New Zicklin Summer Fellows program gives aid to students in summer internships and classes.

Support to Go the Distance

Aug. 6, 2014

Senior Marcia Grey changed her mind about taking a break from school when she got support from the Zicklin Fellowship program. 

Senior Marcia Grey was thinking that maybe she needed a break. It was tough enough being away from her husband and kids back home in Grenada. And it was frustrating having to scramble to pull together her tuition and living expenses after some financial support she thought she was getting from her job fell through at the last minute.

"Sometimes you feel like giving up, especially when you look at expenses. I was thinking maybe I need to take a year off," explains the sociology major, who was on a sabbatical from a government post in Grenada so that she could complete a degree program here.

When she found out that she would be part of the first group of recipients of the Zicklin Summer Fellows program,  which provides financial support for students to take a credit-bearing internship or to complete summer courses, Grey decided to keep plugging away at her studies.

"It showed me that other people believed in me," she says. "I couldn't give up."

This year the program, which helps students develop new skill sets and enhances their likelihood of graduating within six years, supported 16 students who were at least sophomores and who demonstrated some need for financial assistance.

Currently, students at Brooklyn College do not qualify for the New York State Tuition Assistance Program for summer enrollment. And for the 70 percent of Brooklyn College students whose families earn less than $50,000 annually, an unpaid internship is generally not an option.

The Zicklin fellowships are supported by a grant of $150,000 from Carol Zicklin, '61, a trustee of the Brookyln College Foundation and sponsor of chairs in the Honors Academy and the School of Natural and Behavioral Sciences. The program will be assessed after three years to compare the six-year graduation rate of the Zicklin Fellows against that of a control group.

Grey, who transferred to Brooklyn College after graduating from Borough of Manhattan Community College, is taking six credits in the two summer sessions. She plans to graduate next May and then return home to work in community development and women's empowerment.

"Brooklyn College is really helping me to accomplish my dream," she says.

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