Committed to celebrating the achievements of established Garden State natives as well as those on their journey to success, the New Jersey Hall of Fame (NJHOF) invites Garden State high school students who will graduate in 2019 to apply for its Arete Scholarship.
Recipients of the Arete Scholarship are youth who demonstrate a sense of Jersey pride and willingness to go above and beyond the call of duty. Honoring those who embody exemplary qualities such as moral character, a commitment to their community, and academic engagement, the $5,000 scholarship will be awarded to a deserving male and female student, who will be recognized at the NJHOF’s annual induction ceremony.
For those unfamiliar with the term, Arete is a concept that Plato, Socrates and Aristotle identified that encompasses virtue and excellence in the face of adversity. With that in mind, the NJHOF seeks applicants who strive to pursue their passions and go on to realize their dreams, regardless of the challenges they may experience on the path to greatness.
Honoring New Jersey’s greatest achievers, the NJHOF inducted 17 new honorees into the Hall of Fame in 2018, including Steven Van Zandt, Buddy Valastro, Steve Forbes, and astronauts Mark and Scott Kelly.
Additionally, the NJHOF presented its 2017 Unsung Heroes award to Middlesex County surrogate Kevin Hoagland. Faced with a devastating injury as a teen, the New Brunswick native went on to start the Central Jersey Spinal Cord Association in his hometown – and raise more than $1,500,000 for research at The Spinal Cord Injury Project at Rutgers University, The Miami Project to Cure Paralysis and the Christopher Reeve Paralysis Association.
That excellence of character coupled with the ability to go above and beyond, particularly when faced with hardship, is at the very heart of the NJHOF Arete Scholarship.
This year’s scholarship winners, Mikayla Simanski and Mark Steinberg, have distinguished themselves as New Jerseyans who embody the meaning of Arete.
After the death of her father by suicide, Mikayla became an Ambassador for the Peyton Heart Project, a nonprofit that raises awareness for suicide prevention and anti-bullying on a global level. She continues to educate others on the importance of suicide prevention and brings widespread awareness to the project.
At the time of his application, Mark Steinberg had served as an EMT on the Verona Rescue Squad for two years and volunteered with the Beach Haven First Aid Squad whenever his family would take trips to Long Beach Island. He was also a member of the LHS Concert Band for four years and the LHS Marching Band for three.
“Through the Arete Scholarship, we’re encouraging students to follow their passions with character and dedication, regardless of the difficulties that they encounter along the way,” said Jon F. Hanson, chairman of the NJHOF. “We’re committed to helping children in our state to achieve their goals, and our inductees continue to serve as inspiring examples for them.”
As the Hall of Fame’s website states, “The people we celebrate have overcome every imaginable obstacle and challenge. They have survived war, overcome the bleakness of poverty, conquered fear and disability, and rebounded from untold rejections and failure.” Their stories serve as inspiration to residents throughout the Garden State who are charting their own course toward greatness, often in the face of overwhelming difficulty.
For high school seniors who wish to pursue the Arete Scholarship, the application asks students to answer questions about overcoming hardships, what Arete means to them, activities, community service, and more. It can be found online at NJHOF’s website. The application deadline is March 17, 2019.
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