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Newark High Schoolers Mentored by Drew Students

Live on campus, produce plays, earn credits.

July 2018 – Drew University students mentor high school students from Newark, N.J., through Drew’s AdvantageArts program.

The high schoolers produce their own plays—guided by Drew undergrads, alumni and theatre and dance professors—and earn college credits. This summer they presented a whodunit mystery and a story about young adults who fight through obstacles, both written for them by professional playwrights. The program was started by Drew professors Rodney Gilbert, Lisa Brenner and Chris Ceraso.

AdvantageArts is generously supported by grants from the Victoria Foundation, the Casement Fund and Neuberger Berman and gifts from individual donors like Paul Drucker C’51, P’83. Check out what participants have to say about the experience:

Shakur Tolliver C’16, an actor who recently starred in “This is Modern Art” in New York City, was introduced to AdvantageArts as a sophomore at Drew.


Seven Richardson, a senior at West Side High School, is experiencing her third year in the program.


Emma Barakat C’17, G’18, the technical director, began as an undergraduate mentor—an experience that fueled her desire to teach and pursue a master of arts in teaching at Drew.


Emily Deuchar C’19, an undergraduate mentor, lived with a group of high school students who spent the summer on campus.


Najah Johnson C’16 is a union actress (AEA/SAG-AFTRA), New Jersey Teaching Artist and Newark resident.


Assistant Professor Kimani Fowlin leads students through a dance rehearsal.