Generation Next Highlights

May 15, 2024



Pocono Mountains United Way’s Generation Next program celebrated its 2nd year with remarkable growth and achievement with 55 students and most importantly, our 1st graduating class! Nineteen seniors graduated, with eighteen students planning to attend college next year and one student pursuing a real estate license, thanks to a partnership facilitated by PMUW.  

The Generation Next program, offered in partnership with Community Action Lehigh Valley, is designed to equip students with practical skills and knowledge for their transition to higher education and beyond. Pocono Mountain West High School hosts the program, with guidance counselor Courtney McClelland serving as liaison.  

“Courtney is a great advocate for Generation Next and the program’s success would not have been possible without her support. Also, we are grateful for Principal Michael Jones’ support, who welcomed our program and believes in the Generation Next mission,” said Generation Next Coordinator Ariel Pagan. 

Throughout the year, Generation Next provided diverse experiences and learning opportunities to support students’ academic, social, and personal development. The program hosted guest speakers who addressed topics such as stress management, healthy relationships, financial literacy, time management, mental health awareness, understanding today’s workforce, and other beneficial topics.  

Students toured 6 colleges this year including Penn State University – State College, Penn State Lehigh Valley, East Stroudsburg University, Centenary University, PACE University, and Muhlenberg College. A highlight was the ESU tour, where the seniors not only toured the college but also met the President, engaged in roundtable discussions with the deans, and asked questions to a panel of students. ESU also provided transportation in one of their charter buses, much to our students’ delight!   

Seniors also participated in a teambuilding adventure at Blue Mountain Resort in November where program staff could connect with seniors as they began their college selection journey.  

Two of our seniors shared their thoughts on their experience with Generation Next: 

“I know this program; I came in here a hot mess and now leaving feeling like I can do so much.”  

“It was an amazing experience. Taught me a lot about myself.” 

Generation Next also conducted workshops on completing college applications and financial aid. This year, the Department of Education made some major changes to the FAFSA application, making the process more challenging. We were able to help the students and their families complete their FAFSA applications thanks to the support of Michael Burke, Higher Education Access Partner for PHEAA, who hosted virtual meetings for our students and their families, ensuring they had all the help needed to fill out these applications.  

We want to thank all the presenters, teachers, and administrators for their hard work and dedication to these students throughout the school year and to the students for working so hard towards their goals. These students continued to amaze us all year and we know that they will continue to blaze their own trails through college and beyond! 

For more information on Generation Next and sponsorship opportunities, contact Sarah Jacobi. 


Congratulations to our graduating seniors!

Jenesis Bermudez

Taijuana Hale

Noble Emereole Nwandiko

Ashanti Carrion

Sehaila Jones

Julian Peter

Veronica Chan

Mameki Kromah

Triston Phillip

Shoshanna Butler Charles

Musa Kromah

Alexandra Quine

Keziah Delph

Kaya Meler

Nivea Rivera

Atira Duncan

Taijuana Hale

Tianze Zheng

Jaylon Duncan

Carter Mui


Colleges that Generation Next students have committed to:

  • Nivea Rivera  –  ESU
  • Sehaila Jones – Northampton Community College
  • Mameki  Kromah – DeSales University
  • Taijuana Hale – Lincoln University
  • Carter Mui – Villanova University
  • Tianze Zheng – NYU
  • Musa Kromah – ESU
  • Jenesis Bermudez – College of Wooster
  • Jaylon Duncan – ESU
  • Veronica Chan – Penn State University – main campus
  • Shoshanna Butler Charles – University of Pittsburgh
  • Kaya Meler – Lehigh University
  • Keziah Delph – Delaware State University
  • Alexandra Quine – Penn State University Park
  • Ashanti Carrion – La Salle University