RCGC Minority Initiative On Leadership and Excellence Program Celebrate Successful Year

In November 2017, Rowan College at Gloucester County (RCGC) announced a new program aimed at supporting minority students as they worked towards their educational and career goals — the Minority Initiative on Leadership and Excellence (MILE) program.

At the College’s Board of Trustees meeting on Tuesday, April 9, MILE Program Administrator YaVanca Brooks shared the positive progress students have made during the 2018-2019 academic year. Individuals participating in the MILE program include: first generation college students, first generation college students of immigrant parents, English as a Second Language students, students of the foster-care system and students of incarcerated parents.  Created to improve the college experience for minority students, the MILE program offers transformative learning excursions, one-on-one mentorship, service projects, leadership development seminars, networking opportunities and resources for academic and professional growth.

“At the start of the fall 2018 semester, there were 28 students taking part in the MILE program. In December, three of those students graduated and transferred to local universities and this spring, six more students will graduate,” said Brooks. “Two students, Esther Dede and Andrea Hunter, have made the President’s List and two—Jasskaran Channa and Mercedes Marquez—are on the Dean’s List.”

Brooks went on to note that students in the MILE program are involved in numerous on-campus activities, like the Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society and American Association of Women in Community Colleges Suit A Student Career Fashion Show, in addition to gaining hands-on experience through the College’s Federal Work Study, cooperative education and internship programs.

“MILE is an effort in collaboration,” said Brooks. “Our corporate and academic sponsors provide financial advantages to MILE participants, while our program staff works to offer resources for academic and professional growth and our mentors provide one-on-one support customized to the needs of each student. With MILE, we have created an entire community dedicated to the success of our minority students.”

For more information on the Minority Initiative on Leadership and Excellence program, visit RCGC.edu/MILE.

Photo caption: RCGC Board of Trustees members congratulate MILE program students Esther Dede and Andrea Hunter (center) for earning President’s List status during the April 9 meeting. Pictured with Dede and Hunter are (left to right): Board Chairperson Gene J. Concordia, RCGC Executive Director of Diversity and Equity Affirmative Action Almarie Jones, MILE Program Administrator YaVanca Brooks, and Board of Trustees members Jean L. DuBois and Ruby Love.

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