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Nominations are open for Press' Young Leaders scholarship awards
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Nominations are open for Press' Young Leaders scholarship awards


The Press of Atlantic City held its last in-person Young Leaders awards ceremony, honoring local high school seniors who are civic-minded and community-oriented, in May 2019 at Seaview Hotel and Golf Club in Galloway Township.

A worldwide pandemic, a social justice movement and a contentious national election: If the past 10 months have proven anything, it is the importance of leadership nationally and locally.

The Press of Atlantic City believes real leadership is fostered at an early age, which is why each year, we celebrate the high school seniors in our community who have exemplified what it means to be a Young Leader.

The sixth annual Young Leaders awards are now open for nominations.

This is not an award to celebrate academic or athletic achievement. Rather, our search is for the problem solvers, the helpers and the explorers.

The program this year will be more important than ever as the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted almost every facet of society, but especially the way young people learn, interact and participate.

In 2020, young leaders in our communities have stepped up to the plate, organizing food drives, making masks and other personal protective equipment, coming up with new ways to continue time-honored traditions and helping the most vulnerable.

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In years past, The Press’ Young Leaders program has recognized civic-minded high school seniors like Ocean City’s Mary Grace Jamison, who started a prom beauty parlor to raise $8,000 for Ronald McDonald House, and Egg Harbor Township’s Ayolola “Lola” Oguntuase, who volunteered in local hospitals, embarked on international mission trips with her church and organized projects on human trafficking awareness in her community.

Last year, Millville’s Zachary Nolter, an aspiring nuclear submarine officer, gained a mentor in Navy Lt. Cmdr. Jessica McNulty, also a Millville native, after he was named a Press Young Leader.

The Press once again needs the help of community leaders, mentors, employers, teachers, guidance counselors and others to identify this year’s 2021 South Jersey high school seniors who are already making contributions to their communities.

Qualifying students must be a high school senior in Atlantic, Cape May, Cumberland or southern Ocean counties. Nominations must include a letter of recommendation from the nominator (you), as well as a brief essay and a completed form listing accomplishments from the nominee (the student).

After a monthlong nomination process, a handful of judges from throughout South Jersey will pore over the nominations to select 25 Young Leaders, who will be honored in a special supplement printed in The Press in which we will tell the stories of each student’s academic skills, diverse extracurricular activities and service to their communities.

The winners will also receive a small scholarship to assist in their college tuition costs.

Nominations end Feb. 28.

Visit to nominate an outstanding student.

Contact: 609-272-7251

Twitter @clairelowe

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Staff Writer

I began covering South Jersey in 2008 after graduating from Rowan University with a degree in journalism. I joined The Press in 2015. In 2013, I was awarded a NJPA award for feature writing as a reporter for The Current of Hamilton Township.

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