Beyond Financial Assistance
Stockton's EOF celebrates 50 years.
By URM Staff
By URM Staff
Stockton’s Educational Opportunity Fund Program inspires hundreds of hard-working students every year at the University.
EOF, a state-funded grant program, provides financial assistance and support services to college students from educationally and economically disadvantaged backgrounds. Stockton’s program, under the direction of Maralyn Mason, currently assists more than 350 students.
According to Mason, the EOF program is much more than financial assistance.
“It’s an extension of family,” she said. “Not only does the program provide financial aid, but it also assists students academically and personally.”
Students accepted into the program take part in the five-week summer program, where they live on campus, take classes and participate in social events with other incoming EOF students.
Not only does the program provide financial aid, but it also assists students academically and personally."
The program provides the opportunity for students to get to know each other and learn about the University and the career, academic and social support it has to offer.
The support does not end with the completion of the summer program. Throughout their time at Stockton, EOF students also receive support from EOF staff and advisers as well as other professional staff members, faculty members and student leaders.
In July, the University welcomed 50 students in the inaugural class of EOF-Atlantic City, bringing the total number of Stockton EOF students to 400. Students come from the greater Atlantic City area and across the state. The cohort lives at the Galloway campus, but regularly attends service-learning activities, advising meetings and EOF events at Stockton Atlantic City.
For example, students will participate in the Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service in Atlantic City in January and the after-school homework assistance program with youth in Atlantic City and Pleasantville.
Additionally, they are learning about the history of Atlantic City, “to help them contextualize their presence in the community and develop a greater appreciation for their ability to not only impact the community, but to be impacted by it as well,” said Angel Hernandez, associate director of EOF.
The 2019 cohort will reside in Atlantic City, allowing for further engagement in the community.
This summer, Stockton also celebrated the 50th anniversary of the signing of the legislation that created EOF. The University hosted a program that highlighted a Stockton EOF participant from each of the five decades.
Each speaker emphasized how their acceptance to Stockton’s EOF changed the trajectory of their future.
“This program changes lives,” said Paula Stewart-Davis, one of the speakers and dean of students at Atlantic Cape Community College. “This program saves lives.”
-By Stacey Clapp