CLARK, NJ - Local Broker and Owner of Samsel and Associates Real Estate Services, John Samsel is looking to give scholarships to Union and Middlesex County high school seniors that are not going to college.   Instead he is in search of students heading to trade school or planning to open a business and be an entrepreneur. 

Samsel says it’s time for a change in the way we talk to and guide our young minds today.  “Listen, there is nothing wrong with being a dental hygienist, an x-ray technician, a plumber or any of the other things we need,” he said.  “Instead, everyday something or someone influences kids and tells them they have to go to college if they want to make money.”

He continued with some sobering thoughts about that choice.  “I see it every day, young folks wanting to buy a house, who are carrying heavy monthly payments on college debt for the next 20 or 30 years and too many of them come out of school and only make $40K or $50K a year,” said Samsel.   “Those numbers make their debt to income ratio ineligible for loans in most cases and puts buying a house out of reach.”

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Besides owning his realty company, Samsel owns a contracting company.  He says he struggles to find the qualified tradespeople he needs to fill the positions he has available.    “One day I woke up and thought, I’m going to do this,” he said about offering scholarships to those breaking away from the traditional path for students today.  

Samsel shared that he didn’t go to college until he was in his forties. “I went back to school a few years ago, because I wanted to gain more knowledge about something I was interested in and I could pay for it as I went,” said Samsel.  “I didn’t have to accumulate debt to get more education.”  

To be eligible for the scholarship, high school seniors  from Union and Middlesex Counties may submit an essay focusing on why they are seeking to attend a trade school or open their own business instead of attending a traditional college.   Students must also explain how their choice will impact their community and what inspired them to make the decision.  Essays are due by August 1, 2019. $1K scholarships will be given to one senior in each county.

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