By Jim Lambert
Union Catholic’s Alumni College Panel for the Class of 2019 on Friday morning in the school’s auditorium, which featured nine recent Union Catholic graduates, was a huge success.
Paul Armento, a rising sophomore at Marymount University and a 2017 graduate of UC, did a great job as the emcee of the event. He was joined by panelists and UC graduates Nick Rhein (Stevens Institute of Technology), Dan Cabrera (Rutgers), Bridget Yorke (Middlesex County College), Thomas O’Neill (Kings University), Julia Bonaccorso (Fairleigh Dickinson University), Caroline Sullivan (Penn State), Makayla Kennedy (University of Arizona), and Liam O’Neill (University of Hartford).
The panelists offered great advice for the Class of 2019, including how to prepare for college and what to expect when you become a college student.
Armento was thrilled to be giving back to his alma mater.
“It’s very nice to be back here at Union Catholic,’’ said Armento. “It’s only been a year, but it’s been an action packed year and I’ve learned a lot in my first year of college. It’s a pleasure to be able to share my experiences with the students here and hopefully help them prepare for what they can expect in college. I think this is very helpful. They are young and have lots of questions and they are still unsure about things, so I hope all our different perspectives were able to help everyone.’’ ’
Mrs. Jen Dixon, UC’s Director of School Counseling, said it’s important for juniors to learn as much as possible about the college search process and what college life is like.
“As in years past, we were so fortunate to have alumni come speak about their experiences both here at Union Catholic and the transition to college,’’ said Mrs. Dixon. “Each and every year I feel like it gets better and stronger. Our students had the chance to ask all the questions they had about the transition to college, and they learned about ways that they can improve their search process and that really is the goal, to have our students be able to benefit and learn from the experiences from those who have gone before them. To be able to have students who sat in the same seats give them advice makes it more real and applicable.’’
Ms. Nancy Foulks, UC’s Director of Alumni Relations, said it’s always great to see alumni giving back and staying connected to their alma mater.
“I love the fact that they are credible and relevant and they are timely, so that part makes this good,’’ said Ms. Foulks. “But I also like the fact that we aren’t letting them get away from the school for a long period of time. For the recent alumni there are less formal opportunities to come back, so to give them this formal opportunity to come back gives us another chance to make sure we aren’t losing them.''