Shikellamy grad to donate portion of book profits to fund college in Valley – Sunbury Daily Item

Posted: April 6, 2021 at 1:50 am

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SUNBURY A graduate from Shikellamy High School who authored a comprehensive college prep course plans to donate part of his profits to the Susquehanna Valley Community Education Project's (SVCEP) efforts to establish a community college in the Valley.

Noah Fenstermacher, 22, who is working toward his Master's in Education from Penn State University in State College, wrote "College Admissions of Guilt: How the Underserved Student Can Still Succeed in Higher Ed," which is being published through New Degree Press of Georgetown University. The book, which is available for pre-order now, will be published on Aug. 21 with 10 percent of the profits going to SVCEP.

"It's a comprehensive college prep book for the underserved student population," said Fenstermacher, a member of the Class of 2016 who recently joined the SVCEP Board of Directors. "It's going to walk you through choosing a school to go all the way through that stage of graduation and finding a job right when you leave the university."

Fenstermacher said he is "absolutely ecstatic and overwhelmed" by the amount of support he has received from the community. He said he hopes to give back to those who gave to him for almost 23 years.

"This book is more than self-help, as it is the personal story of a black transracial adoptee going through undergrad during the Trump administration, and the mistakes made and lessons learned along the way," said Fenstermacher. "Dont just take my word for it, as Ive compiled the advice of EdTech CEOs, college presidents, award-winning professors, and Ivy League alumni on how to navigate academia as a lower-income, nonwhite, and/or first-generation college student."

Fenstermacher interviews Susquehanna University President Johnathan Green; Samyr Qureshi, CEO for an educational technology company called KNACK; and Mike Makowsky, the screenwriter for the film "Bad Education."

Fenstermacher also interviewed a local Klansman in order to identify hate and the best ways to combat that in a college setting and beyond. The interview was conducted at the Hotel Edison in Sunbury with a third party to make sure nothing went wrong.

The initial goal is $5,000, but Fenstermacher also wants someone or some group to purchase a copy for every member of the Shikellamy Class of 2022. There are approximately 200 students.

"It's a lofty goal, but they need all the help they can get during this pandemic," he said.

'A great accomplishment'

Meghan Beck, the president of the SVCEP board, said Fenstermacher has volunteered for the SVCEP in the past.

"I'm really excited for Noah," said Beck. "It's a great accomplishment, and it's very generous. We're honored that he would considering doing this."

A study commissioned by SVCEP predicts a new community college in the region would have an impact of $78.5 million in new economic activity over 10 years. It would require a $1.2 million annual investment from Northumberland, Union, Montour and Snyder counties. Northumberland would be asked to provide $624,000, Union would be asked $240,000, Snyder would be $228,000 and Montour at $108,000, according to the study.

Throughout 2021 and 2022, the group would seek sponsorship from counties with a goal to seek a state application in 2022-23. By 2023-24, the goal is to have a president hired, a board of trustees appointed, administration, faculty and staff in place and programming and instruction started.

Beck and SVCEP officials plan to visit each of the counties' public meetings in the coming months to discuss the project. Montour County commissioners have already voted to not support the project, but Beck said they will go back to the leaders for further discussions and to try to change their minds.

"We've been collecting letters of support from businesses and individuals to show support for the project in the community," said Beck.

The physical book is $39 and the ebook is $15. The books can be pre-ordered at

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Shikellamy grad to donate portion of book profits to fund college in Valley - Sunbury Daily Item

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April 6th, 2021 at 1:50 am

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