Atlantic Cape Honors Alumni, Students Working on Frontlines Against Outbreak

Rebecca Portnoy, a 2017 Atlantic Cape graduate, wears personal protective equipment in her job as a nurse at a San Diego county psychiatric hospital. 

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MAYS LANDING – Atlantic Cape Community College is honoring students and alumni serving on the frontlines of the COVID-19 pandemic during community college month, the school said in a release.

In a statement, Atlantic Cape said, April is community college month, a time to celebrate and spread awareness of the amazing things happening within the two-year college community, but also the achievements of students, current and past. 

This month is a time to recognize the hard work put in by the more than 12 million students enrolled in community colleges across the country. Still, given the current state of crisis, Atlantic Cape is taking a different approach to mark the occasion. 

Community colleges certify 80 percent of first responders (police officers, firefighters, and emergency technicians) in the United States and produce more than 50 percent of new nurses and other healthcare workers. 

As COVID-19 cases continue to climb in the country and the state, Atlantic Cape is focusing Community College Month on recognizing and saluting its alumni who are out there making a difference in this crucial fight. From nurses monitoring patients in the ICU to teachers finding innovative ways to conduct classes remotely, these are the heroes the college will pay tribute to through social media posts highlighting different alum throughout the month.  

Atlantic Cape and the New Jersey Council of Community Colleges are hoping students, alumni, faculty, and staff who are on the frontlines or doing acts of kindness in response to COVID-19 will use the hashtag #NJCCHeroes to help bring attention to the campaign. 

Some of the stories you can expect to see are those of Katherine Melo and Jessica Dorta. Katherine graduated from Atlantic Cape in 2018 from the Nursing program and is currently working at AtlantiCare Regional Medical Center in Atlantic City. 

“I’m grateful to be on the frontlines serving and treating our community,” Melo stated. 

Jessica Dorta graduated from Atlantic Cape in 2016 and is now a teacher at Port Norris Middle School. She is making a difference during these turbulent times, keeping her students engaged and focused on their studies even though they can’t be together in the classroom.  

Rebecca Portnoy, a 2017 graduate of Atlantic Cape, is now a nurse at the San Diego County Psychiatric Hospital who screens their patients and staff for COVID-19.  She, like many of our amazing alumni, is proud to be working in healthcare during this crisis.  

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