LITTLE SILVER, NJ - On May 30, The SOURCE, RBR’s School Based Youth Service Program, honored its community partners and awarded over $45,000 in scholarship money to graduating high school seniors.
SOURCE Director Suzanne Keller explained, “Our mission is to remove all obstacles that impede the success of young people in our community.” With an emphasis on the overall optimal health of the students at Red Bank Regional, The Source is a comprehensive program that includes mental health counseling, preventative medical, dental and eye care, employment opportunities and learning support…By making on-site mental health counseling and health services accessible at the school for the last 18 years, the program has been able to remove the stigma that many teens and their families associate with mental health wellness.”
Jennifer Chauhan and Allison Tevald, who founded the non-profit Project Write Now, were honored with the SOURCE’s Community Partnership Award for providing college essay writing and research paper support to RBR students over the past five years. This year, they also hosted a writing workshop for RBR’s freshman Global Citizenship class as well as a nine week summer resiliency workshop for ninth grade girls which RBR students attended.
Jessica Shields of Planned Parenthood was also given the Community Service Award for her work with RBR students. Jessica had formed close connections with the SOURCE Sophomore club and even funded a bus to take these students to the Planned Parenthood teen conference.
RBR SOURCE students received scholarships from the SOURCE Foundation, which fundraises for many of the special programs offered through the SOURCE. Addition scholarships were awarded by the Latino American Association, The Red Bank Community Block Party, and the Bleemer-Cerbone Scholarship. Memorial Scholarships included the Sean Macon, Joyce Williams and Albert Martin Memorial Scholarships.
Five students earned the Andrew Kroon Memorial Scholarship Award to attend Brookdale College. They include Ana Escobar Jovel, Gabriel Nascimento, Douglas Pena Orellana, Cesar Rojas Herrera, SireniaTochihuitl. This brings to 57, the total number of RBR students who have attended Brookdale College under the scholarship. These are students who are typically the first of their family to attend college and would not have the funds to realize their dream of college if not for this scholarship.
Joining the celebration were RBR alumni who recently graduated from Brookdale and will be going on to earn their BA at Rutgers, NJIT or Georgian Court.
RBR Principal Risa Clay had founded THE SOURCE 18 years ago by writing and winning a grant from the Department of Children & Family Services which still funds the SOURCE operations in partnership with the RBR Board of Education. Mrs. Clay served as the first director and The SOURCE has been an invaluable stalwart of the RBR community ever since.
She stated at the reception, “What is wonderful about this program is that it is constantly evolving, and people are so amazed at the services we offer here.” She added, “The SOURCE is successful because of the diligence and dedication of the staff. Suzanne works tirelessly to build community relationships and to raise money and pursue every possible resource for our students. I am so proud of each and every counselor and staff member.”
left: RBR Senior Michael Eulner, Shrewsbury is pictured (left to right) with Paulette Williams and RBR SOURCE Director Suzanne Keller. Michael received the Joyce Williams Memorial Scholarship for the extraordinary work he did on founding and organizing the Ridge Road Run for Suicide Awareness. In its first year, the run made over $120,000. Joyce Williams, Paulette’s mother was a long-time community volunteer and supporter of The SOURCE.
(Right) Pictured with Suzanne Keller is Senior Seamus Cochrane, an exceptional student and athlete who received the second annual Sean Macon Memorial Scholarship Award. Sean Macon was a beloved counselor at The SOURCE.