The Medford-Vincentown Rotary Club last month awarded a group of students $78,000 in scholarships during a ceremony at the township’s Braddock Tavern.
The club, a local chapter of the District 7505 Central and Southern New Jersey Rotary, is part of Rotary International, whose mantra is “Service Above Self.”
The scholarships come as the Rotary Club reaches out to area district high schools, including private, public and technical schools, to offer applications to interested recipients. The club has annually awarded students for more than a decade.
According to Tammy Herbert, a member of the Medford-Vincentown scholarship committee, any student can apply for the scholarship. Students are required to write an essay on the idea of “service above self” and are judged for community involvement, financial need and grades.
The students also have to complete a 15-minute interview with members of the committee, who ask applicants about those who impacted their lives.
“We try very hard to help out based on what is needed for each student,” Herbert said.
This year’s winners included Shawnee High School’s Pascal Castillo (Drexel University), Brian Gerber and Molly Catherine Hill (Rowan University), Riley Phipps (James Madison University), Andrew Schmal (Rowan College at Burlington County), Isabelle Sheridan (American University) and Angela Wingert (Wilkes University).
Seneca High School’s winners are Amanda Benzenhafer (University of Arkansas), Brandon Hale (University of Pittsburgh), Abigail Johnson (University of Vermont), Kelsey Langdon (University of South Carolina) and Meredith Waropay (Ithaca College). From Sequoia High School is Jessica Ritter (Camden County College), and from Bishop Eustace Prep, Ryan Carney (Catholic University).
The Rotary club’s public relations Chair Kim Bezanis, who will be on the scholarship committee next year, noted how the group’s message of service above self is practiced by the young students and how they showed what it means to be a Rotarian through their community actions.
“I believe that’s what we’re here for,” she said. “We’re here to serve other people.”
Herbert noted that in the past few years, the club has focused intently on getting as much money as possible to its scholarship committee so it can divide funds among as many students as possible based on their financial need.
The Rotary Club also held its annual kids free fishing derby at the Medford Park/Bunning Field in Medford on June 15. For more information, visit https://portal.clubrunner.ca/10557/