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Partnership awards students for making a difference in community

March 18, 2005

NEWARK, NJ – The Township of Irvington does not have to look far for the next generation of leaders, they are being groomed right in its own backyard. Today, NJ TRANSIT and Irvington High School honored nine outstanding young men and women as part of a Black History Month program that was rescheduled due to inclement weather last month.

At an awards ceremony in front of hundreds of students at the school, Chief of the Governor’s Authorities Unit and NJ TRANSIT Board member Verice Mason joined Irvington Mayor Wayne Smith and Irvington High School Principal Albert Joy to honor students who are striving to make a difference in their community. Three students were chosen to receive top honors for the first Student Community Leadership Awards program, sponsored by NJ TRANSIT.

“We often recognize students for their academic or athletic abilities, but there are students who are doing wonderful work within their communities and schools, and these contributions should be recognized and celebrated,” said Ms. Mason. “We should be very proud of these young men and women, because they are proving that great leaders start from communities such as Irvington.”

More than 25 students were nominated for awards in three categories: Leadership, Young Entrepreneur, and Citizenship. The top winners of this year’s awards are:
Leadership Award, Tanesha Douglas
Young Entrepreneur Award, Farah Herring
Citizenship Award, Ronald Josias

In addition to the first place winners, six students were chosen for second and third place awards. The winners were:

Leadership Award 2nd Place: Jennifer Rodriquez
Leadership Award 3rd Place: Bernette Pearson

Young Entrepreneur Award 2nd Place: Ebinizor Gweifie
Young Entrepreneur Award 3rd Place: Letitia Sherman

Citizenship Award: 2nd Place: Darrell Houston
Citizenship Award 3rd Place: Tiffany Okorie

First place winners received an NJ TRANSIT monthly bus pass and two tickets to a Broadway show. Second place winners received four Six Flags Great Adventure tickets and roundtrip transportation tickets, while third place winners received a $50 gift certificate to Planet Hollywood and roundtrip transportation tickets.

NJ TRANSIT is the nation's largest statewide public transportation system providing more than 752,600 daily trips on 240 bus routes, three light rail lines and 11 commuter rail lines. It is the third largest transit system in the country with 163 rail stations, 52 light rail stations and more than 17,000 bus stops linking major points in New Jersey, New York and Philadelphia.