Franklin Reporter & Advocate’s ‘People Of The Year’ For 2018: Nicholas & Rebekah Solomon, Daryn & Adrian Plummer

Nicholas Solomon, Daryn Plummer, Adrian Plummer and Rebekah Solomon (clockwise from top left) are the Franklin Reporter & Advocate’s “People of the Year.”

The notion of “paying it forward” can be traced back to the ancient Greeks; it is the idea that one does not repay a kindness one was granted back to the benefactor, but, rather, finds someone else in the same situation and lends a similar helping hand.

“Paying it forward” has been explored in plays, books and movies through the years. Locally, it has been put in practice magnificently by the four township residents who share the Franklin Reporter & Advocate’s 2018 “People of the Year” Award: Nicholas and Rebekah Solomon and Daryn and Adrian Plummer.

The Solomons and Plummers are the co-founders of the Warrior for Life Scholarship Foundation, an organization whose creation is steeped in the idea of “paying it forward.”

In short, the two couples, all of whom are products of the township school system, feel that they were helped out during their academic journeys and decided to band together to help future generations of Warrior students.

And help they have: In just two years, the Solomons and Plummers and the organization’s executive board have awarded more than $20,000 in scholarships to Franklin residents who were high school seniors or college freshmen.

The scholarships are not just checks; each one of the four basic awards – for academic excellence, historically black colleges and universities, financial need or personal tragedy and legacy – comes attached to a person who represents a piece of Franklin’s educational and social history. There are also a number of additional scholarships, the funds for which are donated for that specific purpose.

The Warrior for Life organization’s founders also know the importance of mentors to high school students – or at least an adult who takes an interest in them – because they each had someone in their academic lives who helped them along.

As Daryn Plummer has said, the role of each Warrior for Life Scholarship Foundation’s founder and board member is to “pay it forward so our young people can do great things and come back and do it for other students.”

“We are looking to provide them an opportunity so they can be greater than their wildest dreams,” Rebekah Solomon has said.

That commitment was not lost on Tiana Joy Jackson, one of the 2018 scholarship recipients.

“I feel like the torch has been passed down from the previous Warriors for Life onto me,” she wrote in an email. “Seeing them there, reading their bios, listening to their stories, showed me that I have pretty big shoes to fill, but I’m up for the challenge.”

The Solomons and Plummers have deep roots in the township and in township schools. Both Solomons and Daryn Plummer are still involved in the schools; Nick Solomon is the principal at Franklin Middle School Sampson G. Smith campus, Rebekah Solomon is a vice-principal at Franklin High School and Plummer is Dean of the 10th Grade students at FHS and also a strength coach at the school.

Adrian Plummer, a member of the FHS Class of 2000, is an Operations Manager at the IEEE in Piscataway.

Speaking of the three co-founders who work for the school district, Schools Superintendent John Ravally said the district is “very fortunate to have such dedicated staff members as Daryn, Nick and Rebekah.”

“As three of the many alumni who have come back to serve the current students of Franklin Township Public Schools, they offer a unique perspective and serve as an inspiration to our future Warriors,” he wrote. “Their work with the Warrior 4 Life Foundation offers wonderful opportunities for our students.”

“On behalf of the Board of Education and the school district, I would like to congratulate the members of the Warrior 4 Life Organization on being named People of the Year for 2018,” he wrote.

Robert Edmond, one of Warrior For Life’s board members, said that Daryn Plummer and Nick Solomon are living the organization’s motto.

“Daryn and Nick have really honored our motto, being a Warrior for Life,” he said. “Being a Warrior for Life is not what you leave for someone, but what you leave in them.”

Jackson said that because of the award, “I feel more connected to Franklin now than I ever was. I am beyond pleased to say that I, Tiana Joy Jackson, am a Warrior 4 Life.”


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