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Esther Okie and Vanessa Porta are Essex County College’s 2024 representatives on the All USA-New Jersey Community College Academic Team. These excellent students, both with perfect 4.0 grade point averages, are also in the running for the All USA National Academic Team.
Esther and Vanessa are members of the College’s Alpha Theta Theta chapter of Phi Theta Kappa (PTK). The All USA honor is offered through PTK.
“When I filled out the PTK scholarship application, I didn’t think I would get it. When I found out, I was honestly surprised and grateful for this honor,” said Esther, a Finance major from Newark.
“I was just hoping I would earn a scholarship when I applied. This is a real thrill to be recognized for a national honor,” said Vanessa, a Computer Science major from Cedar Grove. She is the PTK Chapter’s Vice President of Honors in Action.
“Esther and Vanessa have already made a tremendous mark on the team, our College and the community. Vanessa spearheaded our Honors in Action project with the College’s Child Development Center, creating a magazine for parents and the community. Esther excelled with our successful pop-up clothing store which provided free clothing to students in need,” said Professor Lynn Wilson, co-advisor of the ECC PTK chapter.
“Congratulations to Esther and Vanessa. We are proud of you. And thank you to our PTK advisors,” said ECC’s President, Dr. Augustine A. Boakye.
Esther plans to continue her major in Finance after graduating from ECC. She is considering NJIT, Rutgers University-Newark, and Montclair State University as transfer destinations.
Vanessa is looking to transfer to either NJIT or the University of Arizona after earning her ECC degree. She wants to major in Human-Computer Interaction.
They will represent Essex County College in Trenton (formally called PTK Day) in May of 2024, where they will be recognized alongside other New Jersey community college nominees by State officials.