What factors led you to decide to attend Hudson County Community College?
After graduating from high school, I joined the Navy. I attended basic training in Great Lakes, Illinois, was stationed in Italy for three years, and then Florida. I served as quartermaster aboard the USS Albany while at sea. Afterward, I started attending HCCC part-time.
What is your favorite memory of the College, in or out of the classroom?
I was named Student of the Year Award in my final semester. Along the way, I also made the Dean’s List after my first semester. I applied to the Student Ambassador program and was accepted. I was appointed to the Student Judiciary Committee (now known as the Student Conduct Advisory Board). I ran for President of the Student Government and won. Finally, I was selected for Phi Theta Kappa.
How did you become interested in Human Services?
When I started attending the College, I originally had an interest in Computer Science. After working with different clubs, I gained an interest in working with people. Therefore, I changed my major to Human Services. As a requirement for my major, I was assigned to do an externship with Youth Consulting Services. Youth Consulting Services is an agency which mentors trouble teenagers who have been assigned by the court system. Eventually, I realized that to work in this field I needed a degree. So I became a full-time student at HCCC.
How did your time at HCCC prepare you for your career/life now?
While I was a student, I became a lab assistant; I enjoyed working with the students in the lab and started to feel that although computers were fascinating, people were multi-faceted and intriguing.
What is a typical work day for you?
As the Veteran School Certifying Official for HCCC, I have a chance to change visions, directions, and lives. As a Navy veteran, I have also had the privilege to serve a special group of men and women who have served our country proudly. I feel honored to be able to be a part of helping them obtain the necessary skills that are needed for reintegration. Now the Office of Enrollment Services and the Office of Advisement & Counseling are offering Priority Registration for all Veteran and Active Duty members.
What has been the most memorable project/case you have worked on?
Attending the College and becoming so involved allowed me to observe tremendous growth in maturity and commitment in the students; when they come to you, they are so green ... when they leave, they are ready to begin to make a contribution to society. It’s so rewarding.
Who are your biggest inspirations that have impacted your work in some way?
I am grateful to many faculty and staff members for my successful student career at HCCC. I ALSO give a special thanks to my mother, who has always supported and encouraged me; when I was announced as Student of the Year, she dropped her camcorder!
What advice would you give to recent HCCC graduates?
Do not waste precious time. Learn as much as you can, while you can. You must take advantage of the opportunity that you have in front of you. These opportunities will prepare you for the next challenge you will face. Hudson County Community College changed my life. If you stay focused, HCCC could do the same for you. There a world of possibilities at HCCC, if you just stay focused.
What advice do you have for those students who are just starting their college careers?
Two-year institutions like HCCC give you what you need to succeed, whether you plan to transfer to a four-year college or to transition to work. Learn to pace and discipline yourselves and develop an appreciation for a good education.