FAIR LAWN, NJ - Brendan Vann, a senior at Fair Lawn High School knows 'cleats represent opportunity," the opportunity of play. The young philanthropist put together a program which collected and cleaned gently used soccer equipment for donation.

Bergen County Clerk John S. Hogan recognized Brendan's efforts through the first Five Star Student Award, a program launched this year which encourages students to submit their stories with photos/videos showing why they merit the “Five Star Student Award” recognition.

Clerk Hogan is looking to award students for their exemplary achievements, whether it be helping their community through volunteer work, student entrepreneurs who have developed a creative business model, or individuals who have overcome some form of adversity and have found a meaningful way to give back to their community.  

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Vann’s submission, called “CLEATZ 4 KIDZ,” was recognized for collecting and cleaning gently used soccer equipment and donating it to underprivileged children.

Brendan received a certificate, along with a $500 check from the John S. Hogan Foundation.

“We cannot agree with you more when you state, ‘these cleats represent opportunity—giving the gift of play.’  Your efforts are truly admirable and meet the criteria for the award,” Hogan said when offering Brendan the award.

The Five Star Student Award will be chosen on a quarterly basis. Students are encouraged to continue to make submissions. If a student’s submission has already been received, that submission will be reviewed and considered for future quarterly awards. For questions, contact Clerk Hogan’s office at (201) 336-7006.

Email maras@co.bergen.nj.us (Subject: Five Star Student) or mail your submission to: Bergen County Clerk John S. Hogan, One Bergen County Plaza, Hackensack, NJ 07601-7076