November Students of the Month

Grace Tang

Grace Tang, a senior Drafting student, hoped to push herself outside of her comfort zone by attending a larger high school with unique opportunities. Four years later, she is confident that she made the right decision. With an astounding 4.4 GPA, not only has Grace excelled academically, but she has fostered a passion for helping others through her study of American Sign Language (ASL).

While the Hawthorne native has enjoyed and succeeded in her drafting studies, her ASL coursework has inspired her to pivot from her original aspirations. After college, Grace plans to become a certified ASL interpreter and a social worker who works with the deaf and hard of hearing. “I switched gears as a result of my ASL classes. I developed an understanding of not only the language but also the deaf culture and community, and I know it is something I want to continue to be a part of,” she said.

Beyond the classroom, Grace has worked hard to take her ASL skills to the next level. Sign Language Club and ASL Jam have helped her grow in her signing abilities. An active member of her church, she also uses ASL to interpret songs at worship services and to assist at deaf events.

On top of the rigor of her six AP and two dual enrollment classes, Grace has made time for other extracurricular activities to round out her PCTVS experience. Her love of music led her to join the Sound Chasers acapella group, where she particularly enjoys being involved in the arrangement of the songs performed. Additionally, she has been an active member of TI@ti, promoting a drug- and alcohol-free lifestyle, wellness, and mental health.

While Grace has been recognized for her academic success through a National Merit Commendation, Rho Kappa Honor Society, and National Honor Society, it is her community service of which she is most proud. She is a junior leader in several ministries at her church, and she has participated in a service leadership program at the Spruce Lake Retreat in the Poconos.

Grace commented on her future goals: “I just want to help as many people as I can and make a real difference in as many lives as I can.”

With her heart of gold, we have no doubt that Grace will do just that!

Highlights

  • Ranks in the top 1% of her class
  • Volunteers with Hawthorne Gospel Church, Spruce Lake Retreat
  • Member of Sign Language Club, Sound Chasers, SkillsUSA
  • Honors: National Merit Scholarship Commendation, NHS, Rho Kappa Honor Society, Circle of Success
  • Goal: Become a social worker and certified ASL interpreter

Shahriyar Ahmed

Shahriyar Ahmed is a talented senior in the PCTI Academy of Information Technology and holds an impressive 4.4 GPA! Recently, he was awarded the distinguished National Merit Scholarship Commendation. He is positioned to graduate in the top 1% of his class and plans on taking his passion for technology to extraordinary heights in college and beyond.

Shahriyar chose to attend PCTI because of its excellent opportunity to pursue an educational path towards a STEM career. Additionally, the ability to earn college credits was appealing to the ambitious student. The decision has paid off with Shahriyar on track to graduate with 40 potential college credits. "Taking college-level classes has allowed me to push myself, to maintain a steady pace of growth, and to reach a higher level of thought," he commented.

Outside of the classroom, Shahriyar is actively involved in a variety of extracurricular activities including Student Council, Robotics Club, Boys State, and Astronomy Club. He recently applied his info tech skills by developing a mobile app for FBLA which earned him 2nd place honors. As Chief Outreach Officer for FBLA and Secretary for SkillsUSA, he has been able to hone his leadership abilities, as well.

Volunteerism is also important to Shahriyar, and he is committed to giving back to his community. As one of 30 local students selected, Shahriyar has found it rewarding to serve on the Paterson Youth Council. In this role, he met with a variety of Paterson’s leaders to discuss and influence decisions related to topics that impact the youth of the city. Fundraising and volunteering for events sponsored by the organization were additional components of his experience.

After graduating, Shahriyar hopes to attend one of his dream schools of Stanford or MIT. He plans on majoring in Artificial Intelligence or Electrical Engineering. "Wherever I land, I really want to push the boundaries of technological innovation,” he said.

When reflecting on his time at PCTI, Shahriyar thanks his teachers for helping to bolster his confidence. “My teachers always say to trust your gut. And I have started to realize how true that is. As a result, I have become more assertive and confident in my life choices, which has made me not only a happier student, but a happier person in general.”

Congratulations and best of luck, Shahriyar!

Highlights

  • Ranks in the top 1% of his class
  • Will graduate with 40 potential college credits
  • Volunteers with Paterson Youth Council, Shobuj Bangla Television
  • Member of FBLA, Student Council, SkillsUSA, Robotics Club, Muslim Student Association, Fencing
  • Honors: National Merit Scholarship Commendation, National Honor Society, Rho Kappa Honor Society, World Language Honor Society, Circle of Success
  • Goal: Attend college and work in artificial intelligence or electrical engineering