S: Heidi's Time at Cumberland County College
BC: Cumberland County College
FC: "What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us." ~Ralph Waldo Emerson | to the Graduate
1: Heidi's time at Cumberland County College | Strive for excellence in all you do
2: Only a few years ago, my life was COMPLETELY different than it is today. You see, at the age of twelve, I was the unfortunate victim of rape by three of my peers. By the time I was thirteen, both of my parents became alcoholics and I was forced to raise my baby brother by myself. Without the guidance of my parents, I had to rely on my own young, immature understanding of the world around me. So, thinking I was doing what was best, I got married when I was eighteen, and for the entire seven years of my marriage, I was abused both mentally and physically, and what’s worse is that so were my four young children. At that time in my life, every day was a struggle for me. I never knew when I would say or do something wrong and have to face the wrath of my husband. Because I married so young, I never really had the chance to experience life. I never developed myself socially or intellectually. And I never had anyone tell me that I was worth more. I awoke one morning, about four years ago, and I realized that I was not the woman that I had wanted to be and that my life was not what God had intended it to be. So, I enrolled myself at Cumberland County College because I loved to learn and I thought this would be a great start. But I had no idea the impact that my college would have on my life. As I continued my schooling, I began to view myself, relationships, and the world around me in a much different light. It was as if the blinders came off and I could see for the first time. In my studies of Psychology, sociology, and Human Growth and Development, I learned to confront my past with the men who raped me and with my parents’ negligence. It taught me that no matter how traumatic the experiences are in our lives, people have an innate resilience given the right opportunity for growth and change. In my English class, William Carlos William’s poem, The Red Wheelbarrow, taught me that perception is everything, and that with the right perception, life is beautiful, hopeful, and kind. Though I was damaged, beaten, and hopeless, I began to see myself as beautiful and strong. My Images of Women in Literature class taught me that ever since the beginning of time, women have experienced the struggles I was going through. So many countless stories of the struggles and triumphs of women throughout history gave me the strength to finally leave my husband and pursue a better life for my children. Biology taught me about the complexity of our cells and how each one has a specific purpose within our body. We are like those cells within the universe. We are all here for a special reason and we need to live each day knowing that our time here is short. Don’t let anyone ever tell you that you aren‘t good enough. A pivotal point in my life was the first Christmas alone with the children. I couldn’t afford many presents and I was worried they would be sad on that special day. But,
3: miraculously, an entire truck load of presents were donated to my family, over 300 wrapped gifts, labeled for each child. That Christmas I told the children that God delivered the gifts to us and together, we all cried. I promised myself and the children that every opportunity that I had, I would pay it forward and give back to those like myself. When I was inducted into Phi Theta Kappa, I was in awe at the community service projects that they did. I knew that this was the perfect avenue to give back to the community. I helped collect book bags and school supplies for the children at Big Brother/Big Sister, and collected food donations for soup kitchens and for Thanksgiving Baskets for those less fortunate. I had my kids participate in many Road Clean Up’s and they got to see their mother lead by example. The following year I was elected into Presidency of Rho Gamma, our local chapter. As President, I wanted to show my college how grateful I was for all they had done for me. So, with the help of my officers and members, I initiated the “I’m Committed” campaign on campus to raise graduation and retention rates. It was my goal to encourage as many people as possible to graduate with a degree. In turn to their dedication, Rho Gamma created a committee of honor students who were willing to tutor students for free. We also created a committee of students willing to help the freshman make an easier transition into college. The “I’m Committed” campaign is now a long-standing commitment by Rho Gamma for years to come and it is our goal to make it bigger and better every year. By helping students overcome the many challenges that occur along their educational journey, it is my hope that students never give up their dreams and that they commit themselves to greatness in all that they do. My educational experience here will resonate with me for the rest of my life. Education is more than just knowledge, and Cumberland County College has not only taught me math, science, and English. It has instilled in me a commitment and a discipline to always extend my thoughts, ideas, and goals to the vast universe that surrounds each and every one of us. CCC has offered me an opportunity to look within the deepest parts of myself; to analyze my very existence and gain a better understanding as to why I am who I am and what I can do with this knowledge. If it wasn’t for my community college, I never would have began my education and my life would not be blessed like it is today. With that being said, I want to thank my college and its President, Dr. Isekegnebe, my advisor and Literature professor, Miss Kewish who encouraged me to run for Presidency and let me know that I am worth more. I would like to thank my officers for all their hard work and dedication, and all the Rho Gamma members. I would like to thank all of the Community College Presidents and advisors for giving us the opportunity of education, community services, and helping us develop as leaders and role models. And of course, I would like to thank all the Phi Theta Kappa members for not only working towards your goals but doing so in excellence and some how still managing to find time to bless others through service hood.
4: We are | Cumberland County College not only transformed me intellectually, but also personally and emotionally. It gave me the courage to chase my dreams.
6: My sisters were such an amazing support system through all of my academic endeavors
7: What greater thing is there for human souls than to feel that they are joined for life - to be with each other in silent unspeakable memories. ~George Eliot | Other things may change us, but we start and end with the family. ~Anthony Brandt
8: Family is so important. I don't know what I would do without them. | They kept me laughing
9: My biggest fan of all. You helped me believe in myself. | The family is one of nature's masterpieces. ~George Santayana
10: Phi Theta Kappa 2011-2012
11: Friendship Continued
13: Road Clean-ups!
15: Fun Times!
16: What greater thing is there for human souls than to feel that they are joined for life - to be with each other in silent unspeakable memories. ~George Eliot
17: What greater thing is there for human souls than to feel that they are joined for life - to be with each other in silent unspeakable memories. ~George Eliot | Other things may change us, but we start and end with the family. ~Anthony Brandt
18: What greater thing is there for human souls than to feel that they are joined for life - to be with each other in silent unspeakable memories. ~George Eliot
19: What greater thing is there for human souls than to feel that they are joined for life - to be with each other in silent unspeakable memories. ~George Eliot | Other things may change us, but we start and end with the family. ~Anthony Brandt
20: 5 K run
22: 5 K run
28: Friends are the chocolate chips in the cookies of life. | Organic Chemistry!
29: Friendship Continued | Friendship is the thread that ties our hearts together.
30: My Chemistry lab partner | So Much fun in Birkes' Class
31: Good friends are the rare jewels of life... … difficult to find and impossible to replace. | Future Pharmacists
32: Good times!
33: Good friends are the rare jewels of life... … difficult to find and impossible to replace. | Silly girls!
35: Professor Burke!!!
36: "Wherever you go, go with all your heart." ~Confucius | FREINDS
38: We are | Friends we meet in college stay friends for life
40: At the Graduation Rehearsal! | They made the event so much fun!
44: "Wherever you go, go with all your heart." ~Confucius | FREINDS
50: James Parish: Graduation Speaker
52: "Wherever you go, go with all your heart." ~Confucius | FREINDS
54: Always remember, you have within you the strength the patience and the passion to reach for the stars to change the world. - Harriet Tubman
55: Try to discover the road to success and you'll seek but never find, but blaze your own path and the road to success will trail right behind. ~Robert Brault | Shoot for the moon. Even if you miss, you'll land among the stars. ~Les Brown
59: Good times!
60: A friend is someone who knows the song in your heart and can sing it back to you when you have forgotten the words.
61: Friendship Continued | Friendship is the thread that ties our hearts together.
64: Always remember, you have within you the strength the patience and the passion to reach for the stars to change the world. - Harriet Tubman | We are so proud of you! | I won the 2012 Regional "College Project Award"
65: Named to the 2012 PTK All State Team
66: Marisol Arcaya and Kim Bryd joined us for the event! | They made the event so much fun!
69: Trenton | The Governor's Chamber
70: Jessica Slater and I were the 2 students picked by our college to represent the college in Trenton.
71: Friendship Continued | This was one of the best days of my College Career!
80: All of the New Jersey Academic Team Students and Presidents
81: Friendship Continued | This was one of the best days of my College Career!
82: Hold your light out for all to see! Let it burn bright. | Candle-light Vigil
83: Tears filled our eyes that day because we were so proud of ourselves and each other. | I promise to always reach for the stars and never let anyone keep me from my dreams.
84: On the top left: We were awarded the PTK award Bottom Left: I was awarded the Science Award for highest G.P.A in Biomedical Sciences. | We are so proud of you! | May 14th: I was awarded the Science Award, PTK Award, and All-State Academic Award
85: May 15th: I was presented a Resolution by the Board of Trustees in recognition of my achievements
86: Jessica Slater and I were given an Honors Resolution by the Board of Trustees to recognize our hard work and accomplishments. | We are so proud of you!
87: "Wherever you go, go with all your heart." ~Confucius | I love him so much!
88: We were each awarded a $500.00 Phi Theta Kappa Scholarship for excellence in academics and leadership. | We are so proud of you!
89: "Wherever you go, go with all your heart." ~Confucius | PTK Scholarships!
90: It takes courage to grow up and become who you really are. ~e.e. cummings
91: Enjoy the little things for one day you may look back and realize they were the big things. - Robert Brault
92: Accept no one's definition of your life, but define yourself. - Harvey Fierstein
93: Try to discover the road to success and you'll seek but never find, but blaze your own path and the road to success will trail right behind. ~Robert Brault | Shoot for the moon. Even if you miss, you'll land among the stars. ~Les Brown
104: I hope your dreams take you to the corners of your smiles, to the highest of your hopes, to the windows of your opportunities, and to the most special places your heart has ever known.
105: "Wherever you go, go with all your heart." ~Confucius | You're looking at the Valvictorian of Biomedical Sciences!
106: Do not follow where the path may lead. Go, instead, where there is no path and leave a trail. ~Ralph Waldo Emerson
107: Put your heart, mind, intellect and soul even to your smallest acts. This is the secret of success. ~Swami Sivananda | You did it!
108: Life isn't about waiting for the storm to pass…It's about learning to dance in the rain.
109: Dinner Afterwards
110: What an adventure I had at Cumberland. Through it all, this man encouraged me
111: Emily looks up to her so much!
113: Aunt Christina!