October Students of the Month

Congratulations to Yousef Khalil and Kelly Cha, October's Students of the Month.

Kelly Cha

Kelly Cha of Clifton is making the most of her PCTI education – both inside and outside of the classroom! A student of the School of Applied Engineering and Project Lead the Way, Kelly has achieved a terrific 4.5 GPA and is enrolled in numerous Advanced Placement courses. As such, she is positioned to graduate from PCTI with a potential of 44 college credits! Beyond her studies, Kelly’s work ethic is reflected in her various volunteer initiatives and dedication to helping others succeed.

With aspirations of becoming a Mechanical Engineer, Kelly has always had a knack for problem solving and hands-on learning. Her love of mathematics and science paved the way for a career path in engineering, and she has applied to renowned college like MIT, Georgia Tech, or Columbia University to further her studies.

In addition to a rigorous academic schedule, Kelly is extremely active in many extracurricular activities. She has participated in NASA Hunch as a Project Manager, held the role of Vice President of SkillsUSA, and served as a Class of 2020 Representative. Kelly has also won Second Honors at the NJ FBLA State competition and attended the FBLA National Leadership Conference. Furthermore, Kelly has been honored with the Freshman Foundation of Success and Circle of Success.

In an overlap of her volunteerism and academic excellence, Kelly is developing an engineering workshop for young underprivileged girls to encourage them to explore the exciting world of STEM careers. As a result, Kelly was recently selected as one of 16 EngineerGirl ambassadors from across the nation! Through this renowned leadership program, which is hosted in collaboration with the National Academy of Engineering, Kelly will attend the Society of Women Engineers Annual Conference this November in California.

Kelly finds time in her busy schedule to pursue creative passions. Since 2015, she has played the violin as a member of the NJ Symphony Youth Orchestra! Kelly mentors young musicians in the organization and helps to teach them how to play the violin. Kelly’s passion for video editing shines via her YouTube channel, where she shares makeup tutorials and other content with viewers.

Reflecting on the value of her PCTI education, Kelly notes that “Skills like building robots and coding will be useful in my future career, and such learning opportunities typically aren’t available in other high schools.”

Kelly offers advice to other students. advising them to “Enjoy what you’re doing, and always put forth your best effort! If you work hard, it will be worth it.

Congratulations on all of your excellent accomplishments, Kelly! Keep up the great work!


  • Ranks in the top 1% of her class
  • Will graduate with 44 potential college credit
  • Participated in NASA Hunch, FBLA, SkillsUSA, NJ Girls State and the Society of Women Engineers Annual Conference
  • Received the AP+PLTW Achievement Award in Engineering
  • Selected for Foundation of Success and Circle of Success
  • Served as HOSA Parliamentarian in 10th and 11th grades
  • Volunteers with Student Council and teaches young violinists
  • Goal: Attend MIT, Columbia University or Georgia Tech to become a Mechanical Engineer

Yousef Khalil

Yousef Khalil of Paterson is a motivated young man who is passionate about his studies in electronics. A student of the School of Applied Technology, Yousef is enrolled in multiple AP courses and will graduate with 33 potential college credits! After graduation from PCTI, Yousef is committed to realizing his dream of attending MIT and pursuing a dual degree in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science. He strives to become a software engineer or data scientist, and eventually wants to launch his own technology company!

An interest in how things work sparked Yousef’s interest in electronics and programming. His passion for the subject inspired his participation in the SkillsUSA Electronics Technology State competition during all four years of high school, with an outstanding first place win in 10th grade! In addition, Yousef has been an active member in MSA and the Engineering Club during his time at PCTI. Additionally, Yousef is a Certified Associate Electronics Technician, an AP Scholar, and has been named to the Principal’s Honor Roll every marking period.

Outside of the classroom, Yousef has participated in various sports on campus, including football, wrestling and cross country. Currently, he holds a part-time job at an electronics repair shop to further his passion for the field. while gaining valuable real-world experience in the industry. This job provides an excellent opportunity for Yousef to gain valuable real-world experience in the industry and to learn from professionals in the field while increasing his knowledge of electronics.

Yousef offers wise advice to other students, encouraging them to “Love what you do. Figure out how to do things on your own, and really learn it.”

Furthermore, Yousef praises the education he received at PCTI and the array of opportunities afforded to students. “There’s a great balance between academic and extracurricular

opportunities, and so many ways to get involved on campus,” Yousef commented. He also spoke of his personal growth since freshman year at PCTI, noting how he was once fairly closed off with his peers but is now more comfortable socially due to participation in sports and classes.

Congratulations, Yousef! Your passion and dedication are extremely admirable, and we wish you the best of luck in your future endeavors!


  • Ranks in the top 2% of his class
  • Will graduate with 33 potential college credits
  • Participates in MSA and History Club
  • Won 1st place in SkillsUSA Electronics Technology State competition
  • Certified Associate Electronics Technician
  • Achieved Principal’s Honor Roll every marking period
  • Goal: Attend MIT to become a Software Engineer or Data Analyst, eventually start his own company