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CNBNews Spotlight: Widener Distributes HS Leadership Awards

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CHESTER, PA (03/30/2023)-- Widener University, in partnership with WCAU-TV NBC10 and Telemundo62, is proud to recognize the 104 Widener University High School Leadership Awards winners for 2023. Over more than a decade, the university has recognized more than 1,400 students from high schools in Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Delaware who demonstrated leadership within their communities.

The program recognized 104 students today from high schools throughout the region for their abilities to stand up for what they believe in, speak out on behalf of others and make an impact in their communities. They included:

Jatin Punjabi of Galloway, NJ, 08205. Punjabi, who attends Absegami High School, has made a difference by founding the Future Business Leaders of America Club and organizing walks, donation drives and sporting events to raise awareness and funds for organizations and causes in need.

Evangelina "Eva" Kim of Egg Harbor Township, NJ, 08234. Kim, who attends Atlantic Christian School, has made a difference by walking with conviction and modeling the highest ideals to her fellow classmates while serving as the Chaplain on Student Council and a member of the Worship team.

Jordan Roessler of Marlton, NJ, 08053. Roessler, who attends Bishop Eustace Preparatory School, has made a difference by exhibiting a deep commitment to service and regularly participating in Glamour Gals & Pals which seeks to address elder isolation and provide companionship to senior citizens.

Isabella Basile of Bordentown, NJ, 08505. Basile, who attends Bordentown Regional High School, has made a difference by demonstrating strength in the face of adversity by connecting other students with mental health resources after the loss of a peer to suicide.

Kshema Patel of Vineland, NJ, 08360. Patel, who attends Buena Regional High School, has made a difference by welcoming and being a resource to new students as a Buena Ambassador and building school morale as Treasurer of the Executive Board.

Ashley Cabrera of Edgewater Park, NJ, 08010. Cabrera, who attends Burlington City High School, has made a difference by striving to meet her academic goals and volunteering her time to promote Antwan's Law, a measure to help keep the students of Burlington City School District safe when walking to and from school.

Averi LaPata of Hainesport, NJ, 08036. LaPata, who attends Camden Catholic High School, has made a difference by serving as President of the Lemon Club, which is associated with Alex's Lemonade Stand, to raise funds for and awareness of pediatric cancer, and launching a Kindness Campaign to spread joy and promote small acts of kindness.

Amanda Tague of Sicklerville, NJ, 08081. Tague, who attends Camden County Technical School - Gloucester, has made a difference by being an integral member of the National Technical Honor Society, Campus Courier and the many other organizations she's involved in, excelling in her school's video production program and always leading by example.

Daniel Leonard of Marlton, NJ, 08053. Leonard, who attends Cherokee High School, has made a difference by launching a podcast, selling branded merchandise and donating the proceeds to local recreation centers to fund underprivileged youth participation in sports.

Joseph "Joey" Shepard of Cinnaminson, NJ, 08077. Shepard, who attends Cinnaminson High School, has made a difference by Standing up for the needs of his fellow peers and championing those struggling with their mental health by writing heartfelt letters of support.

Annabelle Scott of Mullica Hill, NJ, 08062. Scott, who attends Clearview Regional High School, has made a difference by bettering her school community in her position on Student Council, mentoring at-risk youth and helping plan fundraising events in support of families with medical and financial needs.

Amylia Tra of Camden, NJ, 08105. Tra, who attends Collingswood High School, has made a difference by running the Social Justice Club, leading important initiatives including voter registration drives and restarting the Black Student Union on campus.

Sumeyye Bicer of Bridgeton, NJ, 08302. Bicer, who attends Cumberland Regional High School, has made a difference by using her voice as a force for good and consistently standing up for what is right through her involvement in her school's Justice Studies Academy and Political Science Club.

Gwyneth Fyke of Delran, NJ, 08075. Fyke, who attends Delran High School, has made a difference by leading with kindness, empathy and patience, serving as a faculty-nominated Peer Leader and earning the respect of her teachers, coaches and peers through her quiet ability to encourage and lift up others.

Samantha Reed of Egg Harbor Township, NJ, 08234. Reed, who attends Egg Harbor Township High School, has made a difference by supporting children in her community by designing cards for kids going through cancer treatment and volunteering with an adaptive soccer team, teaching kids with special needs the basics of the sport.

Jacob Garrett of Deptford, NJ, 08096. Garrett, who attends Gateway Regional High School, has made a difference by achieving success in and out of the classroom, participating in a mission trip to Puerto Rico and volunteering at his church.

Samantha Tranz of Glassboro, NJ, 08028. Tranz, who attends Glassboro High School, has made a difference by leading quietly yet fiercely, going above and beyond to show up for her classmates and helping others shine.

Maya Beringer of Gloucester City, NJ, 08030. Beringer, who attends Gloucester City High School, has made a difference by displaying unmatched resiliency in the face of health challenges, excelling academically and captaining two varsity sports teams a junior.

Brady Eagan of Haddonfield, NJ, 08108. Eagan, who attends Haddon Township High School, has made a difference by making his school a more equitable place for all, organizing community events and leading the Herren Project Club, which raises awareness of the struggles of substance abuse and encourages healthy living.

Sydney Rudder of Haddonfield, NJ, 08033. Rudder, who attends Haddonfield Memorial High School, has made a difference by enthusiastically participating in athletics and student government, volunteering in her community and displaying empathy in the way she leads others.

Thomas Farren of Linwood, NJ, 08221. Farren, who attends Holy Spirit High School, has made a difference by tutoring classmates who may be struggling while balacing a rigorous academic and athletic schedule and always being a person who stays true to his word.

Zaiya Loatman of Millville, NJ, 08332. Loatman, who attends Millville Senior High School, has made a difference by serving as Junior Class President and meeting with other clubs and organizations to encourage greater participation in school-sponsored activities, resulting in a successful Spirit Week and Homecoming Dance.

Frankie Luna of Wrightstown, NJ, 08562. Luna, who attends Northern Burlington County Regional High School, has made a difference by spending the large majority of his free time servicing others and participating in many different extracurriculars and leadership activities to give voice to his classmates.

Ellie McDonough of Egg Harbor Township, NJ, 08234. McDonough, who attends Our Lady of Mercy Academy, has made a difference by accumulating more than 400 hours of community service and planning a donation drive to collect women's sanitary products for a local women's shelter.

Madeline Himes of Pine Hill, NJ, 08021. Himes, who attends Overbrook High School, has made a difference by participating in a diverse array of school and community activites and volunteering to coach youth sports in her free time.

Meredith Bandomer of Medford Lakes, NJ, 08055. Bandomer, who attends Shawnee High School, has made a difference by being selected as President of the class of 2024 for the third time and earning the admiration and respect of her peers, faculty and staff.

Angelina Bill of Atco, NJ, 08004. Bill, who attends St. Joseph Academy, has made a difference by being an empathetic leader and communicating compassionately to garner consesus among her peers.

Elisabeth Gallagher of Sicklerville, NJ, 08081. Gallagher, who attends Timber Creek Regional High School, has made a difference by demonstrating strong moral ability, social concern and dedication to her community through her service work and extracurricular involvement.

Daejah Purnell of Blackwood, NJ, 08012. Purnell, who attends Triton Regional High School, has made a difference by involving herself in all aspects of her school community including in the Girls on Fire Club, which promotes self esteem, the importance of positive relationships and other beneficial life skills.

"For the 12th consecutive year, Widener University is proud to recognize student leaders from all over our region with the High School Leadership Awards," said Stacey Robertson, president of Widener University. "These 104 young people exemplify what it means to be a successful leader - they're courageous, selfless, determined and passionate about their goals. Widener is distinctive because of our relentless and universal commitment to student success, and our inclusive culture where students thrive. I see the award recipients' drive reflected in Widener's principles. The entire university extends heartfelt congratulations to them on this achievement!"

Winners were invited to the in-person program today, Thursday, March 30 with their families and school administrators at the National Constitution Center in Philadelphia's historic district. In addition to being recognized as young leaders in the region, if students enroll at Widener as undergraduates, they will take part in the university's prestigious Apogee Leadership Scholars program and receive a $20,000 scholarship over four years. Apogee Scholars also take part in four years of leadership programming and earn a Widener Leadership Certificate.

"NBC10 and Telemundo62 are honored to partner with Widener University for another year as we celebrate the winners of this prestigious award," said Ric Harris, President and General Manager of NBC10 and Telemundo62. "These students are not only the leaders of tomorrow - they're the leaders of today, as exemplified through the work they're doing on a daily basis to better their schools and communities. We are proud to be a part of this program and recognize these extraordinary young people for their tremendous accomplishments. We look forward to seeing all that they will achieve in college and beyond."

For more information regarding the Widener University High School Leadership Awards and to view a complete list of winners, please visit the High School Leadership Awards page. For information on each recipient, please contact Samantha Krouse at [email protected] or 484-385-2965.

Widener University is a private institution known for its commitment to the personal and professional success of every student, where academic experiences are distinguished by excellence and students develop the leadership qualities employers seek. Core values of respect, integrity and excellence are reflected in an outstanding student experience provided through an agile, innovative and inclusive approach to learning. Industry-shaping faculty provide close, personal mentorship and share powerful connections that help students build professional networks. Recognized as one of the Philadelphia region's leading universities, Widener offers programs and experiences that empower our community of learners to discover and create better futures as scholars, leaders and globally engaged citizens. Visit the university website at