Discovering Her Passion and a Pathway to the Ivy League
âI got a world-class education at CCM. The professors and staff are wonderful. I am so incredibly grateful for the quality education I got at CCM.â
Major: Visual Arts
At County College of Morris (CCM), Alida (Aly) Jimenez â20 discovered not only her passion but a pathway to the Ivy League to pursue her dream of protecting ancient artworks and the âvoices of the past.â
That pathway would not have been possible without CCM given that Jimenez dropped out of high school to pursue a GED instead. It was at CCM that she was able to establish a stellar grade point average that drew the attention of Columbia University where she plans to earn a bachelorâs, masterâs and then a Ph.D. in art history.
Born and raised in Miami, Jimenez decided to leave high school after attending five different schools during her sophomore year as a result of the many moves her parents made during that time. Shortly after, she moved to New Jersey to be with her boyfriend.
It was her boyfriend, Daniel Palmiotto, a CCM graduate, who encouraged her to attend.Â âHe told me, âCCM is such a great school. I think you will benefit by being there.â He was 150 percent correct,â she says. âI got a world-class education at CCM. The professors and staff are wonderful. I am so incredibly grateful for the quality education I got at CCM.â
With an interest in art from a young age, Jimenez, who likes to create works in charcoal, majored in visual arts. It was when she took some art history classes with Professors Clay Allen and Keith Smith that she discovered what she really wants to do. Her plan is to work in a museum in a capacity that allows her to assist with the preservation of ancient artworks.
âWhen youâre in a museum, youâre not just looking at ancient paintings and artifacts; youâre looking at the voices of people who are long gone, and the fact that they still have a voice is very powerful. I want to make sure I am a part of preserving those voices for future generations.â
Toward that end, Jimenez began researching the professional staff at major museums in New York and found that most had earned advanced degrees from Columbia and New York University. That is when she set her mind on attending Columbia, the only school she applied to as a transfer student.
âThis is a once in a life opportunity that was all made possible because I choose CCM. CCM was the turning point that solidified what I want to focus on and allowed me to get into Columbia. Now, Iâm getting to do what Iâm passionate about.â