One thing Hudson County Community College (HCCC) graduate Angel Beebe loves more than science is inspiring Black women to pursue careers in this underrepresented field. She has worked tirelessly to achieve academic and leadership success and wants to help others do the same.
In May, Angel graduated Summa Cum Laude from HCCC with an Associate in Science (A.S.) in Chemistry degree. Angel is the recipient of the 2022 Kaplan Education Foundation (KEF) Leadership Scholarship that she will use toward attaining her bachelor’s degree at the elite Smith College in Massachusetts.
Established in 2006, the Kaplan Leadership Program helps high potential, underrepresented, and low-income community college students complete their associate degrees, successfully transfer, and go on to earn bachelor’s degrees at the nation’s most highly selective schools. The program focuses on a holistic approach – providing extensive tutoring, academic advisement services, leadership and career training, stipends for living expenses, and other resources and support – to help participants expand personal goals, and eventually attain leadership roles in their professions and communities.
“This year’s cohort continues to represent the wide diversity that exists in United States community colleges, including non-traditional students, recent immigrants, first-generation and English as a Second Language (ESL) learners, and others pursuing degrees in education, STEM, computer science, medicine, law and other fields,” said Nolvia Delgado, Executive Director of KEF. “We’re excited to continue to remove barriers and provide greater access to higher education for talented, motivated individuals.”
A North Bergen resident, Angel began her educational journey at HCCC in 2020 and worked toward broader, more ambitious goals. She joined the Student Government Association during her first semester at HCCC and rose from Senator to Director of Record Keeping to President. She also served as Vice President of the HCCC Chapter of Phi Theta Kappa International Honor Society and participated in the Bridges to Baccalaureate (B2B) Peer Leader Program and National Society of Leadership and Success.
Angel worked part-time as an academic coach at the College and helped complete a research project about the 2020 racial injustice and social movements and impact of social media. Ever mindful of those in need, Angel organized a Thanksgiving canned food drive, collecting about 200 cans of food for an area homeless shelter. She states that she is very proud to be part of HCCC because of all she gained academically, socially, and in learning how to be a leader.
“We are very proud of Angel, all she has accomplished academically, and all she has done to assist her fellow students and the people of our community,” said HCCC President Dr. Christopher Reber. He stated that in addition to being recognized as a Kaplan Leader, Angel was awarded with Hudson County Government and S-STEM scholarships, the Middle States Region Scholar Award, and the National Society of Leadership and Success Award. She was also named to the HCCC Dean’s List twice.
“From the start, Angel has led by example,” said Angel’s friend, Gabriel Morillo, a 2022 Bronx Community College graduate and fellow Kaplan Scholar. “Once she becomes the first forensic scientist in her family, she hopes to focus on empowering Black women to enter the field and add much-needed representation to that community.”
“I believe the thing that inspires me most about my major is how much you can do with it, and it can all be so different,” Angel told The Orator, HCCC’s student newspaper, adding this advice for other students: “Be unapologetically you, come out of your comfort zone and take charge of your life, educational goals, and future.”