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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!”
- Women of Achievement Luncheon | TCSFund.org
Women of Achievement Learn More about Tri-County and Freedom Scholars Rescheduled for March 15, 2021 The 8th Annual Women of Achievement Luncheon will be a virtual live-streamed event. Stay tuned for more information. 2021 Honorees View All Past Honorees View Related News Frances D. O'Brien Senior Vice President Chubb Group North America Personal Risk Services Division President, Alina Habba,Esq. Managing Partner Habba, Madaio & Associates Mary Ellen Clyne, PhD President and CEO Clara Maass Medical Center Elisa Charters President Latina Surge National Event Committee Joseph Gonnella Co-Chair Boy Scouts of America Jessica Ortiz, Esq. Co-Chair MoloLamken LLP Prudence Pigott President Tri-County Scholarship Fund Paul Boudreau Peapack Gladstone Bank Tammy Butler Cairn University Cathleen Callahan Bank of America Merrill Lynch Kris Donovan Fiddler’s Elbow Country Club Laurie Georgen Laura Forbes Kristy Goulart Katherine Gargiulo Gargiulo Produce Sally Glick Sobel & Co., LLC Fran Howard Anne Krump College of St. Benedict Rebecca Levy, Esq. Summit Medical Group Nancy Lottinville, Esq. Prime Law Rita Marino Kathy Murphy Wells Fargo Yvonne Previdi Annie Seelaus R. Seelaus & Co., Inc. Heather Suarez Milber Makris Plousaidis & Seiden, LLP Susie Waldele Women of Achievement News Record-breaking $140,000 raised for Freedom Scholars 27 Write a comment Tri-County Scholarship Fund To Honor Four Extraordinary Women at 6th Annual Women of Achievement Aw 30 Write a comment Tri-County Scholarship Fund Honors Four Extraordinary Women at 6th Annual Women of Achievement Award 13 Write a comment 6TH ANNUAL WOMEN OF ACHIEVEMENT AWARDS LUNCHEON PHOTO GALLERY 18 Write a comment
- Pierce | TCSFund.org
In Memory of Frederick C. Pierce father of Tri-County Treasurer, Fred Pierce Tri-County Scholarship Fund sends our deepest condolences to the family and friends of Frederick C. Pierce and our gratitude for choosing our non-profit to honor his memory. Thank you for your donation. All donations made through this page will be acknowledged to: Fred‘s wife, Carole Pierce of Naples, Florida Fred‘s son, Fred Pierce, Treasurer of Tri-County Scholarship Fund Why Tri-County? Play Video 5 Reasons to Give Play Video 2018 Tri-County Scholarship Fund overview Play Video Why Tri-County? Watch Now 5 Reasons to Give Play Video Share Whole Channel This Video Facebook Twitter Pinterest Tumblr Copy Link Link Copied Share Channel Info Close
- Natalie Persaud
Tri-County Yearbook Natalie Persaud Paramus Catholic High School '19 National Honor Society and International Language Honor Society "Knowing that Tri-County has been behind me - this has given me the confidence to persevere and know that I will succeed in college."