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About Union

Union County College has a remarkable history as New Jersey’s first community college. We are known for excellence among regional colleges and universities.

Meet Marta Picarra, ‘20

Marta Picarra and Sara Bontempo, Creative Services Manager

Meet Marta Picarra, ‘20
Creative & Motivated to Succeed as a First Generation College Student

Major: Graphic Design

I’m proud, but also a bit surprised, that I’ll be the first in my family to graduate from College. I thought one of my siblings would reach this milestone before me, but when my older sister started college, she enlisted in the National Guard to help with tuition but still ended up dropping out due to finances.

Not only will I be the first to graduate from college, but I’m the first in my family to grow up in the United States. Attending Union has been a great decision because a lot of students are first generation college students or first generation Americans – or both, like me. Union provides excellent support to help students navigate college. Beyond the support, I love the creative and technical components of my major, graphic design. Even though I took an aggressive schedule of 18 credits, I still earned a 4.0 GPA my first semester.

I’m a student worker with the Continuing Education department and College Relations. This job has helped me come out of my shell and not be as shy. Everyone I work with is so welcoming, caring, and helpful, which has made the experience that much better.

Saralia Bontempo in College Relations has taken me under her wing and shown me the skills that I need to be a graphic designer. She pushes me to do better and encourages me to try new design styles. Sara is the voice that I need to hear to be confident in my work and career choice. My time with Sara is the most helpful and encouraging thing the College has provided to me outside of the classroom. Being able to talk to her freely about life and art has been amazing and exactly what I wish for all students to have with a mentor. My college experience would not be as eye opening and motivating without Sara.

I’ve grown a lot since I started at Union. Being a college student and a having job as a student worker has really helped me mature. My goal is to be the best that I can be. I aspire to give my all in everything that I do: school, work, my social life, and family. My future is what I am making it to be, and as I start setting up the building blocks for success, I know I can do anything.

 

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Sara Bontempo is the Creative Services Manager in the Office of College Relations. She joined the College 2003 and since that time has designed our advertising and publications, as well as having taught software and design classes for Continuing Education. Sara takes pride in her work being the “face” of the College and strives to always communicate the positive opportunities available at Union. Sara holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts in two-dimensional design from the Hartford Art School, University of Hartford. Before joining the College, she managed the design and publication of a multinational direct mail catalog, after having run a bureau art department for a major NJ newspaper.