Senator Menendez & Representative Gottheimer Host New Jersey Ceremony

On Saturday, June 3, 2017, U.S. Senator Bob Menendez and U.S. Representative Josh Gottheimer (NJ-05) honored twelve recipients with The Congressional Award at the 2017 New Jersey Statewide Ceremony. The annual event took place at Bergen Community College’s Ciccone Theatre in Paramus, New Jersey.

Community leaders in both the private and public sectors joined parents, friends, and mentors to celebrate the achievements of the inspiring young leaders.

Brian Thompson of NBC 4 New York offered his talents as the Master of Ceremonies and Boy Scouts of America Troop 90 9F (Elmwood Park) presented the colors. Chaplain Gary Holden of the Police Chaplain Program provided an eloquent invocation and Dr. Ursula Daniels of Bergen Community College welcomed guests to the campus.

While addressing the Medalists in his keynote speech, Congressman Gottheimer stated, “I’m incredibly proud of the students receiving Congressional Awards. They embody New Jersey values; they are smart, strong, and dedicated in their service to their communities and families.”

Senator Menendez echoed the first term Congressman’s sentiment by adding, “Each of today’s honorees have challenged themselves to grow – mentally, physically, culturally, and personally. No two of their journeys have been exactly alike, yet each has earned the recognition of the United States Congress.”

Celgene Corporation once again served as the event sponsor, reaffirming their commitment to youth development in the Garden State. Rich Bagger, Executive Vice President of Corporate Affairs and Market Access, issued a statement after the ceremony.

“Celgene has been honored to sponsor The Congressional Award in New Jersey, and we are proud of the young men and women in New Jersey who have worked so hard to receive these awards. The countless hours of public service that have been performed not only benefit the community and deserving organizations, but also contribute to the personal development of the award winners. We want to thank Congressman Gottheimer, Senator Menendez, and the entire New Jersey Congressional Delegation for their work and leadership of this great program.”

The ceremony recognized youth that have earned The Congressional Award in the past year.

Funda Akilli
Felicia Aschettino
Philip Ballas
Satchel Bell
Elena Boal
Alexander Brescia
Alexander Bruman
Nicholas Coleburn
David Crain
Paige Crain
Michael Doliszny
Elizabeth Emberger
Dominic Esposito
Lindsay Fogel
Madison Gandy
Maura Herbertson
Andrew Laberee
Christopher Lauria
Mitchell Lauria
Amaya Liles
Marta Majewski
Laura Mondadori
Ryan Murphy
Alexis Oliver
Amanda Olivio
Khushbu Patel
Urvi Patel
Vaed Prasad
Maya Ravichandran
Shannon Renshaw
Thiago Santos
Nishi Shah
Madilyn Somers
Trevor Somers
Andrew Sooy
Richard Stelfox
Anthony Uzzolina
Alexis Vanaman
Priya Vulchi
Olivia Weldon
Allison Wetherell
David Wu
Erica Wu

Gabriella Alicea
Megan Arneman
Nishay Bhatnagar
Alexandra Buccine
Meghan Burkey
Edward Davis
Jessica Fritz
Chanel Gist
Shayan Gupta
Gayatri Iyengar
Samantha Kossey
Shannon Leahy
Jingyuan Lu
Raelynne Miller
Sung Hyun Mo
Wesley Musto
Bridget O’Hara
Isla Okkinga
Anthony Olivio
Zoe Pan
Richard Rivera
Gabrielle Sirolli
Nikhil Sobti

Samantha Alfonse
Zachary Asselta
Adrian Azan
Elise Ballan
Alexia Bartleson
Amanda Bates
Andre Biehl
Christopher Carr
Christopher Child
Stanley Clark
Mackenzie Collison
Matthew Conlan
Robert Cuff
Jasmine Davis
Trisha Dehrone
Bryan Delendik Jr.
Tyler DiCarlo
Alyssa Donadio
Ryan Ellam
Jerrod Fletcher
Jessica Flynn
Joshua Geldreich
Daniel Grinthal
Andrew Hickman
Eliza Hunt
Muhammed Keskin
Emily Kimmelman
Alexandra Kukal
Jueun Kwon
Katherine Lacouture
Keemin Lee
David Liu
Dina Manco
Stephanie Martin
Julianne Matassa
Taylor Matey
Malvika Narayan
Nicole Ottens
Esha Patel
Jacob Pirogovsky
Chelsea Plog
Riley Plosica
Krishant Putrevu
Siena Rampulla
Colleen Renshaw
Kristen Sahl
Terrence Shi
Andrea Shlesinger
Megan Sooy
Nolan Stewart
Carly Thompson
Iziah Thompson
Grace Thornton
Chandrasheker Tiruchirapalli Venkatramani
Michael Trull
Ronald Tsung
Alexander Wills
Richard Wills
Katherine Yasser
Jennifer Zaplitny

Bhavesh Agrawal
Alison Cabrera
Woo-Young Cho
Brian Green
Shane Jones
Sophia Lidestri
Emily Mundy
Elizabeth Ritchie
Emilie Weiner

Congress established The Congressional Award in 1979 to recognize initiative, service, and achievement in young people. The program is open to all youth ages 14-23 and participants earn Bronze, Silver, and Gold Congressional Award Certificates and Bronze, Silver, and Gold Congressional Award Medals. Each level involves setting goals in four program areas: Voluntary Public Service, Personal Development, Physical Fitness, and Expedition/Exploration.

New Jersey remains one of the most active states in The Congressional Award’s national portfolio, ranking within the top ten states in both the number of enrolled participants and number of awards earned. The Garden State has produced 5,969 awardees all-time. There are currently 2,798 participants pursuing the award. In the past year, Congressional Award participants in New Jersey have logged 60,142 hours of voluntary public service in their communities.