Award Ceremony at Governor Livingston High School, Berkeley Heights
Tonight, five college scholarships were awarded by the Isadora J. Seibert Foundation at Governor Livingston High School's annual award ceremony. These scholarships are supported by generous donators throughout the year. A very special thank you to the members of the Seibert Scholarship Fundraising Committee of Governor Livingston High School, which is comprised of many selfless, hard working, and loving faculty members. The year-long efforts of this committee, with the kind support of the high school's administrative staff, helps the Foundation greatly in being able to offer these annual awards. The scholarships represent such a meaningful and even appropriate way to honor Isadora and her love for the students at Governor Livingston High School.
Thank you to all who support the scholarship fund which operates under the umbrella of the
Isadora J. Seibert Foundation.
Although all the wonderful applicants for this year's scholarships were deserving, the exceptional recipients of the 2016 Isadora Seibert Scholarship are Kelly Deegan ($2000), Julia Gay ($2000), Sama Manchanda ($2000), Kate O'Hara ($2000), and Skyler Williams ($2500). These caring and inspiring students, who are already making such a positive difference in the world, will surely carry Isadora's light and love wherever they go and whatever they do. They are indeed very special.
About the Scholarship Recipients
Selfless Kelly Deegan, a volunteer at the Berkeley Heights Nursing Rehabilitation Center and a St. Baldrick's Club student leader, is interested in forensic psychology. She wishes to "help kids with a mental diagnosis who do not understand why they are feeling the way that they are feeling" and to "teach people about mental diagnosis and help those with them feel more comfortable in society." Kelly has such an important and greatly needed goal.
Scholarship recipient, Special Olympics volunteer, and future nurse Kate O'Hara stated, she hopes to "welcome some into the world and save others from leaving it." How beautiful a wish! Kate even became a certified lifeguard in her efforts to save lives. Someone, like Kate, who always thinks of others, is a reflection of who Isadora was and how she lived her life.
Julia Gay will be studying Nutrition and Food Science in college. She started a healthy eating club at school, has a vegan food blog, and hopes to educate others about healthy plant-based foods. Isadora was a vegetarian from birth and throughout her entire life. In her last couple of years, she had aspired to become vegan but just couldn't give up her beloved cheese for very long! Julia's efforts would have inspired her!
Scholarship recipient Sama Manchanda wanted to be a doctor since childhood (as did Isadora). Sama's experiences while volunteering for the Berkeley Heights Rescue Squad confirmed her childhood desire. She suffered a physical setback herself while in her sophomore year. Sama's desire to give of herself is evident in her statement, "It took a personal injury for me to realize I wanted to spend my life working to alleviate the pain of others." Again, thinking of others first is a quality reflective of Isadora.
Skyler Williams will be studying Biology/Pre-Veterinary Medicine at Isadora's alma mater, Ramapo College of New Jersey. Skyler was inspired to pursue biology just by watching her favorite teacher, Isadora, in action. Isadora began her academics at Ramapo thinking she would like to become a Spanish language teacher. It was only after taking a biology course, taught by an exceptional and inspired Ramapo teacher, did Isadora realize that science was calling her! Isadora altered her life's path because of her inspiring teacher. Isadora has inspired Skyler in the same way. Isadora's mom read the following letter aloud before presenting its author, Skyler, with her scholarship award:
(Skyler's letter was sent to the Isadora J. Seibert Foundation in 2014, after Isadora's passing)
Dear Miss Seibert,
I think of you often. I think of how we rescued that fish. I think of how you would pull me out
of classes to talk about horses. I think of your bright yellow punch buggy (VW bug) with the
Daisy antenna. I think of how you made me believe in myself and how you nurtured my love of
science. I cried today. I cried thinking about a spiritual connection I had to a college I visited.
How it seemed that I just belonged there. How being accepted to this college was a must
because I refused and did not want to apply to any others. You see, my dear teacher, I found
out that that you attended this college! My major will be Biology. When I sit in class and walk
through the halls, you will be in my heart. You mattered so much to me. You inspired me.
Your sincerely grateful student, Skyler Lynn Williams
P.S. You will always be my favorite teacher of all time!
The Foundation thanks all who have donated their time and/or money to support Isadora's scholarships. Let us all try and be a kind and positive force in the world as Isadora was and continues to be. It is the greatest way to honor her and create a lasting legacy of her goodness.