Austin Dorflinger is currently a senior at Hunterdon Central Regional High School as well as in his second year at Hunterdon County Poly Tech in the automotive technology program. Austin has a passion for small engine repairs and helps his friends and family with any repairs they need. As Austin pursues a career as an automotive technician, he is following in his father’s footsteps. From age 10 he helped his dad—who owned and operated a repair shop—and has fond memories of rotating tires and changing the oil changes at his side. Austin is currently working for the at the Spruce Run Reservoir and will attend Universal Technical Institute (UTI) in the fall.
Mary Kate Merenich is pursuing a medical degree at Duke University. Through her personal experience with vision loss and many ophthalmologist appointments, Mary Kate intends to dedicate her career to helping others with vision issues. She faces challenges undeterred and embraces her vision difficulties while tackling all obstacles with a deep sense of problem solving and understanding. Mary Kate enjoys running track and loves to dispel the notion that visual impairment is an impediment to doing what you love.
Michael Gibbs plans to attend Middlesex County College to pursue a career as an English teacher. His experiences in school have fueled his desire to pursue a better opportunity for future learners, and Michael found a love for reading, writing and technology along the way. His advanced technology skills have even enabled him to teach his teachers through remote learning using programs such as Zoom and FlipGrid. Through TCNJ’s Future Educators program, Michael also attended the virtual NJEA Convention in November 2020 to further his knowledge of teaching as a career.
Shreya Shivakumar will be attending Barnard College of Columbia University as a political science major with an economics minor. Shreya is currently the founder and president of the nonprofit Nourish America, which provides allergy-friendly food to people in need. Aware of others’ struggles, Shreya is passionate to offer assistance to families facing food insecurity, creating the nonprofit. Her goals include becoming a lawyer, as well as a congresswoman to have an impact on public policy and equity.