Blue Bell/Pottstown, Pa. –Wells Fargo recently presented a $20,000 grant to Montgomery County Community College (MCCC) to provide financial assistance for students participating in the College’s Minority Student Mentoring Initiative (MSMI) to enable them to complete their programs of study and graduate.
Wells Fargo’s generous grant will provide scholarships to 10 students who participate in the MSMI program, have a proven financial need and are committed to graduate. In 2014, MCCC received the national Leah Meyer Austin Award by Achieving the Dream for its outstanding work in supporting student success, including improving the persistence rates for minority students through MSMI.
“In keeping with our mission, this grant will help to ensure the completion and success for some of our most at-risk students, who face numerous challenges because of their circumstances and other factors,” said College President Dr. Karen A. Stout. “We greatly appreciate the longstanding community partnership with Wells Fargo.”
“Wells Fargo believes everyone should have access to quality educational opportunities,” said Anthony Rosado, Wells Fargo’s area president for Montgomery County. “We are pleased to provide the support that helps these students achieve their educational goals.”
In 2009, MCCC first launched its Minority Male Mentoring Program to close the nationally documented achievement gap for African-American male students. The program connects participating students with caring mentors for guidance and support while providing opportunities for civic engagement, academic advisement, personal development and leadership development. Between 2009 and 2013, participants showed a term-to-term persistence rate of close to 80 percent—significantly higher than the 63 percent for non-participants.
In 2013, the initiative was expanded to include African-American and Latina female students and was renamed the Minority Student Mentoring Initiative (MSMI). Currently, MSMI provides one-one-one mentoring and access to wrap-around support services to more than 150 minority students enrolled at MCCC.
One participant, Jacori McEachnie, 18, Eagleville, says the program has opened new doors for him.
“The program is very helpful, especially meeting with my mentors and the tutoring,” said McEachnie, a Liberal Studies major. “Now, I am a member of the Phi Theta Kappa honor society, and I was just accepted into Bucknell’s Summer [2015 Residency] program.”
For the summer program, selected students enroll in two courses at Bucknell University in Lewisburg, Pa. Participating students then have the opportunity to apply to Bucknell in 2016, and if accepted, they will transfer to the university with junior status on full-tuition scholarships.
Additionally, MSMI assists students who are enrolled in MCCC’s Gateway to College program, which serves high school students who have dropped out of school or who are not track to graduate. Gateway students enroll in courses designed to help them achieve their high school diplomas while receiving college credits. Currently, 17 school districts and the Montgomery County Workforce Investment Board partner with MCCC and refer students for the program. MCCC is one of only 42 colleges in the country and only the second college in Pennsylvania selected to participate in the Gateway to College National Network.