RBR SOURCE Honors Community Partners &Volunteerism at its 15 Year Anniversary Reception
Over $40,000 in scholarships awarded to RBR students
Its mission is “To remove all obstacles that impede the success of young people in the community.” At its 15-year award reception, the Red Bank Regional (RBR) SOURCE celebrated many of the reasons it has done precisely that. Claire Casey of 180 Turning Lives Around was honored with The SOURCE’s Community Partnership Award for the work she has done in partnership with The SOURCE’s Boys 2 Men program which encourages responsibility and accountability in all areas of young men’s lives. Another successful community partnership, the Teen Outreach Program, TOP®, a nationally recognized model in youth development, is operated by The SOURCE in partnership with the Central Jersey Family Health Consortium. RBR senior Jorge Benevides was honored with the SOURCE’s Outstanding Service Award for his volunteer group facilitation of the TOP® program among his peers. Source Clinical Supervisor, Stacy Liss and bi-lingual clinician, Marisol Mondaca were honored with 15-year service awards.
SOURCE Director Suzanne Keller welcomed the many community partners, RBR students and their parents to the 15th anniversary event stating that over $40,000 of scholarship money was awarded to RBR students through these partnerships and the fundraising efforts of the dedicated SOURCE Foundation. Ms. Keller also credited RBR’s Principal Risa Clay for having the vision in establishing The SOURCE, RBR’s School Based Youth Services Program 15 years ago.
Mrs. Clay responded that Ms. Keller along with her clinicians and staff “work so hard to bring services to every student in the RBR building.” She added, “What makes The SOURCE so special is they clearly communicate to students that they believe in them and their ability to achieve.”
One of the programs that the SOURCE assumed five years ago, which was also founded by Mrs. Clay, was the Andrew Kroon Memorial Scholarship Award which enables Hispanic students, who have achieved academic success despite great obstacles, to attend Brookdale College. Two of those students, Itzel Perez and Carlos Aparicio, who took advantage of the scholarship and graduated from Brookdale College, were also celebrated. Both have distinguished themselves at Brookdale and are currently pursuing their baccalaureate degree at New Jersey City University in Jersey City. They were gratified to learn that their benefactor, The Kroon family, would be extending their support toward their continuing education.
Carlos Aparicio brought tears to the collective eyes of the audience when he told Mr. Kroon, “Like batman or superman, you are my childhood hero; that is what you mean to me. I benefited from this wonderful, wonderful opportunity, and thank you for making my academic journey possible.”
Also announced were the 2015 Kroon scholarship recipients. Daysi Arevalo Avalos, Brenda Codallos, Patricia Martinez and Miguel Valdez Sanchez, all RBR seniors who will be attending Brookdale College in September thanks to the scholarship.
Mr. Kroon responded, “Mary Jane and I had six children. Most went on to graduate school; none have worked as hard as Carlos and Itzel or the kids in this program. This country was made from immigrants and you are the future of this country. We are so happy to play a part in your education.” He added, “This scholarship was named for our son, Andrew, who loved everything Hispanic. I know he is here with us this evening and he is even more proud of you than we are.”
Additionally, scholarships were awarded by the Latino American Association, The Source and in memorial of RBR students Riyadh’na Farrow and Albert Martin among others.