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Helping students remain in Community College and refugee resettlement numbers dip

Written by Merideth Bucher, Producer | Jun 25, 2019 4:55 AM

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What to look for on Smart Talk, Tuesday, June 25, 2019:

Attending college is a big commitment. A commitment of time, resources, and juggling personal obligations, like work and family. For many people, the obstacles to a higher education may seem insurmountable.  

The Pennsylvania Department of Human Services is promoting a program aimed at helping people break down some of those barriers.  

The Keystone Education Yields Success (KEYS) program is a collaborative initiative between the Department of Human Services and the Pennsylvania Commission for Community Colleges. Resources are directed to students enrolled in state community colleges who also receive public assistance, through programs that help with food, housing, and other bills.  

Appearing on Tuesday's Smart Talk to discuss the KEYS initiative and its benefits are Secretary Teresa Miller, Department of Human Services, Cynthia Doherty, Harrisburg Area Community College provost and vice president of academic affairs, and Melissa Addis, student at HACC participating in KEYS program.

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Melissa Addis (front), Secretary Teresa Miller (middle) and Cynthia Doherty (back)

Also, several years ago Lancaster city was dubbed "America's refugee capital" in a BBC article because of the number of refugees settling there. The report indicated that since 2013 Lancaster received 20 times more refugees per capita than the rest of the US.  

But more recently, those numbers have been cut in half. What accounts for the recent change?  

Joining us on Smart Talk to talk about resettling refugees and what the changing numbers mean is Sheila Mastropietro, office director with Church World Services of Lancaster and Stephanie Gromek, development and communications coordinator at CWS.

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Stephanie Gromek (left) and Sheila Mastropietro (right)

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