January Students of the Month

Sayem Ahmed

Sayem Ahmed is a young man from Paterson whose experiences in youth allowed him to select the perfect program area at PCTI. “I used to help my dad around the house with a lot of wiring, and I realized that I really enjoyed figuring out why something does or doesn’t work, especially when it comes to a resource we take for granted,” Sayem says, referencing electricity. Well, he found the perfect home as a member of the School of Construction Technology with a concentration in Electrical Technology.

His analytic approach to repairing and maintaining electrical infrastructure carries over to other areas of his life. This diligent and hard-working Bulldog ranks in the top five percent of his class with a GPA of 4.14. He is enrolled in a combination of honors and AP courses which give him the potential of graduating with fourteen college credits. He’s also maintained Honor Roll status throughout most of his high school career.

At PCTI, Sayem has been involved in the MSA, Astronomy Club, Engineering Club, Environmental Club, and the Chess Club. Outside of school, he enjoys playing soccer with his friends and has volunteered at his local mosque. He’s also tutored young men and women in his community by teaching them to write Arabic.

Sayem has been accepted to both Rutgers New Brunswick and Newark, the New Jersey Institute of Technology, and Montclair State University. He plans to attend NJIT and graduate with a Bachelor of Science in Computer Engineering with a minor in Mathematics.

“My dream job would be working with hardware and software.” He further elaborates that discovering the small components that make a computer function and run is what truly appeals to him. “In the future, I aim to get involved in a career that allows me to work on projects from start to finish - maybe something having to do with phones and telecommunication systems."

When asked about his greatest learning experience while attending PCTI, Sayem mentions that it’s all about professionalism. “My program area and academic classes have prepared me for the real world. I’ve gained experience that I couldn’t have gotten anywhere else. My work ethic improved and I had the opportunity to focus on time management.”

Congratulations Sayem, it sounds like you’ve built a profound work ethic that will serve you for years to come. Best of luck in the future!


  • Ranks in the top 5% of his class
  • Will graduate with a potential 14 college credits
  • Involved in MSA, Astronomy Club, Engineering Club, Environmental Club, & Chess Club
  • Achieved Honor Roll status throughout most of his high school career
  • Volunteerism efforts include helping out at his local mosque & instructing youths to write Arabic
  • Goal: Graduate from NJIT with a Bachelor of Science in Computer Engineering and a minor in Mathematics

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Rachel Polzer

Rachel Polzer of the School of Performing Arts is emboldened by the prospect of a challenge, especially when it comes to achieving her dream. This North Haledon native has strong convictions that match her determination and drive to succeed, qualities which are further bolstered by her Theatre concentration.

Performing has cultivated a strong voice for this talented young woman. Wisdom too, which is apparent in how she views the direction of her education and future career. “I’ve learned that you can’t be a coward with what you’re passionate about. The easiest route isn’t better. You have to live your life how you want, despite what other people say.”

In fact, the vocal theme is strong with Rachel. She fell in love with singing when she discovered she could hold a note in the third grade. “Then I tried out for Peter Pan in middle school and got the part of Wendy. That’s when I knew I wanted to concentrate on theatre at PCTI.”

Rachel’s accolades reach far and wide. Notably, she received a “Superior” rating in the Monologue Event of the NJ Theatre Competition and an exclusive invitation to travel to Nebraska for the national event. She was selected for both the National Honor Society and the National Thespian Honor Society, of which she is PCTI’s Chapter President. Rachel is also a member of the Performing Arts Club and LEAP.

It’s no surprise that she ranks in the top three percent of her class with a GPA of 4.26! Rachel has achieved Principal’s Honor Roll for almost her entire high school career and has the potential to graduate with fourteen college credits. Outside of school, she has volunteered at local churches and works sixteen hours a week at Cyndia’s in Totowa.

When it comes to planning for her future, Rachel has it all figured out. “I’m shifting back towards music so I want to pursue majors in Music Production & Recording.”

Rachel has been accepted into William Paterson University, which she plans on attending for two years. She then aims to finish out her undergraduate education at Elon University in North Carolina.

When asked about advice that she has for future Bulldogs, Rachel was all smiles, “Fake it until you make it. Focus on improving yourself and the confidence will come. The world is yours; it’s now or never.”

Congratulations Rachel! Your bold and spirited attitude will ensure your dreams become reality.


  • Ranks in the top 3% of her class
  • Has the potential to graduate with 14 college credits
  • Selected for National Honor Society & National Thespian Honor Society, serves as PCTI Chapter President
  • “Superior” rating in NJ Theatre Competition
  • Member of Performing Arts Club & LEAP
  • Goal: Attend WPUNJ for two years, transfer to Elon University, graduate with majors in Music Production & Recording

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