Carolyn Coello’s fascination with building and creating things led her to choose PCTI’s School of Construction Technology program, “I specifically chose welding because I liked the opportunities that came along with it, and it was something new that I really enjoyed.”
In school, Carolyn is an active competitor in Skills USA, showcasing her welding skills and passion for construction technology. In her free time, Carolyn enjoys pursuing a variety of creative hobbies, including crocheting, baking, making jewelry, and working with clay. Her love for learning extends beyond her CTE program and academic pursuits, as she also takes Japanese at PCTI and hopes to continue learning the language.
Upon graduation, Carolyn’s plans include attending a program at Berkley college to become a certified billing and coding specialist. She hopes to travel abroad and visit the countries her family came from and is determined to continue pushing herself to achieve her goals.
Being named Student of the Month, Carolyn says, “I was really surprised. It was something I never expected but I was happy because the hard work and stress has paid off.” With a 4.11 GPA this recognition is well-deserved! Carolyn shared some wise advice for her fellow classmates “don't panic when things get hard just push through, and always make time to create special memories along the way.”
Carolyn, your focus and hard work will ensure a successful future! Congratulations!
- GPA: 4.11
- Clubs: Skills USA
- Goals: Become a certified billing and coding specialist
Jeprika Rodriguez, is a dedicated student of the STEM Academy Biomedical and Life Sciences pathway, “I chose bio medical and life sciences because I wanted to immerse myself in a collaborative challenging environment where my curiosity can flourish.”
Jeprika is actively involved in various clubs at school as a member of the National Honor Society, the World Language Honor Society, HOSA, and Teen Summit. Jeprika is also a research assistant at the Spatial Development Lab at Montclair State University, where they test developing patients and children with autism or Down Syndrome, analyzing data and resolving discrepancies together with other research assistants. Throughout high school, Jeprika was a finalist for the New Jersey STEAM Tank, collaborating with peers to create Trusilin, a groundbreaking innovation that helps diabetics receive insulin through infused gum, eliminating the need for needles and injections. Her passion for helping others extends beyond studies and research as a volunteer at St. Joseph's Medical Center in Paterson and a young ambassador at the NYU Stern School of Business, Life Sciences - Endless Frontier Labs.
While keeping busy with extra-curriculars and research, Jeprika has maintained an outstanding GPA of 4.54 and has garnered various awards including: College Board National Hispanic Recognition, Hispanic Heritage Youth Award – gold medal in Health Care and Science, the NJ Steam Tank Special Recognition in entrepreneurship and JEDI (Justice, Equality, Diversity, & Inclusion) as well as being name an AP Scholar with distinction.
Fascinated by how microscopic organisms and synapses impact human existence, Jeprika aspires to major in neuroscience and obtain a medical degree with a major goal, “I want to increase diversity in the STEM Field. I did a research project about health disparities in low socio-economic and minority patients who are more susceptible to health care disparities due to historical discrimination in the medical field. As a future physician I want to be able to bridge that gap, increase diversity, and use the resources that are underutilized in low socio-economic communities.”
As student of the month, Jeprika shared “It’s an honor to be named student of the month and to be able to lead by example on how hard work pays off” and shared some very valuable advice, “Learn to be okay with failing. Use every failure as a learning opportunity to be able to come back stronger.“
Jeprika, your hard work, ambition, and passion will get you far in your future. Congratulations!
- GPA: 4.54
- National Honor Society
- World Language Honor Society
- Teen Summit
- Goals: Study neuroscience and receive a medical degree. Aspires to become physician to be able to bridge the socio-economic gap in medicine, increase diversity, and use the resources that are underutilized in low socio-economic communities.
Anthony Villata’s life-long interest in culinary led him to choose PCTI’s School of Culinary Arts, “I wanted to be placed in a setting where I would be set up with professional equipment and instructors and that would help me gain insight in the culinary world while helping to build my skills.”
In school, Anthony is a student ambassador at PCTI, participating in student led school tours. In addition he works at Chez Technique and is a member of the ProStart Management team. Recently the team competed in the New Jersey ProStart invitational where they presented their innovative restaurant concept to a panel of judges. The team successfully placed second at the invitational. Outside of school, Anthony works as a server at a local breakfast and lunch spot and has volunteered with a local nonprofit organization, “Girls with Cancer” in their fundraising initiatives.
Looking ahead to his future, Anthony plans on attending university with the ultimate goal to pursue an MBA so he may focus on the business side of culinary. His aspiration is to own a food service business, such as a café, bakery, or restaurant.
Being named Student of the Month, Anthony says, “I didn’t expect it, but I was very honored to have received the recognition.” With his 3.88 GPA, dedication and hard work, the recognition is well deserved. As for advice to his fellow classmates, Tony encourages students to take part in the school community, “immerse yourself in activities whether it be your CTE program or afterschool. Really immersing yourself in the school community will help to excel in your academics and socially.”
With his dynamic personality and drive to succeed, Anthony is sure to make his mark in the culinary world and beyond! Congratulations!
- GPA: 3.88
- Clubs: ProStart – Management Team
- Goals: Receive an MBA with the goal of opening a food service business.