The Volunteer Center of Burlington County awarded five college scholarships on Wednesday, August 3, totaling $30,000 to five Burlington County high school seniors, including Kelly Li of Moorestown, who have demonstrated a commitment to community service, leadership and academic achievement.
Li, a senior at Moorestown High School, plans to attend Yale for biomedical engineering/pre-med. As for her community service endeavors, she has volunteered in homeless shelters, soup kitchens, day cares and schools in Camden. She is also the organizer of the jobs and benefits expo for military veterans and is an active volunteer with Hua Xia Cherry Hill Chinese School, a school that offers language, culture and other classes to assist children and others with the assimilation into American society.
She was presented with the Volunteer Center’s top award of $7,500 during the check presentation ceremony held at Burlington County’s Historic Smithville Park in Eastampton. A review committee that evaluated 66 applications — the most ever submitted in the five-year history of the scholarship, selected him. The Volunteer Center has now awarded $125,500 in scholarship money.
Kris Laufer presented a son of the late Joseph Laufer, a former recipient of the Volunteer Center’s Community Service Award, for whom the scholarship was named the check. Holly Haines, representing the Haines Family Foundation, also participated in the ceremony. The foundation is a generous contributor to the scholarship program.
“These are outstanding young people who have displayed not only a lengthy record of participation in many community service activities, but also an ability and willingness to organize and lead,” said Laufer. “In addition, all of these young people have stellar academic records.”
Joe Laufer, a former Burlington County College educator, was the County Historian and had amassed a multitude of community service activities before he died in 2014. The scholarship program is his legacy — but was named in his honor long before his passing. Laufer actually had taken the major role in administering the program. His wife, Penny, and four children, continue to support the initiative.