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NJ Sharing Network Announces 2017-2018 Scholarship Opportunities

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NEW PROVIDENCE, NJ – NJ Sharing Network announces the availability of two (2) scholarships, the Betsy Niles Scholarship and the Missy’s Miracle Scholarship, for high school seniors attending college in fall 2017.  The scholarships are both in the amount of $5,000 ($2,500 per semester) for the 2017 - 2018 academic year.  The deadline for submission is Friday, April 7, 2017.

The Betsy Niles scholarship is offered in memory of Betsy Niles, a children's book editor and lifelong resident of Montclair. Niles, whose organs were donated in 2011, was known for always giving the perfect gift for every occasion, and her last gift was the greatest gift of all, the gift of life.

Blake Rogolsky was the 2016 recipient of the Betsy Niles scholarship.  She graduated from Marlboro High School and is currently attending the University of Michigan.  She watched her father suffer with genetic heart disease.  After he received a heart transplant, she dedicated her life to raising awareness of organ and tissue donation.  She became a NJ Sharing Network volunteer at 13 years old and created a Donate Life Club at her high school. Her sister, Elexa, now runs the club.

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"I can't tell you how honored I was to be selected as the first Betsy Niles scholarship award recipient. I intend to continue to spread the message of the importance of organ donation and to always remember the people like Betsy who saved lives,” said Rogolsky.

The Missy's Miracle Scholarship was created in celebration of the 30th Anniversary of Missy Rodriguez's liver transplant.  She was 10 years old when she had her liver transplant and wants people to understand that children are also affected by organ and tissue donation.

Anthony Foti was the 2016 recipient of her scholarship.  He graduated from Hanover Park High School and is attending Rutgers University this year.  Foti got involved with NJ Sharing Network after his cousin, Joseph Ciccone, passed away and saved and enhanced lives as an organ and tissue donor.  Foti turned this family tragedy into a positive by becoming dedicated to building awareness about the importance of donation.

"Every day, I wear my green bracelets, explaining my story and the work of NJ Sharing Network to everyone who asks," said Foti.            

“Our Foundation is committed to increasing the number of lives saved through innovative transplant research, family support, public awareness and education. Programs like these scholarship funds help raise awareness of the critical need for organ transplants in New Jersey,” said Elisse Glennon, Vice President and Chief Administrative Officer of NJ Sharing Network and Executive Director of the Foundation.

To be eligible to apply for the scholarship, students: 

  • Must be a New Jersey resident;
  • Must be a full time high school senior, who will be entering college in Fall 2017;
  • Must be an awareness advocate or have been personally affected by or is a family member of someone personally affected by organ and tissue donation and transplantation (i.e.: organ and/or tissue donor, living donor, transplant recipient, waiting for a transplant, or died waiting for a transplant); and
  • Must be in good academic standing.

In addition to the submission application, students will be required to provide three letters of recommendation highlighting their involvement in donation awareness activities, a current transcript and an essay about how organ and tissue donation has impacted their life.  All submissions should be mailed to NJ Sharing Network, Attn: Kelly Bonventre, 691 Central Avenue, New Providence, NJ 07974.  Interested parties should visit the following link for further details about these scholarship opportunities:  www.njsharingnetwork.org/scholarship.

To date, there are over 120,000 people waiting for a transplant and 22 die each day while waiting, but one organ donor can save eight lives and one tissue donor can enhance the lives of over 75 people.  In New Jersey, there are over 4,000 people on the waiting list and one person dies every three days waiting.

New Jersey residents can help save lives by registering as organ and tissue donors at www.NJSharingNetwork.org, having a conversation with family and friends and joining NJ Sharing Network at its upcoming events.

About NJ Sharing Network

NJ Sharing Network saves lives through organ and tissue donation. Located in New Providence, the organization recovers organs and tissue and belongs to a national network that helps the 120,000 people waiting for a transplant.  In 2016, more lives were saved than ever before. Thanks to the selflessness of New Jersey organ donors and their families who said yes to donation, 613 people are alive today. This year, the organization is celebrating 30 years of saving lives.

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