Broadridge Foundation funds pilot class for at-risk high school students in Brentwood.
The Viscardi Center is proud to announce the Suffolk County expansion of its PROSPER program, developed to engage at-risk junior and senior high school students in a vocational-based curriculum that assists them in meeting vital education requirements.
PROSPER has been running for more than 20 years in school districts across Nassau County. Over 90% of the students who complete the half-day, yearlong program graduate from high school and move on to pursue higher education, job training, or employment.
With full funding from the Broadridge Foundation, The Viscardi Center has partnered with Brentwood Free Union Public School District to empower more young people in our local communities.
“The primary objective of this program is to improve attendance, boost self-esteem, and help students build important workplace and life skills,” Colleen Crispino, The Viscardi Center’s Chief Program Officer, said. “Through visits to local businesses and college campuses, students gain an understanding of the relevancy of education as it relates to their employment future.”
Representatives from The Viscardi Center and Brentwood School District gathered at Brentwood’s Central Administration Center to celebrate the launch on Wednesday, October 23. They were joined by Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone, County District Attorney Timothy Sini, NYS Senator Monica R. Martinez, and Broadridge Financial Solutions Executive Chairman Rich J. Daly, who each spoke about on how the expansion into Suffolk County will strengthen Long Island at large.
“Here in Brentwood could be the next entrepreneur, the next founder, the next lawyer. What we’re looking to do is to enable an environment where young people have good alternatives and opportunities,” Daly said.
Kiara Groce, a junior who wants to study criminal justice and eventually become a police officer, enrolled in the program to hone leadership skills that can’t always be learned in a traditional classroom setting.
“In school you’re surrounded by walls,” Groce said. “People don’t always tell you what you’re going to experience when you get a job or go to college. Being in the PROSPER program can show you what it’s really like in the outside world.”
The new Brentwood PROSPER pilot class started October 30 and is based at Suffolk County Community College – Grant Campus.
About The Viscardi Center
Founded by Dr. Henry Viscardi, Jr., who served as disability advisor to eight U.S. Presidents and became one of the world’s leading advocates, The Viscardi Center educates, employs, and empowers people with disabilities. It provides Pre-K through High School education, school-to-work youth transition services, vocational training, career counseling and employment placement, assistive technology, and adapted driver education to children, adolescents, and adults with a wide variety of disabilities. The Center also assists businesses in diversifying their workforces, as well as developing and advancing disability inclusive cultures in their workplaces.