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C.H.A.M.P.S. Program kicks off 2013-2014 events with "Why am I in College?"

The Bloomfield College Coaching Health for African-American Males to Promote Success (C.H.A.M.P.S.) Program began its 2013-2014 calendar of events Sept. 18 with a two-hour event entitled “Why am I in College?”, the first in a year-long series of educational sessions designed to help students reach their academic, student engagement and healthy lifestyle goals.

“When I think back about my experience here at Bloomfield, the first thing that always comes to mind are the people who helped me along in my personal development,” Orange Public Schools supervisor of community and parent relations and C.H.A.M.P.S. coach Matt Stevens ’93 said of the initiative. “It is so important for people like myself to come back to this institution and give back, and to ensure our young African-American students have the opportunities to better themselves that were given to people like myself during my time here. This is an outstanding program, and one that I am privileged to be a part of.”

Launched in September 2012 and funded by the Predominantly Black Institutions (PBI) Competitive Grant, the C.H.A.M.P.S. Program brings together individual coaches with male students to develop their short and long-term goals and help maximize on-campus resources. The initiative is designed to increase the retention, graduation and academic success of African-American male students through an intensive coaching and mentoring program.

Trained C.H.A.M.P.S. coaches include Bloomfield College alumni, staff, and community members dedicated to the success of the institution’s current students. Each of the ten coaches boasts prior mentoring and coaching experience, and an understanding of the unique challenges facing African-American male college students.

In addition to monthly group events centered on personal and professional development, students also engage in one-on-one personal coaching sessions each month with a designated C.H.A.M.P.S. coach. The result is a comprehensive yearlong program, which includes such highlights as a Success Conference in December 2013 and a Career Conference in conjunction with Bloomfield’s Center for Career Development in March 2014.

“I am very excited to kick off the second year of this program here at Bloomfield,” C.H.A.M.P.S. Program master coach Dr. Denise Dennis said. "Coaching is a partnership that supports you in crafting a more fulfilling life. Your coach will help you identify academic and personal goals, and create an action plan to accomplish those goals and achieve results. Our program helps students achieve results and sustain life-changing behaviors in their academic and personal lives. We are enthusiastic about its future, and hope to continue to impact our students and create positive change."

The program will present its second event, an informational session on life and time management, on Oct. 16. Students wishing to join the C.H.A.M.P.S. Program should contact Gina Thomas via email at gina_thomas@bloomfield.edu, or via phone at (973) 748-9000 ext. 1682.