Chatham High Names Defne Selen 2018 "Caring Student of the Year"

Defne Selen and her counselor Lisa Kool-Behr (both center) celebrate her award with Defne's parents, Tayfun Selen (right) and Tulin Selen (left). Credits: CHS

Chatham High School has named senior Defne Selen its “Caring Student of the Year” for  2018. This award is given to a senior student who is an "unsung hero" and has not been otherwise recognized for the selfless work in devoting his or her time to those less fortunate.  

Selen was chosen to receive this recognition for her dedication to "Yamba Malawi" in which she has spent countless hours fundraising and campaigning to provide relief to the orphan crisis in Malawi, Africa. She has worked with local businesses in the area to provide resources such as food, water, and clothing, as well as to give scholarships for education and funds for emergency healthcare.

Selen got involved with Yamba Malawi in the beginning of her junior year, through a family friend.

Sign Up for E-News

“By working with them,” Selen said, “it was on me to get the word out, go to fundraisers, and raise money myself. What really appealed to me about this organization, in particular, is that we don't just work to provide Malawians with one time resources, but develop businesses and stronger economic systems to make lasting change. When I see videos of Malawians who have benefited from this organization and hear their stories, it makes me want to work even harder, because I know what Yamba Malawi is doing is working.”

About her award, Selen said, “I could not have been more surprised when I found out I had won this award. I never had the chance to promote it or do any fundraisers in school (even though I wanted to), so it really felt rewarding that the time and effort I put into this organization on my own time was able to get recognized.”

Selen's counselor at CHS, Lisa Kool-Behr, said, “Defne Selen is a dedicated young woman who is always eager to seek a new learning opportunity and work in a capacity in which she is serving others. She has chosen special opportunities and programs that have provided her with the avenue for immersing herself in a true learning and life experience every time, and her work with ‘Yamba Malawi’ is a true testament to her investment in helping those less fortunate.”

Selen was honored at the annual caring student award event along with other Morris County high school recipients at Berkeley College in Woodland Park on Tuesday, May 21.


TAP Into Another Town's News:

Sign Up for E-News


A Week at the Library of The Chathams Monday, June 18 – Sunday, June 24, 2018

Please note that the library will be closed on Sundays now through Labor Day weekend


By Galina Natenzon

This week we are wrapping up our first session of ESL classes.  Stay tuned, we are planning a fall session to start in September.  New students are welcome to enroll!  This is the last week of calm and quiet at the library before our summer reading ...

Angie's Owners Want to Thank Their Chatham Customers

June 14, 2018

To the Editor:

We want to thank our customers and the entire community for their support and devotion to our business. Our last day of business will be July 31.

rWe will miss all the friends that we have developed over the past 26 years. Wishing everyone much success and happiness in the future.


Louiza and Jimmy Poulimenos

P.S. "Until we meet ...


AtlantiCast: Episode 16

Summer is in the air, and the latest episode of AtlantiCast is ready to help you enjoy some fun outdoors while staying safe! This week’s episode opens with tips for sunscreen usage from Atlantic Health System’s Chief Medical and Academic Officer, Dr. Jan Schwarz-Miller. You’ll also learn about how Atlantic Health System is advancing the future of health care through ...

Chatham Students Graduate from Gettysburg College

June 18, 2018

GETTYSBURG, PA - Of the 608 students who graduated from Gettysburg College on May 20, 2018, the following were Chatham students: Danielle Boyland, Kaitlyn Helmstetter, Nicholas Hill, Andrew Milone and Jacob Zeliff.