Denville, NJ – Will Philips of Millburn took second place in the Alzheimer's New Jersey essay contest winning a $100 education scholarship.  Through a partnership with the New Jersey Education Association (NJEA), Alzheimer’s New Jersey invited students throughout the state to share stories of how they are making a difference in the New Jersey fight against Alzheimer’s disease and how their efforts have impacted others and/or their community. Philips was one of 70 submissions from schools across the state. 

Phillips, who wrote the second-place essay, told a story of his grandmother’s memory, speech, and concentration issues as a result of a subdural hematoma and how this inspired his passion to find a cure for Alzheimer’s.  He was accepted into a unique three-year science research program at Millburn High School, where he conducted this work.  After completing his initial research, he reached out to a Harvard University professor for a mentorship.  As a result, he helped design and pre-test an intervention for mild cognitive impairment.  

In addition to his research, Phillips wanted to impact the quality of life for those with Alzheimer’s and co-founded a musical group called “Sounds for Seniors,” through Millburn High School that entertains and interacts with residents in care facilities. 

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“Alzheimer’s not only affects the person with the disease but also impacts caregivers and the entire family – including young adults. Alzheimer’s New Jersey is pleased to recognize young people who are taking action to fight Alzheimer’s and raise awareness about the impact of Alzheimer’s in our communities and our state,” said Ken Zaentz, President and CEO of Alzheimer’s NJ.  “Virginia (the first place winner) and Will’s essays were just two of dozens that struck a chord and revealed the scope of student support for the fight against Alzheimer’s in New Jersey.”

The contest was open to New Jersey public middle and high school students (grades six through 12).  Entries were judged by a panel comprised of Alzheimer’s New Jersey representatives.
For more information about Alzheimer’s New Jersey, visit

To read Philips entire essay, click below: