The Lew Williams & Leila Sulkes Scholarship Recipients
(Scholarships for women in undergraduate or graduate degree programs)
For the 2017-2018 academic year, the Freehold Area Branch of AAUW awarded three scholarships!
The Awards for the 2017-2018 academic year were announced at our September Branch Meeting.
Susan Hughes, Chair of the Scholarship Committee presented the Lew Williams & Leila Sulkes Scholarship Awards to three women of exceptional ability. Susan thanked the Board for agreeing to three scholarships this year; she thanked the Scholarship Committee for their input on selecting this year’s winners; and introduced the new Chair, Kathy Cortes.
Susan said what an honor it has been to introduce the Scholarship Winners, and be able to provide three $2000 awards this year. The winners had much in common: they give back to the community, they are passionate about their careers, they are teachers, one and all they love children, and care about society and the world.
From left to right: Lesley Saunders, Jessica Grill & Amber Williams
Lesley Saunders is an undergraduate student at Georgian Court University working towards her Bachelors in English with a Teaching Certificate for K through 6, including teaching students with disabilities, and Middle School English and Social Studies. Lesley has experience tutoring students on the autism spectrum and those who have English language difficulties.
Lesley is an English immigrant to America and has lived here eight years with her husband, Steven. She gave a very emotional shout out to America and our country’s opportunities for higher education that were not available to her back in England, although the English class structure has loosened, since she was a younger woman.
She also gave a shout out to her husband, who supports her totally as she finishes up her degree next year. As she said, this scholarship award will allow her to “get across the finish line.”
Many words were used to describe Lesley by her professors. One particular word was used by both. They said that Lesley could see connections like those between ideas and themes. (Perhaps longer life experiences allowed her to see connections that younger people might not.) Her professors also described Lesley as prepared, keen to learn (a lifelong learner), passionate; and a person with the talent to share ideas and bring along her classmates. (as a teacher might say …working well with others!)
Jessica Grill is a Masters student at Miami University of Ohio, pursuing a Masters in Biology. She is in a part-time hybrid-style distance-based program offered through a partnership with Miami University and the Wildlife Conservation Society. Jessica has worked at the Philadelphia Zoo, and presently works as an assistant helping to invigorate the recently reinstated PINES – the Pinelands Institute for Natural and Environmental Studies.
Jessica came down many different roads, where she was serendipitously presented with many opportunities that led her to a focus on Environmental & Conservation Education. Jessica is green, and not just environmentally; she lives her truth. She loves teaching and children, as do all our winners. She is inspired by her mom, Sue, who is a single mother of four grown children, and is also a great believer in education for all her kids, including herself.
Jessica has been described by the professionals who know her to be passionate, diligent and resourceful.
Amber Williams, is a Masters student at Georgian Court University, and has been accepted for a teaching job at a Howell public school starting next year. Amber has a Bachelors of Fine Arts and an Early Childhood Teaching Certificate. Moving from ART to TEACHING was an unexpected turn for Amber, but now she plans on combining her two areas of expertise. She has a creative drive and desire to make art an integral part of a child’s learning experience.
She has been described by her professors as a woman of notable integrity with a commitment to social justice, including a statement by one professor who said, ‘with 10 plus years as an educator and relative to the more than 500 students I have seen pursuing a graduate degree, Ms. Williams is OUTSTANDING.’
APPLICATIONS FOR THE 2018-2019 ACADEMIC YEAR WILL BE AVAILABLE IN JANUARY, 2018
for more information about these scholarships
The Outstanding High School Students’ Award Recipients
(The Rose Fishkin Scholarship Awards)
The six highest ranking female seniors from the Freehold Regional High Schools were honored at our May 11th Meeting (see pictures). Their brief bios indicate their outstanding academic achievements as well as their impressive community involvement, artistic and athletic skills.
These awards are named for Rose Fishkin who was a member of our branch, a Cornell graduate and a believer in lifelong education for women. We congratulate each recipient and wish them continued success in their chosen endeavors.
We would also like to thank the Freehold community for their continued support of our annual used book sale. This sale enables our organization to fund these awards.
From left to right:
Heather Colleen Berger Manalapan High School
Heather has the highest GPA at her high school, is secretary of the National Honor Society, Treasurer of the Spanish Honor Society, an AP Scholar with distinction and a National Merit student. She has been a student council member for all four years, works with the “Save a Brave” program and is treasurer of the Environmental Organization. Heather has studied dance and commutes to Manhattan for the Broadway Dance Center’s Children’s Program. In addition to tutoring algebra and geometry she works as a counselor in the Ivy League Day Camp.
Raeann Giannattasio Colts Neck High School
Raeann is a student in Law and Public Service at her high school where she earned the highest grade point average. She is an AP Scholar with distinction as well as a National Merit Scholar. Raeann has been involved with the science league and since 9th grade has been president of SADD (Students Against Destructive Behavior) which she founded. She was named Colts Neck Athlete of the year after her performance in the state championship Cross Country Team. She also was a runner-up in the 1600 Meter State Sectionals and a “Meet the Champion Qualifier. The University of Virginia awaits her this fall.
Tessa Catuogno Freehold Borough High School
Tessa attends the Medical Science’s Learning Center at school, has a GPA of 5.32 and a SAT score of 2240. She is an active member of the National Honor Society, tutors fifteen hours per quarter and is a board member of both Math and Spanish Honor Societies. She finds time to help students from Spanish speaking families with their homework and participate in Math League Competitions as well as Winter Track and Girls Soccer. She did a summer Oncology Program at the NJ Cancer Institute and at MIT spent two weeks building Radar Systems. Tessa is an AP scholar with distinction and a National Merit Scholar Finalist. Rutgers Honors is her college of choice and Tessa wants to major in Biomedical Engineering.
Roxanna Altus Howell High School
Roxanna has the highest GPA at her High School, is involved in the Scholar’s Center for Humanities and is the current co-president of her school’s Shakespeare Club. She performed in the English Speaking Union’s National Shakespeare competition and was a finalist in Monmouth County’s Branch Competition. Roxanna has received a summer Cum Laude Honor Award in the National Latin Exam and from the age of twelve has volunteered at the Artisan Art school in Marlboro where she helps children develop a love and appreciation for art. She will be attending Rutgers in the fall.
Christy Lee Marlboro High School
Christy is involved in the Business Career Program at her high school where she has a 5.12 GPA. She is the COO of the Business Learning Center, participates in Future Business Leaders of America and is president of Decca. Christy is a finalist for a National Merit Scholarship as well as a Quest Bridge Award which provides high achieving students with the financial opportunity to attend top colleges and universities. She will attend Princeton this fall.
Anna H Landre Freehold Township High School (not in photo)
Anna is ranked #1GPA out of 500 classmates, is involved in the Contemporary Global Issues Program and is the captain of the Speech and Debate team. She had competed in the NJ Forensic League as well as the National Speech and Debate Association Competitions at Harvard and Princeton. Anna is president of her school’s book club and writes for the school newspaper. She is State Ambassador for the Muscular Dystrophy Assn., a Girl Scout counselor at Horseback Riding School and is involved with her church. Anna is interested in International Relationships which she plans to pursue at the college of her choice.