The law firm of Hoffman DiMuzio has allocated close to half a million dollars to its ‘Gift of the Heart Community Scholarship Foundation.’ Each of the 21 high schools in Gloucester, Cumberland and Salem County has selected two students to receive a $1,000 scholarship for embodying the service ideals of the program. The scholarship recipients from Williamstown High School are Olufemi Folarin and Christopher Michael Palazzo.
In August 2017, Femi launched her own non-profit organization, the Right Pack, whose aim is to provide underprivileged children with school supplies. She independently collected supplies and donations during her summer vacation and was able to fill seven backpacks with school supplies. This service inspired her to organize a group to collect supplies in good condition from students who were cleaning out their lockers. Rather than ending up in the trash, these supplies were redistributed to students in need. Folarin’s non-profit organization has helped her to grow as a student and a leader. She plans to continue providing supplies to students in her local school and in the college she will attend in the fall.
Christopher Michael Palazzo
From the time he was a child, Palazzo has wanted to give back to the community around him. The influence of the Boy Scouts, his parents and others has given him the desire to become greatly involved in community service. He joined the Boy Scouts at the age of 11 and as a member has performed well over 250 hours of community service, including road cleanups, Eagle Scout projects, nursing home volunteering and working with children at summer camp. For his Eagle Scout project, he planned and led the building of a flag retirement fire pit at his local POW/MIA memorial park. As a result of this project, there is a central place to respectfully retire American flags. Palazzo also volunteers as a student tutor and peer mentor and student representative to his town’s school board. Community service and involvement are his ways of making his community a great place to live.