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“I believe that what goes around comes around. I want to pass on the mentorship that put me in a better place. I learned to always be willing to teach people, help people, and guide people.”

“I transferred here from a school in North Carolina. When I was there, I was eight hours away from my mother. I was absolutely miserable. But after I transferred here, I went home for winter break and my mother said ‘I can tell you love it, you seem so much happier.’”

“All of the awards I received as a swimmer here are nowhere near as rewarding as the friendships I’ve made. My biggest accomplishment was creating a family out of teammates.”

“Looking at how far I’ve come with my mental health is what I’m most proud of. I’m doing everything I want to do while still giving myself downtime.”

“My dream is to move to Texas. I wear this necklace every day to remind myself of where I started and where I want to end up.” 

“I used to be a dancer back in Ecuador. I feel very passionate about dancing, and about art in general. I feel like as an artist, or as a person even a little bit passionate about art, you see the world differently.”

“All of the odds were against me and I just pushed through.”

“Whenever I’m stressed I look towards my family. They always say, ‘we know you’re going to great things one day.’ Having that reassurance means a lot to me because my family’s support is really my backbone.”

“I want to let students know that it’s okay to not have a plan. If they’re ever feeling nervous about life after graduation, it will be okay.”

“My passion is to continue to be the best version of myself. That’s why I left the job I had for about six years in Nigeria to come back to school here. It was a crazy move to most people, they looked at me like ‘are you crazy? what are you going back to school for?.’ I think that your mind and your body tell you when something is the right move. I knew that this was the right time to take this opportunity, so I took it.”

“I’m proudest of being the first person in my family to graduate from college. I just wish my great grandmother could have seen it. When I went to get my diploma, I wore her rosary around my hand. So in a way, she was there when I received it.”

“When I was younger, having the ability to play music in school was kind of like my escape. I want to be a teacher so that I can give that gift to students.”

“After graduation I want to act, and I’ll do whatever it takes. My dream role is to be the first black Spider-Man in a Marvel movie. But when I do it, I have to be the best. So once I’m cast as Spider-Man, there’s no point in making another one, unless it’s a sequel starring me.”

“I’m constantly thinking. There’s not a minute where I’m not thinking or trying to stay productive. If I experience something or get inspired by something, I write it down. My yellow notebook does not leave my side.”

“The College of Education gave me the opportunities and experience I needed to be nominated as a distinguished clinical intern for student-teachers and to land a full-time teaching job right out of college.”

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“Enjoy the ride. It’ll be over sooner than you think.”

“When I transferred here, my friend convinced me to join SABLE. Originally, I wasn’t going to join because I’m really shy, but I’m glad I did because it helped me come out of my shell. We talk about what we’re proud of, like the community service we do. We also talk about how we can improve ourselves. We lift each other up.”

“My biggest triumphs and failures have been at William Paterson. Straight out of undergrad I was denied for a Ph.D. program. After that, I asked myself ‘Is this something you really want to do?’. The answer was yes. I reevaluated myself and reapplied two years later to the exact same program, and it was the only one I applied to. I got in.”

“The thing I’m most proud of during my time at William Paterson was my internship in Cory Booker’s office. I was hesitant to even apply, but it pushed me out of my comfort zone. It helped me build confidence and practical experience.”