Meet the Highest Ranking Teens of 2014

Ashley Garcia is a young woman who prides herself in exceeding expectations and embracing new experiences. Her PCTI career began with dabbling in the Performing Arts as a dancer, to pursuing a career in the healthcare field.

As a member of the Academy of Medical Arts, Ashley shed her introverted personality and focused on cultivating the skills of a Certified Nursing Assistant and EMT-B. It was the experience of competing with HOSA that inspired Ashley to further develop her leadership skills. She challenged herself with rigorous coursework, became Secretary of the Sign Language Club, and the Executive Officer of SLICE. Ashley was involved with Gifted & Talented. She also volunteered her time to noteworthy causes: the Special Olympics, Habitat for Humanity, the PCRC 5K, and working in the emergency room. All of these experiences helped cultivate a unique perspective and maturity far beyond her years.

Ashley is a driving force whose determination and strength will prove valuable when attending Rutgers University. Though interested in Pre-Med and Anthropology, she will focus on Molecular Biology and will pursue her dream of becoming a Doctor.

Payal Shah entered PCTI seeking her passion in life. After four years of pursuing a wide array of interests, she is well on her way to fulfilling all her aspirations.

She will graduate as a member of the Academy of Medical Arts. Participating in HOSA and taking on a challenging course load fostered an undeniable passion for medicine. In turn, she received awards and recognition in the medical field. Her volunteerism at St Joseph’s Hospital provided her with a unique insight that honed her desire to become a healthcare professional.

Payal’s greatest passion is giving back to the community. She volunteers regularly at her temple and participated in PCTI’s Asian Pacific Heritage celebrations. Her involvement in the Passaic County Teen Crusaders, SLICE, and the National Honor Society allowed her to leave a lasting impression on the school community. Fundraising for Leukemia and building houses for Habitat for Humanity served to increase her desire to help others.

Payal will attend Rutgers University where she will major in Cell Biology and Neuroscience. Her ultimate goal is to one day place the M.D. initials after her name.