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Bergen Spotlight

Laura Villa
Criminal Justice
Hackensack
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Degree Seeking: 
A.S.

Biography: 
I am a NJ STARS student. Without the NJ STARS financial opportunity I would not be able to go to college. I received a letter from my high school informing me that I was in the top twenty percent of my senior class. If I did not have the NJ STARS scholarship, I would have had to get a job and start working. Also, I graduated a year earlier and being a minor it is difficult to get a good job at 16 years of age. Now I am 17 and I'm majoring in Criminal Justice. It is a good opportunity to start your college education here because they offer you a lot of help. I know that some people may be hesitant about going to a community college. But to tell you the truth you get great help in your academic program before you have to start in a big college or university.

Why did you choose Bergen Community College?: 
I was also considering attending John Jay College in New York City, but there is no way that I could go there with absolutely no money. So the NJ STARS program gave me a push to start at Bergen Community College.

What advice would you give a prospective student?: 
To not jump into wanting to go to Harvard or Yale right after they graduate from high school. A community college is small and diverse enough to help you to begin your college journey. I would not hesitate to begin my college experience at Bergen Community College again as a high school senior because the people here are very helpful and the NJ STARS program made it possible for me to attend college.

What has been your favorite academic experience so far?: 
The diversity has been my favorite experience. I like getting to know everyone and there are so many clubs and fun activities that you can take part in. The Counseling Center, the Henry and Edith Cerullo Tutoring Center, and the Career Center all offer great services for students.

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