'Champions Senior Option' Participant Named 2011 NJ State Youth of the Year

Frankie WatsonFrankie Watson, then a senior at Atlantic City High School, was selected as the Boys & Girls Clubs in New Jersey 2011 New Jersey State Youth of the Year. A six-year member of the Atlantic City Boys & Girls Club, Frankie also was an active participant in the Champions Senior Option program (formerly Champions of Youth), an initiative between the club, the Atlantic City Board of Education and Atlantic Cape Community College. She said her participation in the program provided her with special opportunities that extended well beyond the traditional classroom and club setting.

The Atlantic City resident was recognized for being a determined leader in the classroom, in various service organizations and in her community. A scholar-athlete, she took challenging courses in high school while also taking three classes at Atlantic Cape in the evening to earn nine college credits. She did volunteer work for various organizations, including Gilda’s Club, Sister Jean’s Kitchen and the Heart Foundation.

Upon graduation, Frankie enrolled at Fairleigh Dickinson University to begin her studies toward a degree in law. She hopes to become a defense attorney.

A ‘Road Map’ for Success

In its sixth year, the Champions Senior Option program takes a holistic approach in providing a “road map” for student success. An essential part of the Champions program is the partnership between Atlantic Cape and the Atlantic City School District that enables eligible high school seniors to attend the college and earn credits while also completing their high school requirements.

The program permits students to broaden their educational awareness, build confidence and become more competitive in either the workplace or in pursuing an advanced degree.

In 2010-2011, 11 students received Atlantic Cape credits in a variety of courses, including:

  • English Composition I
  • Introduction to Computers
  • Introduction to Criminal Justice/Introduction to Criminology
  • Public Speaking
  • Keyboarding and Document Production
  • General Psychology
  • College Skills

“This is an excellent opportunity for high school students to earn college credits toward transferring or earning a degree from Atlantic Cape,” said John Mohr, Director of Student Services, who helps monitor the program, which is funded by the Atlantic City Board of Education.