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May 31, 2019
May 31, 2019, Jersey City, NJ – Jersey City resident Deborah Acevedo has been named the Hudson County Community College (HCCC) Class of 2019 Valedictorian. She is graduating Summa Cum Laude, with a 4.0 grade point average. Ms. Acevedo was a member of the HCCC chapter of the Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society and the Honors Student Council.
Personal fulfillment led Ms. Acevedo to choose HCCC. “Something was missing, and those closest to me knew it, even when I would not admit it. It took me 16 years to realize that although I had not continued my education, it was essential, and the one thing missing from my life,” she said.
Inspired by national events and family’s encouragement, she enrolled at HCCC and pursued an Associate in Arts in Liberal Arts – History degree. She relates that the seeds for her college major were sown by an excellent high school history teacher. “It led me to take a history class as an elective during my senior year. I was hooked. I also believe to be a good historian, you must be a good storyteller, so it was a good fit for me,” Ms. Acevedo said. “My wife, Leslie, encouraged me to quit my job and has worked hard to support us while I complete my education. Her sacrifice keeps me motivated.”
Her fondest college memories highlight the warm and supportive campus environment of Hudson County Community College. “I enjoyed riding my bike from my apartment to class and having students and professors waving at me. It made the College have less of a city vibe; it felt like a community,” Ms. Acevedo said. “I had excellent professors who challenged me every step of the way. They encouraged me to take honors classes, write papers in the Chicago [Manual of] Style, as well as prepare honors presentations. I have been able to apply these skills to my studies at my new university.” (Ms. Acevedo received a full academic scholarship to continue her education at New Jersey City University.)
She advises current and future HCCC students to stay focused and use the College’s support systems. “Do not procrastinate. It will make you a better student, employee, and leader. Do not be afraid to ask a professor for his or her time. Do not be afraid to go to the Tutoring Center or the Writing Center. Use all avenues available. It will make you a better student and show your professors that you care about your education,” said Ms. Acevedo.
Hudson County Community College (HCCC) will hold its 42nd Annual Commencement this Thursday, May 30, at 6 p.m. at New Jersey Performing Arts Center in Newark. New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy will deliver the keynote speech to the more than 1,300 members of the Class of 2019 and their families and friends.