NJ Community Colleges Showcase Outstanding Students

Article Posted -- April 27, 2018

As part of National Community College Month, the New Jersey Council of County Colleges (NJCCC) – the state association for New Jersey’s 19 community colleges – launched the New Jersey Community Colleges Voices of Opportunity, a weekly social media campaign and e-newsletter that highlights outstanding students who attend New Jersey’s 19 community colleges.

“Community colleges play a significant role building a better future for New Jersey’s residents, as our community colleges provide associate degree and certificate programs for over 325,000 students throughout the state,” said Aaron R. Fichtner, Ph.D., NJCCC president. “The examples that our New Jersey Community College Voices of Opportunity set inspire other students to be successful, and illustrate first-hand the value of community colleges to our state.”

Follow the New Jersey Community Colleges Voices of Opportunity on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn using @NJCommColleges, or by using the hashtag #NJCommColleges. To subscribe to the New Jersey Community Colleges Voices of Opportunity e-newsletter, please send a request to jfarbman@njccc.org.

The New Jersey Council of County Colleges is the state association representing New Jersey’s 19 community colleges. As an independent, trustee-headed organization that joins the leadership of trustees and presidents, the Council is a resource that strengthens and supports the state’s 19 community colleges.

Here are just some of the many students at SCCC that will be highlighted in the New Jersey Council promotions!

Name: Benjamin Armstrong
Hometown: Wantage, NJ

Coming out of high school I knew that I did not want bury myself in debt. I was given the opportunity to attend Sussex County Community College on the NJ STARS program which seemed like the perfect fit for me. I was able to take my general education classes, stay close to home, and continue my athletic career, all for the perfect price. These basic factors really made the decision easy on me.
Sussex has provided me with the taste of college life and a quality education that I can build off of. The most glaring opportunity has just been a chance to establish a foundation towards achieving my lifelong goals. Sussex has provided me with an education I can continue to pursue, new friends to network with as time moves forward, a feeling for what the college experience is all about, and a chance to prove myself as a student. This opportunity is really invaluable. Without a foundation it is tough to really build any structure. Now that I have gained that experience and foundation, the challenges ahead will be met with full confidence and a drive to continue to succeed. These hometown college roots are something I will cherish forever and carry with me as I go.
After completing my education in Sports Management, I see myself earning first-hand experience in the field. It is my hope that I will be working in sporting event planning or even a front-office job in the sports industry, and I think that goal is absolutely obtainable. I am open to wherever life takes me, but my desire and beliefs are that I will be working to make an impact in not only the sports industry, but on the daily lives of others as well.
As I mentioned previously, Sussex County Community College has helped establish a foundation to build off of. In a literal sense, they have provided me with the chance to complete my general education requirements and the financial affordability to explore many distinguished schools, but what is more important is that Sussex has given me the confidence to succeed in any walk of life. By having that foundation, I am comfortable to explore any challenge ahead knowing that I have a basis to rely on.

Name: Laura Allen
Hometown: Stanhope, NJ

I started at Sussex in the fall of 2016 and wasn’t sure what I wanted to major in. Sussex gave me the opportunity to try different courses which helped me to decide on my major in elementary education.

Being at a community college really gave me so many opportunities to get more involved. I was able to become a Student SOAR Leader, a PTK Officer and a recipient of the Robert Sydney Needham Memorial Scholarship; all of these opportunities helped me to open up and branch out. Being a bit shy, this also helped me to meet new people and new friends. I met my best friend at SCCC.

How has the community college made that future possible? My grades allowed me to transfer easily to my 4-year college this fall. The advisors and professors at SCCC were extremely helpful in getting me ready for transfer and throughout my education at SCCC.

I started at Sussex in the fall of 2016 and wasn’t sure what I wanted to major in. Sussex gave me the opportunity to try classes out and decide on a major that fit me. I am confident in my career path and excited to further my education.


Name: William Craig-Conrad
Hometown: Newton, NJ

My reasoning behind why I attended my local community college are, I knew that going to Sussex County Community College would help me save a lot more money and can help me get my feet wet for college. After high school I actually did not want to go to college. I was actually going to serve to be a missionary for my church for two years. However, that summer of 2015, my mother was diagnosed with cancer and I decided to stay home and take care of her. With that all happening, I thought it would be a better idea to stay close to home.

While being here at Sussex, I can honestly say that so many opportunities were presented to me and I’m glad that I took them. Like I said, I didn’t want to come to college, so I wanted to be your ordinary kid who just went to class, walked back to my car and drove home. Until I met my best friend in my Foundations course, Phil Andujar. In the way that I like to put it – Phil came into my life when all I wanted to do was drop out of college and take care of my family. However, he introduced me to so many engaging activities at Sussex that allowed me to become more open. I became more engaged because of the kind of person Phil was plus he showed me all that Sussex had to offer. All these opportunities that came my way allowed me to see an overall goal that I had for my life, which was, to connect with people who might need help and be a conduit for positivity.

In five years, I see myself finishing my bachelor’s degree at the University of Rutgers Newark. Hopefully starting my master’s program as well.

I can honestly say, being here at Sussex, not only made me a better student, it made me a better man. It also made me a better human being and with being involved on campus, it gave me the tools to be involved more in my home life as well. Sussex was the best decision I have made in my life so far and I full heartedly recommend my community college, or any community college, as a starting point for those that are unsure of what they want to do in life. Sussex County Community College saved my life and I am forever grateful for all the great people that made my dream a reality.