Community Leaders Share Value of Giving Back during Black History Month Panel at Berkeley College

Contact: Ilene Greenfield
Director of Media Relations
973-278-5400, ext. 1-5122

Black History Month Berkeley



Berkeley College recently invited two prominent New Jersey leaders to speak to students about their careers, the importance of community involvement, and the value of giving back. The Leaders Speak panel, held at Berkeley College in Paramus, was part of the College’s Black History Month celebration. 

Lynne Harwell Algrant, CEO of the Bergen Volunteer Center, and Marcel Rogers, a Social Work Manager, spoke to more than 50 attendees, including students from two Berkeley College classes – Gender, Race and Class and Communication Skills for Justice Professionals. 

“I work in the nonprofit community because I want to make a difference,” Ms. Algrant said. “I like to help people. I like to solve problems. I like the feeling that I get being part of a community that is willing to pull for each other.” 

The Bergen Volunteer Center, now in its 50th year, connects people through service and developing civic leaders. Among its volunteer efforts are child mentoring, parental coaches, and services for senior citizens. 

Mr. Rogers spoke about how the current generation of college students can use their degrees to contribute to a brighter future for their communities. 

 “All of you in this room – you represent that segment of our population that is helping to break the cycle,” he said. “(By getting a degree) you will have an achievement that a large majority of the population does not have. And it’s something that puts you one step ahead toward success.” 

Berkeley College student John Brobson of Westwood, a Justice Studies – Criminal Justice major who will graduate in 2017, said the panel opened his eyes to issues outside of the classroom. 

“This was an opportunity to educate us,” he said. “It’s the first step in helping us understand ways we can help on these issues.” 

Ms. Algrant said the students can make a positive impact in many ways. 

“Maybe you’ll do it through your work like we do. Maybe you’ll do it by creating a socially responsible business,” she said. “For me, the lessons of history are in order to figure out what should be the lessons of today and what should be the lessons of the future.” 

The panel was a joint effort of the Berkeley College Library and Career Services departments. 

Watch the Video: Click here to watch the full Leaders Speak program. 

A leader in providing career-focused education since 1931, Berkeley College is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education and enrolls approximately 8,300 students – including more than 700 international students – in its Baccalaureate and Associate degree and Certificate programs. Students can study in more than 20 career fields. Berkeley College is comprised of the Larry L. Luing School of Business, the School of Professional Studies, the School of Health Studies and the School of Liberal Arts. The School of Graduate Studies offers a Master of Business Administration degree in Management online and in Woodland Park, NJ. 

Berkeley College has three New York locations – Midtown Manhattan, Brooklyn and White Plains. In New Jersey there are six locations – Clifton, Dover, Newark, Paramus, Woodbridge and Woodland Park. Berkeley College Online® serves a global population. In January 2016, U.S. News & World Report named Berkeley College one of the Best Colleges for Online Bachelor’s Degrees for the third consecutive year.  The website address

Berkeley College Black History Month 

Photo Caption (L to R): Marcel Rogers, a Social Work Manager, and Lynne Harwell Algrant, CEO of the Bergen Volunteer Center, speak to more than 50 attendees at Berkeley College in Paramus as part of Leaders Speak, a Black History Month panel. 

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To view high-resolution versions of these photos, click here and click here.



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