Sisters Monica Ledesma, 20, and Elba Vanessa Ledesma, 22, both of Ventnor, did not have a seamless transition from high school to college. Coming from the Dominican Republic, they had no familiarity with the United States educational system, which initially proved a challenge. As they ready themselves to leave Atlantic Cape, each with an associate degree in science and head to Rutgers University, it is safe to say they overcame these hurdles.
“For us, the keys to success or to overcome any obstacle concerning our academic future are dedication and determination. In our case, getting the appropriate information and keeping in contact with our advisors have also been essential to succeed in college. Also, getting involved in clubs has also been a great way to get to know other students as well as to develop extra-curricular activities,” they said.
Both sisters were members of Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society, and were active members of Cross Cultural Club, where they got to learn about people from other backgrounds, as well as volunteer in the community.
When asked what opportunities Atlantic Cape had provided them, they said, “Atlantic Cape and its professors provided us with the experience, the discipline and the knowledge that we will definitely need to move on with our career, and for our future in general.”
In 5 to 10 years, both Elba and Monica see themselves as successful engineers with flourishing personal lives.
“Dedication, hard work and determination are the keys to reach your goals. Success only comes to those who fight for it because if it were an easy achievement, then the joy of reaching it would not be as rewarding as it is,” Monica said.
“This graduation means a lot to us. It represents the result of a lot of effort, but also a lot of remarkable experiences. It is a great satisfaction to know that we are on the right track to achieve our goal and it represents a moment of a lot of exciting changes in our lives.”