top of page
Fostering Student Success: NJCDC Brings 60+ Paterson Youth to Passaic County College Fair

Fostering Student Success: NJCDC Brings 60+ Paterson Youth to Passaic County College Fair

September 25, 2023

College readiness is at the core of NJCDC's work to create opportunities to transform the lives of more than 4,000 children and families each day. Throughout the year, we run more than 20 youth development programs preparing Paterson's youth for success. Our diverse array of youth development programs includes college readiness initiatives that introduce students to campus visits, help them choose majors, guide their course selections, provide workshops for navigating the application process, and assist in securing financial aid. One of our annual highlights is the Ivy League Tour, which allows 30 high school students to explore prestigious institutions like Harvard, Yale, MIT, and Brown. Additionally, our College Sendoff event awards thousands of dollars in scholarships to Paterson youth embarking on their college journeys. Beyond our programs, we also ensure our students access other invaluable college-readiness resources within the community.

On Monday, September 18, we brought over 60 students to attend the Passaic County College Fair held at William Paterson University. These students were looking to explore the diverse higher learning programs represented at the event and to obtain vital information on the uniquely challenging transition process from high school to college. Buses departed from International High School — where NJCDC operates a comprehensive Teen Center — and our Great Falls Youth Center to ensure the event was accessible to as many of our students as possible. Our efforts were successful in not only providing students with a reliable method of travel, but also in creating a space conducive towards discussing plans for their futures with their peers, allowing them to trade notes on which academic establishments and programs best met their needs and piqued their interests.

The fair featured more than 200 colleges and universities that provided attendees with a wealth of knowledge on higher education programs across a range of subjects, as well as key details on each college's admissions processes and scholarship opportunities that students are often unaware of. Additionally, attendees walked away with a few fun swag items to commemorate the night! Thanks to this event, students in our youth development programs — many of whom will be the first in their families to attend college — learned about unique opportunities to attend programs that may have been out of reach otherwise.

The Passaic County College Fair hosted representatives from many prestigious colleges, including several attended by recent NJCDC program alumni, such as Rutgers University - New Brunswick and Newark, Montclair State University, and William Paterson University itself. NJCDC's vision is that all 8,000 children living or going to school in Paterson's Great Falls Neighborhood will graduate from high school ready for college and a career. Events like this college fair are instrumental in our efforts by educating our youth about the opportunities available to them and furthering students' motivation to succeed in school. The students of today will be the future of our communities tomorrow, and we are proud to continue our role in fostering that future.

To see a fun video recap of our students at the fair, click here:

bottom of page