PHOTO:  Service Academy Nominees

New Brunswick, NJ --- Congressman Frank Pallone, Jr. (D-NJ) announced the recipients of the prestigious Congressional Award, this year’s U.S. Service Academy nominees and the winners of the 2016 Sixth Congressional District High School Arts Competition at a Congressional Awards Ceremony.  Students representing several local high schools were honored at the reception, held at Rutgers University.  In addition, distinguished guests discussed the importance of the fields recognized.

Douglas Eagles, Executive Director of Boys and Girls Clubs of Monmouth County, spoke about the value of community service and volunteerism and the benefits it has on the entire community.

CAPT Jay Steingold, Commanding Officer at Naval Weapons Station Earle, spoke about the value of military service and commitment to serving our great nation.

Amanda Potter, Curator of Education and Interpretation at Zimmerli Art Museum, spoke about the role of the arts in education and the benefits of encouraging young artists.

Pallone honored the 2016 recipients of the Congressional Award.  Created by his predecessor, the late U.S. Rep. Jim Howard, the Congressional Award recognizes the initiative, achievement and volunteer services of young people.  The recipients are listed below:

Silver Congressional Award Recipient:

  • Madilyn Somers of Shore Regional High School

Gold Congressional Award Recipients:

  • Nishi Shah of New York University
  • Trevor Somers of Christian Brothers Academy
  • Richard (Mason) Stelfox of Shore Regional High School

The New Jersey Congressman also honored the sixteen (16) candidates he nominated to the U.S. Service Academies.  Pallone congratulated each for their dedication and wished them all luck in their future endeavors.  The nominees are as follows:

U.S. Air Force Academy

  • Eric Ozga of St. Joseph High School
  • Zachary Piotrowski of John P. Stevens High School            

U.S. Naval Academy                                   

  • Jan-Luka Cabana of the Marine Academy of Science and Technology
  • Tyler Easlick of the Marine Academy of Science and Technology
  • Fletcher Kirol of the Marine Academy of Science and Technology
  • Timothy Nuber of South Plainfield High School
  • Zachary Piotrowski of John P. Stevens High School
  • Hannah Santus of Metuchen High School
  • Brielle Schultz of Old Bridge High School
  • Steven Vieira of the Marine Academy of Science and Technology

U.S. Military Academy at West Point

  • Patrick Bohen, III of Colts Neck High School
  • Aiyappa Bollera of the Middlesex Academy for Science, Mathematics and Engineering Technologies
  • Jan-Luka Cabana of the Marine Academy of Science and Technology
  • Alex Cipas of the Marine Academy of Science and Technology
  • Evan Crowell of the New Mexico Military Institute
  • Nicholas Elashkar of the Marine Academy of Science and Technology
  • Eric Ozga of St. Joseph High School
  • Zachary Piotrowski of John P. Stevens High School

U.S. Merchant Marine Academy                

  • Daniel Mullan of Long Branch High School
  • Zachary Piotrowski of John P. Stevens High School
  • Brielle Schultz of Old Bridge High School
  • Michael Shohet of Long Branch High School

“The value of military service to our nation cannot be overstated and I am honored by the commitment that these nominees to America’s top service academies have shown to serving their nation,” said Congressman Pallone. “New Jersey’s 6th Congressional District is home to so many bright and qualified students, and I’m proud to announce the nominees today who showed through the application process outstanding academic and extra-curricular achievements, leadership and motivation in serving our country.  I take these nominations very seriously because our nation’s service academies are some of the highest caliber institutions committed to graduating leaders of character, honor and integrity.  I wish all of the nominees the very best of luck in the future and thank them for their willingness to serve.”

Young artists from various schools in Middlesex and Monmouth counties participated in this year’s art competition, which is part of the nationwide program known as “An Artistic Discovery.”  Local judges chose first, second and third place winners, and also awarded 15 honorable mentions.  The first place winner, Jamie Ramos, will have her artwork displayed for the next year in the United States Capitol Building in Washington, D.C. 

 

Congressional Art Competition Finalists:

First Place: Jamie Ramos, Piscataway High School

Second Place: Briana Reis, Long Branch High School

Third Place: Yihan Wu, High Technology High School

 

Honorable Mentions:

  • Noralie Abreu of Perth Amboy High School
  • Amy Acosta of Perth Amboy High School
  • Shreya Devarakonda of John P. Stevens High School
  • Mary Dvorsky of Piscataway High School
  • Michelle Fan of Highland Park High School
  • Johanny Gonzalez Rios of Perth Amboy High School
  • Jennifer Guo of Wardlaw-Hartridge High School
  • Carmen Guzman of Long Branch High School
  • Giorel Laxamana of Piscataway High School
  • Jana Li of John P. Stevens High School
  • Katie Maas of Piscataway High School
  • AnnMarie Melfi of Red Bank Regional High School
  • Wenyi Ouyang of Highland Park High School
  • Neha Patel of Piscataway High School
  • Gabriela Vega of Red Bank Regional High School

“I have long believed that Congress should play a major role in encouraging the arts,” Pallone said.  “This competition provides a forum to help the aspiring young artists of our area gain recognition and exposure.  Young artists can gain confidence in themselves and their abilities by displaying their work and having it evaluated by knowledgeable judges.”