October Students of the Month

Anthony Smith Jr.

Anthony Smith Jr. is a young man from Haledon whose desire to enter the healthcare field led him to join PCTI’s Academy of Medical Arts. “It’s the best way to prepare for my future, especially when you consider the certifications,” he explains.

Anthony is referring to being certified in Basic Life Support, CPR, as a CNA, and eventually as an EMT.

This hardworking Bulldog has established himself as an academic contender with a GPA of 4.23 and by ranking in the top three percent of his class. Stellar grades and enrolling in numerous Honors and AP courses has ensured that Anthony received the Principal’s Honor Roll distinction throughout his entire high school career. He even has the potential to graduate with thirty-three college credits!

But academic savvy isn’t the only way to describe Anthony. In fact, he’s just as committed to clubs, athletics, and volunteerism, as he is to achieving outstanding grades. At PCTI, Anthony is involved in HOSA, Student Council/Interact, and ERASE. Recently, he was selected as a representative for the Rotary Youth Leadership Awards. The intensive leadership experience encouraged Anthony to communicate better with others. “It was life-changing. I learned to speak up and have my voice heard.” He will also be running for Vice President of Student Council/Interact.

Anthony is a member of PCTI’s Varsity Basketball team, and has been since he was a sophomore. He is currently seeking to become team Captain.

Outside of school, he spends much time volunteering at St. Joseph's Hospital, as a member of Paterson’s Pride Committee, and in Eva’s Kitchen. “There’s just something about giving back time to people and impacting their lives positively that I really enjoy,” he explains.

When it comes to his future, Anthony will combine two of his passions, the healthcare field and athletics, to pursue a career in Sports Medicine. “I’m still deciding if I want to be a doctor or a physical therapist,” he says.

Anthony aims to study at Boston University, enter the Kinesthesiology program, and eventually obtain a Bachelor’s, Master’s, and even a Doctorate degree. Whatever he decides, one thing is for certain, Anthony is bound to have much success in the future. Perhaps it has something to do with his life philosophy.

“It’s important to be openminded and to evolve. You can learn so much from different people and their cultures - that’s the value of diversity.”

Congratulations to this bright young man, a true leader through and through!


  • Ranks in the top 3% of his class
  • Will graduate with a potential 33 college credits
  • Licensed CNA, First Aid, & Basic Life Support certified
  • Representative for Rotary Youth Leadership Awards
  • Involved in HOSA, Student Council/Interact, & ERASE
  • Volunteers with St. Joseph’s Hospital, as a member of Paterson’s Pride Committee, & at Eva’s Kitchen
  • Goal: Graduate from a university with a degree in Sports Medicine, pursue Master’s and Doctorate degrees, become a Doctor/Physical Therapist

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Matthew Varghese

Matthew Varghese is a young man of high moral standing who believes building connections with others is the way to positively impact communities and the world. This Haledon native selected to study within the School of Engineering Technology with the ambition of becoming an Architect.

The parallel of building something great and providing a service for others speaks directly to Matthew’s code of ethics and what it means to be Christian - values which he says are at the core of his character. “I want to do as much as I can and learn as much I can now - to make a difference and help people,” Matthew says.

It’s no wonder that he spends most of his time volunteering. More than five hundred hours have been accumulated during mission trips to Philadelphia, acting as a counselor at a day camp, teaching students at church, tutoring, and taking care of his family.

Despite a busy schedule of helping those in need, Matthew ranks in the top one percent of his class with an incredible GPA of 4.43! He’s even accumulated a potential thirty-one college credits to be used after graduation and achieved Principal’s Honor Roll throughout most of his high school career.

Matthew is heavily involved in numerous activities, including the Engineering Club, Chess Club, Peer-to-Peer Tutoring, and the NASA Hunch Initiative. He was also selected for Circle of Success, the National Honor Society, and served as a Teacher’s Assistant for the Summer STEM Academy.

When asked about what he enjoys most about PCTI, Matthew shares that it’s all about the opportunities. “I’ve grown academically - there are classes here that I couldn’t have taken anywhere else. The programs give you such exposure. I was the captain of my team and got to build a kneeboard for NASA that was recognized and reviewed by an astronaut. That doesn’t happen everywhere.”

In speaking of success, Mathew says it’s all about lending a helping hand and keeping his standards high.

“I think we should act as the leaders we aspire to be some day, that way we can make a real difference.”

He will be applying to NJIT, Cooper Union, Carnegie Mellon, Rice, and Cornell University (among others). Matthew aspires to obtain a Master’s degree in Architecture and may double major during his undergraduate career in Architecture and Psychology.

Congratulations to this young man with a big heart who is determined to make the world a better place. You’ve made us proud!


  • Ranks in the top 1% of his class
  • Will graduate with a potential 31 college credits
  • Member of Engineering Club, Chess Club, Peer-to-Peer Tutoring, & NASA HUNCH Initiative
  • Selected for Circle of Success, National Honor Society, served as a TA at the Summer STEM Academy
  • Volunteers during mission trips, as a camp counselor, teaching students, & helping family
  • Goal: Graduate from a university with combined undergraduate degrees in Architecture & Psychology, work towards Master’s degree in Architecture, become an Architect

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