St.Vincent DePaul Scholarship Luncheon 2018

Fourth Annual

Youth At Risk Scholarship

Awards Luncheon

June 28, 2018


Our fourth annual luncheon event provided an opportunity for the scholarship recipients to sit down with St. Vincent DePaul Foundation board member, John Duffy, who made far more than his usual encouraging and inspiring remarks to the group.  At John's request, our time with the scholarship recipients would unfold like a Chat and Chew event.  This year's format change from formal presentations given by each scholarship recipient, allowed John to pose direct questions to them and then hear first hand from the scholars what their college challenges and frustrations entailed, as well as an updated account of their future goals and aspirations.  From there John could, along with the parents in attendance, and NCCA, Inc. Co-founders Quinn and Stephanie DeGeneste, impart some sage wisdom about the various matters under discussion.  Peer points of view were also an important element during the conversations, as the scholars felt comfortable enough to share their suggestions about various ways to handle certain situations.  Everyone was pleased with the informal and informative nature of the event.


Over the course of the years the luncheon has emerged as a very crucial aspect of this scholarship initiative.  Not only do the financially challenged scholarship recipients have the opportunity to dine at an elegant restaurant, exposing them to fine cuisine and ambiance that may be something they're not usually able to access, but the networking element is truly an invaluable asset in their portfolio of experiences that prepare them for life beyond college.  Without the generosity of the St. Vincent DePaul Foundation this would not be possible.

Scholarship Recipients

Drue Clark: Transferred from Monmouth University in the fall of 2018 to Rutgers University for the completion of her undergraduate studies.  Her major is Korean. Drue took a Korean placement test and qualified for beginning Korean for Native Speakers.  Being a transfer student means Drue has a lot of work ahead of her to graduate in the expected two years.  She is also planning to study abroad in Korea.  *A more detail profile is included in the Appendix.


Jammy Ramirez:  Graduated from UC TEAMS Charter School in June 2018 with a 3.7 GPA.  Through her high school's College Bridge Program she had already earned 6 credits at Middlesex County College and 12 credits at Union County College.  She is currently attending Middlesex County College and plans to major in Psychology.


Olivia Parker: Currently enrolled at Princeton University in the Molecular Biology Department and is scheduled to graduate in May 2019.  Her plan is to take post baccalaureate courses for preparation to enter an MD Ph.D. program, which will consist of 2 years medical school, 4 years for a Ph.D. , and the final 2 years of medical school.  Olivia feels this eight year course of study will afford her more flexibility than going to medical school exclusively.  She wants to be able to pursue opportunities in research, which she is very passionate about, as well as be prepared to launch into a career as a pediatrician should she desire to go that route.   Olivia 's love of her native Newark and a deep desire to assist children in need motivate her to think of ways she can develop after-school programs that not only fulfill a need for aftercare, but help mold leaders of the future.


Janayda Spencer-Whitfield:  Finished her Sophomore year at Delaware State University with a 3.41 GPA.  Janayda's current major is Forensic Biology.  She has medical school in her sights and because of personal life experience and dire community needs, she is currently interested in becoming a Forensic Pathologist.  Janayda is very eager to help people in her community, uplifting them by working in medicine and foster care. 

                                                 L-R; Scholars and parents                                L-R: Jammy Ramirez, John Duffy, Janayda Spencer-Whitfield,  
                                                                                                                                Drue Clark, and niot pictured Olivia Parker.