Meet Bergen Community College student, Darianny Bautista (’23), a political science major who hopes to study law and become a public policy attorney. As the first person in her family to pursue a college degree, Darianny enrolled at Bergen because of its “exceptional educational prospects and its inclusive and diverse atmosphere.” Darianny recalled, “From the moment I stepped foot on campus, I knew I wanted to make an impact here.”
Despite her determination, Darianny was “unaware of the seismic shift” that college required.
“I faced continuous challenges due to my lack of essential academic skills as a low-income, underserved student,” she said when recalling her first year in college. “Through my unwillingness to give up, I honed my academic skills, utilized resources available to me on campus, and found mentors in my professors.”
Despite her determination, it proved to be financially difficult. That’s where the Bergen Community College Foundation made all the difference. “The Bergen Community College Foundation Scholarship is a transformative force in my life,” said Darianny. “This scholarship is not just financial aid; it is a beacon of hope, a recognition of potential, and an investment in a future filled with promise and possibility.
Scholarships provided by donors like you gave Darianny “the chance to break the cycle of limited opportunities, to uplift [her] family and to contribute positively to [her] community.”
Since enrolling, Darianny has logged more than 500 hours of community service, served as a senator in the Student Government Association and led the campus sexual assault prevention initiative to raise awareness about Title IX resources. She has served as an Educational Opportunity Fund (EOF) student ambassador at the College.
“I share the mindset, strategies, and resources that helped me transition from struggling to excelling as an ambassador for EOF, hosting college success and transfer workshops for students,” she said.
With a passion for service, Darianny founded the “Reshaping the Future,” an education-based campaign that is focused on advancing education in the public school system and supporting underserved students, while championing youth leadership, inclusivity, and positive affirmation. She is a representative for District 29 at the New Jersey Legislative Youth Council.
Darianny has been recognized for her leadership by the Belleville Ecuadorian Civic Association, the Essex County Board of Chosen Freeholders, the Plainfield and East Orange Townships, the Union County Commissioners Office, the United States Senate, and National Miss Earth USA.
In 2022, Darianny earned the title of Teen Miss New Jersey. She represented New Jersey competing against 50 state delegates and was honored with the national title of Teen Miss Earth USA Air 2023.
“I was confident that Bergen would empower me to realize my fullest potential,” she said.
Vocal about her academic journey, Darianny believes she represents countless impoverished, minority youth across the nation. She believes that Foundation Scholarships are a “chance to empower individuals to reach their full potential and positively impact their communities.”
When reflecting on Bergen Community College Foundation Scholarships, she said, “It symbolizes the belief in my potential and the encouragement to pursue my dreams without the financial constraints that often hinder educational aspirations.”
“Donating to the Bergen Community College Foundation for Giving Tuesday is an investment in education, opportunity, and the betterment of society,” said Darianny. “Your contribution can make a lasting difference in the lives of students and the future of your community.”
To give today and change tomorrow for students like Darianny, visit Bergen Community College Foundation for Giving Tuesday
Based in Paramus, Bergen Community College (www.bergen.edu), a public two-year coeducational college, enrolls more than 13,000 students at locations in Paramus, the Philip Ciarco Jr. Learning Center in Hackensack and Bergen Community College at the Meadowlands in Lyndhurst. The College offers associate degree, certificate and continuing education programs in a variety of fields. More students graduate from Bergen than any other community college in the state.
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