CCM Start Leads to Cornell
“Through my experience at CCM, I've been able to accomplish things I never would have thought myself capable of.” A psychology and biology major at County College of Morris (CCM), Shelsey Vazquez, of Dover, is determined to reach her full potential, but also knows the value of having some help to achieve her dreams.
Growing up in Aguada, Puerto Rico, she moved to the U.S. when she was in third grade with her mother to obtain a better education. A diligent student, Vazquez is grateful to have received the resources to excel in her studies at CCM through the Educational Opportunity Fund (EOF) program. The New Jersey EOF program provides financial assistance and support services to students from educationally and economically disadvantaged backgrounds who attend institutions of higher education in the state.
“EOF has provided me with opportunities to grow inside and outside of CCM in numerous ways,” says Vazquez. “This includes providing the space for me to study, advising me on courses to take, pushing me to apply to schools I otherwise wouldn't have had the courage to try for and always encouraging me to approach life with a proactive attitude to accomplish my goals.”
Through hard work, determination and with much encouragement, Vazquez applied for and was accepted to Cornell University, a prestigious Ivy League university in Ithaca, NY. She plans to continue her studies there focusing on neuroscience. “I am ecstatic and overwhelmed,” she says. “My hard work and dedication have propelled me to a bright future.”
Along with the help and resources she has received, Vazquez was able to develop her leadership skills as a EOF student at CCM by assisting with fundraisers and attending the National Active Minds Conference, an annual event in Sacramento, California addressing students and mental health, and the annual EOF awards ceremony, an event that acknowledges graduating EOF students who have demonstrated exceptional achievement during their college careers. “I would advise every student to take advantage of every opportunity offered and to never underestimate your potential,” says Vazquez. “Through my experience at CCM, I've been able to accomplish things I never would have thought myself capable of.”