Sixty Hartford high school graduates
who might not otherwise have had the chance to attend a selective four-year university will now be able to attend UConn thanks to a partnership between the Hartford Public Schools, the University, and the MassMutual Foundation for Hartford Inc.
The MassMutual Hartford Huskies Scholars program was launched May 10, when the first 15 student scholars were introduced during an event at Bulkeley High School.
The program is funded by
the MassMutual Foundation through a $584,000 contribution.
“I’ve always dreamed of going to UConn, but I never would have made it there without this kind of support,” said Crystal Cruz, a senior at Hartford Public High School.
“I know some day I’ll be back here talking to future students about how education made a difference in my life, and I’ll always be grateful to MassMutual, UConn, and
the Hartford Public Schools for making
The MassMutual Hartford Huskies Scholars program will eliminate some of the barriers to college facing Hartford public school graduates, provide momentum to the University’s push to provide quality education to a diverse student population, and support the goal of increasing by 25 percent the number of Hartford youth attending four-year colleges.
The Scholars will receive four years of financial assistance and academic fees assistance.
This includes books, a laptop or desktop computer, leadership conference fees, lab fees, emergency travel funding, study abroad fees, and tutorial fees.
They also will receive four years of academic advising and four years of social support to enhance their overall college experience.
“This is an innovative and exciting program that gives Hartford students exactly what they need to succeed: opportunity,” said Hartford Mayor Eddie Perez.
“That opportunity is matched with financial assistance, hands-on academic support, and even a computer – all important tools that our youngsters need to succeed in college and in life.”
The program will focus on the recruitment, retention, and graduation of low-income, first-generation Hartford students admitted to the University through UConn’s Student Support Services program.
Student Support Services is a
federally funded program of academic and social support for students who are predominantly from Connecticut’s urban centers, who have the academic potential to succeed but lack financial resources, and whose families lack the ability to navigate higher education.
The Scholars chosen will be introduced to University life prior to their freshman year by attending a six-week, pre-collegiate summer program. Student Support Services will then guide them through their college careers.
“As Connecticut’s flagship public university, UConn endeavors to open its doors to every academically qualified student in the state,” said University President Philip E. Austin.
“We are proud of our progress in maintaining a student body that is culturally and
economically diverse, and the MassMutual Hartford Huskies Scholars program will take us an important step forward. We greatly appreciate their support.”
The Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Co. (MassMutual) has a history of supporting education.
The company supports – through financial assistance and volunteerism – the belief that providing educational opportunities effects long-term improvement within communities.
| From left, Hartford Mayor Eddie Perez, Crystal Cruz, a scholarship recipient, University President Philip E. Austin, and Ronald Copes, executive director of the MassMutual Foundation after a press conference at Bulkeley High School.
|Photo by Deborah MacDonnell
Among its current educational programs in Hartford are the MassMutual Academic Achievement Program, which encourages and supports academic achievement in the city’s high schools, and its MassMutual Scholars Program, which provides $28,000 in college scholarships ($7,000 per year over four years) to 50 college-bound students from the counties of Hartford and Hampden, Mass.
“We’re especially proud of this new MassMutual Hartford Huskies Scholars Program because it was designed to fulfill a specific need in Hartford, where so many students deserve the opportunity to continue their education at Connecticut’s flagship university,” said Ronald A. Copes, executive director of the MassMutual Foundation and corporate vice president of community relations for MassMutual.
“We’ve helped foster a culture of academic achievement in Hartford. By helping send 60 new students to UConn, we’re taking the natural next step in opening doors to education.”
Funding for the program will be administered and invested by the University of Connecticut Foundation Inc.
The first 15 Hartford students to enter UConn in fall 2006 as MassMutual Hartford Huskies Scholars, and the majors they hope to pursue, are:
Jordan Brown, Weaver High School, exploratory major;
Jessica Calderon, Hartford Public High School, political science;
Natasha Cancel, Sport & Medical Sciences Academy, biology;
Steven Chandler, Pathways to Technology Magnet School, exploratory major;
Crystal Cruz, Hartford Public High School, exploratory major;
Shackira Davidson, Weaver High School, psychology;
Eileen Echevarria, Greater Hartford Classical Magnet School, biology;
Damian Fuller, Bulkeley High School, exploratory major;
Sofia Medina, Hartford Public High School, biology;
Quamique Morris, Weaver High School, biology;
Alexander Ortega, Bulkeley High School, political science;
Hairold Paredes, Pathways to Technology Magnet School, exploratory major;
Danny Pham, Hartford Public High School, exploratory major;
CrizMaria Velazquez, Pathways to Technology Magnet School, physiology & neurobiology;
Lisa Watson, Weaver High School, human development and family studies.