New Jersey offers its outstanding students the opportunity to receive funding to cover the full cost of tuition at one of the state’s community college as well as other scholarships to complete their higher education at a four-year school through its NJ STARS program.
High school students who graduate in the top 15 percent of their class are eligible for entry into the NJ STARS program. Kaitlyn Davis of Roxbury and Ashley Sicsko of Parsippany are two County College of Morris (CCM) students who met this academic achievement and were awarded NJ STARS scholarships.
Given their high level of academic achievement and involvement as college leaders, Dr. Edward J. Yaw, president of CCM, selected the two to serve as NJ STARS ambassadors to promote the value of the scholarship program. As NJ STARS ambassadors, the two recently traveled with Dr. Yaw to the New Jersey State House for Community College Ambassador Day to meet with legislators. Ambassadors from New Jersey’s 19 community colleges were invited to speak with legislators about the importance of the NJ STARS program.
“Kaitlyn and Ashley did an outstanding job sharing with state legislators the impact their NJ STARS scholarships have had on their lives,” said Dr. Yaw. “The NJ STARS program is an important part of keeping a higher education affordable for New Jersey students with the determination to succeed.”
Davis is president of the Alpha Kappa Kappa Chapter of Phi Theta Kappa honor society and a senator in the Student Government Association at CCM. She plans to graduate from CCM this May with her Associate in Science in chemistry and then enroll at a four-year school. “I plan on earning my bachelor’s in chemistry and then applying to graduate school,” she said. “I would like to explore the possibility of doing research or possibly entering into the medical or pharmaceutical field.”
Sicsko is majoring in mathematics at CCM and is a member of Phi Theta Kappa. She plans to graduate in August and then enroll at a four-year college to earn her bachelor’s in math. She plans to work as a mathematician or an actuary.
Both Davis and Sicsko noted their appreciation for the scholarships that have allowed them to pursue a high-quality and affordable college education.
“It feels amazing to have an affordable education. I am so grateful to be saving my parents money and it feels so good to be looked at as a ‘star student,’” said Sicsko. “I am very glad I went to CCM before a four-year school because it prepared me for the whole college experience. I suggest that everyone goes to a county college before a four-year school because it helps with the transition and concentration.”
Photo: (l-r) Dr. Edward J. Yaw, president of County College of Morris (CCM), with CCM NJ STARS students Kaitlyn Davis and Ashley Sicsko, Assemblyman Anthony M. Bucco, Trustee Chair Jeffrey M. Advokat and Trustee Thomas A. Pepe at the Community College Ambassador Day at the Statehouse.
Credit: All is Sharp Photography