The following was originally published here

Washington, D.C. – Congresswoman Elise Stefanik secured $1,237,500 for CFES Brilliant Pathways in Essex County through the Department of Education’s Rural Postsecondary and Economic Development Program.

This funding will be used to support 4,000 high school students in the North County by providing access to complete postsecondary education with pathways into careers in the region.

“Our rural students face unique challenges, which is why I am proud to secure this critical support to keep them on track for success after graduation,” Stefanik said. “Now, over $1.2 million in taxpayer funds will return to our district to provide North Country communities the necessary resources to adopt innovative approaches that fully equip our students with the skills to succeed. I am proud to lead this important initiative, so our North Country students have greater opportunities to enroll in college, receive their degree, and engage in the workforce.”

“We are excited about creating a model of rural excellence for college and career readiness in the North Country. Thank you, Congresswoman Stefanik, for securing this opportunity. We intend to not only lift up 4,000 young people in our region, but to build a program that will have a ripple effect for tens of thousands of other rural children around the country,” Rick Dalton, CEO and President of CFES Brilliant Pathways, said.

Stefanik advocated for the creation of the Rural Postsecondary and Economic Development Program, modeled after her legislation, the Success for Rural Students and Communities Act. Since the program’s establishment, Stefanik has led Congressional efforts to secure funding for this program in the annual appropriations process.

In March 2021, Stefanik reintroduced the Success for Rural Students and Communities Act. In October 2021, she called on Education Secretary Cardona to release the funds for the Rural Postsecondary and Economic Development Grant Program as soon as possible.