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Dover High School sweethearts defy odds, achieve success and inspire family, community

County College of Morris Plays Vital Role in Couple’s Journey from First-Generation College Students to Successful Entrepreneurs

DOVER, NJ (Morris County) – Being exposed to social work since she was a teenager, Dahiana Grisales ’01, knew she wanted to be a social worker.

After graduating from Dover High School in 1999, she enrolled at County College of Morris (CCM) to study liberal arts and human services. An Educational Opportunity Fund (EOF) student while at CCM, she recalls being a part of an inspiring community, where she received invaluable support and personal attention to aid in her success.

“CCM was such a homey environment and I felt cared for, particularly in the EOF office. The college offered such a great balance in local education and exposure to a broader community than just my hometown. Plus, it was affordable,” Grisales said

Upon earning an Associate of Arts degree in Human Services, Grisales transferred to Kean University to earn a bachelor’s degree and then furthered her education at the School of Social Work at Rutgers University earning a master’s degree.

“Out of the three colleges,” says Grisales, “CCM actually gave me the most training in the field of social work. I was being educated by professors who were social workers.”

Currently, Grisales is a fully independent licensed clinical social worker in New Jersey. Driven by her passion for helping others, she established a thriving counseling practice, My New Days, in Dover, providing therapy to children, adults, couples and families. Grisales’ dedication to her clients and commitment to making a difference in people’s lives have earned her widespread admiration. She admits her goal couldn’t have happened without CCM. Plus, CCM has been a foundational entity in her family.

Her high school sweetheart and husband, Jhon, is also a graduate of CCM. While working full-time, he enrolled in the English as a Second Language Program. He then took college-level classes and earned an Associate of Applied Science in Graphic Design in 2013 and then continued his education at Kean University.

Armed with his newfound language skills, a passion for creativity and a bachelor’s degree, he discovered his entrepreneurial spirit and opened My Good Designers in Dover.

During the couple’s inspiring journey, they were blessed with three children who have been following in their parents’ footsteps. Their oldest daughter, Oriana, is currently at CCM studying criminal justice.

Their middle child, Peter James, has taken business administration classes at CCM while working with his father in the family graphic design business. Their youngest son, Adrian-Felipe, age 12, is already considering pursuing CCM to study science.

The Grisales’ story is a testament to the extraordinary things that can be accomplished through determination, love for family, and access to a supportive environment. Their journey serves as a reminder that success knows no boundaries, and with the right education challenges can be overcome and dreams realized.

“We wouldn’t be where we are today,” says Grisales, “without our CCM education.

Jay Edwards

Born and raised in Northwest NJ, Jay has a degree in Communications and has had a life-long interest in local radio and various styles of music. Jay has held numerous jobs over the years such as stunt car driver, bartender, voice-over artist, traffic reporter (award winning), NY Yankee maintenance crewmember and peanut farm worker. His hobbies include mountain climbing, snowmobiling, cooking, performing stand-up comedy and he is an avid squirrel watcher. Jay has been a guest on America’s Morning Headquarters,program on The Weather Channel, and was interviewed by Sam Champion.

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