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) Berks is a non-profit organization that trains and supports volunteer citizens who advocate for children in foster care to ensure their well-being. More information on CASA is available at: casaberks.org
If your organization is interested in the Cultural Awareness and Diversity Training offered by Alexis Jardine of Reading Area Community College, please contact Mike Salute at 610.372.4721 ext. 5176.