ECC Alumna Recipient of New Jersey SIM Foundation Scholarship
When Yelitza Perez graduated from Essex County College (ECC) in 2019, she was an Honors student and a semi-finalist for the prestigious Jack Kent Cooke Foundation Transfer Scholarship. Now the Computer Science major is the recipient of a $2,500 New Jersey SIM Foundation Scholarship.
“i couldn’t believe I received this scholarship,” said Yelitza, now a student at Rutgers University-Newark where she is majoring in Computer Science with a minor in Mathematics. “So many people applied for it so I feel very fortunate.”
The Foundation is a not-for-profit arm of the New Jersey Chapter of the Society for Information Management, which awards scholarships to college students who have demonstrated academic excellence, leadership and a commitment to community service.
“We are very proud of Yelitza,” said ECC Acting/Interim President Dr. Augustine Boakye. “Yelitza is another example of the high caliber of students who get their higher education start at Essex,” he added.
While at ECC, Yelitza was a Vice President of the Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society and spearheaded various fundraisers. She also assisted the Student Government Association.
“Essex County College really prepared me going forward,” said the Newark resident. “When I first started at ECC, I really wasn’t very involved on campus,” she recalled.
But that changed when she was inducted into the Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society. “With the encouragement of my professors, I learned to become a leader,” Yelitza said. And then she got the opportunity to be a part of the College’s NASA Community College Aerospace Scholars program.
“I’ve always been interested in NASA and space flight. When I got into the NASA program at ECC I loved it and it really helped me better define my career goals,” she said. Yelitza said while she is considering private security work, utilizing her computer science education, her dream career is with NASA. “That would be mind blowing,” she said.
She will always remember her time at ECC. “I loved the family atmosphere. I will always have such wonderful memories of Essex County College.”