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Maria Frometea Lora

After receiving a letter in the mail notifying her that she was eligible for the NJ Stars program, Maria Frometa Lora committed to attending Bergen citing student services ranging from mental health assistance to tutoring. “The resources that the institution provides encouraged me to commit,” she said. “Unconditional support” was one important factor that Frometa Lora was looking for in the schools that she applied to, and she found that “other institutions could not compare to Bergen.”

“Bergen is a stepping-stone for those seeking higher education,” said Frometa Lora who is studying health science to pursue a career as an occupational therapist.

As a student in the Judith K. Winn School of Honors, the NJ Stars program, and the Educational Opportunity Fund (EOF), she has completed more than 350 community service hours. She is a student worker in the EOF office.

Attributing her success at Bergen to the connections formed with her peers, advisors, and professors over the past few months, Frometa Lora said, “They guided me in the right direction, had answers for every question, and served as motivation to push myself out of my comfort zone to achieve new milestones.” She made sure to engage with her peers, especially those that she shared similar goals with.

“Without the encouragement and resources from my peers, advisors, and professors, I would not be as motivated to branch out and challenge myself,” she said.

“The people at Bergen want to see you succeed,” said Frometa Lora. “What matters is that you put yourself out there, do not hesitate to ask questions, and utilize any resources or opportunities given to you.”

She expects to graduate in 2025.

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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