Meet the 2015 Merit Scholars

Mohamed Amarir 3

Mohamed Amarir 

Engineering Science, Hudson County Community College

Mohamed Amarir of Jersey City is awarded with a 2015 Merit Scholarship sponsored by Novartis. Mohamed is a student at Hudson County Community College studying Engineering Science. He is the Vice President of the Engineering Science Club. He is also a professor’s assistant at Hudson County Community College. Mohamed plans to obtain a Master’s Degree in Electrical Engineering, and become a professional Engineer.

Jonathan Avila 3

Jonathan Avila 

Biomedical Engineering, Bergen Community College

Jonathan Avila of Hackensack is awarded with a 2015 Merit Scholarship sponsored by Merck. Jonathan is a student at Bergen Community College studying Biomedical Engineering. Jonathan is currently a member of the Student Government Association, the NAACP Honors Association, and Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society. Jonathan plans to attend graduate school, and his main goal is to work for the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Gabriel Barros

Computer Science, Hudson County Community College

Gabriel Barros of Harrison is awarded with a 2015 Merit Scholarship. Gabriel is a student at Hudson County Community College studying Computer Science. He is a member of the STEM Club, Computer Science Club, and Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society. After college Gabriel hopes to start his own company and invest in early staged business and other organizations.

Edgar Chipeta

Computer Science, County College of Morris

Edgar Chipeta of Budd Lake is awarded with a 2015 Merit Scholarship sponsored by Merck. Edgar is a student at County College of Morris studying Computer Science with a 3.5 GPA. Edgar hopes to continue studying Computer Science at either Rutgers or NJIT. After college Edgar plans to become a successful programmer.

Alexander Cid 2

Alexander Cid

Electrical Engineering Technology, Hudson County Community College

Alexander Cid of Union City is awarded with a 2015 Merit Scholarship. Alexander is a student at Hudson County Community College studying Electrical Engineering Technology. He is currently a member of the National Society of Leadership and Success, the STEM Club, B2B, and the Electronics Engineering Technology Club. After college Alexander plans to work as an engineer and gain the experience needed to obtain his Professional Engineering License.

Sara Cieslik

Sara Cieslik

Biology, Mercer County Community College

Sara Cieslik of Hamilton is awarded with a 2015 Merit Scholarship sponsored by Merck. Sara is a student at Mercer County Community College studying Biology. She is currently a member of Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society and the American Honors at Mercer. After college Sara hopes to become an Emergency Medicine Doctors.

Adrianna Cuadra 2

Adriana Cuadra

Environmental Science, Cumberland County College

Adriana Cuadra of Millville is awarded with a 2015 Merit Scholarship sponsored by BASF. Adrianna is a student at Cumberland County College studying Environmental Science. She is currently a member of Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society and 2nd Nature Environmental Club. Adriana plans to enroll in the Environmental program at Rutgers and later obtain a position in the field of Environmental Science.

Ninel Garrido-Trevino

Ninel Garrido-Trevino

Nursing, Hudson County Community College

Ninel Garrido-Trevino of Cliffside Park is awarded with a 2015 Merit Scholarship. Ninel is a student at Hudson County Community College studying Nursing and she has a 3.5 GPA. She is currently a member of the English Honor Society and volunteers for the Ladies Auxiliary Department at her church. Ninel plans to gain her Master’s degree and become a Nurse Practitioner.

Cristian Guardado

Cristian Guardado

Aviation Flight Technology, Mercer County Community College

Cristian Guardado of Dunellen is awarded with a 2015 Merit Scholarship sponsored by Novartis. Cristian is a student at Mercer County Community College studying Aviation Flight Technology. He is currently a member of the Flight Club, Student Government Association, and the Leadership Education and Development Program. After college Cristian hopes to become a captain for an airline or corporate company.

Erica Juarez-Duran 2

Erika Juarez-Duran 

Computer Science, County College of Morris

Erika Juarez-Duran of Morris Plains is awarded with a 2015 Merit Scholarship sponsored by Casabona Ventures. Erika is a student at County College of Morris studying Computer Science. She is currently a member of the Christian Fellowship Club and the Women in STEM Club. She also volunteers in church activities and the Jersey Care Organization. After college Erika plans to become a computer programmer. 

Ritharna Kennedy 2

Ritharna Kennedy-Willoughby

Nursing, Bergen Community College

Ritharna Kennedy-Willoughby of Lodi is awarded with a 2015 Merit Scholarship. Ritharna is a student at Bergen Community College studying Nusing. She is currently a member of Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society. Ritharna plans to earn her Master’s Degree in Nursing and hopes to work in one of New Jersey’s preeminent care facilities. 

Samrawit Makbeb

Samrawit Mekbeb

Science, Hudson County Community College

Samrawit Mekbeb of Teaneck is awarded with a 2015 Merit Scholarship sponsored by Novartis. Samrawit is a student at Hudson County Community College studying Science. She is currently a member of Toastmasters International and also volunteers at the Physical Therapy Department of Hackensack UMC Fitness and Wellness. Samrawit plans to attend graduate school and become a Physical Therapist.

Luis Moreno Hernandez 3

Luis Moreno Hernandez

 Electronic Engineering Technology, Hudson County Community College

Luis Moreno Hernandez of Jersey City is awarded with a 2015 Merit Scholarship sponsored by Novartis. Luis is a student at Hudson County Community College studying Electronic Engineering Technology. He is currently a volunteer at Jersey City Medical Center and an EMT. After college Luis plans to become a Medical Repair Technician. 

Mary Oburu 3

Mary Oburu

Chemistry/Chemical Engineering, Hudson County Community College

Mary Oburu of Jersey City is awarded with a 2015 Merit Scholarship sponsored by Novartis. Mary is a student at Hudson County Community College studying Chemistry and Chemical Engineering. She is currently a member of the STEM Club and Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society and also volunteers at Hudson Milestones Inc. Program where she helps people with disabilities. Mary plans to continue on to graduate school to earn her Ph.D. 

Magdalena Ortiz

Magdalena Ortiz

 Dental Hygiene, Middlesex County College

Magdalena Ortiz of Monroe is awarded with a 2015 Merit Scholarship sponsored by Montclair State University Magdalena is a student at Middlesex County College studying Dental Hygiene. She is currently a member of Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society and the Dental Assistant National Board. After college Magdalena hopes to become a Dental Hygienist.

Gianna Padilla 2

Gianna Padilla

Nursing, Hudson County Community College

Gianna Padilla of West New York is awarded with a 2015 Merit Scholarship sponsored by Merck. Gianna is a student at Hudson County Community College studying nursing. She is currently a member of Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society, she also volunteers at the North Hudson Community Action Head Start. After college Gianna plans to practice as a midwife at local community clinics.

Bianca Rossi 3

Bianca Rossi

 Computer Science, County College of Morris

Bianca Rossi of Budd Lake is awarded with a 2015 Merit Scholarship sponsored by Stevens Institute of Technology. Bianca is a student at the County College of Morris studying Computer Science. She is currently a member of the Outdoors Club and enjoys knitting, drawing, singing, and painting. After college Bianca plans to find a job in the video game industry and become a video game designer. 

Abubakarr Yillah 2

Abubakarr Yillah

Mathematics, Camden County College

Abubakarr Yillah of Yeadon is awarded with a 2015 Merit Scholarship sponsored by  Merck. Abubakarr is a student at Camden County College studying Mathematics with a 4.0 GPA. He currently tutors precollege level math courses and calculus one at Camden County College. After college Abubakarr hopes to pursue a graduate degree program in Applied and Computational Mathematics up to the Ph.D. level, work in the an industry or a company, and retire as a math professor.