63 students graduate high school with college credit under ‘Gateway to College’ program
A special graduation ceremony was held in Camden County on Thursday, marking a major milestone for 63 students. The students were part of a unique program called “Gateway to College.”
“If this program wasn’t here, I’d probably still would be in high school graduating next year, and I wouldn’t have the opportunities to be at Camden County College now,” says Ayonna Johnson.
Johnson can now call herself a high school graduate, with two semesters of college credits under her belt.
The “Gateway to College” program is designed to give students from Camden and Pennsauken who haven’t finished high school a second chance to do so while also earning college credit - 100% of the class graduated.
"Coming through the program, they will not only have a chance of getting their high school diploma, but it's an opportunity to do a reset,” says Irvin Sweeney, the program’s director. “Many of them will be going into college. Over 80% of them, many of them will be going into some profession like a new beginning."
The program catered to the students’ individual needs, with the mission of setting them up to reach their goals.
“I want to be a lawyer,” says Johnson. "When I do actually try to go to a different college, they can look at my record and see that when I graduated in 12th grade I already had college credits."
The “Gateway to College” program will receive its seventh consecutive national award next week.