Brookdale Community College welcomed nine students to the second cohort of S-STEM Scholars, a National Science Foundation (NSF) sponsored scholarship program designed to increase the number of students pursuing degrees in Math, Chemistry, Computer Science, Data Science, Physics, and Engineering. The program is designed to prepare students to excel upon completion of their degree at Brookdale and transfer to a four-year institute.

Receiving the scholarship as a second-year student, Avry Timol said he enrolled in the engineering program at Brookdale to study chemical engineering. “I want to continue school until I complete my master’s degree and eventually develop a program that will be able to speed up clinical research studies for new medicines,” Timol said. “I am currently involved in the computer science club, and I am a member of the online coding bootcamp program. Before I graduate Brookdale, I hope to create my first app.”

Through this NSF program, the students will meet professionals in their field, explore career paths, and develop leadership skills.

“Scholars share a cohort experience, participate in mentoring, and have additional support in math,” said Susan Monroe, associate professor of Mathematics. “They receive the extra support in Math up to Calculus II and will attend leadership seminars.”

An S-STEM Scholar receives $2500 each semester for as long as they participate in the cohort and keep their GPA up. This stipend frees the student from some financial burden and allows for additional time to pursue academics and co-curricular activities.

“The scholarship funds will allow me the luxury of being a student athlete without the added pressure to have to fund my transportation to and from school, and for supplies such as books and technology,” said Long Branch High School graduate Denise Gonzalez-Cruz.

“Before applying to colleges, I was initially worried about the costs that come with it,” said Jose Peralta from Long Branch. “After learning about opportunities like this one, I have become interested in college and continuing my studies to a higher level.”

Gino Terracciano from Keansburg has been interested in Math and Science since middle school. During his senior year of high school, he had the opportunity to attend Middletown High School North half-time to take an introduction to engineering class. “I would like to develop a career path that is related to mechanical engineering, he said. “My very long-term goal is to own a small business related to my career and will therefore take business and finance courses while at Brookdale.”

Soraya Ashour, Jake Giacone, Britt Li Kendle, Paul Peragino, and Henry Rodriguez are also part of the second cohort. The program now has 15 students participating.

To find out more about becoming an S-STEM Scholar at Brookdale, please visit