Garden State Track Club Awards Five Scholarships

SCHOLARSHIP WINNERSFive Franklin High School seniors were awarded $500 scholarships by the Garden State Track Club at the Aug. 9 Township Council meeting. Also pictured are FTPD Det. Sgt. Rebecca Lea and Lt. Vincent Wilson.

Five local students were awarded scholarships August 8 by the Garden State Track Club.

The $500 scholarships were generated by funds from the annual Garden State 10 Miler, held by the Club each March in Colonial Park.

The awards were distributed at the August 9 Township Council meeting.

The scholarships show that “the police department, the community and everybody involved can make things work with a little bit of effort, said the Franklin Township Police Department’s Lt. Vincent WIlson. “This is a token of appreciation to those that have exhibited hard work and leadership and deserve to be recognized.”

The students receiving the scholarships were:

  • Brittney Garcia Mendoza
  • Fenil Patel
  • Noelia Abreu
  • Marilyn Vargas-Rodriguez
  • Avery Scott

Mendoza, Patel, Abreu, and Vargas-Rodriguez are from the Franklin High School JROTC. Scott is from the Cross Fit/Franklin Firt program run by the FTPD’s Community Relations Bureau at the Franklin Youth Center on Lewis Street.

“So this truly is a combination of education, physical fitness, community initiative,” Wilson said. “This is what community policing truly looks like.”

Proceeds from the Garden State 10 Miler from 2017 to 2022 were donated to the Nick Magos Cancer Call-Out, a fund that provided money to Somerset County families of military, police and fire service members affected by terminal illness.

In 2023, the group changed its focus to supporting Franklin High School students, said Chuck Schneekloth, race director of the Garden State 10 Miler.

“We’re thrilled to be teaming up with the police department to honor our graduating seniors,” he said.

“We selected these five students based on their applications that demonstrated leadership, community involvement, and academic achievement,” according to a Club Facebook post.

Schneekloth said the Club received more than 30 applications for the scholarships.

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