New York Mets Go to Bat for High School Students in St. John’s College Advantage Program
The New York Mets recently hosted an exciting dinner and awards ceremony on their home turf at Citi Field for many high-achieving local high school students of Latino origin currently enrolled in the St. John’s University College Advantage Program (CAP).
Through CAP, qualifying high school juniors and seniors have the opportunity to enroll in credit-bearing courses at St. John’s University at the reduced rate of $325 per course, a significant discount from standard tuition rates.
The Mets partnered with WellCare Health Plans, Inc. to make a sizable donation of $10,000, which pays for 31 local high school students taking St. John’s CAP courses. The students and their families were invited to a behind-the-scenes tour of Citi Field and heard from Edgardo Alfonzo, former Mets infielder and current manager of the minor league team, the Brooklyn Cyclones. Students were encouraged to continue their pursuit of academic programs and extracurricular activities that will further prepare them for success in college.
“The goal of our Latino Leaders Program is to motivate students to pursue higher education,” said Sydni Epps, Assistant, External Affairs and Community Engagement for the Mets. “We are proud to partner with St. John’s University and WellCare to provide deserving students with the opportunity to experience college firsthand and put them on a path to future success.”
The students—who come from as far east as Shelter Island, on Long Island, NY, and from as far west as Staten Island, NY—also visited the Mets Clubhouse, the historic Jackie Robinson Rotunda, and the Mets Hall of Fame & Museum.
Using a baseball analogy, Cecelia M. Russo, Director of the College Advantage Program at St. John’s, likened CAP students to a baserunner taking a lead before stealing a base. “Students enrolled in CAP are a step ahead of other high school students, they have an extra and early academic advantage that not only prepares them for success in college, but saves them time and preserves financial resources,” said Ms. Russo. “It is truly a winning combination for all.”
CAP classes are taught at more than 100 local high schools by approved teachers in areas of study including English, mathematics, languages, fine arts, the sciences, and humanities. Participating high schools are located across New York City, Nassau, Suffolk, and Westchester counties, with more schools being added each year. In addition, CAP students who enroll at St. John’s University right after high school graduation receive a $2,000 tuition grant per year.
“St. John’s University is committed to providing access to quality, college-level learning and academic advantages to all eager students—as early on as possible,” said Jorge L. Rodriguez, Vice Provost and Chief Enrollment Officer at St. John’s. “We are grateful to the New York Mets and WellCare for supporting this important effort.”