Foundation to Debut “Bridge to Equity” Video, Highlighting Impact of Foundation and College

Monday, October 12, 2020

Students, Alumni, Board Members, Community Leaders Are Featured

The prominent role and sustaining impact of Gateway Community College as a beacon for higher education opportunity is the theme of a newly produced video that the Gateway Community College Foundation will debut on its website on Monday, October 12.
The video, Bridge to Equity, features more than a dozen individuals who each discuss, from their perspective and first-hand experience, the influence that Gateway Community College has had –and continues to have, particularly amidst the challenges of the pandemic – on individual students and their families, as well as local businesses and community organizations. The video highlights the college’s diligent and innovative efforts to close the opportunity gap and bringing higher education within reach of individuals who may otherwise not have pursued a college degree.
Beginning on Monday, the video can be viewed at
The video includes the experiences of Gateway students and graduates, members of the Foundation Board and leaders of community organizations, as well as faculty and administrators of Gateway Community College – all told in their own words. The video was produced in conjunction with Connecticut Public, with guiding support from Ruby Melton, a member of the Foundation Board and Chair of its Scholarship Committee.
Gateway Community College (GCC) is Connecticut’s largest community college, serving residents and businesses throughout the region, as more than 14,000 individuals choose from over 90 accredited degree and certificate programs annually. Courses are strengthened by partnerships with local organizations and businesses that support programming and provide internships and community engagement.
The Gateway Community College Foundation supports the mission of the College and provides a lifeline to students who are challenged by their financial limitations. Contributions to the Foundation provide funds for student support initiatives, professional development opportunities for faculty and staff, and programmatic needs for the college. The Foundation is led by a dedicated Board of volunteers, featuring individuals from various businesses and organizations throughout the New Haven region.
Among the individuals whose comments are included in the Bridge to Equity video, which can be seen beginning on October 12 on the Foundation website, are Board Chair Paul A. McCraven, Board member Lindy Lee Gold; Gateway Community College Chief Executive Officer Dr. William "Terry" Brown; and Dr. Thomas D. Coley, Regional President, Shoreline-Region, Gateway, Housatonic and Norwalk Community Colleges, Connecticut State Colleges and Universities.
“Today’s educational environment is all about the ‘three C’s’: challenge, change and commitment. Many of the challenges Gateway and our students face are related to economic realities in Connecticut, and we are continually impressed and energized by the diligence of our remarkable students,” said Paul A. McCraven, Foundation Board Chair. “The College and the GCC Foundation are working, side by side, to support students, faculty and staff, and we are grateful for the contributions we receive to move that work forward.”
“Our goal, first and foremost, is to help our students realize their dreams and ambitions,” said Dr. William ‘Terry’ Brown, Chief Executive Officer, Gateway Community College. “This video captures the essence of those efforts, and reflects how all that we do is driven by our determination to help our students navigate the challenges they face to succeed and build a better future for themselves and their families. When we succeed - as we construct that bridge to equity - our entire community benefits as well.”
The Bridge to Equity video, in addition to comments by the leadership of the College and Foundation, also includes observations from the following:
  • Joshua Morton - currently attending GCC, nursing student, an Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield scholarship recipient.
  • Licella Arboleda, Director, Gateway Wellness Center and Director, Family Economic Support Program (FESP): FESP, anchored in four pillars: academic, career, financial and personal, provides wrap around and one-on-one services to address a student's individual needs.
  • Pedro Soto, Gateway Community College Foundation Board Member; President and CEO of Hygrade Precision Technologies. The Soto Family established the Helping Hands Fund to provide small emergency financial funds so students could move along in their education.
  • William Villano, President and Chief Executive Director, Workforce Alliance and a member of the Gateway Executive Advisory Council. Workforce Alliance works in close partnership with Gateway to provide programs and courses in meeting employer needs and jobseeker needs in the region.
  • Erik Murrel, Director, Gateway to College Program: A partnership between New Haven Public Schools in which students are able to earn college credits while simultaneously earning their high school diplomas.
  • Jesus Garzon, current GCC student, recipient of a Connecticut Public scholarship who interned on WNPR’s Morning Edition and a FESP scholarship recipient who recently lost his job due to the pandemic.
  • Commissioner Seila Mosquero-Bruno, Connecticut Department of Housing, and GCC alum, who came to New Haven from Ecuador, and for whom attending college at Gateway made a life-changing difference.
The video debut coincides with the launch of a unique six-week virtual Gateway Community College Foundation Hall of Fame induction, which begins Monday.
Hall of Fame, the Foundation’s most significant annual fundraiser with contributions supporting student scholarships and academic programs at Gateway, has been reinvented this year as a series of videos honoring the 2020 inductees and featuring insightful student success stories. New website features will be added throughout the next six weeks.
To learn more about the GCC Foundation and view the Bridge to Equity video, visit