ASAS provides staff with free college education

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This fall, After-School All-Stars (ASAS) Program Leaders Cora Phelps and Armando Martell are going back to school and pursuing their college education at Southern New Hampshire University (SNHU). In partnership with College for America at Southern New Hampshire University, a nonprofit, fully accredited college built specifically to help working adults succeed, After-School All-Stars New York and New Jersey is helping its employees earn a college degree.

College for America is a nonprofit, certified college degree program that partners with colleges throughout the nation. The program is applicable in workplaces and makes it achievable for adults with busy schedules to attain a degree. ASAS launched our partnership with SNHU, which is known to many for its industry leading online degree program, making it possible for adults of all ages, backgrounds, and interests to follow their dreams of finishing college, and gaining marketable skills.

“This is a really big deal for our organization and, we think, the afterschool field in general,” said DDR. “Yes, we certainly care about people and want to see them flourish. We also believe that better educated, more confident and qualified staff leads to higher-quality programming for our All-Stars.”

 After-School All-Stars Team Members Pursuing their Degrees

Cora Phelps has been a shining Program Leader for the last two years at George Washington
Carver School in Newark, NJ. Cora had attended college in the past, studying business and later 11337154_1473014913010559_1207641820_n - Copymedicine. Previously, Cora was not able to finish her education, when she became a mother to her wonderful daughter, Naziya, now six years old. Through the College for America program, she is now studying Public Administration at SNHU.  When we asked about her experience with the program, Cora said, “I love the convenience, as it’s online and I can work at my own pace. Not only that, but studying at Southern New Hampshire University will benefit my work with ASAS by developing my skills to become a better teacher, educator, and a more open individual.”

Cora with her son Ktwon (age 3) and daughter Zaziyah (age 6)

DJ MartellArmando Martell is ASAS’ lead “DJ Academy” Program Leader and a well-deserving recipient of the SNHU scholarship.  Armando grew up in Manhattan, and has always had an interest in the arts, particularly music.  During ASAS DJ Academy at Hamilton Grange Middle School in West Harlem, Armando teaches kids about the history of music, and then shows them how to use turntables and scratch. All-Stars create their own beats, and the class is one of the most popular with ASAS. “Growing up, I did not have many quality art programs, and I’m dedicated to sparking creativity in the students I serve,” said Armando.

Due to different circumstances, Armando dropped out of high school, and later received his GED.  He developed his audio engineering skills through many hours of self-education, as well as attending an audio engineering program.  When the opportunity to attend SNHU was presented to him by Dax Ross, ASAS NYNJ’s Executive Director, Armando researched the program, and was attracted to the skills-based education and ongoing support he would receive from the college. Armando is pursuing his associates in the arts, focusing on communications. Looking to the future, he plans to graduate with his Bachelor’s degree in 3 years.

“I believe that giving this opportunity to ASAS front line staff will further our loyalty to the organization. I greatly appreciate the experience, and look forward to passing my education forward to the All-Stars that are in my program,” says Armando.

What’s next with the ASAS’ SNHU College for America program? Four ASAS staff members are enrolled in the program, and ASAS is excited to continue to increase the amount of scholarships we provide to employees. Both ASAS staff and students are benefiting from this partnership, and we look forward to providing our hard working and motivated team with the opportunity to grow both personally and professionally.  This unique opportunity ASAS has created is a huge positive step forward for everyone involved.