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NJMEP awards scholarships, LEDR-Ship grants

Cedar Knolls-based New Jersey Manufacturing Extension Program is providing $10,000 in scholarships and LEDR-Ship (Leadership Excellence Direct Results) grants to 10 adults.

Scholarships can be used for 4-year or county colleges, industrial schools and for other approved industry-credentialed training, NJMEP President and Chief Executive Officer John Kennedy said.

The funding for these awards comes directly from the net-proceeds from the Jersey Guys Golf Outing, which honors the memory of the late Bob Beaman and Tony DeSantis. Kennedy says NJMEP has given $120,000 in awards over eight years.

“Bob Beaman was my closest friend in life, who helped me along with Dennis Kohl, a retired Boy Scouts of America scout executive, develop the LEDR program,” Kennedy said. “He passed away suddenly five years ago. As did Tony DeSantis, another friend, who worked for NJMEP for 16 years. When I came here in 2012, I tied the programs together to support exposure into a key industry and the NJMEP team volunteers and we sponsor several days each year.”

The Team Eagle Foundation was formed in 2010 to provide a Young Adult Strategic mentoring camp program called LEDR. Since then NJMEP has sent 330 New Jerseyans through the program – none pay for the opportunity. Each day the program includes various exposure opportunities including manufacturing and STEM.

The Bob Beaman B-Involved Scholarship for LEDR Alumni, Young Adult Staff & Boys & Girl Scouts winners are Michelle Catao of Madison, $2,000; Patrick McQuillan of Sparta, $1,500; Atiyah Hack-Russell of East Orange, $1,500; and Kwenny Schwemmer of Landing, $1,000.

The following people earned finalist awards of $500 apiece: Kyler Erezuma of Madison; Henry Gallagher of Chatham; Aiden West of Chatham; and Eddie Baldwin of Newton.

The LEDR-Ship grants were awarded to Young Adult Staffers Megan Campbell and Lauren Ventriglia.

“When I came to NJMEP in 2012, we created the ‘Manufacturing Cares’ program, which has supported a variety of community service projects,” Kennedy said. “Our main areas include The Annual Food Drive with over 300,000 meals donated to date, The LEDR Program, The Jersey Guys Golf.”

David Hutter
David Hutter grew up in Darien, Conn., and covers higher education, transportation and manufacturing for NJBIZ. He can be reached at: