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PRESS RELEASE

September 10, 2014

ESSEX COUNTY FREEHOLDERS
HONOR THE RECIPIENTS OF THE 2014 SCHOLARSHIP PROGRAM AWARD FROM THE NEW JERSEY ASSOCIATION OF COUNTIES (NJAC) FOUNDATION INVESTORS BANK & PSEG GREEN

Scholarship Awardees received commendations from the Board on September 9th.  Front row (left to right): Hakeem Tudor, Jasmine Catala, Teacher of the Year Salvatore Lima, Stephany Jines and Freeholder President Blonnie Watson; and back row (left to right): Freeholder Carol Clark, County Executive Joseph N. DiVincenzo, Jr., Principal of West Caldwell Tech John Dolan, Superintendent of Essex County Vocational Technical Schools Dr. Frank A. Cocchiola, Jr., and NJAC Executive Director John G. Donnadio. PHOTO BY GLEN FRIESON

(Newark, NJ) – During an intimate ceremony on Tuesday, September 9, 2014, at the Hall of Records, the Essex County Board of Chosen Freeholders honored four recent high school graduates from the Essex County Vocational Technical Schools who were awarded scholarships from the New Jersey Association of Counties (NJAC) Foundation, Investors Bank and PSEG Green. The Board’s commendations were sponsored by acclamation and were presented to the students by board representative to NJAC Freeholder Carol Y. Clark from East Orange and Freeholder President Blonnie R. Watson from Newark.

Freeholder Watson opened the presentation by stating how proud she was of the student awardees and she acknowledged their parents for providing the necessary love and support that lets them know “you can do it!” She introduced the NJAC Foundation as a non-profit organization affiliated with the New Jersey Association of Counties who is committed to providing innovative educational opportunities for county vocational schools and county college students.  And in-turn, New Jersey’s county vocational-technical school system is noted as a national leader in cutting-edge technologies, attracting some of the brightest and most talented students, especially here in Essex County.  The scholarship awardees are proof-positive of this winning partnership.

County Executive Joseph DiVincenzo was on hand to share in the presentation, as well as NJAC Foundation’s Executive Director John G. Donnadio. Both men reminisced of the fine partnership the county and NJAC Foundation has shared over the years.  Also present was Interim Superintendent of Essex County Vocational Technical Schools Dr. Frank A. Cocchiola, Jr., along with Mr. John Dolan, Principal of West Caldwell Tech and Mr. Salvatore Lima, Science Department Chair and Teacher of the Year. Together they demonstrated a united front of support to their most deserving students.

Investors Bank and the NJAC Foundation have partnered on this initiative to provide scholarships to graduates who not otherwise have necessary means to continue their education.  Investors Bank awarded the NJAC Foundation a grant of $16,000.00 for county vocational-technical school graduates who plan on continuing their education at a county college or state college or university. Further, PSEG and the NJAC Foundation have partnered to provide scholarships to county vocational-technical school graduates who plan to study environmental science, green design, green technology, alternative energy, or other related subjects at a county or state college or university.  PSEG awarded the NJAC Foundation a grant of $12,000.00.

Three Essex County students received awards from Investors Bank and they are; Stephany Jines, Jasmine Catala and Hakeem Tudor.  One student, Sarajen Noel received the PSEG Green award.
Stephany Jines of Newark graduated from the Essex County West Caldwell Vocational-Technical School in June.  While there she demonstrated a strong work ethic and professionalism during her tenure as a work study student in the main office.  She has been recognized for her academic achievements as an honor roll student and she will continue her education at Berkeley College in their Business Program.

Jasmine Catala also of Newark graduated from the Essex County West Caldwell Vocational-Technical School in June. In addition to being an honor roll student, Jasmine demonstrated role model citizenship and dedication to her academics and she participated in extra-curricular activities and sports programs. She will continue her education at Montclair State University where she will major in Early Childhood Education.

Hakeem Tudor of Orange also a graduate from the Essex County West Caldwell Vocational-Technical School received recognition as student of the month; perfect attendance and honor roll status. He participated in extra-curricular activities and is a member of the Skills USA Organization. His interpersonal skills and leadership qualities gained him respect and appreciation from his peers and staff alike and he will continue his education in Business Administration at Essex County College.

Finally, Sarajen Noel of Orange was the recipient of the PSEG Green award.  Although unable to appear at this event, Freeholder Clark was able to present the award to her at a later date.  Nevertheless, Sarajen graduated from the Essex County Bloomfield Vocational-Technical School in June and while there, participated in the Student Council, the Outdoors Club and the DECA Organization.

She excelled in the Green Energy Academy which was developed in conjunction with PSEG and focuses on issues surrounding energy sources and technologies that influence how energy is harnessed, processed, maintained and distributed. Students in the academy gain an awareness of environmental, economic, political, and social impacts of current energy usage and alternatives to the current models.  She will attend Montclair State University where she will study Biochemistry.
In conclusion, Executive Director John G. Donnadio voiced his appreciation to Essex County for the effort they take in acknowledging their youth with a “terrific presentation”.  As a result, more counties within the state are making a stronger effort to recognize their youth awardees.  He was also happy to report, in the last four years Investors Bank and PSEG Green initiatives coupled with the NJAC Foundation have generously given over $130,000.00 in scholarships to over 200 students throughout the state.

 

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For Additional Information:
Kathy R. Brown, Research Assistant
Essex County Board of Chosen Freeholders
973-621-4489
kbrown@freeholders.essexcountynj.org

Board of Chosen Freeholders, County of Essex
Hall of Records - Room 558, 465 Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Blvd., Newark, New Jersey 07102
Tel: (973) 621-4486 Fax: (973) 621-5695