The children of Camden live “at risk” at all stages of their development. Family struggles, the challenge of drugs and gangs, and the overall poverty of the city challenge the opportunities to rise above. A good education is one antidote to falling victim to these risks. No age is more vulnerable than that of high school.
What Is The Program?
The Community Scholarship Program each year offers students from the Catholic elementary schools of the city a $2,500 grant to attend Camden Catholic High School. Students from the six Heal Camden Schools are eligible to apply for the program scholarships. Up to 20 scholarship recipients are then chosen based on their ability and desire to succeed at the next level. Once accepted into the program, the grants are repeated each year provided the student lives up to his/her potential academically and behaviorally while at Camden Catholic High School. Scholars work closely with Barbara Cortez of the school’s guidance department. Mrs. Cortez meets regularly with the Scholars and monitors their academic progress.
How Does it Work?
The program includes an assignment of adult mentors from the South Jersey area for each Community Scholar. Our mentors are chosen to help Scholars navigate the educational waters of high school. The Program plans regular gatherings between scholars and mentors throughout the academic year. The Community Scholarship Program also works hand in hand with parents and parish leaders to make sure the families understand all of the requirements each student has to meet.
Throughout the Scholars career at Camden Catholic, we work with Mrs. Cortez to provide outside opportunities for the students. It is expectation that our students will continue their education in college or other post-secondary opportunities. To accomplish this, the Program takes Scholars on college visits to surrounding institutions. Past visits have included St. Joseph’s University and Rutgers Campus in Camden. Furthermore, students are required to attend SAT Preparation classes that are provided at CCHS.
Our program is made possible with the support of Jack and Pat Parker (Parker Foundation), Bill and Phyllis Shantz, and John Langan and Judith Nabell of Townsend Press.