June Students of the Month

Nirav Kinkhabwala

Nirav Kinkhabwala is young man hailing from Passaic who has always been interested in mathematics and technology. It’s no surprise that this Bulldog found his home in the Academy of Information Technology with pursuits in Computer Science.

“I’m lucky that the scientific field continues to hold my educational interests and that it’s still my career goal,” he adds.

In particular, Nirav envisions a career in the STEM field and has pursued rigorous technical and honors courses to supplement his high school education. High achievements in AP and honors courses has ensured his recognition as one of the Valedictorians for the Class of 2017!

Academic savvy and hard work has earned Nirav a 4.63 GPA and ranking in the top 1% of his class. He has the potential to graduate with eighteen college credits and has earned the Principal’s Honor Roll distinction throughout his entire high school career.

Nirav is involved in FBLA, SkillsUSA, and ERASE. In the former two, he has competed and earned awards in Computer Applications (2nd place, FBLA - regional level) and Computer Programming (1st place, SkillsUSA - state level). He is also an alumnus of the New Jersey SEEDS Scholarship program, a challenging nonprofit organization that provides opportunities for students.

Outside of school, Nirav is preparing for the Comp-TIA Security+ exam by taking online courses. “My goal is to become certified before I enter college. That way, I have an edge when it comes to internships,” he explains.

When asked why he chose to study Computer Science, Nirav mentions, “As a freshman, I realized coding was a big part of the field. I enjoy logical thinking and software development, so this seemed like the perfect environment for me.”

After graduation, he will attend the Honors College at the New Jersey Institute of Technology and will pursue a double major in Mathematics and Computer Science, with an emphasis on cyber security and analytics.

Nirav’s curious nature urged him to embrace a philosophy of perpetual learning in formal education and in life. This philosophy grew, in part, due to the extensive resources provided by PCTI. “Attending PCTI gave me direct access to opportunities that shouldn’t be taken granted,” he says. “It made me realize that learning never truly stops; being curious about everything reminds me of that.”

Congratulations to this young man who has a bright future ahead of him!


  • Recognized as a Valedictorian for the Class of 2017
  • Involved in FBLA, SkillsUSA, & ERASE, alumnus of New Jersey SEEDS Scholarship program
  • Seeking Comp-TIA Security+ certification
  • Goal: Graduate from NJIT’s Honors College with double degrees in Mathematics and Computer Science, pursue a profession in cyber security and analytics

View the PDF

Kishan Rana

Kishan Rana is a resident of Clifton who has long been involved in his educational community. At an early age, he played soccer at the local Boys & Girls club and participated in the H2O Club, an organization that encouraged students to meet altruistic international goals. This interactive foundation truly set the stage for an exemplary high school career of volunteerism and involvement, which aided in Kishan securing a spot as one of PCTI’s 2017 Valedictorians!

This member of the Academy of Finance has proven that a hardworking demeanor can open a world of opportunities. Kishan has played on the volleyball team, is an acting student representative of his class, and is an avid member of ERASE and FBLA. For the latter, he has held an officer position as the Treasurer and currently serves as the organization’s Vice President.

Academically, Kishan ranks in the top 1% of his class with a GPA of 4.63. He has the potential to graduate with thirty-eight college credits and has achieved Principal’s Honor Roll throughout his entire high school career.

Outside of school, Kishan has volunteered at the Liberty Science Center, has participated in various charity walks (Relay for Life, ACS, & AHA), and in a lesson in ingenuity, he worked with peers to create a business plan for a PCTI food truck that would create co-op jobs for the School of Culinary Arts.

He has been selected as a member of PCTI’s Freshmen Foundation for Success, Circle of Success, Boys State, National Honor Society, the World Language Honor Society, and Rho Kappa (National Social Studies Honor Society). Kishan even participated in the Team Eagle Foundation’s Excellence Directs Results, summer program - an activity which is designed to jumpstart one’s college career.

Kishan is currently employed at Montclair Learning Center where he teaches youths about the wonder of robotics, computer science and programming. Additionally, he works as private math tutor!

When it comes to embracing the next educational adventure, Kishan has it all planned out. He’ll be attending Montclair State University and working towards a combined Bachelor of Science and Master of Science in Accounting. “Eventually, I’d like to earn my Certified Public Accounting degree and work as a CPA in New York City,” he says.

Congratulations to Kishan for receiving this outstanding honor!


  • Recognized as a Valedictorian for the Class of 2017
  • Will graduate with a potential 38 college credits
  • Selected for Freshmen Foundation for Success, Circle of Success, NJ Boys State, NHS, WLHS, & Rho Kappa
  • Member of ERASE, the Volleyball team, is a student representative, & Vice President of FBLA
  • Goal: Graduate from Montclair State University with a Bachelor and Master of Science in Accounting, earn Certified Public Accounting degree

View the PDF

Samantha Carrillo

Samantha Carrillo is a young woman from Paterson whose inquisitive nature led her to study as part of the Academy of Criminal Justice.

Her accolades include being accepted into the National Honor Society, World Language Society, and New Jersey Girl’s State. As if by wonderful foreshadowing, Samantha was selected as a Foundation for Success member, an honor bestowed on the top ten ninth grade students with the highest GPAs. She was even honored with the Circle of Success distinction! It’s no wonder she earned the title of Salutatorian for the Class of 2017.

Samantha boasts participation in a host of activities, including Student Council, Concert Band, FBLA, SkillsUSA, Gifted & Talented, and Mock Trial, in which she and her team won the Passaic County Championship. Samantha is also an active volunteer at the Clifton Public Library and the Juvenile Conference Center where she lends an ear to help find solutions for troubled youths.

As salutatorian, Samantha ranks in the top one percent of her class with a GPA of 4.59! She has accumulated an outstanding thirty-three potential college credits and has earned the distinction of Principal’s Honor Roll throughout her entire high school career.

In addition to these academic accolades, she has been named a QuestBridge College Prep Scholar & finalist - an honor earned during her junior year which celebrated her achievements and gave her an early start in applying to colleges. She also participated in the Berkeley College Business Leadership programs and AP Physics webinars.

After graduation, Samantha looks forward to continuing her education at the Ivy League school of Harvard University where she will potentially pursue studies in Physics. When asked why this area interests her, Samantha says, “Physics has infinite applications and is always evolving. I’ll never be bored.”

Her time at PCTI has been filled with life-lessons. Samantha commented on her journey of growth. “I realized that in order to achieve a dream, some opportunities will be given to me, but I have worked hard for a lot more great opportunities.” She elaborated on rejection, “One has to have a little hope and keep going. In the end, I gave my best efforts and I’ll always try my best.”

These are wise words from a wise young woman. Congratulations Samantha, your life philosophy will ensure success!


  • Recognized as the Salutatorian for the Class of 2017
  • Will graduate with a potential 33 college credits
  • Selected for Freshmen Foundation for Success, Circle of Success, NJ Girl’s State, NHS, & WLHS
  • Involved in Student Council, Concert Band, FBLA, SkillsUSA, Gifted & Talented, & Mock Trial
  • Volunteers at Clifton Public Library & the Juvenile Conference Center
  • Goal: Graduate from Harvard University with a Physics degree

View the PDF