Leandra Fernandez, a sophomore child study and human relations double major at SJC Brooklyn, felt a weight lift from her shoulders when she learned the College could cover her Chalk & Wire subscription — a place for child study students to create online portfolios to showcase their work.
The subscription, used by students at SJC Brooklyn and SJC Long Island, helps future teachers build an online portfolio that they can continue to use after graduation. But purchasing the annual $150 subscription is a difficult financial challenge for some students to meet.
Fernandez, and more than two dozen of her peers who are also in financial need, received free subscriptions to Chalk & Wire in November, thanks to generous donations from St. Joseph’s College supporters.
Earlier this year, on Giving Day, donors raised $3,990 for Chalk & Wire grants, surpassing the College’s $3,550 goal, and allowing 29 students to access the online portfolio system or free.
Donors Make a Difference
Fernandez, who hopes to teach special education students in low-income communities after graduation, automatically received the Chalk & Wire grant because she is eligible for the Pell Grant, a form of federal aid designed to assist low-income students.
“I am extremely grateful for the (Chalk & Wire) grant,” Fernandez said. “I didn’t know where I was getting the money to pay for it, since I am paying for my tuition and resources myself — which has been difficult. I am appreciative that I have this program paid for and set for the rest of my College experience at SJC.”
Fernandez said she chose to study at St. Joseph’s because of the small class sizes, the diversity of classes within the Child Study Department, and the opportunity for hands-on teaching experiences at the Dillon Child Study Center.
She looks forward to using the Chalk & Wire program to showcase her hard work, as she continues experiential learning through her classes at St. Joseph’s.
“I knew I wanted to become a teacher as soon as I began working with special education students,” Fernandez said. “It is so rewarding being able to create a bond with a student, to put time and effort into them and see their progress, regardless of their skill or pace.
“I especially want to work with students with disabilities with low-socioeconomic status,” she continued. “They tend to receive less funding and attention, but I would like to dedicate time, effort, and resources in order to help these students in need.”