On Point for College’s 2017 Student Stars are recognized for their academic and career successes. Left to right: Sam Rowser, On Point for College Executive Director; Jery Augustin, student at SUNY Empire State College; Quindell Williams graduate of SUNY Oswego and Emmy-Award winning photojournalist at CNYCentral; Mary DaCosta, medical student at SUNY Upstate; Dakir Thompson, student at Le Moyne College; Krystal Tull, graduate of SUNY Buffalo and Social Worker in the Syracuse City School District; Fitzroy Allen, father of Kemoy Allen, graduate of Farmingdale State College and pilot for Delta Airlines; Arielle Kaigler-Hall, graduate of Medaille College; and Jakia Durham, graduate of Syracuse University and paralegal at Moon Law Office.
Sam Rowser was proud to hear that On Point For College has been named the beneficiary of the 36th running of the J.P. Morgan Corporate Challenge in Syracuse.
For Rowser, the Executive Director of On Point For College, the Corporate Challenge and its anticipated crowd of more than 8,000 runners from over 300 companies is a terrific platform to broadcast the story of an organization that has helped thousands of first-generation students get into college, succeed there, and get jobs after.
“Being the beneficiary of the Corporate Challenge is a wonderful opportunity for On Point to turn its attention to telling our story to the wider community,” Rowser said. “We welcome this opportunity to step out of the shadows and touch the minds and hearts of people who are not aware of the services we provide to help first-generation students gain access to college, and then to overcome challenges so they can persist from semester to semester once they enroll.”
The Corporate Challenge is scheduled for Wednesday, June 6, with a 6:25 p.m. race start at Onondaga Lake Park. On Point For College will be on the main stage and will have a marketing tent on site for participants to learn more about the organization. In the meantime, Rowser is happy to tell the story.
“Our mission statement is: We break down barriers that prevent young, underserved individuals from achieving education and career success; and our vision is to transform communities by making college, training and career success a reality for those who face great obstacles,” Rowser said.
“I am very proud of the impact we’ve had on the community. Since 1999, On Point has been helping first-generation students go to college. We now have more than 1,900 graduates from the Central New York area. Our students return to their community and find ways to give back. Some have started nonprofit organizations. Others are entrepreneurs who start their own businesses. We have teachers, nurses, social workers, police officers and fire fighters among our graduates. They give back to the community through their careers, through volunteer work, through participation in politics, and through being role models for young people in our community. Our graduates are helping to transform the communities where they were raised.”
The donation to On Point For College is part of J.P. Morgan’s commitment to supporting a not-for-profit organization in each of the 13 cities around the world that comprise the J.P. Morgan Corporate Challenge Series. J.P. Morgan donated more than $750,000 at Series events in 2017, with the donations working locally.
“We plan to use this donation to support some of our key services,” said Rowser. “First, we offer a 5-week Summer Bridge program to help students to strengthen their academic skills in preparation for their first year in college. This program allows students to skip remedial math or English courses, so they start on even footing with other first-year students. Second, we offer transfer services to help students transition from two-year colleges to four-year programs. Our students experience culture shock as they move to new campuses. On Point helps transfer students understand what courses will transfer, navigate their new campuses, and find resources to help them be successful. The third service this funding will support is our paid internship program. Our students rely on summer income from jobs to help them and their families make ends meet. This leaves them unable to take advantage of unpaid summer internships, which can give them critical experience in their chosen field but leaves them without income. Our paid internship program allows students to gain experience and build their professional network while receiving a stipend.”
Companies can register for the Syracuse J.P. Morgan Corporate Challenge through Wednesday, May 16.