March Students of the Month

Diana Deonate

Diana Deonate is a young woman from Paterson who has always been fascinated with solving puzzles in the literal and figurative sense. “I used to do lot of those in youth, but I would never look at the picture on the box. It was figuring things out on my own that I really enjoyed.”

It’s no surprise that this young woman’s penchant for abstract thinking has carried through to her educational pursuits. As a member of the Academy of Criminal Justice & Public Safety, Diana aims to use her problem solving capabilities to help the wrongfully accused, by embracing a career as a lawyer.

She’s well on her way to achieving her dream. Diana currently holds a position with Batista Law Office in Clifton. Through PCTI’s STC program, she works twenty hours a week. The job has allowed Diana to use her bilingual talents to communicate effectively with clients. “Working under a lawyer and municipal judge gave me a real taste of the legal system,” she says. “It’s like my third home, with PCTI being my second.”

Amidst a packed schedule, Diana is also involved in numerous activities, including Mock Trial, ERASE, and Book Club. She is a Certified Dispatcher and is CPR Certified. Additionally, Diana has been selected for the World Language Honor Society.

It comes as no surprise that this Bulldog ranks in the top four percent of her class with a GPA of 4.19. She also has the potential to graduate with fifteen college credits.

Diana has worked hard to achieve her dreams. She’s already earned full rides to Fairleigh Dickinson University, Felician College, and William Paterson University. She’s also been accepted to Seton Hall and Rutgers University.

Whatever university she chooses, Diana’s goal is the same; she will pursue a Bachelor of Science in Legal Studies and will eventually attend Law School.

When asked what direction her life will take after all that education, Diana says, “I enjoy Criminal Law so maybe I’ll become a Prosecutor.”

While Diana is direct in her academic pursuits, she is equally clear on what she values. In short, it’s finding out the truth. “Ever since coming to PCTI, I’ve realized that you need to personally do the research to reach your own conclusions. It’s important to think for yourself and question everything.”

This particular quality will serve her well in her career endeavors. Congratulations Diana, a young woman who knows the value of hard work!


  • Ranks in the top 4% of her class
  • Will graduate with a potential 15 college credits
  • Certified Dispatcher and licensed in CPR
  • Involved in Mock Trial, ERASE, & Book Club; selected for WLHS
  • Holds job at Batista Law Office
  • Goal: Graduate from a university with a Bachelor of Science degree in Legal Studies, attend Law School, become a Prosecutor

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Grace Khezam

Grace Khezam is a resident of Totowa who transferred to Passaic County Technical Institute as a sophomore. Her reason? “I wasn’t being as challenged as much I wanted to be in high school. PCTI offered more opportunities for me to excel and grow.”

As a member of the Academy of Information Technology, Grace believes that becoming proficient in tasks such as web design and coding will help her secure a successful future. “Right now, I can get a job making websites,” she says.

Grace is involved in numerous school activities, including Concert Band, Marching Band, LEAP, and the Environmental Club. She was also selected for the Tri-M Music Honor Society and serves as the Co-Vice President of the Class of 2017. With a GPA of 3.94, Grace ranks in the top ten percent of her class and has earned Principal’s Honor Roll status. She has the potential to graduate with seventeen college credits.

Outside of PCTI, she is a gymnast, has worked as a life guard (and is CPR certified), and has volunteered with organizations that include St. Joseph’s Regional Medical Center, the Special Olympics, at her local public library, and in Marching Band parades. Within the past year, she’s accumulated more than sixty service hours in an area she’s truly passionate about: Dentistry.

As a volunteer at Dental2000, Grace shadows dentists and hygienists, sterilizes instruments, and communicates effectively with patients. “I’ve always been interested in biology and the medical arts, so getting this opportunity allowed me to gain experience in a career I want to pursue.”

It was Grace’s proactive approach - of going after what she wants in life - that allowed her to discover her passion.

As far as life after graduation is concerned, Grace has already been accepted into Pennsylvania State University, Pace University, Temple University, Arcadia University, and Fairleigh Dickinson University. She will pursue her Bachelor of Science degree in Biology and will later attend dental school.

When asked how she’s grown from her time as a sophomore to a senior, Grace had this to say, “I’ve been working on building my character and really going after what I want.” This ambitious quality ensures that Grace actively seeks out opportunities in every area of her life.

One thing’s for certain, Grace has grown exponentially in her three years at PCTI. Congratulations and best of luck in the future!


  • Ranks in the top 10% of her class
  • Will graduate with a potential 17 college credits
  • Selected for Tri-M Honor Society
  • Member of Concert Band, Marching Band, LEAP, & Environmental Club
  • Co-Vice President of the Class of 2017
  • Goal: Graduate from a university with a Bachelor of Science degree in Biology, enroll in dental school, become a Dentist

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