Chester Community Charter School Graduate Earns Grant to Bryn Mawr College

Mar 13, 2012, 16:15 ET from Chester Community Charter School

CHESTER, Pa., March 13, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Tonjae Nixon, a graduate of Chester Community Charter School (CCCS), the largest K-8 charter school in Pennsylvania, has earned a grant from Bryn Mawr College, to continue her studies at the small, selective, liberal-arts college for women, located in the Philadelphia suburbs.

A second-semester freshman at Bryn Mawr College, Nixon is hoping to major in Spanish and minor in English, and has an interest in becoming an interpreter or teacher.

Nixon, who graduated in 2004, prior to the introduction of the Chester Community Charter Middle School, in that same year, received a $12,000 scholarship funded by the personal contributions of Vahan Gureghian, who leads CCCS's management company, and his wife, Danielle. That scholarship assisted Ms. Nixon in meeting her tuition costs while she continued her sixth-through-twelfth-grade education at Westtown Academy, a Quaker, co-educational, college preparatory day and boarding school for grades pre-K–12, in West Chester, PA.

"I really loved the charter school and am thankful for the education and opportunities that it has awarded me," said Nixon. "The teachers looked out for my best interests and stuck by me as I transitioned from grade to grade. CCCS introduced me to Westtown Academy and helped to mold and shape the type of student that I am today. I seriously doubt that, if I had not attended the charter school, I would have had an opportunity to attend Westtown or be here, studying, at Bryn Mawr."

Commenting on Ms. Nixon's achievement, Dr. David Clark, CEO, Chester Community Charter School, said, "We are proud of the accomplishments of all of our current and former students. It is through the dedication of our teachers and staff that our students flourish. It's a standard practice that we strongly encourage our students to continue their educations at academically rigorous secondary educational institutions." He continued, "We are encouraged by Tonjae's success and hope our current students can see what is possible through hard work and determination.

"Like Tonjae, many of our students have contributed to the creation of a new paradigm for academic success, here, in Chester. Several of them have gone on to graduate from some very challenging high schools," added Clark, "and approximately 40 percent of those students have been accepted and are enrolled in colleges and universities. This compares to the fact that just 8.7 percent of Chester's adult population has earned a bachelor's degree."

Currently, other former CCCS students are attending, or have graduated from, Episcopal Academy, Westtown, Archmere Academy, Cardinal O'Hara, Malvern Prep, Valley Forge Military Academy and the Milton Hershey School, among other prestigious secondary schools.

Among the members of the 2012 eighth-grade class, several students have already been accepted and will be attending schools such as St. Joseph's Prep, Episcopal Academy, Cardinal O'Hara, Wilmington Friend's School, Ursuline Academy, the Tatnall School (Wilmington, DE) and St. Mark's High School, also in Wilmington.

From 2004 to the present, Vahan and Danielle Gureghian have personally contributed an estimated $709,000 in scholarship funds to 81 graduates from Chester Community Charter School and other Chester-area schools.

About Chester Community Charter School

Chester Community Charter School opened its doors on September 9, 1998, serving 97 students from its modest four meeting rooms, in the lobby of the Howard Johnson Hotel. Since that time, the school has steadily grown to include more than 3,000 students in nine state-of-the-art buildings, spanning two campuses. Recently, Chester Community Charter School provided personal laptop computers, through the "One Laptop per Child" program, to 1400 of its students, in grades three through eight.

SOURCE Chester Community Charter School