Scholarship Recipients 2019-2020
Jessica Thompson, Union, NJ
Jessica Thompson is a graduating senior attending Union High School, in Union NJ. She is an active member of the Advanced Placement Art Club at school. She loves to participate and watch the sport of volleyball as a spectator and was a member of the Union High School Volleyball Team. In her spare time, she has assisted with caring for an older sibling
and a preschooler, volunteered within the Newark Public Schools system and tutored Art and English at the local YMCA.
Jessica recognized her aptitude in art when she entered high school. She is now an aspiring artist and a melophile; one who loves music, whose favorite pastime is to illustrate famous music artists and family members, and thoroughly enjoy the amusement of reality TV. She is an avid supporter in community service by participating in the American Cancer Society Making Strides Against Breast Cancer Walks in Essex and Union County and The Walk for Autism Awareness. Jessica plans to one day share her energy and passion for different genres of Art on YouTube by creating tutorials so people may expand their knowledge of Art.
In the Fall Jessica will be attending Union County College and majoring in Art Education. She extends an enduring thank you to AAngelsNJ organization for the scholarship being provided.
Janai Nicole Williams, Linden, NJ
With a love for sports, Janai Nicole Williams has been a member of the Linden High School, Varsity Volleyball Team for four years and the Varsity Track Team for three. Janai is an active participant in various clubs and activities such as the editor of the yearbook, President of the National Honor Society, a member of the Pre-Health Professionals club,
and a member of the DECA organization.
Outside of school Janai is a proud member of Morning Star Community Christian Center, in Linden, NJ where she serves as a junior usher and an active contributor in various church programs. Janai has also volunteered with other ministries at the Hillside Community Food Bank, all while maintaining a 4.0 GPA.
Janai will be attending Howard University in the Fall where she plans to study psychology and eventually attend medical school to become a clinical psychiatrist. She is hoping that these experiences will not only help her succeed in her intended major, but also gain real-world experiences in the medical field.
Kendyll Montague, Montclair, NJ
Kendyll Montague is a graduating senior from Montclair High School, in Montclair,
NJ. She is the 5th generation of her family to attend the Montclair Public School
system. She is very athletic, participating in various sports such as basketball and
gymnastics with a core focus competing in dance and cheerleading. During her senior
year, Kendyll participated on the All-Star Cheerleading team. She has led her team as
Captain for the past two years and has traveled all around the United States competing.
Kendyll studied dance since the age of 10. She was a member of a Troupe Competition
Team winning trophies from various competitions throughout the tristate area.
When Kendyll is not studying or competing in her favorite sport, she is working at the Jewish Community Center as a teacher assistant. Kendyll plans to continue her studies at Bergen County College in the fall focusing her studies on Early Childhood Education.
Kendyll is an advocate for families who have lost loved ones from Cancer. Through her traumatic experience she has centered her emotions to help others by raising money and awareness for the American Cancer Society Making Strides Against Breast Cancer Walk. She is extremely blessed and grateful to receive this award from AAngelsNJ.
Christopher Christiansen, Montclair, NJ
Christopher Christiansen was born in San Diego, CA but raised in Montclair NJ. Along with graduating from the Montclair High School Christopher graduated from the “Hristo Botev” Bulgarian School in NYC which he attended for 12 years. In addition to English, he speaks Bulgarian, which is his mother’s native language. He is the first student in the State of New Jersey to receive a Seal of Biliteracy on his High School diploma for his fluency in Bulgarian along with the Spanish language. Chris has volunteered on multiple hands-on projects
related to health and education at several local and international non-profit organizations in Bulgaria and Mexico helping minority and economically disadvantaged communities. He has been recognized with the Gold Pin Service Award from Montclair High School and with numerous other local and international Community Service Awards.
In his spare time Chris loves playing piano, soccer, traveling, and fishing. His aspiration is to become a cybersecurity expert and to protect identities and businesses. He was among the handful of finalists to attend several highly competitive cybersecurity camps across United States sponsored by the National Science Foundation, the National Security Agency, and the Society of Automotive Engineers. In the fall, he will be attending the New Jersey Institute of Technology majoring in Computer Science as a proud recipient of the NJIT Academic Excellence and Craig MacCallum STEM Scholarships.
Christopher is extremely honored and grateful for the scholarship he is being presented with tonight. He extends a big THANK YOU to the entire AAngelsNJ family with wishes to continue their noble mission for many more years to come.
Jasmaira Cordova, Orange, NJ
Jasmaira Cordova is the middle child of five siblings. She was born and raised in Newark New Jersey and moved to Orange when she was in the fifth grade. Jasmaira is the Captain of the Orange High School Girls’ Varsity Basketball Team, which she has been a member for two years. She has also been a team member of the OHS Softball Team for four years.
Jasmaira has worked very hard to be a student athlete and at the same
time attain academic excellence. She strives to be an example for her younger siblings. She learned perseverance from her grandmother’s strong will to love and fight for life no matter what the odds. Jasmaira whole heartily believes that with her faith in God, family and true friends, she will make it all matter in life and make a way for others.
In the Fall Jasmaira will be attending Caldwell University where she will study Business
Management. Her goal in life is to be a CEO of a large corporation. She would like to thank
AAngelsNJ for this scholarship and is so very grateful and appreciative for this opportunity.
Kayonnah Yates, East Orange, NJ
Kayonnah Yates is an 18-year old senior at Cicely L. Tyson Community School of Performing and Fine Arts, in East Orange, NJ. She is a vocal music major and a member of the award-winning CTS Choir. She is also one of the top scholars in her graduating class.
Kayonnah is a member of Kappa Theta Delta, a community-service through the Arts Program, National Honor Society, and M.O.V.E. (Making Our Voices Echo) a mentoring group aimed to help other students succeed.
Kayonnah balances her academics and an afterschool job while maintaining a high GPA.
Kayonnah will attend Rutgers University, New Brunswick in the Fall.
Jayla Thomas, Newark, NJ
Jayla Thomas is an 18-year old, who is a senior attending and majoring in Television
Production at Arts High School, in Newark, NJ. For many years, Jayla has had a passion for photography however over the past four years with the help of her teachers from Arts High School and mentors, she has developed into a true photographer and videographer. In school she established a composition for it when given photography projects, to her surprise everyone loved what she produced. These assignments helped Jayla to discover the art of directing and filmmaking.
Jayla prefers creating films that are (public service announcement) PSA’s or educational. She believes that through her ideas, formations and films she can produce an enjoyable point of interest to inform people. In her pastime, she enjoys playing instruments. Jayla is a self-taught guitarist who also plays the ukulele. She feels music is a beautiful sound and it is even better when you are the one producing it.
Jayla will be attending Rowan University, in Glassboro, NJ in the Fall. She will be majoring in Radio, Television & Film. She is looking forward to continuing her education, being able to pay in forward to give back to her community and becoming a famous movie director and producer telling authentic stories that will save lives. Jayla would like to thank AAngels of New Jersey for believing in her future!
Kayla Rudder, Newark, NJ
Kayla Rudder graduated from the Academy of the Holy Angels, High School in Demarest, NJ. on May 31st. She held a leadership position in the Black & Hispanic Club in high school and later became the Leadership Committee Treasurer. As a member of the AHA Varsity Soccer Club and cross-country track & field team, Kayla placed first in several events and races. She has had great fortuity regarding her life and career path from her family, pediatrician, and Rutgers mentor, an LSU alumni/olympic medalist and will be the fourth
out of five siblings to attend college.
Despite Kayla’s heavy load and long commute to school, she works part time continues to volunteer and coach youth soccer, coach a track & field team at her middle school and volunteers weekly at the Kessler Rehabilitation Center in West Orange, NJ. In her spare time, she enjoys going to the movies, running with her dog, hanging out with friends and family and finds time to run 5k’s to raise money for: Cancer, The American Heart Association, and other organizations.
At Rutgers University, Kayla participated in Pathways to Achievements and Success (P.A.S). There began her devotion to Sports Medicine and those experiences solidified her goals. With Kayla’s love of sports and medicine, she aspires to be an Orthopedic Surgeon. She follows Jimmy Dean’s motto “I can’t change the direction of the wind, but I can adjust my sails to always reach my destination”. In the Fall, Kayla will continue her studies at Virginia State University, majoring in Biology Pre-Med. She would like to thank AAngels organization for this wonderful donation.
Nigil D. Thomas, Orange, NJ
Nigil D. Thomas born March 17, 2001 in Jersey City, New Jersey. The son of Koa Thomas, a school counselor and Matthew Clark a musician. Nigil graduated from St. Joseph school in East Orange, NJ and attended DePaul Catholic, Wayne, NJ his freshman year of high school and then went to Orange High School, Orange, NJ.
At Orange High School Nigil has been Superintendent Student of the month and Athlete of the month. He has maintained High Honor Roll and Honor Roll during all four years of High school while being Senior Class Vice President and the Captain of both Football and track teams. Nigil has been recognized by both the National Football Hall of Fame of Essex county Scholar Athlete Foundation and the Essex County Scholar Athlete Award.
Nigil will be attending New Mexico Highland University in Las Vegas, NM Fall 2019 where he will be majoring in Pre-Professional Health and Minoring in Human Performance and sports while playing a part of the NMHU football team. Nigil believes that Faith, Family and Football are key to his success.
Symone A. Marsh, Hillsborough, NJ
Symone A. Marsh attends Hillsborough High School in Hillsborough, NJ. As a freshman, She was accepted onto the Varsity Indoor Track and Field Team. Since the beginning of high school, Symone has progressed into an exceptional athlete setting High School records in the Shot Put and Discus. College Scouts were in awe because she is a left-handed player who can hit such distances without prior training. Symone is a Scholar-
Athlete who excels academically, volunteers her time with the American Cancer Society for the Relay For Life in Kenilworth, NJ; helps orchestrate a clothing drive for the Food Bank of New Jersey, and assist to raise money for Breast Cancer Awareness. She is also an active youth member in her Church as a Young People’s Division participant.
She graduated from Hillsborough last month and is proud to have ended her High School Track and Field journey with a personal best of 41’2” in the Shot Put and 126’2” in the Discus events. She will be attending Howard University this Fall as a member of the Track and Field Team. She plans to further her abilities and Shotput career.
Nicholas Longo, Nutley, NJ
Nicholas Longo is a senior at Nutley High School, in Nutley NJ. Throughout High School, he
had the opportunity to engage in many school activities and group functions. Two of his favorites were the Archery Club and Skills USA. With the support of his family, friends and mentors, he has learned that hard work and perseverance leads to a positive outcome.
These two factors have allowed him to achieve honor roll every marking period and a GPA above most of his graduating class.
Since childhood, technology has always been a topic of fascination for Nicolas. He is fascinated with the way technology has helped to improve life for globally and he plans to do amazing things one day with it. Nicolas enjoys interacting online with friends, learning about history, and most importantly of all spending time with his Italian family. As an Italian American he always looked forward to a dish of pasta on Sundays.
Nicolas is beyond grateful and has been awakened even more by this opportunity given by the AAngelsNJ. Many blessings to those who give up their time and resources to help Cancer warriors. In the Fall he will be attending Montclair State University, in Montclair, NJ to pursue his interests in the field of Business.