Forman S. Acton Educational Foundation Announces More Than $100k in Scholarships for Salem City Students

SALEM CITY, N.J. – The Forman S. Acton Educational Foundation has announced in a recent press release that it has allocated more than $100,000 to distribute from the Acorn Fund college savings accounts of over 60 students graduating in the class of 2019.

The Acton Foundation’s Acorn Fund, which started in 2016, invests in college savings accounts for every child living or attending public school in Salem City that has signed up for the program.

As part of its support of Salem City, the foundation also awards a set of scholarships to a select group of standout students each year. These students will be eligible for scholarships of $10,000 per year (up to $40,000) at their chosen college or university as long as criteria for ongoing scholarship awards are met. The eight Forman Scholars who graduated in the Class of 2019 who will be attending college this fall include:

  • Aniya Eldridge, attending Stockton University
  • Jason Franklin, attending Rowan University
  • Ashley Garcia, attending the University of Massachusetts
  • D’Angelo Maldonado, attending Drew University
  • Akina Nichols, attending Swarthmore College
  • William Oakes, attending Lafayette College
  • Megan Pankok, attending Drew University
  • Aliyah Thomas, attending Rowan University

Since the Acton Foundation’s inception, more than 900 Acorn Fund college savings accounts have been opened, and $825,000 has been allocated to create those accounts which help children and families currently living or attending public school in Salem City begin to save for college. To date, Acorn Funds have been distributed to the colleges and universities of 61 students from Salem City to help them pay for higher education at institutions across the U.S. and Europe.

In addition, the Acton Foundation has also identified 40 students as Forman Scholars since the inception of the Foundation, including the eight new Scholars that will be attending college this fall, and has awarded more than $635,000 in scholarships to those students through the end of the 2019 school year. An additional $280,000 has also been allocated for the 2019-20 school year.

“We are thrilled to recognize our eight outstanding Forman Scholars from the class of 2019 along with all of those students with Acorn Fund accounts who worked tremendously hard and graduated this past spring,” said Larry Van Meter, President and Chief Executive Officer of the Forman S. Acton Educational Foundation, in a press release. “At our foundation, we believe that every child deserves the right to a quality education, and through our Acorn Fund and Forman Scholars program, we strive to inspire, educate, and empower more young people in Salem.”

The Acorn Fund is an initiative to create and invest in college savings accounts for Salem City’s youth. All children from birth through 12th grade who live in or attend public school in Salem City are eligible to receive money for an Acorn Fund college savings account. Opening deposits, also referred to as “early scholarships,” are from $50 to $1,000. Up until each student graduates from high school, the Acton Foundation plans to make additional contributions for qualified account holders. Acorn Fund account holders have until the age of 25 to begin using their college savings account funds. For more information on the Acorn Fund or to sign up, visit:

Students eligible to apply to be Forman Scholars include those in their junior year at Salem High School as well as juniors living in Salem City and attending a school in the Salem County Vocational Technical School District or attending one of the public Salem County high schools that are open to enrollment to Salem City students. In addition to residence requirements, applicants must also meet certain academic and financial need requirements to be eligible for a scholarship. Upon meeting all requirements and being selected as a Forman Scholar, students will meet periodically with the Scholarship Director during their senior year to receive coaching and college preparatory services from the foundation. In addition, they may also participate in special foundation events and activities.

For more information on the Forman Scholars program, visit:

The Forman S. Acton Educational Foundation has a mission to inspire, educate, and empower Salem youth. Founded in October 2014, it is named after Dr. Forman S. Acton, a Salem resident, pioneering computer scientist, engineer, and university professor who sought to provide children from his hometown with the same access to education that made him successful. Through his endowment, the foundation provides financial assistance and inspirational support that removes barriers and creates pathways for students to advance their education, achieve career success, and become global leaders. Anyone interested in learning more can visit: