Giving Back

Summit, Area Students Awarded 2014 JLS Keeney Scholarships

From left, Colleen Markley (2013-2014 JLS President), Jolie Steppe (2014-2015 JLS President),  Keri Cronin, Claire Harrison, Asia Beamon, Sarah Muhlstock (JLS).

SUMMIT, NJ - Students Claire Harrison and Asia Beamon -- both from Summit High School -- and Keri Cronin, from Chatham High School, have been selected as recipients of the Junior League of Summit’s $5,000 Shirley Wight Keeney Scholarships. 

All three young women have excelled in their studies and demonstrated a true commitment to voluntarism. 

Harrison is a founding member of the Summit Free Market.  She is also on the City of Summit Recycling Advisory Committee, and a volunteer with Bridges.  Summit Mayor Ellen Dickson estimates Harrison has volunteered about 1800 hours for the City of Summit.  She will be pursuing Peace and Conflict Studies next year at the Paris Institute of Political Studies in France.

Beamon has an extensive volunteer history with Bridges, Sage Eldercare, the Connection, the JLS Thrift Shop, and the Community Food Bank.  She credits the PEP Program with inspiring her interest in volunteer work.  Beamon is attending Temple University next year and hopes to become an art therapist.

Cronin has volunteer coached field hockey, basketball, softball, and soccer youth programs throughout her high school years. She also collected clothing for battered women with the Key Club, and was a church youth volunteer.   Cronin cites compassion as the most important quality to be an effective volunteer.  She will be studying biology and neuroscience at Haverford College next year.

The scholarship’s namesake, Shirley Wight Keeney, was a beloved member of the Junior League of Summit. Keeney was an active volunteer and truly demonstrated the League’s Mission of promoting voluntarism, developing the potential of women, and improving communities through effective action and leadership. 
During 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 worked in the Junior League of Summit Thrift Shop up until her passing in April 2010.  

“It is in the true spirit of voluntarism that these remarkable young women have made such a difference in their communities.  It gives us great hope and confidence for the future to see these future leaders in the making.” said JLS President Colleen Markley,  "We are so proud to be able to award the service of such dedicated and deserving young women.”

In order to qualify for the scholarship, students should live in the Junior League of Summit service area, rank in the top one-third of their academic class, and plan to continue their education at an accredited four- or two-year college. 


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