Shirley Wight Keeney Scholarships

The Junior League of Summit was pleased to continue its scholarship program in 2017.  We awarded two (2) $2,000 Shirley Wight Keeney Voluntarism Scholarships to graduating seniors who have demonstrated a commitment to voluntarism in their community.

All seniors who live or attend school in Berkeley Heights, Chatham, New Providence, and Summit, have demonstrated academic excellence within their academic class, and are continuing their education at an accredited four year or two year college or business/vocational school, were invited to apply.  Relatives of members of the Junior League of Summit are not eligible.

This year's deadline has now passed.  

Congratulations to the This Year's JLS Scholarship Winners!

The Junior League of Summit proudly announces its award of its 2017 Shirley Wight Keeney Voluntarism Scholarships to New Providence’s recent graduates, Malay Nanavaty and Emily Peterson.

The scholarship awards are one of my favorite parts of the League year.  It is always so amazing to hear what these young men and women have accomplished, and the huge contributions they have made to our community, at such a young age,” noted Michelle DeMuth, Junior League of Summit President (2016-2017), “Mr. Nanavaty and Ms. Peterson are incredibly impressive and truly embody Shirley Wight Keeney’s dedication to community service.”

Malay Nanavaty attended the Academy for Allied Health Studies.  Since 2015 Malay has been an active volunteer at the New Providence EMS. Malay was motivated to undertake a 144 hour EMT course and become an active member of his local rescue squad following a 2015 externship in India.  There, Malay learned about medicine in a developing nation and had the opportunity to volunteer in an emergency room. He came home inspired and ready to apply those skills to his local community.

Malay has also been a strong volunteer within the Boy Scout organization.  A Boy Scout since 2009, Malay earned 29 merit badges and numerous awards. His Eagle project was to design, plan and stencil paint a map of the United States on the playgrounds of Salt Brook Elementary School and Allen Roberts Elementary School.  This project included 13 scouts and a total of 133 service hours to complete. Even though he has aged out of the boys scouts, he remains active as an assistant scout master.

The second scholarship recipient, Emily Peterson, attended New Providence High School.  Emily is the founder of a NPHS club, Teens4Refugees. This club collects supplies for Operation Refugee Child, which distributes supplies to refugee camps in Greece.  Teens4Refugees also tutors local refugees ranging in ages from 4-18.  As a member of this club, Emily has coordinated and attended these weekly tutoring sessions.  In addition, Emily has been involved with Pathway Cooks and Humanitarian Experiences for Youth.

The Shirley Wight Keeney Voluntarism Scholarships are awarded annually by the Junior League of Summit to local, graduating seniors. The scholarships’ namesake, Shirley Wight Keeney, was a beloved member of the Junior League of Summit and the Summit community. As an active volunteer, Ms. Keeney truly demonstrated the League’s Mission of promoting voluntarism, developing the potential of women and improving communities through effective action and leadership. Her volunteer work began as child when she worked with her mother in the Welfare Branch in the Fortnightly Club helping to deliver food to the ill and those otherwise in need. In her tenure as the President of the Junior League of Summit from 1953-1955, Keeney led the League as it established the Summit Child Care Center (now the Learning Circle). She served as Executive Secretary for the League for over 25 years and volunteered Thrift Shop up until her passing in 2010. Ms. Keeney was recognized in 1989 by the Summit YWCA as being one of five “outstanding Women of the Community.” In 1998 Congressman Bob Franks presented Ms. Keeney with a Certificate of Special Congressional Recognition and Appreciation for her outstanding community contributions.