Twenty-four students from the Pablo Neruda Academy in the Bronx made Fordham’s Rose Hill campus their home from Nov. 16-19, as part of the Office of Multicultural Affairs’ Fourth Annual Shadow Program.

The program brings high school teens onto campus to “shadow” Fordham students, providing an introductory college experience to some who have never set foot on the campus of a university before, said Director and Assistant Dean Sofia Bautista Pertuz.

“The program helped many of them imagine their own potential as college students,” Pertuz said, “and to develop a passion for learning. Some of them didn’t realize just how many diverse topics there are to study on the college level.”

Seventeen Fordham students volunteered to be mentors for the teens. In addition, the high school students were treated to presentations from Michael Latham, Ph.D., interim dean of Fordham College at Rose Hill; Rev. Erika Crawford of Campus Ministry; C-STEP Counselor Alyson Weaver; and Caitlin Becker of the Dorothy Day Center for Service and Justice, among others.

With the help of the Office of Undergraduate Admission, the students were given a tutorial in filling out the college common application and in writing the “personal statement” required on most college applications. They were also given SAT preparation literature and information.

“It was a full experience for them,” Pertuz said. ‘I enjoyed seeing their confidence grow over the course of the week.”

The program was co-sponsored by the Office of the Dean of Fordham College at Rose Hill; the Offices of Student Leadership and Community Development and Career Services; and the Dorothy Day Center for Service and Justice; and Sodexo.


Janet Sassi is editor/associate director of internal communications. She can be reached at (212) 636-7577 or [email protected]