Middle Earth Program Helps Students Graduate on Time, Pursue College with Support from AT&T

Middle Earth (ME) works to provide individuals, primarily youth, in Somerset County with prevention, intervention and crisis services to help them to develop into responsible and productive members of the community.

One program offered by Middle Earth is the Youth College Readiness Program (YCRP), which helps Bound Brook high school students to do well in school, graduate on time, and pursue post-secondary education. AT&T contributed $10,000 to support this program, which is aligned with AT&T Aspire, the company’s initiative that creates connections that drive innovation in education. Together, these connections are helping students and communities in New Jersey and across America.

“The AT&T contribution will make a huge impact for our students who are enrolled in the Youth College Readiness Program. It will allow us to continue to demonstrate to these students that they too have the option of furthering their education and making a better life for themselves, said Maria Strada, Middle Earth’s Executive Director.

“At AT&T, we believe every student deserves opportunities to reach his or her full potential,” added J. Michael Schweder, president, AT&T Mid Atlantic. “The YRCR helps Bound Brook students make the important connections between what they’re learning in the classroom and the many opportunities that are available if they do well in school and pursue postsecondary opportunities.”

Strada said the YCRP has been part of the Bound Brook school district for a total of 3 years. The programs successful outcomes have made us popular among students and school personnel. Each year, YCRP, receives an overwhelming number of program applications. Students attend workshops, go on college trips and participate in Career Breakfasts that offer them options as to what colleges they would like to attend and what careers they would like to pursue in the future. We also offer scholarships to applicants who demonstrate a commitment to the program and who have been accepted into college.

Eligible YCRP participants are high school students from families with incomes below 125 percent of the federal poverty guidelines and/or are eligible for free and reduced lunch. YCRP will serve juniors and seniors that are academically excelling, and are either college ready or have the potential to be college ready. The program will also offer services to selected freshmen and sophomores who show the maturity and commitment level expected to participate.

About Middle Earth
Middle Earth (ME) is a non-profit community-based organization that has been providing services to at-risk youth for over 45 years. The mission of Middle Earth is to provide youth with prevention, intervention, and crisis services to help them to become responsible and productive members of our community. Staff builds trusting relationships with youth to help them make positive decisions, avoid risky behaviors, obtain marketable skills for employment, volunteer in the community, improve academics, and learn respect. Our programs provide a support system and positive adult role modeling, in hopes of helping youth to lead a productive and responsible life. Programming is offered to youth in five main service areas: 1. Employment Readiness; 2. Mentoring; 3. School-based; 4. Community Service; and 5. Life Skills, Support and Recreation. The general target population for Middle Earth programming is youth, ages 8 – 18, who are experiencing a variety of problems. Learn more about Middle Earth on Facebook; follow Middle Earth on Twitter; and connect with Middle Earth on LinkedIn.

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