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    • 39th Annual Awards Celebration Raises a Record-Breaking $2 million

      Otober 29, 2020 - Tri-County Scholarship Fund raised a record-breaking $2 million in scholarship funds through its 39th Annual Awards Celebration on October 26, the organization’s first virtual event, livestreamed to over 1,200 guests, friends and supporters. Fulfilling the mission of Tri-County, the scholarships will go to financially disadvantaged Kindergarten - 12th grade students in Morris, Passaic and Sussex counties so they can obtain quality, values-based educations at accredited private elementary and secondary schools. This year's virtual gala honored three distinguished members of the New Jersey community. The Hall of Fame Award was presented to Mr. John Howard, Chairman and CEO of Truist Insurance Holdings who was introduced by Mr. Paul Krump, Vice Chair of Chubb Group, Global Underwriting and Claims. The Leadership Award was presented to Trish O’Keefe, President of Morristown Medical Center, who was introduced by Mr. Brian Gragnolati , CEO of Atlantic Heath System. The annual Making A Difference Award was presented to Bob and Sue Sameth, multi-decade supporters of Tri-County Scholarship Fund, who were introduced by Fr. Brian Sullivan, Pastor of the Church of Christ the King in New Vernon where the Sameths have been parishioners for 45 years. The Most Reverend Kevin Sweeney, Bishop of Paterson, offered the evening’s invocation, and introduced the featured student speaker, Tri-County Scholarship recipient and Paterson resident, Guadalupe Aguilar, Mary Help of Christians Academy high school senior, and Senior Class President. After her moving speech, Guadalupe was presented with the new “Bishop Kevin Sweeney Tri-County Scholarship.” Dozens of Tri-County students and their families tuned in to view the event celebrating the 56 Tri-County partner schools that all opened for the school year with safe social distancing and COVID health precautions. Celebrity athlete appearances were made by past Tri-County Scholarship recipient, Tim Thomas, Paterson Catholic graduate, Villanova basketball star, and NBA star, by NY Jets Quarterback Sam Darnold, and by Jared Stroud, current # 8 midfielder on the NY Red Bulls soccer team. “A highlight of the evening was the $100,000 challenge donation from an anonymous donor that was matched by donors texting their support from home, via their cell phones,” said Prudence Pigott, President of Tri-County Scholarship Fund. “The need for scholarships is particularly great this year, as the COVID pandemic has caused many inner-city families to lose their jobs and small businesses. We are thrilled and grateful to our outstanding event honorees and to our generous supporters who answered this need with their exceptional donations.” Remarked honoree John Howard, “My wife Fran and I have been pleased to support this great cause and to witness the accomplishments of the Tri-County scholarship students as they go to college and careers.” John and Fran Howard, as well as 2020 honorees Bob and Sue Sameth, are Knights and Dames of the Order of Malta, a 900 year old Catholic lay religious order dedicated to helping the poor and the sick. Honoree, Trish O’Keefe is a graduate of DePaul Catholic High School. O’Keefe and Morristown Medical Center have a long history of supporting Tri-County Scholarship Fund and introducing scholarship students to career opportunities in the healthcare field. For the current school year Tri-County Scholarship Fund has awarded over 720 scholarships for financially disadvantaged Kindergarten – 12th grade students to attend 56 different partner schools. This includes $500,000 in Emergency scholarships for families hard hit by the COVID crisis. Over the past 39 years, $32 million has been raised by the organization to fund more than 33,000 scholarships awarded to needy children. Scholarship recipients have gone on to the top colleges in New Jersey and throughout the country. "While Tri-County was able to fund scholarships for 720 students this school year, we have another 2,000 students still on the waiting list,” said Tri-County trustee and event Co-chair Marc Adee, CEO of Crum and Forster. “By helping one child at a time, we can create an enormous ripple effect, touching the family, the community, and improving the lives of generations to come."

    • Joshua Guardia, 2012 Tri-County Alum, Medical Student

      It was his class in anatomy and physiology in 2012, senior year at DePaul Catholic High School, that first peaked Joshua’s interest in medicine. Thanks to that experience, he decided to major in Biology as a pre-med student at the University of Scranton. After graduating in 2016 with a Bachelor of Science degree, he was determined to become a physician. While he prepared for the MCATs (Medical College Admission Test), he took a full-time job as a nurse’s aide in the intensive care unit of a Wilkes-Barre, PA hospital. During this time, he also served as a Spanish translator for many patients. He became increasingly enamored of primary care as he worked closely with every member of the medical team. “Many patients were from immigrant families,” said Joshua, “and I learned a great deal about their lives. They reminded me of my own family’s Peruvian roots and what they had to overcome. It was impressive.” In 2017, he moved back to New Jersey to become a medical scribe for an orthopedic surgeon for a year, another assignment he totally enjoyed. Each new job served to further his determination to obtain his medical degree. Hoping to increase his chances to be accepted at medical school, he attended Rutgers Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences 2018-2020 and earned a master’s in biology. That summer he did a summer internship at Pfizer as a Medical Affairs Associate. Determined to succeed the third time he took the MCATs, he achieved the scores he wanted and was accepted by Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School in Piscataway. Five months into his freshman year, Joshua now feels he has a handle on medical school and is looking forward to completing his medical degree. He intends to specialize in primary care or sports medicine. Said Joshua, ““Tri-County allowed me to receive a well-rounded education at DePaul, which sparked my interest in medicine and enabled me to be successful at the University of Scranton. I want to say thank you to the Tri-County donors, who gave me an invaluable opportunity. The Tri-County Scholarship Fund also has given my sister Izabella, now a senior at DePaul, the same opportunity. Our family truly appreciates everything you have done for us.”

    • Monica Pope, 2008 Tri-County Alumna, Committed to Giving Back

      It’s not easy balancing a demanding full-time career while also becoming a successful entrepreneur, but somehow Tri-County alumna Monica Pope accomplishes it with grace, style, and passion. Monica is a 2008 graduate of Paterson Catholic High School. Her attendance was supported by the Tri-County Scholarship Fund, awarding her a scholarship each year for 4 years. She went on to Fairleigh Dickinson University on a 4-year Hennessey Scholarship, a program established by Tri-County’s co-founder Ed Hennessey in collaboration with FDU. Committed to giving back to her community, her first job after graduation was helping abused children and families through the Child Protection and Permanency Department, a division of the NJ Department of Children and Families. “I loved it,” says Monica, “because I was helping protect vulnerable children and families, often through the court system.” As a strong proponent of self-improvement, she attended FDU at night to earn her master’s degree in public administration. Six years later, being very knowledgeable about the court system, she took a new job as Court Administrator for the Essex County Superior Court. She now works closely with attorneys and judges, facilitating efficient services and fair treatment for defendants. At an early age Monica also grew a passion for becoming a real estate entrepreneur. Growing up, she experienced first-hand the challenges her family faced in their small painting business. She put her combined interests in business and real estate to use when she was just 23, buying a small rental property in Passaic County, NJ. Two years later she bought a rental property in Ohio. She gradually purchased other rental properties. Says Monica, “I try to be an amazing landlord and give tenants great quality. I manage my properties myself and try to help my community. I recently prioritized renting a 4-unit property to community victims whose homes had burned down.” Monica continues, “I want to give back in whatever way I can. People help you when they see you trying, whatever your circumstances. I really want to find my voice as a woman to talk to others about empowerment – to be an instrument to inspire them. 'Education is the reason I can do what I do. I never could have done what I’m doing without my education, and Tri-County helped me get that. I’d like to say thank you to all Tri-County donors for your support!”

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    • Our Impact | Tri-County Scholarship Fund | New Jersey nonprofit

      Our Impact By the Numbers Student Outcomes Testimonials TRI-COUNTY is a game-changer TRI-COUNTY by the numbers 100 % 720+ $31.5 MM 33,500 High School graduation rate again in 2020 Scholarships awarded in 2020/21 Total dollars of scholarships awarded since 1981 Total number of scholarships awarded since 1981 But still there are 1900 MORE equally deserving children on this year's waiting list. STUDENT OUTCOMES we measure our success by theirs Read More Alumni Success Stories BEST WISHES to the Class of 2020 All 58 Class of 2020 Tri-County scholarship recipients have graduated and are entering college in the fall. Our students have indicated their interest in pursuing majors in Engineering, Computer Science, Nursing, Pre-med, health science, business, finance and accounting. We are beaming with pride and commend them on their hard work. VIDEO TESTIMONIALS that showcase our impact “Education is the simple answer to so many of the fixable problems in our country and in our state. Tri-County makes that quality education possible for the most financially vulnerable children. In this way Tri-County is a “game-changer” – not only for the children, but for all of us who care about our community, and who want to make a meaningful difference.” — Prudence Pigott, President TCSF ​

    • About Us | Tri-County Scholarship Fund | New Jersey

      About Tri-County The Visionaries Leadership Young Professionals Donors Partner Schools Staff OUR MISSION and how we fulfill it Tri-County Scholarship Fund provides opportunity for financially needy New Jersey children - without regard to race or religion - by offering scholarships to better, safer and values-based independent schools that help students to reach their full potential. OUR MISSION: Why Tri-County? Play Video Facebook Twitter Pinterest Tumblr Copy Link Link Copied

    • Contact | Tri-County Scholarship Fund

      Contact Tri-County 14 West Main Street Mendham, NJ 07945 973•984•9600 Federal Tax ID # 22-2354475 Tri-County Scholarship Fund is recognized as a 501(c)(3) charitable organization by the Internal Revenue Service. Tri-County Staff Prudence Pigott President Send Email Drawn to the organization’s mission since attending her first Tri-County event, and becoming a trustee in 2014, Prudence currently serves as President of Tri-County Scholarship Fund. Prudence has a background in philanthropic fundraising, for Morristown Medical Center and for education related causes, including for Oak Knoll and Delbarton Schools and for the Princeton University Parents’ Fund. Previously Prudence worked as an independent college guidance counselor, helping high school students to realize their goals. Prior to raising four children with her husband, Terry, Prudence worked in Fixed Income investments with Bankers Trust, and as a marketing executive with Ogilvy and Mather Advertising in New York, principally on the American Express account. Prudence graduated with a BA from Stanford University. She holds an MBA and a Certificate in College Guidance Counselling from UCLA. says Prudence. “Education is the answer to so many of the problems in our country," "Tri-County scholarships fulfill the promise of American opportunity, and reinforce for each child that they matter; that we believe in them. In this way Tri-County is a very real and powerful force of positive change for our community and for our state. For me, it is also the most personally rewarding cause I can think of." Michael Mund Office Manager & Scholarship Fund Administrator Send Email Mike’s responsibilities include the review of all scholarship applications and distribution of scholarship awards, working directly with Tri-County families and partner schools. Mike is also responsible for the Tri-County donor management database and software, using data collection and analysis to assist the President. Mike graduated from Rutgers University in 2004 with a BA in Statistics/Math and has been with Tri-County Scholarship Fund since then, assuming increasing responsibility over his 15+ year career. Mike and his wife, Carmen, have two young sons. Says Mike, “Tri-County is an important way to help New Jersey families with the greatest financial need. We get to know these families, and we know the schools. I believe in the difference a quality education can make and the opportunities that it can open.” Minnie Simon Events and Programs Manager Send Email Carminia (Minnie) Simon’s role at TCSF is Events Management and Administration. Born and raised in the Philippines, she graduated university with a degree in Economics. She worked in banking in New York, then left the USA with her family and lived in Saudi Arabia, Poland and Brazil. While in Sao Paulo she became involved in her church outreach supporting various poor areas called favelas. ​ Returning to the States and after taking some time to settle her household, Minnie looked for ways to help others. In her time abroad Minnie has seen how difficult it is for people to improve both their own and their families’ lives due to a lack of education. She passionately believes in TCSF’s mission to provide scholastic opportunities for those less economically advantaged to enable them to pursue their dreams. ​ As she puts it, “There is something magical in this country wherein opportunities are given to the economically disadvantaged. All it takes is one generation to turn the tide”. Dave Snyder Grants Coordinator Send Email Dave Snyder develops grant funding for Tri-County from private, family, and corporate foundations. He brings a wealth of grant development experience consulting dozens of NY/NJ education and health-focused non-profits. After earning a BA in Sociology, Dave worked with low-income families for 4 years in rural Venezuela, the Peruvian Amazon, and South Bronx. After acquiring a MA in Communications from NYU, he managed client accounts for communications groups for several years serving corporations and agencies in the pharmaceutical, medical device, and technology arenas. says Dave, “What attracts me about Tri-County,” “is that we provide a long-term solution to poverty that has proven to work outstandingly well. Supporters become increasingly committed as they learn about Tri-County’s long-term impact.” Dave and his wife, Laurel, a public speaking consultant, enjoy working closely with Tri-County alumni helping them effectively communicate their message. The Snyders have 2 adult children. Kim Lopez Publicity & Digital Media Director Send Email Kim Lopez worked in the field of engineering for corporations over several years before she started to work extensively as a volunteer for non-profits while raising her family. Having a natural affinity for technology as well as communication, she uses her strong design, logic and writing skills to help Tri-County create a wide range of messaging and information for the web, social media, and print. says Kim. “Education was always a hallmark of my upbringing,” “I was lucky to live in an area where I could attend safe, caring schools that provided a clear path for my achievement. I fully understand that this is not an option for low-income families who do not have the same financial means. I want to help provide that option.” ​ Kim has a BS degree in electrical engineering from Rutgers University. She and her husband Jorge have four children. Jody Varvaro Administrative Support and Project Coordinator Send Email Jody Varvaro was a banker for 17 years before exiting to raise her family. During that time she volunteered extensively at her sons' schools and when the time was right, reentered the workforce as a production coordinator and inside sales representative for a local advertising publication. At Tri-County Scholarship Fund she is the Administrative Support and Project Coordinator. "Education is the key to changing society and helping the world. We have seen how education has impacted our own lives and empowered us to share our knowledge with others, and give back to our communities and society. Tri-County scholarships give students the opportunity to acquire a quality education so that they, too, can share their knowledge with others and make their local communities, society and the world a better place." Jody has a BA in Government from Smith College. She and her husband Charles have two adult sons.

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