The Burlington County Commissioners and Burlington County Women’s Advisory Council announced the five recipients of the County’s new expanded student scholarships awarded to female graduates who are aspiring to lead and advocate for other women.
The $1,000 scholarships were awarded to Aaliyah Hicks, Jessica Hollander, Skye Muthuramalingam, Favour Oyelade, and Elizabeth Strunk during a reception Tuesday evening at the Burlington County Lyceum of History and Natural Sciences.
The scholarships and reception were sponsored by the Burlington County Commissioners, the Burlington County Women’s Advisory Council, the Alice Paul Institute, Virtua Health and Remington & Vernick Engineers.
“As women leaders, we have a responsibility to serve as mentors and role models for the next generation and I’m incredibly proud of our Women’s Advisory Council for their work to inspire and support our county’s young achievers,” said Burlington County Commissioner Director Felicia Hopson, who is a liaison to the Burlington County Women’s Advisory Council. “Awarding scholarships is one of the ways we support our future leaders, and we’d like to thank the Alice Paul Institute, Virtua Health and Remington & Vernick for partnering with us to expand our scholarship program to honor additional female students. We hope to continue to grow this program so that we can recognize and support even more standout scholars in the future.”
“These five young women are top-performing students who have already accomplished great things and performed services both in and outside of their schools. They’ve demonstrated leadership and helped inspire their peers,” added Commissioner Allison Eckel, who is also a liaison to the Women’s Council. “We are proud to help support their continuing education and we look forward to them carrying on our county’s legacy of outstanding women.”
The Burlington County Women’s Advisory Council works to identify and address issues that impact women in Burlington County, increase public awareness about the special needs and roles of women and to enhance the quality of life of women. For more information, follow the Council on Facebook at @Burlington County Women or visit www.co.burlington.nj.us/263/Womens-Advisory-Council .
The following is a rundown of the scholarship award winners:
Alice Paul Champion Scholarship: Skye Muthuramalingam, Columbus
Skye Muthuramalingam is graduating from Northern Burlington Regional High School and will attend New York University's Tisch School of the Arts as a film and television student.
At Northern, Skye is a leader of the school’s No Place for Hate Club and Students for Earth Recovery Everywhere. She is also student president in the Chorale Department and a member of the Tri-M Music Honors Society, National Honors Society, Thespian Society, Interact Club, Habitat for Humanity, Muslim Student Association and Greenhouse Club.
Outside of school, Skye participates in the Young Scholar’s Institute and volunteers with the Trenton area soup kitchen and Grama Vikas, a nonprofit service organization in India.
She hopes to someday combine her talent in filmmaking with social activism to help inspire more young women to feel “empowered to tell their own beautiful and eye-opening stories.”
Educating the Future Scholarship: Elizabeth “Ellie” Strunk, Burlington Township
Ellie Strunk is graduating from Burlington Township High School and continuing her education at East Stroudsburg University in Pennsylvania.
Ellie has been interested in teaching since she was young, and her personal experiences and education at Burlington Township High School has inspired her to pursue becoming a reading specialist or elementary school teacher. She wants to focus on assisting students challenged by reading disabilities.
Beyond her education, Ellie is a volunteer at a local church where she helps families in need. She is an avid soccer player and has played since she was 6 years old.
She was described by one of her teachers as one of the hardest working student athletes and someone who has demonstrated a love of learning and sought opportunities to “learn, improve and grow.”
Leading the Way Scholarship: Favour Oyelade, Willingboro
Favour Oyelade is graduating from the Burlington County Institute of Technology at Westampton and plans to attend Kean University to study economics and global business.
Favour has been an outstanding student leader, serving as President of BCIT’s National Honor Society and Student Council. She was co-host of the school’s Black History Month Read-in and an advocate for the school’s Women’s History Month Read-in.
Favour was also a student representative to the combined BCIT/Burlington County Special Services Board of Education and is a student athlete on the school’s Cross Country team.
Outside of school, Favour is an active volunteer with her church, the Willingboro Public Library and the Burlington County Clean Communities Program.
Remington and Vernick Engineers STEM Innovation Scholarship: Jessica Hollander, Mount Laurel
Jessica Hollander is graduating from Lenape High School and pursuing a Computer Science degree at Northeastern University in Boston.
Her interest in programming started with her love for solving puzzles as a child, which eventually led to her taking a coding course in middle school.
Jessica wants to work as a software developer, systems analyst, or a similar position in the technology industry. She says she enjoys the challenge of "piecing together different parts of code" and "finding creative solutions to complex problems."
She volunteers with several organizations, including the Mount Laurel Rotary, Paws Farm and her synagogue. She is also a class representative to Lenape’s executive council and a member of the Student Council and Track Team.
Jessica is a member of the National Honor Society and Business and Spanish Honor Societies.
Virtua Health Light Maker Scholarship: Aaliyah Hicks, Delran
Aaliyah Hicks is graduating from Delran High School and plans to attend Georgetown University in Washington, D.C., as a pre-med student in the School of Health.
At Delran High, Aaliyah serves on Student Council's Executive Board and is President of her school's Diversity Club. She is also a STEM Ambassador, a Committee Representative for her Board of Education and a member of National Honor Society, Science League, Math and Spanish Clubs and a peer leader for the school’s Transition Project.
Aaliyah is also a member of the Track and Field team.
Outside of school, Aaliyah volunteers at Virtua hospitals, Tabernacle Baptist Church, Cooper Medical School, and delivers meals to senior citizens.
Aaliyah said she became motivated to pursue a career in health care because of her mother’s experiences as a Somali refugee. She said the adverse global health conditions her mother experienced moved her to pursue her passion for community service through medicine, research and advocacy.”