Grace Rochette: Hitting the High Notes
Grace Rochette, 20, enrolled at OCC after graduating from Barnegat High School in 2017. She majored in Performing Arts: Music Option and earned her associate degree this May.
Learning To Lead
Rochette served as Vice President of Service for Phi Theta Kappa, Tau Iota Chapter of OCC, and was inducted into PTK International’s Distinguished Officers Hall of Fame.
She was also a member of the OCC Jazz Band for which she played alto saxophone and clarinet; the OCC Concert Band, where she focused on clarinet; and the OCC Music Club. As Rochette explained, “I started playing the alto saxophone in fourth grade. In middle school, during sixth grade, I switched to the bass clarinet. I played the bass clarinet throughout high school. During that time, I also learned the acoustic guitar and piano,” which she likes to play in her free time.
Rochette was significantly involved with the OCC Helping Hands Food Pantry, officially established in March 2018. “While the pantry is mainly food, I helped establish a hygienic section,” she stated.
“I felt that even though food was important, hygienic needs are also important. From there, I worked closely with OCC’s Student Life to continue the pantry and help tackle food insecurity on campus. We’ve also talked with the OCC Foundation to strategize how to spread awareness about the food pantry.”She added, “When I heard about the pantry, I felt it was important to get involved and volunteer because food insecurity is one of the biggest problems in the world. I feel that a way I can help tackle food insecurity is by starting small, like on a college campus.”
“I’ve always felt that it was important to give back to your community,” said Rochette. “I used to volunteer at my local library, and with my Girl Scout troop, at a nursing home. When I got older, I started volunteering at my high school with a program called Challenger League,” which offers sports for children and adults with disabilities. Rochette taught tennis and golf – which she played in high school – for the league. In June, Rochette is participating in the Great Cycle Challenge, sponsored by the nonprofit Children’s Cancer Research Fund.
In March 2019, as Alison Noone, Assistant Director of Student Life, explained, Rochette was “the recipient of the Ocean County Personnel and Guidance Association’s Caring Award, which recognizes students who have given of themselves to a person, group, or cause unselfishly and without an expectation of reward.” Rochette stated, “I am honored to have received this year’s 2019 award from Ocean County College. This was connected to my work at the Helping Hands Food Pantry.”
When she’s not performing music, Rochette’s days are filled with “volunteering, reading, watching movies, listening to music, and spending time with my friends and family. I also like to stay active by running, biking, and sometimes doing yoga. I like to listen to different types of music genres: mostly rock, punk, and pop. One of my favorite artists would have to be Taylor Swift. I have all of her CDs and became a fan with her first album titled ‘Taylor Swift.’” She also works part-time at Kohl’s in Manahawkin.
Rochette is transferring to William Paterson University to pursue a bachelor’s degree in music, specifically in classical music education – alto saxophone.