HACKENSACK, N.J. — Nickeita Tomlinson of Hackensack has overcome many barriers to become a first-generation college student at NJIT.
After her mom died, she began clashing with her immediate family members, who didn't share her mother's view of higher education. She moved in with her grandmother and uncle, but struggled to cover tuition on her own at Bergen Community College.
Tomlinson finally has the support she needs as an electrical engineering major at NJIT. She is among the 33 percent of students whose parents did not attend college, NJIT reports.
Still, she hopes to build on the investment her mother made in her earlier education and make her mark as a woman in STEM.
“I realize it requires you to stand up for yourself and your ideas, and also be confident in what you know and not be intimidated by what others may think,” Tomlinson said.
Being proud of her accomplishments hasn't been easy for Tomlinson. Is she getting better at it?
"Yeah," she laughed, "but slowly."