Students of Rowan College at Gloucester County's (RCGC) Adult Center for Transition (ACT) program work hard every day to take control of their disabilities and secure a bright, independent future for themselves. Now, ACT students will have even more support thanks to the Keating Family Memorial Scholarship.
|Pictured above: RCGC President Frederick Keating, Ed.D. and
Keating Family Memorial Scholarship recipient Elyse DelGrande, along with her
parents Angela and Eric DelGrande|
The scholarship was established by RCGC's president, Dr. Frederick Keating – a distinguished educational leader with more than 30 years of experience in higher education. Under his guidance, RCGC forged a premier partnership with Rowan University and affiliations with other area universities, expanded the campus with new construction and modernizing renovations and initiated numerous scholarship programs.
"Dr. Keating has been the Foundation's biggest champion," remarked Director of Foundation and Alumni Relations, Cody Miller. "Whenever there is a student in need or an opportunity to establish a new scholarship, he's the first to ask 'What can I do to help?' It is fitting that he would establish a perpetual scholarship to assist students in the ACT program. The program has always been something that is near and dear to his heart and we are thankful for his continued commitment to the students."
On Feb. 14, the Keating Family Memorial Scholarship was established in honor of several family members influential in Dr. Keating's life. Frederick Keating Sr., Jane Keating, Doris Shodder and Eileen Giusti – the RCGC President's father, mother aunt and cousin – were examples of compassion, benevolence and protectiveness. These qualities were particularly evident in their interactions with the special needs community and inspired a passion for encouraging and assisting that community in Dr. Keating's own life.
"I started my career in the special services district, and I know that students with cognitive disabilities face more hurtles than most when it comes to getting an education and finding their place as productive, contributing members of society," said Keating. "This scholarship is a way to say that we see your hard work, we recognize your accomplishments and we have faith in your ability to succeed."
ACT was established to provide a post-secondary experience to prepare young adults with disabilities to thrive as independent members of society. By focusing on student goals and strengths, ACT provides targeted academic, social and vocational education to prepare each graduate to find their place within a competitive workforce. The institution has already selected the first recipient of the Keating Family Memorial Scholarship – third-year student Elyse DelGrande.
DelGrande will receive a $500 scholarship to help fund her final semester in the ACT program. The Collingswood resident has a passion for the culinary arts and dreams of one day opening a restaurant in her hometown, where she can employ other members of the special needs community. Upon her graduation in May, DelGrande will transfer to the Soups and Sweets culinary training program offered through the Jewish Family & Children's Service of Southern New Jersey to continue pursuing her education.
"I'd like to thank my teachers, who helped get me to this point," Del Grande remarked upon receiving the scholarship. "I want to thank my parents for their great support and myself for working so hard. I want to thank Rowan College at Gloucester County for helping me over the past three years to become a responsible person who works hard."
Moving forward, the Keating Family Memorial Scholarship will fund two, $250 scholarships annually, available to second or third year students of RCGC's ACT program. Applicants must have demonstrated substantial growth during their time in the program and plan to seek further development through an RCGC degree or certificate program, or an ACT career-training program.
"The ACT program is of great importance to me and I am honored to see just how many of you have shown up to see this scholarship established today," said Keating as he addressed the large crowd that had gathered. "I hope you will consider joining me in supporting the Adult Center for Transition and all of the remarkable work that they do."
For more information on the Adult Center for Transition, visit RCGC.edu/ACT. To view this and other scholarships available through RCGC, visit RCGC.edu/Scholarships.
Rowan College at Gloucester County's 250-acre campus is located on Tanyard Road in Deptford, just off Exit 56 of Route 55.