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MCCC Youth College Students Encouraged to ‘Define Themselves’


WEST WINDSOR – In remarks to students during the Mercer County Community College (MCCC) annual Youth College Awards Ceremony, Mark A. Broach, senior pastor at the Trenton Deliverance Center Church, urged students to take control of who they are and who they will become, and never let others define them.

“Do not allow anyone to identify you or label you,” Broach said. “Identify yourself. Everyone here has the ability to achieve.”

Broach addressed more than 300 Trenton Campus youth program participants and their parents in a packed Kelsey Theatre on May 2, when Youth College students were honored during the Saturday morning ceremony.

The honorees are participants in the Educational Talent Search, SMILE/GEAR UP, and Upward Bound programs on MCCC’s Trenton Campus. Programs begin as early as sixth grade and continue through high school, and include after-school tutoring, summer programs, field trips, academic counseling, and college entrance exam preparation.

“Saturday mornings are a ritual for us – we have school,” said Ariel Matos, assistant director of SMILE/GEAR UP. “Today we are proud of students’ commitment to Saturdays and summer, and to expanding themselves academically.”

Serving as emcees for the event were high school junior Herby Revolus Jr. of the SMILE/GEAR UP program and Katherine Garcia, a high school freshman in the Upward Bound program.

Both credited the program with helping them academically, and beyond.

Youth College Graduates

One-hundred fifty high school seniors participating in Youth College are heading to colleges that include MCCC and many four-year schools.

Mark Broach, Herby Revolus, Katherine Garcia

MCCC Youth College keynote speaker Pastor Mark Broach, with emcees Herby Revolus Jr. and Katherine Garcia.

“I’ve been in SMILE/GEAR UP since seventh grade, and now I’m a junior,” Revolus said. “The Saturdays spent here have been well worth it. It’s reflected in everything I do.”

“As a freshman I’m just getting started, but I look forward to the years ahead,” said Garcia.

This year 150 members of Youth College will graduate from high school, with many earning scholarships and going on to colleges including The College of New Jersey, Rider University, Seton Hall, Rutgers, Montclair State, and Kean University. About one third will begin their college careers at MCCC.

See additional photos on Facebook here.



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