Monday, November 14, 2016

Ansonia Students College-Bound

ANSONIA – Thirty-six Ansonia High School seniors now have some pretty impressive bragging rights: They have already been accepted into college, more than six months before they are even finishing their final year of high school. All together, these students will receive more than $217,000 in renewable scholarship funding when they officially start their collegiate education.

These students participated in Ansonia High’s first ever “Onsite Decision Day,” which featured admissions staff from seven Connecticut colleges and universities: University of Bridgeport, University of New Haven, Southern Connecticut State University, Albertus Magnus College, Gateway Community College, Naugatuck Community College, and Housatonic Community College. AHS students, who had to complete their college essay and application in advance, met individually with college representatives throughout the morning, reviewing their paperwork and learning about the tuition cost, as well as their eligibility for scholarship funding.
At 11 a.m., students learned that they had officially been accepted into one of the colleges, and they celebrated with a pizza and ice cream lunch. They also took pictures in a photo booth, which featured signs from the colleges and fun signs such as “The Adventure Begins,” and “Hire Me.”
“The schools complimented our students for their professional demeanor and academic abilities,” said Stacy Marchionni, one of the school’s three guidance counselors, who coordinated the details for the event. She added that all 36 students were accepted into the schools they applied, and two students were wait-listed for the nursing program at their college of choice.
Mrs. Marchionni was joined by guidance counselors Katelyn Foran and Ed Hilser to plan this event for the past two months, working with students to prepare their admission paperwork and lining up the colleges.
“This is the type of event that shows what we are doing at Ansonia High School: supporting our students as they prepare for college, and providing college-level courses that prepare our students for the academic rigor,” said Dr. Carol Merlone, Superintendent of Schools. “I would like to continue to increase the college-level courses at AHS and ask for the support of everyone – our parents and our community – in making every opportunity possible to our students.”
Terri Goldson, principal of Ansonia High School, joined the students in celebrating their acceptance into college. “The College Onsite Decision Day event was awesome! I commend and truly appreciate our guidance department for giving our students hope for their future and helping them fulfill their dreams,” he said. “At AHS, it is our goal to help all students to pursue and attain postsecondary college to career opportunities.”
Last month, Ansonia High hosted a College Night and had 65 students and parents in attendance. Three $500 scholarships, sponsored by the ECMC Foundation, were raffled off. A spring College Night will be offered in 2017, and three additional $500 scholarships from the ECMC Foundation will be raffled off again.

Ashley Coleman, an ECMC Scholars advisor, oversees eight Connecticut high schools – including Ansonia High – that are members of the ECMC Scholars Program. She attended the AHS Onsite Decision Day program and said she intends to encourage the eight Connecticut high schools that she oversees to offer it.

Undoubtedly, acceptance into college is one of life’s greatest moments," she said. "Events such as the Onsite Decision Day highlight student achievement, community collaboration and the much needed partnership between secondary and higher education institutions. It’s truly something to walk away with a college acceptance letter and thousands of dollars in renewable scholarship funds in early November. For students who hadn’t considered college or were planning to put it off until much later in the year, events like this make the college dream a reality."

“I recall several students sharing stories of their parent’s excitement, and on the brink of Thanksgiving in the coming weeks, students and their families have a little something extra to be thankful for,” Ms. Coleman said. “I thank the educators of Ansonia High and particularly Mrs. Marchioni and Mrs. Foran for their efforts. I will definitely be picking their brain in order to run this event going forward and extend it across all of the scholar schools.”

(This is a press release from Ansonia Public Schools)

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