Saidie Lopez: Camden County College Grad Excels at Rutgers–Camden

Saidie Lopez found enrolling at Rutgers University–Camden after finishing an associate’s degree at Camden County College to be a breeze. “Transferring was much easier than I thought it would be. It was a smooth transition. I got accustomed to the campus easily. It wasn’t too bad navigating around campus.”

Lopez, an art major with double concentration in studio art and animation, graduated from Pennsauken High School in 2012 and started college at Camden County College, earning a sport management associate in science in 2014. “My main concern when I was looking for schools was that I wanted to save money. That’s why I went to Camden County College. It saved me a ton of money in the long run. And now I’m getting a great college experience at Rutgers–Camden.”

A Home Away from Home

Lopez, who commutes to RutgersCamden from Pennsauken, is deeply involved in a variety of activities on campus. She participates in Civic Scholars, the Leadership Institute, the Art Students League, and was a co-founder of the Omega Phi Chi Multicultural Sorority. “I spend most of my time on campus. The teachers are great. The staff is great. It’s definitely a home away from home.”

She said has found a tremendous amount of support at Rutgers–Camden. “I love this campus so much. I love the atmosphere and the people. I love how diverse it is and how friendly and welcoming it is. If I ever need help with anything, I’ve got several people I can go to talk to.”

Civic Engagement

Lopez said the Civic Scholars program, which provides help with tuition, has been a transformative experience. “It’s one of the best things that have happened to me here.”

Her primary project has been in the Jumpstart program, working with preschoolers in Camden. “We are promoting early childhood development. We are pushing reading. We are pushing writing. We are trying to get dramatic play and pretend play to focus on family and friends.  We are trying to push them to be more prepared for kindergarten.”

In the fall 2016 semester, Lopez moved up to be a Jumpstart team leader, managing four other students working in schools. “It was a really great leadership role for me. It helped me grow as a leader.”