Hudson County Community College valedictorian accepted as transfer to Princeton

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Hudson County Community College Class of 2021 Valedictorian Pedro Moranchel has been accepted to Princeton University, making him just one of 16 students in the country to be offered the opportunity to transfer to the undergraduate program.

Hudson County Community College Valedictorian Pedro Moranchel. Photo courtesy of HCCC.

By John Heinis/Hudson County View

Moranchel was chosen from a pool of more than 1,300 applicants after just learning that he was also accepted at Columbia University, HCCC announced today.

“Everyone at the college joins me in congratulating this exceptional young man. Pedro is an exemplary student, caring and involved citizen, and gracious and thoughtful person,” HCCC President Chris Reber said in a statement.

“He embodies the spirit and determination of our students and our college. We know he will continue doing great things.”

Moranchel is a Physics major, an Honors student, and the son of Mexican and Honduran immigrants.

He was also recently named the recipient of the prestigious and highly competitive 2021 Jack Kent Cooke Foundation Undergraduate Transfer Scholarship for his academic ability and achievement, financial need, leadership, persistence, and service.

Only 72 students in the country were selected as recipients this year.

The award covers educational expenses to complete baccalaureate degrees – including tuition, living expenses, books and required fees –up to $40,000 per year for up to three years, with an opportunity for additional funding support for graduate study.

He is also an Achieving the Dream (ATD) Scholar.

“I’d like to thank everyone at HCCC for the support they have given me personally, professionally, and academically. This encouraging environment truly has changed the trajectory of my family and me,” Moranchel said.

Moranchel also said his goal is to improve student success and close achievement gaps for historically underserved student populations, and he plans to produce diversity programs connected to STEM as a professor or person of influence in Hudson County.

Additionally, Moranchel is Vice President of Scholarship for the College’s chapter of Phi Theta Kappa International Honor Society, President of the HCCC STEM Club, and Director of the Inter-Club Council of the HCCC Student Government Association.

He participated in the Summer Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU) program at Queensborough Community College, which was funded by the National Science Foundation, and a 10-week internship at the Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory.