The Worthington campus continued their celebration of Black History Month on Tuesday February 26, 2019. The Honorable Mayor Albert Kelly of Bridgeton, NJ spoke to an audience of more than 65 students. He spoke about how proud he is of Cumberland County and the partnership they have with the George Washington Carver Education Foundation, which opened the first Carver Early College High School cohort on Cumberland County College’s campus in 2017 with 50 students from Bridgeton High School. Mayor Kelly referenced that students throughout Cumberland County have been provided with a pathway to a brighter future by being able to earn their high school diploma and a college degree simultaneously. Additionally, the mayor spoke about his incentives to bring more business properties to Bridgeton and how the residents are anticipating a new Wawa coming soon. He was extremely proud of Bridgeton’s Gateway’s Emergency Assistance Food Pantry which distributes bulk food supplies free of charge to needy residents. He shared an interesting fact that the meatballs in a subway sandwich are made in his city. Mayor Kelly is so proud of his administration and his accomplishments that he calls his city “The Great City of Bridgeton”.
In addition, Mayor Kelly spoke about what Black History Month meant to him. He referenced he is the first Black mayor of Bridgeton and served as the president of all the mayors in the State of NJ. He provided a picture of his great, great, great grandmother and other relatives born in the eighteenth century. He spoke about his great, great grandfather, Dr. Benjamin Pitts Wright a Captain in the confederate army in 1907. He informed the audience that Cumberland County played a large role in South Jersey’s efforts to help runaway slaves seek their freedom. Mayor Kelly stated that Harriet Tubman passed through Bridgeton as an Underground Railroad route running from Maryland’s Eastern Shore to Canada.
A gigantic thank you to Dean Donna Vassallo for providing refreshments, Cynthia Correa, Director Student Services and Institutional Career Services for welcoming the students and sharing thoughts on Black History Month, Gwen McIntyre, ESL Coordinator and Modern Languages, Dr. Nancy Purcell and Afton Koontz, English and Katie Hetu, Jessica Kalisa, and Gabby LaMonaca, College Pathways for encouraging their students to support this event.
Vita M. Stovall, Advisor and Social Sciences Instructor