Brookdale Community College recently welcomed a new cohort of nine students to the S-STEM Scholars National Science Foundation (NSF)-sponsored scholarship program designed to increase the number of students pursuing degrees in math, chemistry, computer science, physics, data science, and engineering.

These nine students, Kalene Calixto, Josephine Forte, Bernard McKnight, Thomas Myler, Kendrick Reinoso, Beatriz Santana, Kevin Santos-Reyes, Christopher Wilson, and Sean Zhou, all received a $2,500 stipend. Participants will also receive academic support, leadership development, and mentoring throughout the academic year. The goal of the program is to promote students’ sense of identity and belonging in STEM to produce future leaders in their fields.

“The S-STEM program was recommended to me by my math professor,” Calixto explained. She is starting her second year at Brookdale as an engineering major. She said she is looking forward to meeting new people in the program.

“I’m looking forward to interacting with people in my field and building a community,” Wilson, a computer science major and new Brookdale student, said about the S-STEM Scholars program.

“I choose to come to Brookdale because it was the most affordable option which put a lot less financial stress on my family,” Reinoso, a freshman at Brookdale and computer science major, said. “I am really glad I was accepted into the program as this will help ease the stress,” he said.

This is the third cohort of S-STEM Scholars at Brookdale, and the newest members bring the total to 26 students who have been a part of the grant program. For more information about S-STEM Scholars, please visit