LIVINGSTON, NJ – After being named among the semifinalists of the 25th annual Louis Bay II Future Municipal Leaders Scholarship competition—offered annually by the New Jersey League of Municipalities in order to “advance the virtues of elected and volunteer positions in municipal government while raising awareness of municipal government in general"—Livingston student Allison Small was honored by the mayor and township for her essay submission.

Although Small was not an official winner, as the prestigious scholarship is only offered to three students from throughout the state, being named among only a small handful of semifinalists is an accomplishment in itself. But the reason the township felt she needed to be honored is due to the content of her essay, covering the theme of “what my municipal government does best.”

Livingston Mayor Al Anthony joked that he “held his breath” when he received a copy of her submission and saw the subject matter, but was thrilled to learn that it is the visible proof of the government’s dedication to the township that the Livingston student found worthy of her appreciation.

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The two examples that Small chose to write about in her essay were the Saint Barnabas Medical Center Community Field that was recently opened after years of hard work from both current and former council members as well as the volunteer-based Camuso Holiday Display that lights up the Oval each winter.

“I was really inspired by the visible ways that the municipal government had an impact on the community and I think that made writing this essay really easy,” said Small. “It was rally fun to explore how the community was able to come around to these great facilities such as the Madonna field and the Camuso display that’s on the Oval every year, and I really enjoyed being able to write about them.”

Anthony was proud to learn that Small is interested in government and politics, and his fellow council members joked that Small should run against Anthony in the next election.

“Forty-three municipalities submitted entries for the 25th annual scholarship competition and winning it was quite difficult,” said Anthony. “This is really a beautiful essay you wrote. [The essay is about] how both of [these projects] served to bring together members of the town to celebrate tradition and recreation, and I thought it was terrific. It got me choked up.”

Small’s parents stood proudly by as Anthony presented their daughter with the state’s official certificate naming her as a semifinalist for her “interest in civic contributions to the community as evidence by your participation in the 25th annual Louis Bay II Future Municipal Leaders Scholarship competition.”

Click HERE to learn more about the scholarship and the competition.