Haley Hopkins, new student at Brookdale Community College, said coming to Brookdale felt like coming home.

Picture of Tarin Varvar and Haley Hopkins.
Sisters Tarin Varvar and Haley Hopkins.

Hopkins’ sister Tarin Varvar, student services associate in the Office of Admissions, previously worked at Brookdale’s Hazlet location. “I used to visit her at work, and so it felt like home to me since a young age,” she said. Haley is taking all of her classes at the Hazlet location this semester. “It’s such a nice, small community where you get to know everyone and they know you,” she said of the regional location.

Hopkins said the welcoming atmosphere is evident at the main campus as well.

“When I went to the Lincroft campus, three people asked me if I needed help, and that shows you what a good community it is,” said Hopkins.

In addition to the comfortable atmosphere, Hopkins said she is also enjoying her classes. “My classes are career based, and I can tell they are helping me get to my goal.” She said the instructors are highly skilled and relate the information to real-life situations, making learning more fun.

“The teachers make learning interesting so class is something you look forward to every week,” said Hopkins. While this is only her first semester, she said she can already tell her professors care about their students.

In addition to enjoying her classes, Hopkins said she is looking forward to getting involved at Lincroft and Hazlet. She is interested in joining some student clubs and possibly becoming a student worker. “Brookdale is really helping me, so I want to help other students,” she said. Hopkins believes becoming a student worker would be a way for her to let students know about available resources and to help them successful.

“I want to help people and give back in the way that people have helped me,” explained Hopkins, a pre-social work human services major. “I’m hoping to work with adolescents and teens either as a social worker or therapist.” To help her reach her goal, Hopkins said she wants to learn more about the Brookdale and Rutgers partnership. Rutgers offers a Bachelors of Arts in social work on the Lincroft campus that she is hoping to transfer into after finishing at Brookdale.