MONTVILLE, NJ – Congressman Rodney Frelinghuysen and three Morris County Freeholders were on hand to present recent MTHS graduate Jordan Mahr with a $1,000 scholarship from the Montville Township Republican Club on June 27.
The club received applications from 11 MTHS students; Republican Club President Annabel Pierce called Mahr “very accomplished.”
“This year we decided to award the scholarship based on what the applicant had done for the community, rather than grades,” explained scholarship committee member Larry D’Oench. “We also wanted to know how they would become engaged in politics, so we asked them to write an essay on the function of government.”
D’Oench called Mahr’s résumé “impressive” with “significant achievements in academia and volunteerism.”
Mahr not only holds distinctions in the Advanced Placement program but has also been recognized as an Columbia Science Honor Scholar and represented his school in the New Jersey National History Day State Competition, D’Oench said.
“He is a leader among his peers by developing a record of service,” D’Oench said.
Mahr was a teaching assistant in the Northern NJ Chinese Association Chinese School, which holds its classes at MTHS. He was a member of Future Business Leaders of America, including the state publicity committee and acting as a state parliamentary councilman. He was president of the MTHS Harvesters Club, he was vice president of the Hwa-Yin Youth Chorale, and Corresponding Secretary of the MTHS Class of 2016. He was also a member of the Environmental Club and Math Club. Further, he was a missionary for Philadelphia Inner city Missions.
“For his essay, Jordan elected to write about the recent Supreme Court vacancy left by Justice Antonin Scalia,” D’Oench said. “For his commitment to service, extensive record of leadership, and his skillful assessment of political themes, we are excited to recognize him as our 2016 scholar.”
Freeholder Hank Lyon spoke at the ceremony, and said that the scholarship awarded that evening reminds young people that government is important.
“We want young people to be engaged,” Lyon said. “Better engaged young people and better engaged citizens will end up producing a better country for all of us.”
Mahr said that he was incredibly passionate about politics, and said he would like to go into law and public service. He said he was honored to meet Frelinghuysen, Lyon and Freeholder Deb Smith, who was also in attendance. He will be attending UC Berkeley in the fall.
He said the history teachers at MTHS were phenomenal, and, “I would not be here without Mr. Riotto, my AP U.S. History teacher and AP Government and Politics teacher. My experience at MTHS was incredibly uplifting, especially my senior year English teacher.”
Frelinghuysen addressed the assembly to congratulate Mahr. He said he became a county freeholder at age 24 and “shook up the freeholder board.” He said he had had the privilege of chairing the Defense Appropriations Committee for the past few years and asked for the audience to give applause for the “remarkable” service men and women for “providing us with the foundation for freedom.”