AlumUpdate MAY 2014
Quality education were two powerful words for Krystal Green growing up in Clifton, NJ. Krystal’s mom Pam, instilled in Krystal an early love of learning, teaching her daughter reading and geography long before she entered school.
Three-year-old Krystal’s passion for medicine and helping others was ignited when her baby brother, Krystian died. As Pam explained to Krystal that her brother was stillborn, Krystal made a decision she has worked hard ever since to achieve, “Mommy, I want to be a doctor. I want to find out why Krystian died and make sure no other baby dies the way he died,” said Krystal. She is currently pursuing her dream as a second semester medical student at Ross University School of Medicine in Dominica, West Indies.
All along the way, Pam reaffirmed the importance of a good education. “Your brain is what will get you somewhere,”she said. And both Pam and Krystal credit Tri-County Scholarship Fund with paving the road to her educational success. “Thanks to the kindness of the donors, I was able to complete nine years at St. Andrew the Apostle School. Their help paved the way for me to continue at Immaculate Heart Academy. It was an excellent educational foundation that helped me achieve my bachelor’s degree in biology from the University of Miami.” Said mother Pam, “Krystal was on the honor roll every quarter in high school and made Dean’s list in college. She sets high standards for herself…that’s the kind of person Krystal is.”
Krystal has been a major influence on her younger brother and sister’s educational and career aspirations. Sister Krystyna will be attending the University of Arizona in the Fall as a biology major with the goal of becoming a physician and brother Krystoffer intends to become a dentist.
Pam will always be grateful to Tri-County for their help with her children’s educations. “Thank you thank you thank you for allowing me to keep all 3 of my children in good schools…. they will never disappoint.” She adds, “I tell my kids every day, don’t keep stretching your hands to take. You need to give back. Pay it forward.” They all seem determined to do just that.
Growing up in East Orange, with his single father, Elijah Shumate learned early the importance of determination, persistence and self-reliance. “My dad was tough on me but in a good way. His expectations are really high.” Maurice Shumate placed a high value on education, and Elijah thrived in high school.
He loved learning and playing football at Paterson Catholic. But when that school closed, Elijah feared he had “nowhere to go”. He had offers to attend several schools, but couldn’t afford the tuition. That is, until his high school football coach and mentor, New Jersey State Assemblyman, Benjie Wimberly, stepped in to help. “I didn’t have the funds so he helped me to apply for a Tri-County scholarship, which enabled me to go to Don Bosco, and that allowed me to get a good education and play football for a great private school that was #1 in the nation.”
While in high school, Elijah worked at a youth camp during the summers and volunteered at the local YMCA. At that time, his football rankings were staggeringly impressive; he was rated 37th player nationally on SuperPrep Elite 50 squad; was listed seventh nationally among defensive backs; and ranked third-best player in New Jersey. He was All American, All State and All County. Because of his combined athletic prowess and academic success he is currently enjoying a full scholarship to the University of Notre Dame and is completing his sophomore year.
A Sociology and Film, Theater and Television major, Elijah is striving to build his professional network with a goal of acquiring a summer internship in a business or broadcasting setting. Eventually he wants to combine business with sports and pursue a career in marketing or sports television.
Elijah’s father continues to offer advice and inspiration through phone calls and frequent texts. “My dad makes sure I keep working hard and that I don’t get lazy and don’t become content with where I am. He still helps me out…I owe everything to him,” Elijah asserts.
Elijah is extremely grateful to be where he is and is determined to continue to give back. “Thank you Tri-County for everything – all the support and all the love. I’m going to continue to do what I’m doing to make everybody proud,” he says.