Berkeley College Makes Wishes Come True at Irvington Middle School

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Contact: Ilene Greenfield
Director of Media Relations


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Berkeley College made wishes come true for a group of middle school students in Irvington, NJ, when they fulfilled their holiday gift requests in December. 

Staff members from the Berkeley College campus in Newark, NJ, decided to adopt a class at University Middle School in Irvington, NJ, in lieu of buying gifts for their co-workers. Students at the middle school could request gifts by writing short essays about the efforts they make in school and the community. 

“I work so hard to have good grades,” wrote Wadlene Louisdort, an eighth-grader who asked for a red dress she could wear to church. “I like to help others,” wrote eighth-grader Johenny Tejeda Ortiz. “I try my best every day to be better as a person, son and friend.” 

With help from Nancy Howe, a Guidance Counselor at the school, the Berkeley College team fulfilled 16 wish lists with items including art supplies, a football sweatshirt and gift cards. 

“We are often so caught up in the hustle and bustle of the holiday season that we forget about the true meaning of giving,” said Leigh LeBlanc, Director, High School Admissions, Berkeley College in Newark. “With support from the entire Berkeley College campus in Newark, we were able to bring joy and put smiles on the faces of the young people of Irvington.”

Leigh LeBlanc gives a student a gift

Photo Caption: Leigh LeBlanc, Director, High School Admissions, Berkeley College in Newark, presents a gift to Jayla Fernandez, a seventh-grader at University Middle School in Irvington, NJ. 

About Berkeley College 

Berkeley College, founded in 1931, is a career-focused institution accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education that offers students Master’s, Bachelor’s, and Associate’s degree and Certificate programs in more than 20 career fields. The College has campuses in Newark, Paramus, Woodbridge and Woodland Park, NJ, as well as in Midtown Manhattan and White Plains, NY, with more than 5,700 students enrolled. In addition, Berkeley College Online® serves a global population. U.S. News & World Report has named Berkeley College among the Best Colleges for Online Bachelor’s Programs and among the Best Online Bachelor’s Programs for Veterans, for seven consecutive years. The website address is

The mission of Berkeley College is to empower students to achieve lifelong success in dynamic careers.

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