By Marissa Santarlasci
CCC Journalism Program
BLACKWOOD – Hannah Tolentino splits her time attending two schools, working and trying to balance a social life and family life.
Tolentino is studying nutrition at Camden County College and Rowan University. She is in the process of transferring fully to Rowan University but right now takes half of her classes at Rowan University and the other half at Camden County College on the Blackwood campus.
As nutrition majors, students study the nutrients in food, how the body uses them, and the relationship among diet, health and disease. Nutrition also focuses on how people can use dietary choices to reduce the risk of disease, what happens if a person has too much or too little of a nutrient, and how allergies affect people.
This semester at Rowan University, Tolentino’s classes include Micronutrients and Consumer Health. “Micronutrients class consists of studying vitamins and minerals. Consumer health class is the everyday choices people make when they buy health products,” Tolentino said.
Tolentino is also taking Chemistry II and Biology II at Camden County College. Chemistry II and Biology II are general education courses that are required to move forward in the nutrition program.
Tolentino was in the Camden County College Dietetic Technician Program until the end of the fall semester, as she prepared to transfer to Rowan University. “The CCC Dietetic Technician Program was ultimately going to lead me to be a DTR (dietetic technician, registered),” Tolentino stated. This program consisted of basic nutrition classes and food management classes.
She was also in the Camden County College Nutrition Club. “In the nutrition club we did things like bake sales, club meetings, toured nutrition labs in Philadelphia, and I spoke for a sports team once,” Tolentino said.
Tolentino goes to the gym about five or six times a week and tries to maintain healthy practices. “With the pandemic right now, unfortunately I am not able to go to the gym but I have been working out almost every day outside and inside. There are plenty of home workouts to do,” Tolentino stated.
Tolentino works as a waitress at The Pelican Restaurant in Sewell. The Pelican Restaurant is a family-owned small restaurant. “The menu consists mainly of seafood but there are a few other options for people who are allergic or do not like seafood. Some of the options that are not seafood related include steak, salads and chicken,” Tolentino stated. Tolentino works one or two days a week and has worked at Pelican for more than two years.
Justin Gordon, a friend and coworker of Tolentino’s, said, “Hannah is a foodie and loves seafood, so working at a seafood restaurant fits her personality and also helps her with her nutrition major.”
Tolentino has several close friends and a boyfriend. She tries to spend as much time as she can with them. She enjoys doing things with them like going to a bar, attending sporting events, going on lunch and dinner dates, and working out.
Tolentino’s family is very important to her. She often cooks meals for her family members because she is passionate about cooking.
She has applied what she learned in school to helping other people. “If any of my friends need help with workout and dieting plans, I try my best to guide them in the right direction. I have made a few people workout plans for the gym and at-home workout plans also,” Tolentino stated.