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Three high school seniors receive NCJW Volunteer Awards
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Three high school seniors receive NCJW Volunteer Awards

THE ESSEX COUNTY Section of National Council of Jewish Women honored three high school seniors with the Nancy and Robert Eskow NCJW Volunteer Awards, the 16th year of the program. The students, recognized for their dedication to improving the lives of others, each received a $500 scholarship.

Curtis Mark, Orange High School, has volunteered with the nonprofit Alcohol and Drug Abuse Prevention Team (ADAPT). “To make a community-level change, we must involve the community in our efforts,” he said. “Once we do this, the room for growth is endless.” He has received numerous other awards and was selected as the sole U.S. delegate at the United Nations Youth Forum.

Allison Kofsky, Columbia High School, was 15 when she started “Playground Pals,” a district program to spread awareness of and aid children affected by selective mutism, a rare childhood anxiety disorder. The program, she said, helps afflicted children “to feel included and less isolated during their lunch and recess periods, providing a voice to the
voiceless.”

Giulia Russo, James Caldwell High School, was 12 when she was informed she had atrial septal defect (a large hole) in her heart that only open-heart surgery could fix, changing her life forever. She became involved with the Congenital Heart Defect Coalition and has led a drive for the past five years to distribute journals to patients during treatment.

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