Shirley Wight Keeney Scholarships

Congratulations to this year's scholarship winners, Grace Paskalides, Amanda Radick, Rachel Stuart and Carly Zurla


Grace Paskalides (Chatham High School, attending University of South Carolina)

Grace was introduced to volunteerism through her church. She was required to fulfill a certain amount of hours a year to be apart of the youth group. After finishing her hours she found herself continuously going back to the director to ask for more projects. What started as a requirement became a passion. She asked her youth group director for more responsibility. She became the leader and organizer of the church's weekly food bank runs. For nine months, each week she found 10 other people in her church community and took them to the food bank with her for four hours. She also co-founded of a nonprofit for children battling cancer called Ninetynineredballoons. Through fundraising and volunteers, she is committed to raising spirits of children and help them feel like a normal kid. It is similar to that of a big brother/big sister program, in that, she helps match a child battling cancer with an older healthy child or adult. It is meant to provide companionship and mentoring for the child with cancer and their siblings. At its peak, ninetynineredballoons had 80 mentors but she hopes for a larger future. While volunteering is important to her, she also worked three jobs. As a weekly babysitter, tutor and clerk at Hickory Tree Pizza. She tried to be as active in her school as she was outside of it, being a member of 8 clubs. Her favorites being, Make A Wish club (in which they donate all of their fundraising to Make A Wish New Jersey. She was secretary of this club.) Canavan Awareness Project ( they raise awareness and funding for Canavan disease: a brain disease that causes people to develop differently. 98% of people born with Canavan do not live past the age of 15.) and SADD/TATU ( stands for students against destructive decisions and teens against tobacco use. The clubs go to the neighboring elementary school and talk about the dangers of smoking and bullying. They also help guide their peers to stay on a good decision-making track.) Grace Paskalides is excited to keep volunteering and working hard during her next four years at the University of South Carolina. 

Amanda Radick (Governor Livingston HS, attending University of Delaware School of Nursing)

Amanda has been an active volunteer in the community starting in kindergarten as a Mountainside Girl Scout where she earned both the Bronze and Silver awards. While in high school, Amanda volunteered several hundred hours with the musical theatre program at Deerfield School in Mountainside helping the actors learn lines, choreography and lyrics. She also managed the backstage crew and worked many weekends painting sets. In addition, Amanda  managed multiple varsity teams at Governor Livingston and was the president of the Photo Club. She was also an active member of the GL Student Auxiliary Service Club throughout high school and served in a board position as a Junior and Senior. Since 8th grade, Amanda has worked as a teacher assistant at her religious school and works each summer as a camp counselor. She also volunteers in the Child Life program at St. Barnabas Medical Center. Amanda plans on continuing to give back to the community as an active volunteer in college and beyond.


Rachel Stuart
(Governor Livingston High School, attending Tulane University)

Rachel has volunteered for Sage Eldercare Meals-On-Wheels since she was very little, with her mom. As she got older she began looking for more opportunities to get involved by coaching special Olympics track and field and also continuing her work with Meals-On-Wheels. She was also very involved in her high school through her involvement in the Red Cross Club and Interact, which are both community outreach organizations that allow her to get involved more in her community.  She was also Future Business Leaders of America president and involved in student council throughout high school. When she attends Tulane in the fall she hopes to get involved in the New Orleans culture by volunteering with the community and hopefully getting an internship at a non-profit. 


Carly Zurla (Governor Livingston High School, Attending the University of Rhode Island)

Carly has always been passionate about helping others in her community and in the surrounding areas of New Jersey. When she was 15 years old, she joined the Mountainside Lords Youth Group. As a part of this group, she volunteered her time by sleeping outside every October to raise money for the homeless in Irvington, New Jersey. Along with raising money for the homeless, she would make sandwiches, run car washes, and host candy drives. Carly has also been a part of the Mountainside Rescue Squad where she has given back over 250 hours of service to her community. She was a member of the Cadet Program where she was trained in CPR and administering first aid. Her weekly 4 hour shift included going out on calls, riding in the ambulance, supporting other EMTs and paramedics, and performing rig checks. She also participated in training programs, fundraising and blood drives. Carly has been a member of the Link Crew Leadership Club at Governor Livingston High School. For this club, she is a positive role model for the incoming freshmen and underclassmen. She advises the underclassmen about the importance of their academics and time management skills. She facilitated events such as, speaking with all freshman health classes about drug and alcohol prevention and guiding parents through the adjustment of high school for their children. In high school, Carly has taken many honors and AP courses while being the captain of the JV Volleyball team for 2 years and the captain of the JV tennis team. In addition to her community service and academic excellence, Carly has worked at Kent Place Camp as a counselor for the past two summers, and will be the head counselor this summer. During her senior year she was a caregiver for a family of three after school. Carly will pursue nursing as her career at the University of Rhode Island and hopes to minor in Gender and Women's Studies. She plans on staying active on campus by joining many academic and volunteer clubs.


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The Junior League of Summit awards $3,000 Shirley Wight Keeney Voluntarism Scholarships to graduating seniors who have demonstrated a commitment to voluntarism in their community.

The scholarship is open to students who meet the following criteria:

  1. Applicants must live or attend school in Berkeley Heights, Chatham, NewProvidence, or Summit;

  1. Applicants must demonstrate academic excellence within their high school graduating class throughout his/her high school career;

  2. Applicants must be continuing their education at an accredited two- or four-year college or business/vocational school; and

  3. Applicants must show significant volunteer work during their high school years that aligns with the Junior League of Summit’s mission.

Applicants considered as finalists will be invited to interview with the Scholarship Committee to discuss their application.

Relatives of members of the Junior League of Summit are not eligible. 

THE APPLICATION DEADLINE HAS NOW PASSED.