NJCU Holds Annual Graduation Ceremony for its Proyecto Science STEM Summer Program

August 15, 2023
Photo Gallery: Proyecto Science Summer 2023 Recreational Time (Photo Credit: Paul Gargiulo)

University Celebrates Graduates of Pre-College Education Program That Fosters STEM Education, Partnerships with Hudson County High Schools

JERSEY CITY, N.J. | The Proyecto Science STEM Program at New Jersey City University (NJCU) held its annual graduation ceremony on Monday, August 7, 2023 in the Margaret Williams Theatre on campus. An immersive six-week summer program designed for high school students interested in STEM, the program is designed to enhance their critical thinking skills, encourage quantitative literacy, and foster lifelong learning.

During this year’s ceremonial closing, honors were awarded to the valedictorians and salutatorians from all four grade levels, including recognition of the winners of the MAD Scientist Competition. Honored guests who were in attendance included NJCU’s Interim President Andrés Acebo and Interim Provost and Senior Vice President of Academic Affairs Dr. Donna Breault, Dr. Norma Fernandez, Superintendent of Jersey City Public Schools, and Assemblywoman Angela McKnight.

“It is so inspiring to see this program thriving after more than two decades of bringing the most promising young students together to advance their STEM education and foster meaningful connections with peers and mentors,” said President Acebo. “This program is a perfect example of NJCU’s commitment to fostering partnerships among schools in Jersey City and Bayonne. We look forward to expanding this impactful program to more students throughout Hudson County. Congratulations to these incredible students!”

Students enjoying recreational time during Proyecto Science's 2023 program.
Students enjoying recreational time during Proyecto Science's 2023 program.

The program, which has been a part of the NJCU community since 1997, invites seventh grade students to apply and complete four consecutive summer coursework programs in STEM. The Proyecto Science program is managed by talented NJCU students, NJCU alumni, and Proyecto Science alumni working as teachers and administrators under the guidance and mentorship of the program director, Dr. Meriem Bendaoud, NJCU Professor of Biology.

"This culminating event is a reminder that our community is growing stronger as we are all working together to ensure the future success of our children,” said Dr. Bendaoud. “New Jersey City University would not have been able to provide and sustain this most needed program without the combined support of parents, partners' school districts, and the generous donations from Novartis Pharmaceuticals, Bloomberg Philanthropies, and the Jersey City Board of Education. We will grow stronger together."

Participants in the program are selected from participating schools, including Jersey City and Bayonne, following the eligibility requirements set by Proyecto Science. The cost for participation in the program is dependent on funding and support from school districts and other sponsors, as noted by Dr. Bendaoud.

“The 26-year history of the Proyecto Science Program at NJCU speaks to a mutual commitment that schools and NJCU share in serving the bright minds of Hudson County,” said Dr. Breault. “The students who spend six weeks of their summer challenging themselves and learning more about math, science, and other STEM areas are this region’s future. NJCU is honored to be part of their journey toward that exciting future.”

"The Jersey City Public Schools is proud to have partnered with NJCU's Proyecto Science since 1997 in preparing today's children to become the innovators of tomorrow,” added Dr. Fernandez. “Proyecto Science allows our scholars to gain knowledge of scientific principles in a fun atmosphere and equips them with valuable skills." 

Photo Gallery: Proyecto Science Summer 2023 Recreational Time (Photo Credit: Paul Gargiulo)

About NJCU:
New Jersey City University is an institution of higher learning dedicated to the development of our students, our city, our communities, and our state. We are a game-changing force for our students and have been recognized as one of the top colleges in the nation improving their upward economic mobility. Whether enrolled in one of our undergraduate, graduate, or doctoral programs at our three locations, NJCU students have access to an affordable, diverse environment, and an exceptionally supportive faculty. This prepares them to go on to become the next generation of workers and leaders who improve their communities and the State of New Jersey.


Ira Thor
, Associate Vice President for University Communications (interim) | ithor@njcu.edu | 201-200-3301