‘Experience NU’ Living Up to Its Name

April 26, 2013  |  by Michael Freedman

  • VMI
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  • VMI
  • VMI
  • VMI

“Experience NU.” The program’s concept is as straightforward as its name.

Organized by Niagara University faculty and staff members participating in the Vincentian Mission Certificate program, “Experience NU” offers inner city elementary and middle school students a taste of the college experience.

For seven Tuesdays beginning February 26, 10 young people spent two hours meeting with NU faculty for lessons in the diverse array of studies the university offers. They toured the campus, walked through a residence hall, conducted a chemistry experiment, prepared a meal, and a whole lot more.

“To be able to immerse younger people in a university setting is so valuable,” explained Sharon Green, a coordinator of instructional services who is part of the Vincentian Mission Certificate program at NU. “Many of these kids who attend urban elementary schools may not consider attending college for one reason or another. To them, college may seem unattainable, unrealistic. The idea behind this program is to begin to make higher education accessible to everyone.”

This year’s cohort of fifth through seventh graders came to NU from the Niagara Falls Boys & Girls Club. It was the second time that the program was offered by members of the Vincentian Mission Certificate program, a group that endeavors to carry on the values of St. Vincent de Paul, founder of the Vincentian fathers who established Niagara University.

On Tuesday, April 23, the girls received certificates signifying their completion of the program. Congratulations to Shanesyha Bailey, DaNaisha Burch, Laisha Ferguson, La’Tia Ferguson, Mary Marinaccio, Avient’a Robinson, Destany Smith, Mary Tillman, Amajah Williams and Alyssa Winstanley.

To learn more about Niagara University’s heritage and mission, please visit www.niagara.edu/our-mission.