NJ's first Latina prosecutor talks about making history


Passaic County Prosecutor Camelia M. Valdes.

On November 4, the Educational Opportunity Fund at Fairleigh Dickinson University hosted guest speaker Camelia M. Valdes, Passaic County prosecutor, who spoke about roads to academic success.

Naming Valdes as the county prosecutor has been historically significant on many accounts — she is the first Latina county prosecutor in the State of New Jersey, the first female prosecutor in Passaic County, and the first lead prosecutor of Dominican ancestry in the United States.

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Valdes with students from the Educational Opportunity Fund.

Valdes was listed by Hispanic Business Magazine among its “100 Most Influential Hispanics in the U.S.” and President Leonel Fernandez of the Dominican Republic has named her as one of the 100 most influential Dominicans living abroad. She has previously served as municipal prosecutor in the City of Newark, a deputy attorney general in the New Jersey Attorney General’s Office, and as an assistant United States attorney in the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Newark.

The EOF is a university- and state-sponsored program created in 1969 to ensure meaningful access to higher education for economically and educationally disadvantaged students. The fund assists low-income New Jersey residents who are capable and motivated but lack adequate preparation for college study. For more information, go to www.fdu.edu/eof.