Hudson County Community College (HCCC) student Pedro Moranchel, Jr., has been chosen as one of just eight students in the United States to participate in the Achieving the Dream (ATD) 2021 DREAM Scholars Program.
ATD is a national educational reform network whose work has had a transformational impact on partnering colleges. The ATD mission focuses on helping high-achieving, higher education institutions build equity and capacity in their student success initiatives by using data to inform practice. HCCC joined the ATD Network in 2019 and has adapted a laser-like focus on improving key student success metrics in the areas of student engagement, retention, persistence and completion. DREAM scholars engage with community activists, education leaders, and peers to enhance leadership, critical thinking, and networking skills.
“The entire HCCC family joins me in congratulating Pedro on this great achievement,” said HCCC President Dr. Chris Reber. “This recognition is exceptionally well deserved. He is truly an inspiration to all of us, and we are very proud that he will be representing Hudson County Community College at this large national conference of dedicated students and educators.”
Pedro Moranchel, Jr. is a 20-year-old HCCC Physics major and the son of Mexican and Honduran immigrants whose struggles motivated him to set ambitious academic goals and work hard. The honors student is Vice President of Scholarship of the College’s chapter of the Phi Theta Kappa (PTK) International Honor Society, President of the HCCC STEM Club, and Director of the Inter-Club Council of the HCCC Student Government Association. He relates that he has become more driven, talkative, and extroverted through his HCCC experience.
ATD DREAM scholars are nominated by their institutions, submit applications that reflect on their college journeys, and undergo a rigorous selection process. During their DREAM activities, students meet with community college leaders, share their educational experiences, and attend sessions to improve student success, institutional governance, teaching and learning, administration and more. Scholars share presentations that provide insight about improving student success and completion and closing achievement gaps for historically underserved student populations. The DREAM 2021 conference “Data and Technology” theme aligns with Mr. Moranchel’s goals.
“I greatly enjoy the intersection of policy action with data, where I feel optimization is key in presenting better decision-making for students,” Mr. Moranchel said. “I’m interested in learning more about navigating through data, and using a research lens to provide unique insights. To be able to produce change also drives me, and is a common denominator of my ambitions.”
Mr. Moranchel is also interested in fostering diversity. “The STEM workforce isn’t as diverse racially or socioeconomically relative to other domains. Bolstering community college students would bring new perspective,” Mr. Moranchel said. “I hope to be able to someday produce diversity programs connected to STEM as a professor or person of influence in my local community.”