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Summer Academy Students Put Plans into Motion for a Higher Education

CCM Program Celebrates 20 Years of Empowering and Encouraging High School Students

Dover High School students Nick Warholak and Maria Broward have big dreams for the future. Warholak wants to attend MIT, study engineering and become an inventor.  Broward hopes to enroll at Harvard University, pursue a double major in biology and chemistry, and then continue on to Harvard Medical School.

As participants in the Summer Academy at County College of Morris, the two gained some additional momentum for realizing their dreams.  Along with about 20 other students from Dover High School, they researched colleges, learned about the college application process and financial aid and the importance of budgeting and saving, and they got to put their math and engineering skills to use building robots.

Celebrating its 20th anniversary this year, the academy is designed to prepare high school students for college success. This year’s program was supported with a $15,000 grant from Alcoa Inc. and $5,000 from Investors Bank.

“I really liked the building aspect,” said Broward. “It got the geometry part of my brain moving and it kept me in learning mode. I really don’t like not being in school so it was good to take part in this.”

“Robotics is my thing,” added Warholak. “It’s what I want to pursue.”

The theme of this year’s academy, which took place June 25 through June 29, was “Machines in Motion” both from the perspectives of inventing and putting plans into motion for continuing an education through college.

“We want to instill in the students that college is a real possibility and show them that they can succeed,” said CCM Professor Alexis Thurman, the program’s director.

Jessica Ballew, branch manager of Investors Bank in Morris Plains, spoke to the group on the importance of developing good money management practices.

A former participant in the program from the “Class of 1993,” Wayne D. Johnson also spoke to the students on the importance of setting goals. “Find people who have similar goals as you and who will push you,” said Johnson, who is now a fifth grade teacher at Livingston Park Elementary school in North Brunswick. “Challenge yourself and dare to dream.”
Dover High School students Nick Warholak and Maria Broward with the robot they built as participants in the Summer Academy at County College of Morris.

Wayne D. Johnson, a former participant in the Summer Academy of 1993, addresses this year’s class of students.
Photo Credit: John Hester