CAMDEN —Southern California boasts palm trees, movies stars, and sunny climes, but southern New Jersey has Rutgers–Camden. Which is why Aaron Goldenberg left L.A. for the Delaware Valley.
The freshman nursing major took a leap of faith when he decided to leave behind all that he knew in Northridge, a Los Angeles neighborhood in the San Fernando Valley, but a visit to the Rutgers–Camden campus last fall was all it took to convince him to jump in with both feet.
“I came here for a visit and fell in love with the campus and the nursing program,” Goldenberg says while sitting in the Rutgers–Camden Campus Center on a day off from classes. “I told my dad right away that I was coming here. My family didn’t believe me at first, but then they realized that I really meant it.”
As a high school student, Goldenberg was set on finding a college with a competitive nursing program. He had applied to UCLA and the University of San Francisco, among other institutions, but it was the Rutgers School of Nursing–Camden that immediately appealed to him.
“When I visited, (Rutgers–Camden nursing dean Joanne Robinson and associate dean Robert Atkins) made me feel like I was at home,” Goldenberg says. “It’s a place where I feel I can succeed and realize my goals, and my professors have been very helpful in that way. To be taught by professors who have been successful in the field is very exciting to me.”
Goldenberg says he was immediately attracted to the size of Rutgers–Camden’s campus and the accessibility of students, staff and faculty.
“It’s a beautiful campus and you can really get to know everybody here,” he explains, as he’s greeted by a handful of people on his way to the Paul Robeson Library. “I always wanted to move away when it was time to make a decision on college, and I always loved the East Coast. I wanted to be more independent and out on my own. I felt that if I was going to come to the East Coast to pursue nursing, Rutgers was going to be the place.”
Goldenberg says his father, Michael, and stepmother, Margarita Clement, supported his decision to come to Rutgers–Camden.
“My dad’s help and motivation and support throughout the college process was most important to me, and so was my stepmom’s support,” Goldenberg says. “My dad is more than just my dad — he is my mentor. My stepmom pushed me to be the best student I can be. My parents’ support meant everything to me, especially when making my move across the country.”
Goldenberg says he wanted to pursue a medical career ever since his biological mother, Dayna Hershberg, lost her battle with cancer when Goldenberg was 7 years old.
“I remember wanting to help my mom, but I couldn’t, so I wanted to do something where I could help others,” he explains. “Some years later, my grandmother passed away and I didn’t particularly like the care that was given to her in Los Angeles. I was motivated to provide an exceptional level of care to all patients.”
Goldenberg says he feels that in no other place could he fulfill his desire to realize excellence in nursing education while participating in innovative research and having the opportunity to understand global healthcare through Rutgers–Camden’s international programs.
“With the amount of resources Rutgers–Camden has, you have to take advantage of them,” he says. “It’s a place that provides great opportunities. I want to make a name for myself here. I want to provide the best care I can to patients here even after I graduate.”
Now that would be a Hollywood ending for the student from L.A.
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Media Contact: Ed Moorhouse