Adelante in Patchogue

The Greater Patchogue Chamber of Commerce is opening its doors for Adelante of Suffolk County Inc., to offer college prep assistance to local high school students.

Febe Garcia, an Adelante youth coordinator, will be available to meet on Fridays from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the chamber office at 15 North Ocean Avenue.

Call 631-434-3481, 631-234-1049 or email for an appointment.

Garcia assists students — in Spanish or English — register for their college entrance exams and fill out their college applications forms in the chamber conference room.

This past year alone, Adelante has assisted 168 high school students — mostly from Suffolk’s Hispanic communities — with their exams and college applications. The group secured $606,000 in federal and state aid and $79,000 in scholarships for college-bound students.

One of those students was on hand Friday for the announcement.

“I was really lost about college applications, and Febe helped me so much,’ Luis Moran-Cantera, a senior at Pat-Med said in Spanish and English. “And now I’m applying to Colombia, Harvard, some big schools. And if I do get in it, it will be because of Febe.”

“Their accomplishments are really my accomplishments and I take pride in that,” Garcia said. “And I’m glad to hear we’ve already had a couple acceptance letters, which I’m very excited about.”

Founded in 1966, Adelante of Suffolk County is a not-for-profit organization that provides a variety of services to senior citizens, youth and people with special needs.

The organization has locations in Brentwood and Central Islip.

“Adelante needed a local place to provide these services … and we are happy to open up our conference room,” said David Kennedy, the chamber’s executive director. “We’re all so proud to be a culturally diverse community and the chamber is very proud to be helping in this way.

“We’ll be offering up our space on Fridays for as long as they need us.”

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Photo: Zheni Velasquez, a bilingual clerk for Patchogue-Medford Library, thanks Febe Garcia (far right) and Adelante staffers and supporters during Friday’s press announcement at the Greater Patchogue Chamber of Commerce conference room in Patchogue. (Credit: Michael White)