SCOTCH PLAINS, NJ -- Union Catholic's Kyra Eason, Dylan France, CaMai Jones, Zoie Kelly, and Natalie Walker will be honored at a special recognition ceremony in West Windsor for being chosen as recipients of the 2019 New Jersey Rising Scholars Student Recognition Award.

The New Jersey Rising Scholars Student Recognition Program was established by the NJ Department of Education in collaboration with the NJ Amistad Commission and the Malcolm Bernard HBCU College Fair of New Jersey, which honors the academic achievement of high school seniors from diverse backgrounds who are interested in attending a Historically Black College or University (HBCU) and are leaders in their school and community. Eligible students were evaluated based on merit, academic and personal goals, school activities, community service, and a personal statement.

"Being selected for the New Jersey Rising Scholars Program is an honor that I have truly been blessed with," said France, who lives in West Orange. "I hope to take this opportunity with me to pursue the best education I can."

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"I am very happy to have been selected for this award," said Eason, who lives in Somerset. "Historically Black Colleges and Universities hold a lot of history for African Americans, and I am humbled to be given the opportunity to become a part of one."

"I was so surprised to be selected," said Walker, who lives in Scotch Plains. "I am honored and excited to be given the chance to receive such a prestigious honor."

"I am honored to be a New Jersey Rising Scholar," said Jones, who lives in East Orange. "I have always wanted to pursue my future at an HBCU."

"I am honored to receive this scholarship because it has opened a new world of opportunities," said Kelly, who lives in Dunellen. "I have always wanted to attend an HBCU in order to become a physician assistant. My dreams have become possible!"