CLASS OF 2015
Spotlight on Our Graduates
Associate in Science Degree in Business Administration/ MIS
PTK President, Member of the All-NJ Academic Team 2015, and International Scholar Laureate Graduating With an Eye on the Ivy
Nelton Barrett thinks education is “more about growth, not grades.” Yet the honor student not only earns As, he also embodies a few: Ambition, altruism, and an advocacy for education that is optimistically rosy and entwined in Ivy.
“My goal is to attend an Ivy League school and become a Wall Street executive,” said Nelton who is will graduate this week with his Associate in Science Degree in Business Administration/Management Information Systems.
This grand plan, he believes, will give him leverage to achieve his third major goal. “I want to work with non-profits to supply scholarships to students who are Ivy League material, but may decline the opportunity to attend an elite school because of finances.”
Along the way, Nelton will make sure people are aware of the value of a PCCC education.
“PCCC is a top-flight school,” he declares. “The programs and professors are excellent, and the writing program is first-class.”
President of the Phi Theta Kappa honor society at PCCC, Nelton was also one of two PCCC students named to the PTK All-New Jersey Academic Team 2015. They were honored at a special event held May 7 in Trenton.
He is also one of three PCCC students selected for the 2015 International Scholar Laureate Program. Nominated by PTK, they will travel to China for a global learning and cultural enrichment experience.
“This is a great reflection on our institution,” said Nelton who will study Business and Entrepreneurship on his trip. which he has deferred to next year, due to his many responsibilities.
Initially, the Paterson resident was not enthusiastic about attending a community college. “PCCC was affordable and accessible,” he explained, “so it was my only choice, but not my first choice.”
A graduate of Eastside High School, Nelton had briefly attended Hope College in Michigan, but left to join the U.S. Marine Corps. “I wasn’t ready for college then,” he explains.
After his military discharge, Nelton trained in Information Technology and landed an IT job in New York’s financial district, but the company he worked for suffered losses in the 9-11 attack and downsized shortly after.
Nelton found work at another IT job in New Jersey, but that company relocated to Pennsylvania. Then, the opportunity to attend college presented itself. “I finally felt ready,” he explains.
Attending PCCC through a veterans’ program, Nelton found his initial misgivings about the College were soon laid to rest. “I paid attention to the results I observed,” he explained.
Nelton’s sister had graduated from PCCC with a degree in nursing. “She raved about how tough and good PCCC was,” he said.
Equally impressed with the S.T.E.M. robotics program his young niece and nephew attended at PCCC, Nelton not only observed but also experienced for himself, the excellence of PCCC, particularly in the IT and Business Administration programs. "I rave about them all the time," he said.
The honor student also noticed a number of PCCC graduates were going on to Ivy League universities to continue their education.
“PCCC is shedding the image associated with community colleges,” said Nelton. He is confident his PCCC background will be an asset at Harvard or Columbia, the two universities he is considering for his bachelor’s degree.
In fact, Nelton said he declined an offer to enter Columbia University early. “I want to graduate from PCCC first,” he said. “I have a loyalty to this college, and I want to use my position as president of PTK to increase the value of a PCCC education in the eyes of others, especially recruiters from elite colleges.”
Nelton proposes a three-fold plan to achieve that goal: Expand scholarship fundraising events, create more recognition for the Honors Program, and enhance the quality of the student newspaper in order to compete in college newspaper contests and gain wider exposure for PCCC.
“We need to do this,” says Nelton. “PCCC is an elite school, too. Everyone needs to know about the excellence of the education here.”