Katie Mendoza

Elevating your voice has a new meaning...

This Voice and future entries will include audio of the student reading their entry. Click to hear Katie Mendoza tell you about her journey at Stockton University and how she plans to spend her last year here. 

Katie Mendoza had two things in the forefront of her mind when she looked for a university to call home for the next four years: her major and her family.

I am a first-generation student who is looking to pursue a career in the healthcare field, specifically nursing. Stockton immediately drew my attention when I saw all the healthcare programs they had to offer; from the undergraduate to the doctorate programs, Stockton has it all!

But most importantly, Stockton allowed me to be a commuter student. This way, I was able to ensure that my sister Wendy had an easier transition to Stockton so that she, too, could continue her academic studies while also maintaining a strong family bond overall! 

Katie Mendoza on the lawn of the Stockton University Campus Center
Katie Mendoza on the lawn of the Campus Center. Photo by Susan Allen. 

I would like to motivate our members to continue to pursue their academic goals so that they are able to create a new trend of success in their families and communities!

However, commuting during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic did present some challenges at first.

Since I am a commuter, the biggest challenge for me as a student was to get involved. During my freshman year, most classes were online, which made it that much harder to be able to get to know students and faculty.

I decided to overcome this challenge by attending the Get Involved Fair, where I decided to join the Health Science Club, for which I became the community service coordinator. By doing so, I was able to connect with other organizations as well as faculty to put together or collaborate on events for our club.

I instantly connected with students who were majoring in the same major I was. We were able to build friendships that encouraged me to become more involved within the Stockton community!

A visit to Atlantic City High School inspired Katie to become even more involved on campus.

Visiting the high school allowed me to see that now more than ever, not only Mexican-American but Hispanic/Latino students overall are starting to understand the importance of pursuing a higher education. Yuliana Tapia (Lopez) and I saw that the number of Hispanic/Latino students attending Stockton has increased significantly since our freshman year. Therefore, we decided to take on the challenge of bringing the Mexican Student Association (MEXSA) to life.

As the vice president, I look forward to making all students feel welcome to join our organization, especially first-generation commuters. I want them to feel that they are not alone in their college journey. I would like to motivate our members to continue to pursue their academic goals so that they are able to create a new trend of success in their families and communities!

Armed with a positive mindset, Katie plans to remain eager in the face of new challenges. She hopes to inspire first-year students to utilize Stockton’s resources to reach their full potential.

I plan to conquer my last year here at Stockton by finishing my semesters as if it were my very first! I’ll be making sure I “dot my last I’s all the way down to crossing my final T’s.” I’m also very excited to continue making everlasting friendships and memories that I will look back on for the rest of my life.

The best advice I can give to any student like me in their first year at Stockton would be to get involved and use the resources that Stockton has to offer. I felt lost at times, but with the help of clubs like First Ospreys and offices such as Admissions and Financial Aid, I was able to better navigate through college. Stockton provides many opportunities and resources and, overall, truly sets you up for success! You just have to be willing to go find it and remain motivated to achieve your academic goals!