February Students of the Month

Eileen Cheng

Eileen Cheng is a conscientious young woman from Clifton whose diligence and hard work is evidence of her remarkable character. This member of the School of Culinary Arts has definitely left a mark on PCTI. She was a behind the scenes member of the winning ProStart Management team who developed, researched, and edited documents for the state competition.

Though she plans on shifting her studies in college, Eileen says culinary will always hold a special place in her heart. “My parents own their own Chinese Restaurant, so I know how time consuming the field can be. I help out there whenever I’m available.” Eileen’s priority has always been her studies. She has taken numerous AP and honors courses, which accounts for twelve possible credits toward her college career. It’s no wonder Eileen ranks 3rd in her class with a GPA of 4.38 and has earned an outstanding score of 2020 on her SAT!

Eileen has been on PCTI’s honor roll throughout her entire high school career. She was selected for the Freshmen Foundation for Success and is a member of the National Honor Society and the Book Club. Outside of school, Eileen has been a member of the 4-H Teen Crusaders and volunteers at School #16 during Family Fun Night and at St. Peter’s Haven Food Pantry.

When asked what she plans to do after graduation, Eileen admits that she has a soft spot for writing. “I enjoy writing fiction and would love to explore those studies further.” She goes on to explain that she plans on pursuing a double major in Creative Writing and Biology. Her goal, as of this moment, is to become a Physician’s Assistant, but Eileen realizes nothing is finite.

“I want to keep my options open,” she adds.

While recounting her journey through the hallways of PCTI, Eileen touches upon an area of personal growth. “I’ve built up courage to speak my mind and interact with people in a way that I was uncomfortable with as a freshman and sophomore. Joining clubs allowed me to expand my interests and get to know people on an entirely different level.”

Eileen has applied to Colgate University, Hamilton College, Northeastern University, Drexel University, SUNY Stony Brooke, and her dream school, New York University. It’s evident that her high aspirations in education and in life are sure to pave the way to success! Congratulations!

Highlights
  • Ranked in the top 1% of her class
  • Accumulated a potential 12 toward her college career
  • Received National Restaurant Association ServSafe Certification
  • Member of Foundation for Success, National Honor Society, & Book Club
  • Trilingual: English, Mandarin, & Cantonese
  • Goal: Graduate from a University with degrees in Creative Writing & Biology, become a Physician’s Assistant

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Shantayah I. Murray

Shantayah Murray is a Passaic local who discovered the magic of Passaic County Technical Institute through our Open House event. “I saw all these inspirational pieces from the School of Communication Arts and I knew I had to come here!” This wildly creative Bulldog has numeorus interests within the artistic realm. Her passions include fashion design, photography, and even sewing. It’s no wonder she chose to pursue her studies as a Graphic Designer.

“I love using Photoshop to put things together and make something entirely new,” Shantayah says, noting her favorite project this year was designing a movie poster. She’s currently working towards her Adobe Photoshop certification.

As a beloved Bulldog, Shantayah ranks in the top six percent of her class with a GPA 4.05 - which is credited to the numerous honors classes taken throughout her high school career. She has earned twenty-one credits toward her academic future. In addition, she was selected for the World Language Honor Society for her French expertise. Shantayah is also a member of PCTI’s Astronomy, Book, and Environmental clubs.

Outside of school, she volunteers as a Secretary Junior Usher at the Mount Moriah Baptist Church. - which is consequently how she developed an interest in photography. “I saw the photographer at my church and figured that looked like a lot of fun.” Now, in her free time, Shantayah enjoys flexing her photography skills and getting to know the settings on her camera.

When it comes to her academic future, Shantayah looks forward to attending college, but she’s keeping her options open. “I plan on going in undeclared, but I’m interested in studying fashion and interior design.” She elaborates that she’s thought of designing her own house and having her own fashion line.” I’ve always wanted to accomplish something big,” she adds.

This eager Bulldog has learned much in her time at Passaic County Technical Institute. “I’ve become a lot braver. Last year, I participated in a poetry slam. Everyone was so supportive!”

Shantayah’s persistence will ensure she succeeds in whatever she sets her mind to. Her flair for artistry will allow her to achieve all of her post graduation dreams!

Highlights
  • Ranked in the top 6% of her class
  • Accumulated a potential 21 credits towards her college career
  • Member of the World Language Honor Society, Astronomy Club, Book Club, and the Environmental Club
  • Volunteers as Secretary Junior Usher at Mount Moriah Baptist Church
  • Published in A Selection of Young Poets
  • Accepted to WPUNJ, Berkeley College, & Stevenson University
  • Goal: Graduate from a University with a degree that allows her creativity to shine

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