ROXBURY, NJ – The family of Succasunna teenager Maya Guberman, who died suddenly Feb. 13, has launched an essay-based scholarship program in her honor.

The “Maya’s Mission Essay Writing Contest,” is asking children and teens in Roxbury and Mount Arlington to write about how COVID-19 has impacted their lives.

“We know that our daughter and sister, Maya Guberman, would have gone above and beyond to help anyone during this time of COVID-19 and any other time in her life,” said the Gubermans. “We are holding this contest in her spirit in the hopes that as a result of this unprecedented time, we all come out of this as better people.”

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An 'Amazing Community'

The money being given to the contest winners was raised largely through the “Roxbury-Strong” T-shirt fundraiser that took place shortly after the death of the 13-year-old Eisenhower Middle School student.

The Gubermans said Ali and Michael Thomas Maloy, of the Roxbury Gaels Lacrosse organization, spearheaded the “Roxbury Strong” effort which was joined by other Roxbury sports teams.

“All of the funds that have been raised by this amazing community for our family are being given right back to the kids in our community,” the Gubermans said.

The Maya’s Mission Essay Writing Contest is open to any child or teenager attending Roxbury and Mount Arlington schools or living in Roxbury. “We hope you encourage your children to participate and write about how COVID-19 has impacted their lives,” said the Guberman family, addressing local parents.

Consequences of COVID

There will be three levels of contest competition based on grade level. Essays by elementary school students must be at least 150 words, essays by middle school students must be at least 300 words and high school students’ essays must be at least 500 words.

“The essays should focus on how you have been impacted by COVID-19 - your family, your friends, school - and how this impact has changed how you live on a daily basis,” said the family. “The essay should also focus on changes you will make in your life once the quarantine is over. Your essay should have a title.”

The deadline for submitting the essays is 6 p.m. on May 1 and all entries must be emailed to:

Winners will be announced at the end of May and checks will be mailed to the winners. All essays must include name, address, email address, the students’ school and grade level.

All those who enter must agree to release their essays to the ownership of Maya’s Mission and to allow their names be used in publications, said the Gubermans.

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