Scholarships Awarded at Two Local Parishes

Nine students have been awarded scholarships at Saint John Neumann Parish in Califon and St. Joseph Parish in High Bridge.  Included were six scholarships awarded by the St. Joseph Council Knights of Columbus, two by St. Joseph Parish and one by the Altar Rosary Society and the Holy Name Society.  All recipients are students at Voorhees High School.

Knight Mario Bernardo coordinated the annual St. Joseph Parish scholarship program where awards were presented to Dana Croghan, Michael Buckley, Victoria Furka, Robert Whitney, Julia Thompson, Samantha Wescott and Julia Rigatti.

Dana Croghan and Michael Buckley received scholarships from Rev. Maurice Carlton at St. Joseph Church in honor of his deceased parents, Mary and Ed Carlton.  Dana participated in Voorhees Volleyball, Basketball, Softball and was Class Secretary.  She was a member of the National Honor Society, Student High School Integration Program and Family Career Community Leaders of America.  Having completed all of her CCD obligations at St. Joseph Parish Dana was a Second Grade Religious Education teacher for three years.  Dana also volunteered for the High Bridge Recreation Program and the Grow A Row program.  Dana will be attending Villanova University to major in Business.  Michael was a member of the Voorhees football team and Varsity Club.  He completed CCD at St. Joseph Parish and was active in the program.  Within the community, Michael was a volunteer for the High Bridge Recreation Program and the Hunterdon County YMCA.  Michael will attend Rowan University to major in Finance.

The St. Joseph Parish Altar Rosary Society and the Holy Name Society partnered to award a scholarship to Victoria Furka.  At Voorhees High School, Victoria participated in softball, basketball, the National Honor Society, World Language National Honor Society, Job Coaching with special needs students, Student High School Integration Program, Hoops for Hospice, German Club, Points for Pain and Make a Wish Foundation.  Victoria completed her CCD requirements at St. Joseph and was a teacher for CCD for four years.  Victoria will attend The University of Louisiana at Lafayette and major in Biology.

The St. Joseph Council Knights of Columbus awarded six “Joseph F. Labuta Scholarships” at the two parishes.  At St. Joseph Parish, Knights of Columbus awards went to Robert Whitney, Julia Thompson, Samantha Wescott and Julia Rigatti.  The St. Joseph awards were presented by pastor Rev. Maurice Carlton.

Robert Whitney participated in Cross Country and Spring and Winter Track and Field for four years at Voorhees.  He was the team captain and State Sectionals and Conference champion.  He was also a member of the French Club, World Language Honor Society, National Honor Society, and Model Congress.  Robert was a member and Counselor in Hunterdon Hawks Track Club, a Senior Leader in the Boy Scouts and received an Eagle Scout Award for a project benefiting the County Park System.  Robert will attend Cornell University to major in Civil Engineering.

At Voorhees High School Julia Thompson participated in Cross Country, Winter and Spring Track, the Teen Prevention Education Program and the Student High School Integration Program.  She completed her CCD requirements at St. Joseph and assisted with the Religious Education Program.  Julia works with the Hunterdon Hawks Club and Together We Are One (TWAO), a non-profit organization founded at Voorhees by a former council scholarship winner).  Julia will attend James Madison University.



            Samantha Wescott participated in Soccer and was the wrestling manager at Voorhees.  Samantha was a Religious Education teacher at St. Joseph Parish both during the school year and in the summer.  Samantha participated in TWAO, and won the Presidential Volunteer Service Award.  She will be attending Seton Hall University to major in Nursing.

Julia Rigatti attended Voorhees High School and participated in Swimming, Drama Club and Pro-Active Collaborative Teens’ Club.  Julia serves as a volunteer with the Special Olympics. and she will attend Springfield College to major in Occupational Therapy and Health Sciences.

Rev. Abraham Orapankal, pastor at St. John Neumann Church, presented Knights of Columbus “Joseph F. Labuta Scholarships” to Michael Fabiano and Matteo Cantelmi at St. John Neumann Church where Knight Steve Bauernfeind coordinated the Knight’s scholarship program.

            Michael Fabiano plans to attend Rutgers University in the fall majoring in Engineering. Michael is active in St. John Neumann’s Catholic Heart Workcamp, a venture by SJN youth to visit an east coast city to give service in housing needs, property upgrading, and general errands. Mike understands “the gifts we have received must be shared” with the less fortunate. He is active as an Eagle Scout, a  Model UN participant, lacrosse player, swimmer, the WHAM club (a semi-annual academic competition contested among the high schools of Warren and Hunterdon counties), and the National Honor Society. Michael distinguished himself at school taking four AP courses, and having placed 5th worldwide in 2011 in the Odyssey of the Mind competition.  In the community Michael serves as lifeguard and swimming instructor at Brady Life Camp and volunteers for St. John Neumann events and local firehouse breakfasts as a “sampler” with 329 hours of community service in all!

Matteo Cantelmi plans to attend Stevenson University in Maryland as a computer forensics major. He has been an assistant with TV screen activation for masses, volunteers for church cleaning, a member of the Flemington Police Explorers (an organization open to young people 15-20 interested in a law enforcement career or any individuals in that range seeking a challenging experience) , the LAN Club (a computer and gaming club meeting periodically during the year), playing football and a volunteer for a variety of church projects (beginning as an altar server when in middle school).  Matteo views St. John Neumann as his special community…“a community of friends and family that come together to celebrate our faith in God”.  It’s “project work with his fellow parishioners where he can do good for our world.” He gives much time to the church food pantry, both packing and delivering, and understands that his faith can be a pillar to lean on when family conflict/tragedies intercede.