FLEMINGTON, NJ – Laura Adams, a recent graduate of the Commercial Arts and Advertising Design program at Hunterdon County Polytech Career and Technical High School, has received back-to-back scholarships from local Rotary Clubs. Adams received the same scholarship in 2019 and 2020 as a participant in the Bridging the Gap Program, which is organized in collaboration with local Rotary Clubs to connect Polytech art students to real-world clients. Her jewelry design business, Stripes Jewelry, impressed judges both years, and this year, she also presented an additional business, Roar Graphics.
Adams, a Lambertville resident, is the daughter of Kathy and Dave Adams. She will attend Tyler School of Art at Temple University in the fall to major in metals and jewelry CAD/CAM. A summer camp introduced Adams to jewelry design eight years ago, and she has looked for opportunities to hone her craft ever since.
Through Bridging the Gap, Adams has worked to turn her passion for both jewelry making and graphic design into small business ventures. The program pairs Polytech students with local businesses and nonprofits that need design services such as logos, business cards, decorative murals, brochures, banners, t-shirts, menus and much more. Members of the North Hunterdon and Clinton Sunrise Rotary Clubs mentor the students to help them develop personalized business plans and strategies for marketing their unique skills to those who can benefit from their artistic talents.
Adams was mentored for two years in Bridging the Gap by Rotarian Megan Jones-Holt, who initiated the program 25 years ago. Jones-Holt is owner of Stockton Market and offered to sell Adams’ jewelry in her store as part of her immense support of Adams.
Contributions from both the Clinton Sunrise Rotary and North Hunterdon Rotary Clubs funded Adams’ $750 Bridging the Gap Scholarship. For the first time, two Rotarians, Dr. Kenneth Sanchez and Paul Muir, kicked in their own personal contributions to provide a $100 scholarship to two additional Bridging the Gap participants, Melissa Bostjancic and Sarah VanHorn. They wanted to reward the Polytech students for their persistence in developing business plans even after the COVID-19 pandemic disrupted the school year.
Bostjancic developed the graphic design and illustration business, The Artsy B, while VanHorn launched Creativity Cures: Art That Heals, which provides resources for art therapy.
“I am annually impressed with the talent and professionalism of our Bridging the Gap students, but this year, our students faced unprecedented challenges and still produced strong business plans and exceptional, memorable artwork,” said Teresa Diaz, instructor of 3D Computer Animation and Commercial Arts and Advertising Design at Hunterdon County Polytech. “They often worked independently, driven by their ambition to succeed doing what they love, and that is what inspired our Rotarians so much. They wanted to reward these three young ladies for their hard work and motivate them to keep going in pursuit of their dreams. This was an inspiring way to end our school year.”