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By Caitlyn O’Sullivan
CCC Journalism Program

On the fourth Thursday of every November, American families celebrate Thanksgiving, a day to express gratitude for the blessings and harvest that came that year. Typically it is a day to gather with loved ones, relish great food and recognize all there is to be thankful for, in a time when many may take those things for granted.

Camden County College students say they have many and varied things to be thankful for this year.

Marisa Shapley spends time with her mother, Michelle Shapley. By Caitlyn O’Sullivan, CCC Journalism Program

Marisa Shapley, a third-year student at Camden County College, has balanced two jobs while going to school. She proclaims her excitement about Thanksgiving as she says, “I’m excited to finally have a day to relax from school and work, just to eat and not have to stress out about anything else. I’m grateful to be able to afford the time off this year and not have to work. It’s really nice to be able to just be with my family.”

While Shapley is excited to return to her roots, Brandon Stetler is excited to create his own. Stetler has been attending Camden County College on and off for five years working on his engineering degree. “I’m thankful for my family, my fiance and the apartment we just got so we can start to have our own Thanksgiving with the new family I have,” he says.

Chris Berrios, a second-year student at Camden County College and a member of the Army National Guard, is always busy with school, work and drills to prepare for his future in the military. “I’m planned to be deployed in March next year in Cuba, so I cherish these times,” he says. “I’m grateful for the lessons I’ve learned through experiences and for my friends because they go beyond just hanging out, we encourage and uplift each other.”

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