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Published July 13, 2022

Growing up in Camden City, New Jersey, Nyeema Watson dreamed of attending college. But as a first-generation student, her parents didn’t know how to help her, and her high school guidance counselor tried to dissuade her. In this episode of the Advance Rutgers podcast, Watson, now vice chancellor for Diversity, Inclusion, and Civic Engagement at Rutgers University–Camden, explains how the right people came along at the right time to make her dream a reality and her college experience a success. Today, she’s devoting her career to doing the same—helping kids in Camden realize their passions through programs like the Rutgers–Camden Schools Partnership, Rutgers–Camden Ignite, and the Hill Family Center for College Access.

Visit our website to learn about more signature initiatives at Rutgers and how you can support them.

 

Christine Fennessy
Welcome to Advance Rutgers, a podcast about the many ways that Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey, is addressing the critical issues of our day. At Rutgers, we believe a better tomorrow starts with bigger thinking today. And our talented and driven community is improving the human condition with transformative, multidisciplinary projects. This podcast will explore those groundbreaking initiatives: what they are, why they matter, and who they benefit.

Today’s episode features a conversation with Nyeema Watson. She’s vice chancellor for diversity, inclusion, and civic engagement at Rutgers University–Camden. She talks about how she dreamt of going to college when she was growing up in Camden. As a first-generation student, it was a dream she had to fight hard for. But she says every step of the way, she had the right people in her corner.

Today, Dr. Watson is devoted to helping the families of Camden City with programs like Rutgers–Camden Schools Partnership, Rutgers–Camden Ignite, and the Hill Family Center for College Access. She’s making sure that when it comes to their own dreams for the future, these kids get all the right people in their corners, too. Thanks for joining us.
Okay. So, I just want to start by acknowledging my own privilege. I grew up literally around the corner from the community college that I went to, that my five siblings all went to. And so I grew up knowing that I was going to go to college. My parents were going to make it happen one way or another. So, can you help me understand your perspective of higher education and the accessibility of it when you were growing up?

Dr. Nyeema Watson
Yeah. I always wanted to go to college. From what I saw on television—my life was really informed by The Cosby Show and A Different World—seeing these Black families and Black students have access to higher education, and it was the logical next step for them, and their parents were professionals. And there was never any doubt that their kids would go to college. I always wanted that for myself. And my parents wanted that for me. Even though my parents did not have the opportunity to continue on with their education past their primary point, they always wanted me to go to college, but had no idea how it was going to happen. It just wasn’t something that was talked about at the time in our schools. It wasn’t talked about in the house in terms of ‘You take college visits,’ or ‘You complete applications,’ and ‘What about scholarships?’

So, it wasn’t until I got to the 11th and 12th grade where school started to talk about it a little bit more. And I started to think about it in more earnest, but still sadly didn’t have the support from my guidance counselor to do that. I was told that maybe college wasn’t for me; maybe I wasn’t a fit for college. And that was really disheartening, because all my life this is what I expected of myself. I wanted to be a doctor. I had designs of being an obstetrician and delivering babies. And it wasn’t until my 11th grade English teacher kind of had a conversation with me one day about like, ‘Where are you going to college?’ And I said, ‘I don’t know.’ And she really took me by the hand and guided my parents into, ‘Okay, we’re going to do this together.’ And she helped me write my personal statements, and fill out my applications, and mail off all of the college applications, work on the financial aid. And so, it was a huge hurdle for me—and a lot of students like me in Camden City at the time who wanted access to the opportunity but didn’t have it.

Christine Fennessy
How did you overcome or get past that reaction from your guidance counselor when they told you that maybe you weren’t a good fit for college?

Dr. Nyeema Watson
It took me a while, and it took on many different forms. We talk here, with our students, [about] imposter syndrome. At that point I was an A-B student (I always had been), and I was in high school, and I participated in clubs and activities. So I didn’t know why they were telling me this—that I wasn’t going to be able to go to college. But in retrospect, I realized that there were so many people, simply because of the [place] we grew up in, [who] really had ideas on what we could be and never allowed us the opportunity to actually be the things we wanted to be.

So it took me a while. Even when I got into college, when I got into Rutgers–Camden as a student in 1995, I still carried that weight and that burden that ‘Maybe I shouldn’t be here.Maybe I’m not smart enough.’ Because I did have challenges making the transition, educationally. And I didn’t talk to anybody about it because I was like, ‘Well, everybody else knows what’s going on. Everybody else seems to be doing fine. Maybe it’s me.’ And those kinds of ideas sat with me for a really long time. And I’ve shared this before, like even into my doctoral studies, thinking like, ‘Maybe I am not right for this. Maybe I’m not smart enough.’ And a lot of that, almost all of that, was steeped in these ideas that were just poured into me and that existed around me because of where I grew up.

Christine Fennessy
So what was it about your relationship with your 11th grade teacher? Like, what do you think it was that she saw in you or that you felt comfortable with her that helped the two of you form this connection?

Dr. Nyeema Watson
She’s amazing. She’s still a very dear friend to this day. We talk constantly and I think it was, for her, she saw greatness in each and every student she had in her classroom. She taught English. I can remember, and we joke about this now, she would turn the lights off and spray pine scent and say, ‘Close your eyes and think about being in the forest.’ And we were like, ‘This woman is crazy.’ But really, [she used] these ways of getting to know us and getting us to experience other things. She got to know the students in Camden. She wasn’t from Camden. She was a young, white teacher who grew up in the suburbs out here but went to school elsewhere and wanted to come back here and teach. But she saw all of us, like clearly saw us for who we were, who we could be, allowed us to dream, got to know us. And it wasn’t just me; it was plenty of students she helped, I think through her being an English teacher—like, ‘I’ll help you write that.’ Like, ‘I can do that. I can help you write the personal statement.’

She was newly out of her own college studies. So she was like, ‘Yeah, I remember, and I can take you on these visits. I can do this stuff.’ And then when I saw somebody who deeply cared about me—and not only me, [but she also] cared about my family and understood, as much as she could, the fears, the hesitations, the uncertainty that my family felt and experienced because they didn’t know or understand this space. She took that in and said, ‘If you’re willing to let me help you, I’m happy to help you.’ And she helped me get into my undergraduate school. She helped me get into my master’s degree program. She read my dissertation as I was ready to present it. She became a lifelong friend—really one of the first people who gave me the confidence, but also gave me the support and the resources to do what it was that I wanted to do.

Christine Fennessy
And so, is this the woman or the educator you’ve talked about in the past, where you said she saw the dreams that you were too scared to talk about? Is she the one?

Dr. Nyeema Watson
Absolutely. Yeah.

Christine Fennessy
And what were those dreams and why were you so scared to talk about them back then?

Dr. Nyeema Watson
Because I just didn’t see anybody around me doing this stuff. Like when I eventually got to Rutgers-Camden as an undergraduate and realized that biology was not my thing, I was not going to be a doctor. I still was passionate about helping people. I came from a family of women who helped other women, other children. I wanted to be able to create opportunities for kids like myself in Camden City, who I felt were always overlooked, or thought the worst of, or weren’t given opportunities.

But I just didn’t really see anybody in a big way doing that, or I didn’t feel like I had the knowledge, or the expertise, or knew the right types of people to help me make those connections. And so [I thought], ‘What if I dream this dream and fail?’ Like what if I kind of come back and I don’t get my college degree, or I don’t do the things that my family then started to see in me this hope of like, ‘She’s going to be the one who can do it.’ What if I fail? What if I’m not smart enough? What if all of these things that people have said either to me or about my city are true? So, that was constantly in my ear.

Christine Fennessy
And this is while you were in college?

Dr. Nyeema Watson
While I was in college. And even though I started to learn more and understand more, it became more complicated, starting to learn the history of the experience of Africans here in the U.S., or African Americans really during the civil rights movement. I never really had the opportunity in high school to really study African American history here.

So, thinking about all of that in relation to the day-to-day experiences of people who lived in Camden—to understand poverty, to understand systemic racism and strategic economic disinvestment, and thinking about social policies, and social safety nets—and learning that there’s people who don’t believe that those things are warranted for certain individuals in society. But knowing that some of those same things were the things that helped and supported me get to the place I went to. So, as I started to learn more and process, it also felt like something bigger that I couldn’t get a handle on—simply wanting to help people, when it seemed like all of these kinds of forces at play that kept the city of Camden and places like Camden in these challenged situations. And so I started to think, what could I do? Thinking about, ‘Well, can I really do anything with this weight of all of this disparity all around me’?

Christine Fennessy
That is a lot for a young student to have to carry. Well, let’s just back up a second. So, the ultimate dream that you had was to become a doctor. How did you end up choosing Rutgers?

Dr. Nyeema Watson
Yeah, so the ultimate dream was for me to become a doctor, and that was why I wanted to go to college. I wanted to go to a historically Black college, so I applied to a couple of different places and I chose one because I was in the marching band and my band teacher was like, ‘Okay, well, here’s one of the better HBCUs to go to.’ And I was like, ‘Boop, that’s it.’ And then this teacher was like, ‘Well, maybe we want a couple of closer options.’ And I was like, ‘No, I don’t care. This is where I’m going.’ And so she was like, ‘Well, let’s just apply to Rutgers. If you get in, at least you’ll have it.’ So, we applied here and we applied to Temple. And so I didn’t get into Temple, I didn’t get into Rutgers–New Brunswick, I didn’t get into Rutgers–Newark.

I got into the historically Black college and I got into Rutgers–Camden. But I was like, ‘I don’t need Rutgers–Camden because I’m going to this HBCU.’ And again, because this process was foreign to my parents—so you get accepted, they’re sending you all this information; you got to take placement tests, and you have to put housing deposits down, and you have to do all this work, but this place is in North Carolina. This is before email, so you’re just calling people on the phone, trying to get access. [My parents] didn’t know what to do. I didn’t know what to do. So it never quite worked out. So my mom was like, ‘If you want to go, you have to figure out somewhere that’s local, like where we can get to you, where you can go and ask people questions, because we don’t know what’s going on.’

This was [in] August, before the new academic year started. All I had was this piece of paper, this acceptance letter, [that] I can still see in my mind’s eye: It said, like, ‘Rutgers–Camden accepted.’ And I just took the bus down here one day, and I was walking through campus. I see a guy, an older gentleman. He’s like, ‘Can I help you?’ I’m like, ‘Yeah, I got this paper that says I was accepted here, but I don’t know what to do.’ Come to find out it was the director of financial aid. And he was like, ‘Okay, well, did you do your FAFSA?’ I’m like, ‘What?’ He was like, ‘Well, did you do any placement tests?’ ‘Huh?’ And so he takes me back to his office and he spends about the next two hours with me, looking me up in the system.

I did do the FAFSA. It was all wrong. So he was like, ‘Okay, like I see you in here.’ And it showed that my parents owed what I thought was this enormous amount of money for me to come. I start to cry. I’m like, ‘We don’t have any money. We have nothing. Like, this is not going to happen.’ And so he’s like, ‘Nope, we’re going to sort this out.’ And he fixed it. And he told me the things I needed to do. He wrote them down in plain English. He helped me get registered for my placement test. And then I was like, ‘I want to live in the dorms.’ And he’s like, ‘Okay, well you need to go talk to this person.’ And he carried me through each and every step. This wasn’t on his plan for that day. But him and all the women in the office at the time helped.

And I was like, ‘Well, I need a job.’ He’s like, ‘Well, we have this thing called federal work study.’ And so I became a work study student in the financial aid office. But if it wasn’t for him dedicating that time, hours to get me on the right path…

And then he was like, ‘Okay, whenever you have a question, come back to me.’ And then he would call, he would follow up, he would explain [things to] my parents. And then everybody he sent me to was equally as kind, and thoughtful, and took the time. I remember going home after kind of a series of meetings like, ‘Okay. I think I’m going. I think we’re doing this.’ Yeah. And that’s how I ended up here, but I deeply believe this is the place where I was meant to be. Every August I think about, when I see the new students on the campus: that was me just kind of roaming around, not knowing. And it just feels like such an honor to be in this seat right now—to be able to be that somebody for another student.

Christine Fennessy
Wow. I can’t imagine. And that’s such a touching story, actually—that somebody would just be reaching out and willing to do all of that right away [and] not make you wait. And when you realized that biology wasn’t your thing, how did you keep that realization and the weight of expectation—being a first-generation student—how did you keep all of that stuff from not derailing you? I mean, how did you push through, as a first-generation student, when you had so much expectation from family, and perhaps friends as well, and also from yourself, of course? And also this dashed dream and these big, giant question marks about your future.

Dr. Nyeema Watson
I think it’s because of the place that Rutgers is. I remember Dr. Evans was the professor of biology who sat me down and was very kind, but also very clear, like: this wasn’t working out in biology. But [he] asked me, ‘What do you want to do? Why do you want to help people? Are there any other ways?’ And so, again, talked to me about what are these other options? He pointed me to the psychology department, and there’s where I found my next mentor. So, everyone I went to here at Rutgers took that time, was kind, was thoughtful, wanted to make sure that they could help really guide you to that next person in that next direction.

I remember after my first year of college, I partied a little too much. And my grades showed that I partied a little bit too much. But there was a dean here who was like, ‘Look, do you really want to do this?’ An African American woman who said, ‘Do you really want to do this? I’m here to support you, but you have to be committed to this. Do you want to go home and tell your parents that you failed?’ And I remember my mom getting my grades and she’s like, ‘I can’t help you academically, but I know this isn’t you. You need to buckle down; you need to do your work. You need to find people who can help you take all of this advice and figure it out.’ There were always people at every step—also finding friends here who had some [of the] same lived experiences as I did, who I could confide in my fears and anxieties—but I believed it was, fundamentally for Rutgers–Camden, these were the types of faculty and staff who were here. They deeply cared about each student. I can’t say there wasn’t someone that I encountered here that truly wasn’t in my corner who could help me see the next step and get to the next step.

Christine Fennessy
Well, that’s so great to hear. Okay, so let’s talk about the work that you’re doing today as vice chancellor for diversity, inclusion, and civic engagement at Rutgers University–Camden. So, we’re here to talk about three programs. They’re all meant to help young students get into and complete college. And they’re the Rutgers–Camden Schools Partnership, Rutgers–Camden Ignite, and the Hill Family Center for College Access. So, let’s start with the Rutgers–Camden Schools Partnership. What is it and what is the goal of it?

Dr. Nyeema Watson
So, the Rutgers–Camden Schools Partnership is the umbrella that we use for the Ignite After School Program. So we started our relationship with these schools. At first, there were three schools in North Camden, and then as the school system shifted and changed, we still have two schools we serve in North Camden. We have another school we serve in East Camden. We started with the afterschool model, but we broadened out that program to the Camden–School’s Partnership because we wanted to bring additional resources to that school. The Ignite Program serves students in grades three through eight as the base, but then the partnership is about: What else can we do in those spaces? So, yes, the aim initially was to do these afterschool programs and also transition those kids into summer programs where we would have them here on campus.

But we also wanted to think: ‘We’re a university. What else do we do that we could bring into these school spaces that would be of benefit to the students, their families, the teachers, administrators, and everyone there?’ We started to think about, how could we bring our service learning programs into the schools? How could we bring other community partners into the schools? Maybe the principal has too many things on their plate, which they always did. How could we help them find other partners for other things? How could we think about professional development if the principals wanted training for their teachers or staff? So, we started to think about this model of a university-assisted community school. How could we take these resources and assets of a university and bring them to bear in a school? And so it moved from simply being the Ignite Afterschool program to this Camden–School’s Partnership, where when we get with a school and we work with a principal and their team, we want to be there.

It’s a long-term proposition. We’re going to start with the after-school, but we’re going to bring in as many programs and initiatives as we can—if it’s bringing in the nursing school, if it’s bringing in the law school and pro bono clinics, if it’s having our social work students do their practicum placements there. Again, as I said, if it’s bringing in community partners that can help the school, whether it’s for the kids in the after-school or for the parents during the day, such as bilingual classes. Like, what can we do to strengthen and support that school, so that it also serves as a hub for the community? The partnership is the umbrella of all of these things we aim to do in partnership with that particular school, that principal, that community. We’ve been at that work now for about 12 years. But at the core of each of those schools, and all of the work we do, is the Ignite After School Program.

Christine Fennessy
And what happens there?

Dr. Nyeema Watson
So, it’s a traditional after-school program. Every day from 3 to 6 p.m., we have a STEAM-based program. So, we’re talking about STEM; we’re talking about art. There’s homework time, there’s snacks, there’s dinner, there’s physical education. We partner with the YMCA to come in and do basketball, or legacy tennis to come in and do tennis. We have clubs—it could be a gaming club, or a dance club, or a knitting club, whatever. Every year we ask the students and their families, what they are interested in. What do they want to do? And so there’s some cores about the program: you’re always going to do your homework, and you’re always going to have some STEAM-based activities, but the clubs can be based on the students’ interests and experiences. And so that takes place during the after-school space. When the program’s over, we take all of the kids home.

Then in the summertime, we take those kids and we bring them to the Rutgers–Camden campus where they get a full-service, all-day summer camp. So, they arrive around 8, 8:30, and they’re here until about 3 in the afternoon. We have activities that strengthen their language arts literacy skills and their math skills in the morning. And we try to do it in fun ways. [For example,] fraction cafe, so they’re learning about fractions through recipes and making food—so it doesn’t feel as hum-drum as maybe it does during the traditional school day. And then in the afternoon, they get to pick. They can pick art, they can pick drawing, they could pick dance, they could pick poetry. We have something called Woke Wednesdays, where they are thinking about issues and challenges in Camden City and thinking about how they would address them. So, they have their own form of civic engagement in the program. The program is run by an amazing team of people, but the core of the program are our college students (who we call ambassadors) who serve as teaching assistants [and] program assistants. They run clubs, they run activities, they’re mentors, they’re guides for the young students.

And then at the end of the four- or five-week program, we have a huge showcase: a barbecue inviting all of their family and friends to come celebrate all of what they learned. There’s field trips and all types of experiences. We wanted to model the summer program because it was important for us, for all of our K-12 programs, we want them to see themselves here. We want them to see that Rutgers is a place for them and their families. We want them to think now, as third graders, that college is their next step, so they can spend their third through eighth grade here on this campus, getting to know it, staying in the classrooms and staying in the dining halls and really experiencing the campus. So that’s one of the core [elements] of the work we do. This pipeline that we have that starts with these third graders is about having Camden young people have access to the opportunity that’s higher education, and starting them as early as we can to have them see and experience that.

Christine Fennessy
What makes this particular program—the Ignite Program under the umbrella of the partnership—what makes it unique in your eyes?

Dr. Nyeema Watson
I think for us, it is that we want to build this relationship with this third grader and this family, and we want to maintain that relationship—until that student goes to college, until that student goes to vocational or trade school, until that student has a career path after they’ve graduated high school, we want to maintain that relationship. And we want to show families that Rutgers is here for you every step of the way. And we’re here for you even if Rutgers is not your end point. If you find another college or university that’s going to be a fit for you, we want that for you. If you find another career or pathway, we want that for you. We just want you to know and believe—and again, going back to these things that I experienced—we don’t want anyone telling you that this is not a path for you.

So that’s what we’re trying to build here; that’s the unique role that we play. And it has been a significant change in how the university operates also. We’ve had to fundamentally shift our policies and our procedures, because in order to deeply engage with this work, it can’t simply be about the outcome. ‘How many kids are you serving? How many kids are you retaining? How many kids are getting into college?’ Those things are important. We keep our eye on those things for our funders and for Rutgers. But in order to do that sometimes, we need to connect with social service agencies, because sometimes their house burns down in the fire. The family has some significant health issues. COVID has ravaged their household. They don’t know how to pay for their electricity. They’re unemployed.

So, if you can’t create a program and assist them [in ways] that aim to address those things too, no, this child’s not going to get to college. No, this kid’s not going to show up every day for after school. Rutgers has allowed, through this work, for us to be flexible, to be able to address those needs, all the while teaching them about math, teaching them about the college application process. We’re all in and we are committed. We’re going to find the resources to continue this work, but we’re also going to make sure that we can try to take care of the whole family if the whole family needs to be taken care of.

Christine Fennessy
Oh, that’s excellent. All right. So, you said that this program has been underway for 12 years. Are there any particular success stories, or even just favorite stories that you have of this work, to date, with all of these kids?

Dr. Nyeema Watson
Yeah, just we have stories from, not only the young people in Camden City that we’ve impacted and have been able to see through this pipeline. Meeting them when they’re young and seeing them go from one Rutgers program, to another Rutgers program, to being here as a student—that’s the best feeling in the world to be able to stand on the stage and shake the hand of that student, knowing that you remember them [from] when they were 10, 11, and 12 years old. But we’ve also seen a transformation in our Rutgers students—for the students who volunteer for these programs, for the students who we hire to be in these programs. We provide a place for a lot of first-generation students themselves [who are] looking to give back, understanding that as they climb, they have to lift others. They have to ensure that they create a pathway for other students. A large majority of students who work in all of our after-school and college access programs are first-generation students themselves. So, we too can also provide them the mentoring, the support that they need when they come up against these obstacles.

So, seeing in them, coming to campus unsure, not knowing what the future’s going to hold, not really clear about what their professional pathway is going to be, and them finding themselves and the mark they want to leave on the world through the work they do with us. And they graduate, and they go on to graduate school, and they get fellowships working on ways to deal with societal injustices. Whether it’s economic development, whether it’s hunger and homelessness, whether it’s food insecurity—they’re being really touched by this work, and Rutgers has created this place for them to be able to do that work deeply from when they enter as a student. And so having these two things connect [is amazing]: seeing the K-12 students and their families stick with you, believe in you, trust you, and then you’re able to do for their family (and hopefully multiple children in their family)—getting them to where they want to be in terms of higher education, but also seeing the light, seeing the pathway kind of laid down for the college students who participate in this is also equally powerful.

Christine Fennessy
Okay, so let’s talk about the Hill Family Center for College Access. What was behind the creation of that program?

Dr. Nyeema Watson
We have a lot of young people in Camden City who come to this realization that they want to enter college really late. And so the Hill Family Center for College Access was created to find those students wherever they were at. We go into high schools in Camden City. We go into youth-serving organizations to say, ‘Hey, can we help you figure out your pathway to college?’ We have workshops. We have peer mentors. We have ambassadors in that program. They just may need help with filing the college application; that’s where we need to push in. Or they may need help, like, ‘Okay. I’ve gotten my application, I’ve gotten accepted, I don’t know what to do.’ So the Hill Center is there at all of these points in time not only to help them understand what this whole process of going to college is about, but helping them make sure that they get into the ‘seat’ of college once they’ve been successfully accepted.

Christine Fennessy
Okay. And so what is the primary goal then for that particular program?

Dr. Nyeema Watson
The primary goal is getting kids in Camden into college. So, we had two alums, George and Washington Hill, identical twin brothers from the city of Camden. They graduated Camden high school. They gave us a gift to launch the Hill Family Center for College Access with the express goal of helping kids in Camden, and kids like them in Camden—who are historically underrepresented, first in their families to make this transition to college—to help them do this. We’ve developed workshops, we run college fairs. We’re about to do a whole kind of college spirit week in one of our high schools, where we’ll be focused on helping every young person in that school who wants to have this information or need the support to get it.

We train our college students to be able to understand this process so they can help a student find the right fit for them for a college, help them work on their personal statements, help them fill out all of the forms for their application or FAFSA. We host tours on the Rutgers–Camden campus, but we’ll also bring other colleges and universities. For the Hill Center, the work is not specifically about Rutgers. It’s about helping that young person find the path forward for them. Is it going into the military? Is it thinking about a community college? Is it thinking about a technical or vocational school? Whatever that fit is for them, helping them figure that out so they have a plan upon graduation.

Christine Fennessy
And what do you see as being this program’s unique aspect?

Dr. Nyeema Watson
I think, for us, it’s training our college students to do this work, so our college students have balanced energy and they’re very, very close to this experience. They still have to complete the FAFSA every year, so they know what it’s like trying to pull this information. A core part of the Hill Center and all of our work is this legion of college students we have that we train to be able to do this work. And we help them understand, “You’re all a mentor. Yes, you may be sitting down helping that student complete the college application, but in seeing you, and hearing your story, and understanding your pathway, we want that student to see themselves in you.”

And so the unique nature of the Hill Center is the work that we’ve been able to accomplish with our college students, but also what can happen when you have the support of alumni who are willing to give, who are willing to donate to support this effort. The Hill brothers realized how transformational Rutgers–Camden was for them in their experience in going to higher education. And they went on to become amazing medical doctors, and they wanted to provide a way for other Camden kids to have that opportunity. So not only is it the college students who kind of make this work exciting and unique, it’s that we’ve been able to do this work since 2011 off the support of alumni.

Christine Fennessy
That’s it for today’s show. I’d like to thank Dr. Watson for being so generous with her time. Rutgers is committed to expanding higher education access and affordability in many ways. This includes the Scarlet Promise Initiative, which empowers excellence by holistically supporting students during and beyond enrollment.

Music in this episode is by Epidemic Sound, and you can subscribe to the show wherever you get your podcasts. Multidisciplinary projects like the Rutgers–Camden Schools Partnership, Rutgers–Camden Ignite, and the Hill Family Center for College Access embody the innovative drive of Rutgers, New Jersey’s academic health and research powerhouse.

I’m your host and producer, Christine Fennessy. Join us next time as we explore more initiatives that will better the world.

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