Major: Biology - Environmental Track

Hometown: Budd Lake

Discovering a Passion for Environmental Conservation

“I’m so glad I stayed at CCM. CCM helped to prepare me for life and gave me the confidence to continue my education.”

Young female student in black and white plaid shirtAs a high school student, Nick Fiorey says she had little interest in attending a four-year college because she did not feel ready and had no idea what she wanted to study. Enrolled in the Challenger program for high school students at County College of Morris (CCM), she opted instead to continue at CCM.

 “I’m so glad I stayed at CCM,” says Fiorey, of Budd Lake, a member of the Class of 2021. “CCM helped to prepare me for life and gave me the confidence to continue my education.”

Initially she majored in art but when she took a general biology course, she discovered what she really wants to do with her life. It was then she realized she could pursue a career focused on something of great importance to her – the environment.

“When I started I had no idea what I wanted to do,” she recalls. “But CCM gave me the time and space to discover who I am. I always felt there was something out there for me. When I discovered it at CCM, I took off like a rocket.”

Where she once felt she had little aptitude for science, Fiorey ended up excelling, taking honors courses, increasing conservation and sustainability awareness on campus and in the community as president of the college’s Environmental Club, and participating in and leading field research groups. The research she worked on first focused on tree height and forest canopies and then the Emerald Ash Borer, an exotic beetle that is killing hundreds of millions ash trees in North America. Being able to take part in that research work, says Fiorey, not only helped to reinforce what she learned in the classroom but also provided her with essential skills and confidence. She now plans to attend either Rutgers or the New Jersey Institute of Technology with the goal of developing a career in environmental conservation.

“I’ve found my sense of purpose. I want to help the environment. Nature makes me realize that you are in the world because you’re meant to be in this world,” says Fiorey. “People need to find their passion. I’m so glad I found mine.”