NJ Youth Win Kohl’s Cares Scholarships

STATE – Seven young people from New Jersey are among the more than 200 volunteers honored through the Kohl’s Department Stores’ Kohl’s Cares® Scholarship Program. They will each receive $1,000 scholarships toward post-secondary education.

“Kohl’s is honored to recognize and celebrate the accomplishments of the more than 200 regional level Kohl’s Cares Scholarship Program winners this year,” said Julie Gardner, Kohl’s executive vice president and chief marketing officer. “From collecting books for underprivileged children to fundraising for a community food bank, the efforts of these kids are undoubtedly making our communities better places to live and it is a pleasure to recognize and thank them for their work.”

Local recipients of $1,000 scholarships are:

  • Joey Rizzolo, 17, Paramus – Rizzolodeveloped the Freedom Walk, now in its fifth year, in order to remember those who died in the 9/11 attacks and last year was able to organize a Freedom Walk in Iraq with the help of the U.S. Army.
  • Kevin McNamara, 17, Holmdel – McNamara partnered with the American Recreational Military Services to raise more than $13,000 in supplies for care packages which were shipped to troops stationed abroad in Afghanistan.
  • Mya Terry, 9, Oakhurst – After spending time in the hospital, Terry created Mya’s Mommy Bags, which are bags that consist of everyday essentials, so parents don’t have to leave their children alone in the hospital.
  • Julia Lee Fontanarosa, 11, Denville – With a passion for animals, Fontanarosa decided to volunteer with The Eleventh Hour Rescue by fostering 21 animals and hosting a school event in which she raised more than $450 in dog food and animal toys.
  • Zachary Certner, 15, Morristown – Inspired by a close friend with autism, Certner created SNAP to provide children in need of extra support with programs where they can be included with their peers, and also to focus on getting children in schools and communities involved with working and understanding the abilities, not the disabilities, of others.
  • Nidhi Gurjar, 17, Iselin – Serving as the Lieutenant Governor of Division 13 of the New Jersey District of Key Club International, Gurjar partnered with the Eliminate Project and raised nearly $5,000 to eradicate maternal and neonatal tetanus.
  • Madeline Stites, 9, Sandy Hook – Inspired to do more for shelter animals after her family adopted two rescue dogs, Stites created a 1.1 mile walk for kids and their pets and raised more than $300 for the local SPCA, enough money to buy a new kennel for their facility.

Winners are chosen based on initiative, leadership, generosity and project benefits and outcomes. Each regional-level winner qualifies for one of Kohl’s 10 national scholarships, which will be announced at the end of July. National winners will each receive a total of $10,000 in scholarships and Kohl’s will donate $1,000 to a nonprofit organization on each national winner’s behalf. In total, Kohl’s will recognize more than 2,200 young volunteers with more than $420,000 in scholarships and prizes.

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