As part of its commitment to the success of students from the Elm City, Southern Connecticut State University will provide residential leadership scholarships covering housing expenses for the academic year for 10 incoming first-year New Haven Promise Scholars, beginning with the current class of high school seniors (Class of 2018).
The selected students — known as Promise Community Ambassadors — will provide mentorship and outreach to Southern’s New Haven Promise Scholars and high school students in New Haven’s high schools. To date, SCSU has had more Promise scholars (339) than any other university. To be eligible, students will be able to indicate interest and submit an essay on the Promise senior application. In addition, they will be instructed to supply a letter of recommendation.
“At Southern we are committed to academic excellence, access, social justice, and service for the public good,” said SCSU President Joe Bertolino. “As part of this mission, it is vital that we support our home community by providing educational opportunities and pathways to academic and personal success for New Haven students.”
University officials — in collaboration with New Haven Promise — will conditionally select the recipients of the residential leadership scholarships in May and the formalization will occur when the Promise qualifiers are finalized at the end of the 2017-18 school year.
“We are thankful to Southern for providing this deep leadership development opportunity designed to support our many scholars at the university and for those students to give back to New Haven public schools,” said New Haven Promise President Patricia Melton. “This immersion into campus life is guaranteed to provide voice and agency for our scholars and we are proud that Southern has committed to that.”
Promise Community Ambassadors will participate in the Freshman Leadership Experience (FLEX) program, a six-week leadership experience commencing in August during their first semester, which will prepare them to serve in their campus and community roles. Ambassadors will explore their leadership potential, participate in meaningful leadership experiences, interact with current student leaders, faculty and staff, and discuss topics impacting students. The program commitment will last the entire academic year.
Ambassadors will serve their community in two specific ways. Five will specialize in facilitating community development programs developing relationships and connections among current Promise Scholars. The second cohort will specialize in community outreach and education to New Haven high school students. They will collaborate with Southern admissions staff to visit high schools and also host prospective students on campus, sharing their knowledge about the student experience.