Bank of America Charitable Foundation Grant to Aid Future Students

News Story: September 1, 2009

The Bank of America Charitable Foundation has awarded a $25,000 grant to Sacred Heart University’s Business Ed Tech-Prep (BET) program, which helps Bridgeport high school students earn college credits.

The Bank of America Charitable Foundation has awarded a $25,000 grant to Sacred Heart University’s Business Ed Tech-Prep (BET) program, which helps Bridgeport high school students earn college credits at the Fairfield campus. Judi Cyr and Bill Tommins of Bank of America, left and right, presented the check to President Anthony J. Cernera.

Marking its 13th year, BET, a community outreach program, allows upperclassmen from Bassick, Bridgeport Central and Warren Harding High Schools to kick-start their college education by enrolling in college-level courses through SHU. The students, who are recommended by their high-school guidance counselors, can earn up to nine transferable college credits in business, accounting and computer science, with the classes also counting toward their high school diplomas.

“I’m beyond thrilled with Bank of America’s continued support. This generous grant will allow us to do several things with the program that we haven’t been able to do before,” said Karen Guastelle, SHU’s dean of Undergraduate Admissions and the coordinator of BET. “For one, we’ll be able to look into getting new books for the students. And two, the most exciting part, is that we can start a scholarship program.”

William R. Tommins, Fairfield County market president for Bank of America, said that Sacred Heart’s BET program was an obvious choice for the grant because of the University’s ongoing role as a partner in the community.

“Sacred Heart recognizes that the success and prosperity of our communities hinges on our ability to give students the opportunity to succeed,” said Tommins. “This program is a fantastic example of how the private sector can partner with a premiere educational institution to achieve a positive outcome for everyone. Bank of America is pleased to support this critical program.”

In addition to course credits, SHU also provides BET students with assistance getting into college, including finding schools that are a good fit for each individual, filling out applications, and applying for financial aid. “Our goal is to have a 100 percent success rate for these kids getting into colleges that are the best fit for them,” Guastelle said.