Vernon Township High School Senior Rachel Colvin Named 2013 United Way Scholar Athlete

2013 United Way Scholar Athlete Rachel Colvin of Vernon Township High School received $4000 in scholarships at Perona Farms on March 22. Credits: Photo courtesy of the United Way
The 11 chosen United Way Scholar Athlete's pose for a photo at Perona Farms on March 22. Credits: Alley Shubert
The 11 chosen United Way Scholar Athlete's pose for a photo at Perona Farms on March 22 wearing their "United Way" t-shirts. Credits: Alley Shubert
A table with pictures and stories of each United Way Scholar Athlete. Credits: Alley Shubert

ANDOVER TOWNSHIP, NJ - Rachel Colvin, a senior at Vernon Township High School was named the 28th Annual 2013 United Way Scholar Athlete at Perona Farms on Friday, March 22.

At Vernon Township High School, Colvin has been enrolled in Advanced Placement, honors and college credit courses, officer of the National Honor Society, and member of the National Science Honor Society. To add to that, Colvin was selected to participate in the Naval Academy Summer Seminar at Annapolis, and received a nomination and Congressional Appointment to attend the United States Military Academy at West Point. Adelphi University also recruited Colvin to play Division II field hockey.
Colvin’s achievements do not end there. She received her first varsity letters freshman year in golf and ice hockey, earned varsity letters in field hockey and lacrosse making her the first female captain of Vernon’s boy’s ice hockey team and the first female to score a goal for the team. She became named captain of the field hockey team leading her to the titles of; Academic All-League Athlete, First Team, All County, All Conference and All League Honors
Colvin volunteers as serving as an assistant ice hockey coach at the Vernon Youth Ice Hockey program. She has helped run clinics at Skylands Ice World in Stockholm. She also works in the school library during her lunch and study periods and fundraises for the school’s honor societies as well as her ice team.
Colvin, who ranked third out of 346, and with an outstanding GPA of 3.99, received a $3,500 scholarship from RoNetco Supermarkets, along with a $500 book scholarship donated by Mr. and Mrs. Peter Stamer.

“I can’t believe I was chosen,” said Colvin as she was picked one out of 11 to receive this prestigious award.
Although Colvin won, she was faced with some serious competition.
A $1,000 community service scholarship was presented to Matt Benvenuto from Lenape Valley, who has attended two mission camps with his church to help those in poverty, participating in Habitat for Humanity, and volunteering at the Food Bank of New Jersey. Benvenuto also served as co-chair of Lenape’s Make-a-Difference Walkathon, and also participates in the St. Jude’s Walkathon, MS Walk, and Relay for Life. He also volunteers his skills math tutoring and serving as a mentor for youth wrestling.
Kristen Swerzenski of Jefferson High School received a $1,250 gift certificate from First Hope Bank, Nicole Bell of Sussex Tech received a $750 scholarship from Sussex Bank, and Alyse DePaola received a $1000 scholarship from Skyview Orthopedics.
The other Scholar Athletes were: Emily Stukenborg of Wallkill Valley, Luke Giugliano of Sparta High School, Sonia Geba of Pope John XXIII, Tim Osborn of High Point, Luke Malvey of Newton High School, and Andre Tan from Hopatcong High School. 
“I’d like to congratulate all the teachers tonight, you have really influenced them and what they will accomplish,” said Jennifer Cannistra, a 1997 United Way Scholar Athlete runner-up for Sussex County.
“Congratulations, you will all be rewarded, and honored for the weeks to come,” concluded Mary Emilius, United Way of Northern New Jersey.
Since its start in 1985, United Way partners with local businesses, organizations and individuals who sponsor a senior from each area high school.

The program “funds various violence prevention programs in area schools and has supported a middle school Anti-bullying Summit each fall, which involves more than 1,300 Sussex County students. The full-day retreat encompasses cyber-bullying and interpersonal violence prevention techniques. United Way supports the summit as part of a focus on providing every child the opportunity to reach his or her full potential in a safe and nurturing school environment.”


The 2013 United Way Scholar Athlete Committee is as follows:

John Matthews, Chairman Hinkley Auto

Mary Emilius, United Way of Northern New Jersey

Becky Carlson, Center for Prevention & Counseling

Chris Foster, Ronetco Supermarkets

Cynthia Heismeyer, Selective Insurance

Cathy Kut, Realtor, United Way Local Operating Board Member

Glenn Lewis, Karen Ann Quinlan Hospice

Sarah Roskowsky, Sussex Bank

Suzanne Swank, United Way Local Operating Board Member

Barbara Wortmann, Sussex County Community College



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