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How Did Some Rutgers Future Scholars Spend Their Summer Vacation? Meeting the First Lady

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(Left to right) Kim Williams, Shannon Thomas RFS ‘19, Dr. Traymanesha Moore, Hassan Haywood RFS ‘19, Natasha Kally RFS ‘18, Juan Acosta RFS ‘19, Jason Gaines RFS ‘17, Melissa Castro RFS ‘18, and Aramis Gutierrez.

Most summer programs include day trips; most do not include a chance to meet the First Lady of the United States.  But that is exactly what happened to a small group of New Jersey high school students participating in the Rutgers Future Scholars program (RFS).  RFS was one of only 15 programs selected nationally to share their outreach strategies and summer programming during National Summer Learning Day in Washington, D.C.  The RFS students got to meet First Lady Michelle Obama as part of the First Lady’s Reach Higher Initiative, and provided demonstrations of RFS summer learning programs.

Two students from the Rutgers University-Newark RFS program, Hassan Haywood (pictured above wearing a red sash) and Shannon Thomas (second from left), were among those who participated.  Haywood and Thomas are both rising seniors at Newark’s Arts High School.

The June 20 event was sponsored by the National Summer Learning Association whose mission is to connect and equip schools, providers, communities, and families to deliver high-quality summer learning opportunities to our nation’s youth to help close the achievement gap and support healthy development. 

The students were accompanied by Kim Williams, Dr. Traymanesha Moore, and Aramis Gutierrez. Williams, Moore, and Gutierrez are Rutgers employees working in the RFS program.