July 02, 2024 Category: Our Programs

From Summer Camp to College: Congratulations to our CCP Graduates! 

As senior year of high school comes to an end, we wanted to take the time to congratulate our graduates from the College Connections Program. Our students have spent countless late nights researching different universities, prepping for standardized tests and perfecting their applications. All their hard work has paid off, and we’re thrilled to see them embark on their new journey in the fall! 

Bentley Gordon, the College Connections Program Director, has spent the past year serving as a mentor and resource for students. While saying goodbye to this graduating class may be bittersweet, the pride he takes in their successes outweighs that.  

“I am very proud of our graduating seniors. Seeing them grow and develop into the person they are today has been rewarding,” shared Bentley.  

Students celebrated their success at the CCP graduation! 

Many students will be attending school outside of the city. Fortunately for our program graduates, camp has prepared them for spending time away from home! Ibraheem Best-Adeleke will be studying computer science at Syracuse University this fall. His passion for programming began in eighth grade, and through The Fresh Air Fund, he was able to further develop those skills. 

“My mom put me in a program to learn computer science in eighth grade, then the next summer I learned how to make a game by myself with The Fresh Air Fund,” said Ibraheem. “The summer after that, I went to Colombia University for a Java Script program.” 

Ibraheem was a speaker at this year’s Spring Benefit. 

While CCP aims to offer the tools needed to apply to college, it also encourages students to build interpersonal skills and develop strong relationships. 

“CCP helped me learn about independence. When you’re working, it’s important to learn how to hold yourself accountable in whatever role you have,” Ibraheem shared. 

Ralph Liu, another graduate of CCP, will be attending NYU Stern School of Business in a dual degree program to earn his BS and MS in accounting. 

“Looking back at the years, I’ve spent every Wednesday at The Fresh Air Fund office from 6 pm to 8 pm. I’ve made so many connections with like-minded individuals who had similar passions and backgrounds to mine,” Ralph said. “CCP supported my goals and provided an abundance of resources such as informative workshops, mentors and financial aid guidance.” 

Ralph is ecstatic to be NYU bound!

After months of working on essays, supplements and applications, Ralph was stunned to see acceptance letters from several dream schools, like Binghampton University, Macaulay Honors at Baruch College and Pace University. 

“If I could go back to September and give myself advice when beginning the college application process, I would say ‘Reach for the impossible. Do not underestimate your potential!’” 

To all our CCP graduates, we are truly impressed by your commitment, drive and enthusiasm. We can’t wait to see what the future holds! 

This is a group with big dreams and goals. As they step into this new world of higher education, I know nothing but greatness awaits them.


Learn more about the College Connections Program here!