New York, NY – Mercy College and Roads to Success (RTS) have partnered to offer high school students from low-income households and immigrants a unique opportunity to earn college credit by taking Introduction to Cybersecurity classes.
This summer, 14 students enrolled in the New York City Department of Youth & Community Development (DYCD) Summer Youth Employment Program (SYEP), with RTS as their provider, took a Mercy College Introduction to Cybersecurity class at Mercy’s Manhattan Campus located in Herald Square. The students successfully completed the intensive class and gained critical knowledge and tuition-free credits towards a college degree.
“Mercy College is committed to increasing opportunity for all driven students, regardless of background,” said Scorpio Rogers, Ph.D., Vice President of Mercy College's Bronx and Manhattan Campuses. “We’re proud to partner with RTS and invest in the talent of these young people.”
“We are dedicated to knocking down barriers to college access,” said Sheila Duke, CEO of Roads to Success. “This collaboration allowed our students to envision bigger futures for themselves.”
In just five life-changing weeks, the summer course provided underserved students with an opportunity many believed was out of reach. Beyond gaining college credits, participants developed confidence, knowledge, and support systems to continue pursuing higher education, STEM fields and career goals once unimaginable.
“Even without citizenship yet, I'm grateful for college credit while still in high school. I'm a step ahead now,” said Jessenia, 15, one of the participants.
“This chance impacts my college path immensely. It's helping me balance work, school, and college prep while staying focused. I'm so grateful because not many get this opportunity. It's empowering me and teaching me how college works,” shared Angel, 17, another participating student.
What makes this partnership truly unique is its innovative approach to empowering undocumented youth and non-native English speakers. Roads to Success and Mercy College provided critical language and translation support, breaking down barriers to enable all students to engage fully.
“As a Spanish speaker still learning English, having lessons translated was key for me to truly engage with course material and succeed,” remarked one of the non-English speaking students in the program.
Mercy College, the largest private, non-profit Hispanic Serving Institution (HSI) in the region, has long been committed to college access. The College received national attention last year when it earned the prestigious Seal of Excelencia from Excelencia in Education, a national certification for intentionally serving Latino students. Forty-four percent of Mercy’s undergraduate student population is Hispanic and Many of them are first-generation college students. Mercy’s Cybersecurity Program is recognized nationally, designated as a National Center of Academic Excellence in Information Assurance Education by the National Security Agency and the Department of Homeland Security.
Roads to Success has impacted over 15,000 underserved New York City youth through programs focused on college access, career development, social-emotional learning, and leadership this year. Over 85% of RTS students identify as youth of color and/or immigrant youth. RTS partners with NYC high schools, prioritizing those with higher rates of economic disadvantages, to ensure all students receive guidance and support to navigate future success regardless of background.
About Mercy College
Founded in 1950 by the Sisters of Mercy, Mercy College is an independent, coeducational college that offers more than 100 undergraduate and graduate degree and certificate programs within six schools: Business, Education, Health and Natural Sciences, Nursing, Liberal Arts and Social and Behavioral Sciences. The vibrancy of the College culture is sustained by a diverse student body from around the region. The College offers campuses in Dobbs Ferry, the Bronx and Manhattan as well as online offerings. For more information, visit www.mercy.edu.
About Roads to Success
The mission of Roads to Success is to inspire and empower all young people to take
control of their future. We envision a future where youth from all backgrounds are given
a fair and equitable chance to be inspired, connected, and to discover their own path to
thrive. For more information visit www.roadstosuccess.org.