Local students win scholarships

Sussex County. Lori Grant Scholarship Fund, the Junior Woman’s Club of Sparta, and John Cocula Memorial Scholarship Fund announce this year’s winners.

Vernon /
03 Aug 2020 | 05:58

Lori Grant Scholarship

John Cusack and Matthew Credidio who were honored by the Byram Hobb Engler Little League president, Bill Brown, for winning the 2020 Lori Grant Scholarship. Winners of the award are judged on their contributions to the league and community, and on an essay on lessons learned through little league baseball.

The award is named in honor of Lori Grant, who volunteered for more 30 years in numerous capacities, including president of Hobb Engler, as well as leading District 20.

Cusack will attend Quinnipiac University this fall, and Credidio will attend Montclair State University.

Junior Woman’s Club of Sparta

The winners of this year’s Junior Woman’s Club of Sparta scholarships are Emily Brothman of Newton High School, Emma Deery of Sussex County Technical School, and Michelle Scaglione of Sparta High School. Each student was awarded a $1,000.

“All three winners, Emily, Emma, and Michelle are amazing young women who have dedicated many hours to serving their community,” said the announcement.

Brothman will be attending Penn State University in the fall. During high school she worked extremely hard toward completing her Eagle Scout project and hopes to be part of the first inaugural class of female Eagle Scouts.

Deery dedicated many hours to Pass It Along during high school and was part of GoLead as well as Service Corps her senior year. She will pursue her dream of being an officer with the U.S. Coast Guard.

Scaglione served the Sparta Ambulance Corp in the cadet program and also volunteered many hours with Pass It Along. She plans to attend Clemson University in the fall.

During the selection process, the Junior Woman’s Club of Sparta looks primarily at community service. The club received more than 50 applications from students who volunteered more than 15,000 hours to local, national, and international organizations.

John Cocula Memorial Scholarship Fund

Four students from Vernon High School -- Giana De Rosa, Caleb Gibson, Victoria Grifone, and Zachary Trost -- were among nine students to received awards this year from The John Cocula Memorial Scholarship Fund.

The fund was established to honor the legacy of John Cocula, a former teacher and coach in the Garfield School System and a long-time resident of Vernon, and his efforts to encourage students to further their education.

The award provides $1,500 to each student named to an accredited school for higher education. It is funded through private donors and an annual golf outing.

“John would be proud to see these students be able to go on to a higher education program,” said Andrea “Bunny” Cocula, founding member of the fund and his widow. “Together with the support of so many outstanding donors and members of the Sussex County community, we will continue to honor John’s vision of helping exceptional students to further their dreams.”

Competition for the scholarships was intense. Eligible students must be a resident of Garfield or Vernon and must attend an accredited higher education program. Selection criteria includes academic performance, two letters of recommendation, participation in sports on some level and a brief personal essay. To date, the fund has awarded more than $413,000 in scholarships to qualified students.