Also accepting donations to support the environmental scholarship fund
Hackensack Riverkeeper, the citizen-steward of the Hackensack River Watershed is pleased to announce it is accepting applications for the 2019 Ron Vellekamp Environmental Scholarship. Now in its nineteenth year, the program named in honor of the late Ridgefield, NJ science teacher and founding Riverkeeper Trustee, helps support college-bound high school seniors who excel academically and who have a strong commitment environmental protection.
Seniors at sixty-six high schools in Bergen, Hudson and Rockland Counties are eligible to be nominated by a teacher or guidance counselor for the award. Applications must be postmarked no later than Earth Day, April 22, 2019. A panel of Hackensack Riverkeeper Trustees and staffers led by Captains Bill Sheehan and Hugh Carola will review each application and consider the students’ academic achievements, environmental extracurricular activities and future plans. The winner of the $1000 unrestricted award will be announced by June 1, 2019.
Additional information and full application criteria are available at www.hackensackriverkeeper.org by emailing Carola at [email protected]; or calling him at 201-968-0808 x102.
One requirement that must be met in order for any student to be considered is that all applicants live within the 210-square mile Hackensack River Watershed and/or attend a school within that region. A list of watershed municipalities is available on Hackensack Riverkeeper’s website. For those residing in bi-watershed communities like Jersey City and Paramus, NJ or Ramapo, NY nominators are cautioned to ensure a student’s eligibility before submitting an application. Copies of the scholarship criteria have already been sent to the Guidance Directors at all fifty-six schools within the region.
Hackensack Riverkeeper’s 2018 Vellekamp Scholar was Amir Mustafa of West New York, NJ who is currently attending Stevens Institute of Technology in Hoboken where he’s studying environmental engineering. In his application essay, Mustafa, whose grandparents emigrated from Palestine to the U.S.A. via Cuba, wrote of his Hudson County upbringing where there is one tree planted on my concrete neighborhood block, “Against all odds, I DO care. My future classes as an environmental engineer will allow me to build a better world – starting in my hometown”.
“Inspired engineers can – and will – put into practice all of the Best Practices for which we advocate,” said RIverkeeper Captain Bill Sheehan. “Everything from wetlands restoration to proper stormwater management to renewable energy development relies on talented professionals who are willing to embrace 21st Century mindsets instead of relying on ‘the same old same old’. I’m sure Amir will be just such a professional.”
Those without a high school senior in the family but who support their local best and brightest students can participate in the program by making a targeted donation to the scholarship fund. Donations to the Ron Vellekamp Environmental Scholarship are tax-deductible and can be made by check or online. Fully 100% of all such donations will go to support the fund.