Hudson County Community College 2021 Valedictorian, Pedro Moranchel, Accepted to Princeton

Pedro Moranchel
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Pedro Moranchel

Hudson County Community College (HCCC) announced that Pedro Moranchel, the Class of 2021 Valedictorian, was recently accepted as a transfer student to Princeton University. He is one of just 16 students in the nation to be offered the opportunity to participate in the Princeton Undergraduate Transfer Admission Program. Mr. Moranchel was chosen from a pool of more than 1,300 applicants. In addition, he just learned he was also accepted at Columbia University.

“Everyone at the College joins me in congratulating this exceptional young man,” said HCCC President Chris Reber. “Pedro is an exemplary student, caring and involved citizen, and gracious and thoughtful person. He embodies the spirit and determination of our students and our College. We know he will continue doing great things.”

Pedro Moranchel is a Physics major, an Honors student, and the son of Mexican and Honduran immigrants whose struggles motivated him to set ambitious academic goals and work hard. He was 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 United States 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.

A mentor and leader in the College community, Pedro 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. He has worked as a volunteer in several environmental clean-up projects in Hudson County. Pedro’s 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.

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

HCCC premiered its Virtual Commencement, featuring addresses by Dr. Reber and Pedro Moranchel as well as the keynote speech by best-selling author, and Robin Hood CEO Wes Moore, on Thursday, May 20, 2021 on https://www.youtube.com/user/HudsonCountyCollege. It continues to be available for viewing.