Volunteer Center Of South Jersey Announces Local Scholarship Winners

By: Follow South Jersey Staff

SEWELL, N.J. — The Volunteer Center of South Jersey has announced the winners of the 2020 Scholarship Award for Volunteer Excellence (SAVE). 

Thomas (TJ) Edmund Jr. of National Park and DeAisha Johnson of Sicklerville have each been awarded $500 scholarships.  

DeAisha Johnson

The SAVE scholarships are awarded annually to seniors attending a high school in any of the South Jersey Counties (Atlantic, Burlington, Camden, Cape May, Cumberland, Gloucester and Salem). It is a competitive program and student academics are considered alongside their volunteer efforts.

“We established the scholarship with the thought that a young volunteer remains a lifelong volunteer,” Greg Davis, scholarship founder and board member, said in a press release. “By recognizing this effort, we hope to foster that spirit in other students. These future leaders are an asset to their schools and communities.”

“This year’s crop of nominations was better than ever,” Michele Francesconi, vice president of programs, said. “The selection committee was so impressed with the applications, that it was difficult to choose winners. However, we are thrilled to award this money to both DeAisha and TJ and hope it contributes to some of the rising costs of college.”

Thomas (TJ) Edmund, Jr.

Gateway Regional High School senior TJ Edmund Jr. was recognized for being “a stand-out student and leader.” According to the press release from the Volunteer Center of South Jersey, he has extensively volunteered both inside the walls of school and outside it at National Park Children’s Garden and Farm Stand. Coming from a family of volunteers, Edmund said “in tough times, volunteering can often bring people together.” Edmund also served as a high school journalism intern at Follow South Jersey. He will attend Rowan College of South Jersey in the fall.

Camden County Technical School senior DeAisha Johnson was also noted as an accomplished student leader. During her high school career, she managed to volunteer at school robotics events and tutor STEM at Little Restorer’s Learning Center while achieving a rank of number two in her class. Johnson has said that winning this scholarship would allow her to continue volunteering throughout college, hopefully “inspiring more young black girls, like myself, to enter the STEM field.” Johnson will attend Princeton University in the fall.

The Volunteer Center of South Jersey (VCSJ), formerly known as the Volunteer Center of Gloucester County, was established as a private, independent 501c3 non-profit organization in 1996 with support from the United Way of Gloucester County and the Board of Chosen Freeholders. In January of 1999, the Center moved onto the Gloucester County College campus, where it currently resides and is supported by RCSJ. The Center’s Board of Directors, donors, leadership, and volunteers continue to be deeply committed to changing lives, strengthening our community, and meeting the social needs of South Jersey. 

To learn more or donate funds to this initiative and the center’s other programs, visit www.sjvolunteers.org.