MORRISTOWN, NJ - The Morris Educational Foundation is honored to announce that five Morristown High School alumni are the first recipients of the Myles Smiled on You Award for college debt relief. The award was created in memory of Myles Mislavsky, Morristown High School - Class of 2013, and is funded by his family, friends and the Golden Bagel Runners who knew and loved Myles.
Myles was an amazing human being. Witty, charismatic, giving, loyal and friendly are words that come to mind when describing him. He made a lasting impact on the lives of those around him and he was committed to helping others. He radiated joy with a dazzling smile. To honor his life, his family – Hector Mislavsky, Judy Martinez and Jessie Mislavsky – created a college debt forgiveness fund - the Myles Smiled on You Award - for Morristown High School alumni which is administered by the Morris Educational Foundation.
The award in the amount of $5,000 each, for secondary education loan reduction, is being given to five deserving MHS alumni who exemplify Myles’ many positive characteristics.
The initial recipients are:
- KatrinaColquhoun – Class of 2013
- Sophie Connolly – Class of 2013
- Kelly Hall – Class of 2010
- Stacey Trackenberg –Class of 2012
- Zaji Zabalerio – Class of 2013.
Each Morristown High School alumni who is receiving the award wrote an essay demonstrating their empathy and how they have helped others just as Myles did during his life.
One of the recipients, Zaji Zabalerio, was in primary school with Myles and he had this response to receiving the award, “I am incredibly humbled with this honor", said. What a way to remember Myles's enduring legacy. Some of the best memories growing up in the District was being a part of Normandy Park School's program of The Music Man. Myles played the proud and scheming Harold Hill and I, his goofy sidekick Marcellus Washburn. In the show, we turned a small town in Iowa mad for a marching band that was never meant to be. We spent endless hours in 5th grade together at rehearsal after school, at voice lessons with Mrs. Bangiola, creating a bond over music that would last even well after we graduated Morristown High together. It'd be hard for us not to call back to the early days, and we'd tune in to that part of our lives so distant but always well remembered with a smile. I am proud to be part of this group of people honoring Myles with the work we do and the lives we live.”
In addition to demonstrating college debt, the award application required 3 - 250 word or less essays: how have you dealt with challenging situations (mental or physical health, or other) and how did you or are you dealing with those challenges; describe how you have demonstrated empathy toward others; and what do you do to help your family/community, as well as a letter of recommendation.
The Mislavsky/Martinez family recognizes that college debt burden weighs heavily on many young people today and hopes to inspire others to help tackle the issue of college debt through philanthropy. It is also their hope that with this financial award, Myles has “smiled on” these Morristown High School alumni just as he did during his life. Award recipient, Sophie Connolly, who graduated from Morristown High School in
Myles’ Class of 2013 said this, “I am so honored to be chosen for this scholarship. Although it is bittersweet, I am grateful for this money as it will help me so much financially.”
Going forward, the Morris Educational Foundation plans to have an application process for the award in both March and September. For more information about the Myles Smiled on You Award visit the scholarship page on the Morris Educational Foundation website at www.morrisedfoundation.org.
About the Morris Educational Foundation:
The Morris Educational Foundation is a 501 (c) (3) that seeks to attract private resources to support a variety of educational programs and initiatives in support of the Morris School District. Through effective solicitation and distribution of funds, the Morris Educational Foundation helps enable the District to continue to be the model of visionary social and educational leadership it has been since its inception. For more information, please visit the website at www.morrisedfoundation.org.