The patio outside the Student Life Center (SLC) on Brookdale Community College’s Lincroft campus was transformed on October 24. Dozens of balloons, boardwalk style games and prizes, and favorite childhood snacks including cotton candy, snow cones, and popcorn, converted the SLC into the Community College Completion Challenge (C4) Carnival. A clown entertained the crowds by posing for pictures and students participated in a “kissing booth,” where they received a pair of red lips stamped on their hand, forehead, or cheek.
The carnival, which was sponsored by Phi Theta Kappa (PTK), was developed to further promote the C4 initiative. C4 encourages students throughout the state to take a pledge to complete their associate degree or certificate before transferring to a four-year college or university or entering the job market. Statistically, completion of an associate degree or certificate aids the transfer process to a four-year school, enhances job security, and according to the US Census Bureau, increases earnings up to $8,000 more per year and $400,000 in a lifetime.
Although Brookdale’s C4 carnival was a celebration for students who already took the pledge to commit, the event also encouraged other students to join this statewide initiative.
Brookdale student Patricia Sindoni enthusiastically took the pledge at the carnival because she understood the importance of staying focused on her goals. Sindoni, who aspires to be a special education teacher at an elementary school, knew achieving her academic goals would emphasize the importance of personal strength and perseverance to her five children.
“I want my children to know that in order to succeed, they need to work hard, set goals, and stay focused,” said Sindoni. “I want them to remember that although staying focused can be challenging, if they remain committed to their dreams, they can achieve anything.”
With the goal of becoming the first member of his family to graduate with a college degree, Brookdale student Jijo Lazzar took the pledge not only for himself, but for his father.
“Graduating is very important to my family. I know that it is one of my father’s dreams to see me at commencement, so I’m also doing this for him,” said Lazzar, a criminal justice major. “Once I applied to Brookdale, I planned to graduate because I knew it would assist with the transferring process.”
“First and foremost this pledge is a commitment to your own self,” said Veronica O’Brien, psychology major at Brookdale. “By taking the pledge, I have committed to myself that I will finish my degree and I will continue to push myself and follow through. I know that when I graduate from Brookdale it will mean more than just self-satisfaction. Having my degree will make me more marketable and professionally successful. It’s a win-win for us students.”
To view photos from the C4 Carnival, click here
For more information about the Community College Completion Corps, visit http://www.cccompletioncorps.org/..