Jacqualine Van Laere is completing her first year at Norwalk Community College. She currently has a 4.0 GPA. She has been working diligently to combat food insecurity on campus and in the local community. She started her career at NCC in a Summer Bridge program. During the program, she was exposed to the topic of food insecurity on campus and how it negatively affects our students. Since then, she has made it her personal mission to help alleviate this issue on campus. She started and is the President of the Garden Club to benefit the NCC Food Pantry. She is currently working with administration and faculty regarding land on campus for a garden. She is also the Vice President of the Women in STEM Club. Jacqualine has a unique perspective as a non-traditional student. When confronted with a conflict or issue, she logically and creatively thinks of a solution. She has a strong work ethic and strong morals. She will speak her mind and stand up for what she believes in. Jacqualine is very enthusiastic about her work at NCC and extremely determined about her future.
When starting college, I had to take the Summer Bridge Math Program. I had not realized that this program would help me build something to better Norwalk Community College. During the Summer Bridge, we had to come up with a project that would better serve our community. My project was the idea of a community garden to serve not only the college, but also the surrounding communities in Fairfield County, through the existing campus food pantry. There is still much more planning that will go into this project. It will be something that will take much hard work and dedication, but it will become one of the most rewarding things I have ever done. My eyes have been opened to a true need within the school and given me a way to fix it. I have taken something that I feel truly passionate about, and brought it to life. The amount of families and people this will benefit will be one of great proportion within in the school. Without this experience, I would have never realized that there was a way to make an impact on someone's life by planting a simple seed.