January Students of the Month

Kayleen Acosta

Kayleen Acosta is an enthusiastic young woman whose artistic passion has led her to join PCTI’s Advertising Art & Design program. Hailing from Prospect Park, this talented individual knew her life’s calling at a very young age. “I’ve loved drawing ever since I picked up a pencil,” she says. Kayleen is willing to take on every challenge necessary in order to expand her knowledge in her chosen field.

This young Bulldog has accumulated quite the list of activities. She is Co-Captain of the Girls Volleyball team, a member of Girls Lacrosse, NJROTC, National Honor Society (and serves as the Corresponding Secretary), the World Language Honor Society, and was selected for Circle of Success. Needless to say, Kayleen navigates her busy schedule with ease. In addition to these in-school activities, she has two part-time jobs with Foodtown and GameStop, where she works a combined thirty hours a week. Still, Kayleen prioritizes her coursework with honors classes and has earned nine credits towards her academic future through Japanese and Advertising Art & Design courses. As a testament to her dedication, she ranks in the top nine percent of her class with a GPA of 3.98!

In her time at PCTI, Kayleen has achieved quite a few of her dreams. She was selected as the School of Visual Arts Pre-College Scholarship Winner, which allowed her to take animation courses in NYC and secured her decision to pursue specific goals after graduation. She adds, “I’ve also always wanted to be nominated as a student of the month and now, here I am!”

Kayleen’s motivation to succeed is inextricably linked with pursuing her passions. Her fondness of Japanese culture has cemented her desire to receive her translator certification. This pairs well with her ambition and career of choice, to receive an education in GameDesign and to eventually move to Japan to work for one of the top video developers, publishers, and distribution companies, Square Enix.

Kayleen has been accepted into her top school of choice, Savannah College of Art Design, as well as the School of Visual Arts and Full Sail University, and has received scholarships to each of the aforementioned colleges.

After graduating from PCTI, she will attend a university and pursue both a Bachelor and Master’s degree in Game Design, with a focus on utilizing her artistic skills in the animation realm.

Congratulations to this driven young woman on all her prior and future successes!

  • Ranked in the top 9% of her class
  • Earned 9 college credits
  • Co-Captain of the Girls Volleyball team & NHS Corresponding Secretary
  • Member of Girls Lacrosse, NJROTC, the NHS, & World Language Honor Society
  • Recipient of the School of Visual Arts Pre-College Scholarship Winner Award
  • Goal: Graduate from a university with a Bachelor/Master’s degree in GameDesign, work for Square Enix in Japanpairs

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Hamlet Jaquez

Hamlet Jaquez is a young man known for being educationally ambitious, pursuing knowledge in areas of interest on his own time. This disciplined Bulldog from Haledon and member of the School of Engineering Technology takes great pride in advancing his studies. When asked what skills he’s acquired outside of his routine schooling, Hamlet said, “I taught myself C++ and have a lot of knowledge in other programing languages.”

To take advantage of all PCTI has to offer, Hamlet has enrolled in a rigorous course load of AP and honors classes that account for a potential thirty-nine credits toward his college career. He ranks in the top eight percent of the Class of 2016 with a GPA of 4.03! Meanwhile, he is an active member and Lead Programmer of the Engineering Club, the SkillsUSA Officer Team (Historian), the Student Leadership Council, the Lindsey Meyer Teen Institute, and the Boys Bowling team. He has earned various PCCC and FTC Robotics Competition Awards and has received the AP Scholar Award for high marks on the AP exam. In addition, Hamlet has trained in Taekwondo for twelve years and will receive his first degree black belt.

Reflecting on why he chose Passaic County Technical Institute for his high school experience, Hamlet offered that his acceptance provided a means for pursuing his passion. “My interests were programing and robotics, tailored towards manufacturing and other machining. I was also able to enroll in independent studies which allowed me to study higher level math courses at a younger age.”

The curriculum has prepared him well for his college career. Hamlet seeks to pursue an education in Computer Engineering with hopes of being accepted into his dream school, MIT. Taking the ambitious route, he has applied to more than ten schools and is eager to discover which one will meet his academic needs.

When asked what he’s learned since attending PCTI as a freshman, Hamlet offered, “No matter how unique you think you are, you’re never alone. There will always be people who are sympathetic towards your experiences.” He went on to praise the diversity and talent of his peers, and how PCTI provides unique opportunities for all.

Hamlet has surely made the most of his education at PCTI. His direction and focus in the Engineering field will no doubt contribute to his future success. Congratulations to this brilliant young man and best of luck!

  • Ranked in the top 8% of his class
  • Accumulated a potential thirty-nine credits toward his college career
  • Member of the Engineering Club, SkillsUSA Officer Team, Student Leadership Council, Lindsey Meyer Teen Institute, & the Boys Bowling team
  • Recipient of AP Scholar Award, PCCC & FTC Robotics Competition Awards
  • Trained in Taekwondo for 12 years
  • Goal: Graduate from a university with a Bachelor/Master’s degree in Computer Engineering, earn a MBA

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