Reggie Cameron, a Tri-County 2013 alumnus, is an accomplished scholar and athlete who started at Georgetown University last fall on full scholarship. At 6 foot 8 inches tall, this past year he was considered by sports professionals as one of the best basketball players in New Jersey and ranked number 68 in the country by ESPN. Before accepting Georgetown’s offer, he was pursued by some of the country’s top basketball teams including Connecticut, North Carolina, North Carolina State, Seton Hall, Miami and Michigan.
Add to his athletic skills his academic achievements as a Tri-County scholarship recipient, his close-knit group of family and friends, his private school preparation, and you begin to get a more complete picture of Reggie, the young man. Rich Garibell, principal at Hudson Catholic agrees, “He’s humble and thankful for everything everyone does for him and I’m certain the opportunity’s going to present itself for him to give back in his lifetime.” Said Reggie, “Tri-County has helped me out so much over the past four years; who knows where I’d be right now without them. I know for a fact that there are many kids who are stuck going to schools they don’t want to be at or that can’t give them the resources they need. I’m so appreciative of the people that made this possible for me.”
Nick Mariniello, Head Basketball Coach and Athletics Director at Hudson Catholic High School, got to know Reggie particularly well coaching him for 3 years. During Nick’s father’s terminal illness, Nick relied on Reggie for consistency and team morale. Said Mariniello, “I would equate our success last year to Reggie being a leader. This resulted in our team going 29 and 2 and winning back to back county championships.”
This past summer Reggie completed 3 college courses, maintaining a 3.0 average, to get a jump start on his academic career at Georgetown. This commitment does not surprise Coach Mariniello. “Reggie was a very solid student who took pride in academics. He wanted to challenge himself and made sure that he was in advanced classes and honors classes.”
Adds Mariniello, “Usually a student is better off when they leave a high school, but I believe Hudson Catholic is a better place because of Reggie Cameron. I think with the way he conducts himself, being a person of very high character, he was an ambassador for the school and the school is growing a lot because of what Reggie did.”
Even as a young child, Tri-County alumna Tecianna Ross knew what she wanted to do with her life. “I’ve always loved medicine and have been fascinated with healthcare,” said Tecianna. Her interest quickly grew when her grandmother became seriously ill after knee replacement surgery. “Even though I was young, I became her advocate and learned a lot of medical terminology,” reported Tecianna.
Tecianna is on track to graduate soon from Montclair State University with a degree in public health and double minors in pre-med and nutrition. Her goal is to earn both a second Bachelor’s and a Master’s degree in Nursing. “It’s a lot of hard work and time management,” she said, “but I want to be a good example for my little sister, who is now interested in science. And it’s really important for me to give back – that’s one of the ways I can repay my debt for what was given to me. Even though my mother, a single parent, worked hard raising the two of us by working two jobs, I couldn’t have attended the school I did without Tri-County’s help.”
And give back she does. Besides attending school full time, maintaining high grades and a partial scholarship, she is involved in activities that reflect her values and commitment to helping others. She is a Community Assistant in her MSU residence hall and participates in “Active Minds”, a national organization empowering students to speak openly about mental health issues.
She also serves as an Emergency Medical Technician at Elmwood Park Ambulance Corps. Melissa Cunyas, Executive Board member on the Ambulance Corps, has known and ridden with Tecianna since 2010. Calling Tecianna “hard working and dedicated”, Cunyas explained, “I think she can handle any medical situation. Last year we had a big fire and had to provide medical treatment to 125 firemen and she had just come home from college and came right down and helped. We were out there until 4:30 in the morning.”
Through it all, Tecianna remains grateful and humble. “Thank you from the bottom of my heart to Tri-County and its supporters because without them, who knows if this all would have happened – they provided me with scholarships that allowed me to go through a school that always advocated having faith in yourself, having faith in God and believing you can be more than what the world expects of you. My school education is a constant reminder to finish up what I’ve started.”