Brookdale Community College student Veronique Manfredini was named to the 2020 New Jersey All-State Academic Team.

The New Jersey Council of County Colleges (NJCCC) annually honors students from the state’s community colleges by naming them to the New Jersey All-State Academic Team. These outstanding students, all members of the Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society (PTK), are recognized for their academic achievement as well as their community contributions. This year, 38 students were named to the NJ All-State Academic Team.

“The 38 amazing students truly reflect the strong spirit of optimism, resolve, and commitment and the rich diversity of our state,” said Dr. Aaron Fichtner, president of the NJCCC.

“I was so excited,” said Manfredini about finding out she was named to this year’s All-State Academic Team. “It was an amazing discovery.”

Originally a business administration major, Manfredini discovered her passion for English literature while studying at Brookdale. She will graduate with a double major in both business administration and English this May.

Manfredini was born and raised in Italy. After graduating high school, she worked in a restaurant for three years before she began studying at Brookdale. She said she choose to study at Brookdale because it gave her the opportunity to work full-time in a restaurant while taking classes.

“I grew up in Italy and was bullied by my teachers and classmates,” said Manfredini. All of that changed when she came to Brookdale. “This was the first time I had professors who really cared about me as a person, my goals, my understanding of the material, and my mental health,” she explained.

“It’s been a hard but amazing journey, and I’m so grateful for all the amazing connections and friendships I’ve made through my four years at Brookdale,” she said.

The friendships and connections Manfredini made at Brookdale came from being involved with on-campus activities and the PTK Honor Society. “PTK gave me the greatest sense of belonging,” she said. During the 2018-2019 academic year, Manfredini served as the chair of special events for Brookdale’s chapter of PTK. The next academic year she became the New Jersey State President of PTK. “I’ve grown so much through PTK,” she said.

Because of the growth within herself and the friendships she made while being part of PTK, Manfredini encourages all Brookdale students to get involved. “Take advantage of every single opportunity you are presented with. I promise that it pays back tenfold,” she said.

In September, Manfredini plans to continue studying at a four-year university. While she was already accepted to the University of Hawaii, Pace University, and Rutgers University, she is still waiting to hear from Columbia University.