BY ERIN HELLHAKE
Old Bridge High School held its annual scholarship award ceremonies on May 22 and 23 in the main building cafeteria. The administration splits the event between an evening ceremony and an additional ceremony during school the following day.
In total, over $122,000 was awarded in student scholarships. “Each year, community donors contribute,” said Connie Mason, advisor of the scholarship committee. The exact number given out in total fluctuates yearly, but Mason said that, fortunately, the school still receives many donations every year. The Brunetti Foundation and the PTSA contribute the largest donations.
Over 350 students applied for scholarships, and 160 students received at least one. “The application is extensive and tries to determine the activity and involvement of students,” said Mason. “The committee of 20 volunteer teachers match donor criteria with student qualifications.” Some donors request essays and directly choose their scholarship’s recipient, and certain scholarships are awarded to students based on teacher nomination, rather than selected from the pool of applicants.
The PTSA Scholarship was given to Anthony Taranto and Lauren Rosenberg. Taranto also received The Brunetti Scholarship. “The [scholarship] committee has such a difficult job to sort all the applicants and choose which student is the best fit for each, and they do an amazing job year after year,” said Taranto, who said he also received multiple scholarships for board and leadership positions in clubs and sports. “I love that the recipient does not know which scholarship he or she will be receiving before that night.”
Yearly, family and friends are invited to attend the event to support senior recipients. “I was really honored when I was told that I would be receiving a scholarship; I felt like my hard work over the past four years paid off. That night, many of my friends were there, too, and I was so happy to see all of us together,” said Rosenberg, who also received the OBHS PTSA Athletic Scholarship for Girls’ Basketball.
Recipients receive a voucher to be exchanged later for a check that can be used for tuition help and other resources. The scholarship program allows students a good chance to apply their assets for financial assistance in their academic future. Speaking for many of his peers, Taranto said, “I would like to thank Ms. Mason and her entire committee for their hard work with the selection process. I would like to thank our administrators, superintendent, and most of all, the donors who make the Scholarship Ceremony possible and help so many seniors as they take the next step in their life.”
Posted on 6/13/22
Photos by Natalie Goldberg