Brookdale: A Community that Cares, Become Engaged

David M. Stout, President of Brookdale Community College

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As we pass the mid-point and approach the end of the fall semester, I know that you remain busy with classes, extracurricular activities, work and personal commitments. For those of you who are new to Brookdale, I trust that you have become fully acclimated. 

Please do not hesitate to reach out to our faculty and staff if you need some guidance or assistance academically or in other areas. All members of the Brookdale community – faculty, staff and administrators – want to see you succeed. It is our mission to ensure that you attain your goals, academically, personally and professionally.

When I’m asked to describe Brookdale by students, visitors and community members, I often say that above all, we are a community that cares. 

We are supportive and collaborative, in and outside the classroom. We are rooted in the community, and those bonds require us to act to improve the lives of others.

That concern is reflected in so many ways. In September, we formally unveiled the new home of Helping Hands in MAN 214. Started three years ago in response to our basic needs survey among students, the Helping Hands initiative focused on the issue of hunger among students. With support from numerous community partners, we have been able to expand beyond grab-and-go healthy snacks to provide non-perishable food items, microwavable meals, food baskets and other items. With our new location, we anticipate serving more individuals. Through our partnership with Fulfill, the organization’s Mobile Food Pantry now includes our Lincroft campus among its monthly stops. 

Helping Hands is also a referral service for students who may need assistance in other areas. Our basic needs survey also discovered the need to support students dealing with stress, anxiety and other mental/emotional health issues. Our counseling services are here to support you. Through a partnership with the Monmouth County Division of Social Services, a licensed social worker is on our campus two days per week. 

Our campus is a vibrant place. I have been so impressed with the turnout and interest at various events this semester, including our involvement and volunteer fair and the numerous events sponsored by several organizations related to our Global Citizenship Project One World: Environmental Issues theme. 

I have only scratched the surface by mentioning a handful of events and programs. I encourage you to become engaged in a program or activity that is near and dear to you or choose one you are not familiar with so you can learn more. This is the time to explore that curiosity, join an activity or club related to a discipline or field you are considering as a career or pick a volunteer activity that will make a difference in the lives of others.

As you progress in your Brookdale journey, remember that our community is here to support, encourage and assist. Don’t hesitate to ask.