AllentownSchool District

ASD & LCCC Celebrate First Cohort of Early College Students

ASD & LCCC Celebrate First Cohort of Early College Students
The Allentown School District and Lehigh Carbon Community College celebrated the first cohort of Early College graduates Wednesday, May 26.

The event featured community representatives and elected officials, who recognized 35 students who have earned both a high school diploma and associate degree. The students, who attend William Allen, Dieruff, and Building 21 high schools, will receive a pin and sash to wear during ASD’s traditional graduation ceremonies. They also received proclamations from local legislators.

Jose Jamil Figueroa-Gomez arrived in Allentown from Puerto Rico in the fall of 2018. After earning a 4.0 GPA his sophomore year, earned a spot in the Early College Program. “The Early College Program helped me get ahead, and I am excited to attend Lafayette College to major in Engineering this fall,” said Figueroa-Gomez. He hopes to one day return to PR someday and work as an engineer to rebuild the infrastructure on the island that has been devastated by recent hurricanes. Figueroa-Gomez credits his own tireless work effort and the supportive staff at DHS & LCCC for helping him accomplish these goals. 

ASD launched Early College in spring 2019. The first cohort of students, like Figueroa-Gomez, has been fully enrolled and taking courses through LCCC in person and online during the COVID-19 pandemic. Last fall, the partnership expanded to allow eighth-graders to begin taking courses through LCCC, increasing total participation to over 100 students. The program is made possible through the generous support of The Century Fund. 

“The perseverance and dedication this cohort of students has displayed over the last two years is nothing short of remarkable,” said Nancy Wilt, ASD Board President. “It is my hope that the Early College program proves life-changing for many of our students. For a number of families, these graduates are the first generation to head to college. Early College has the potential to open doors after graduation, allowing them to choose their own unique path in life.” 

During his time with the district, former Superintendent Thomas Parker was critical in developing the expanded partnership between the district and LCCC, with the ultimate goal of increasing opportunity and access to higher education.

Parker will return to Allentown for the celebration on May 26. 
“Students graduating through the Early College program are truly trailblazers and have recognized the importance of a college education,” said Dr. Ann D. Bieber, LCCC president.

“This is a tremendous achievement. I know these graduates will make an incredible impact on their community as they take the next step in their future, whether that is to continue their education or to enter the workforce. LCCC is proud to be part of their journey.”

A live stream of the event is available here.

Early College Class of 2021

Building 21
Nelly Figueroa Bueso
Ismaily Gil
Marcianne Mason
Azalyn Vega-Osorio
Ervin Witherspoon

Louis E. Dieruff High School
Gilberto Alvarado
Ade Conover
Sakinah Davis
Alaijah Ferreira Muslim
Jose Figueroa Gomez
Makayla Maldonado
Kenny Martinez
Maia Metri
Yennifer Munoz
Dariely Perez
Eliezer Polanco
Yasmine Reyes
Stephanye Rodriguez
Alexander Simitz
Lisbeth Soto Amonte
Jerry Villanueva

William Allen High School
Yadiel Aponte Rosado
Katelyn Baez
Brianna Bradshaw
Kelvin Cruz
Kyla Gonzalez
Makayla Hernandez
Justyn Lanham
Tatiana Martinez
Lizbeth Pena
Odyssey Rodriguez
Jamaris Salinas
John Santana