News & Announcements

Centenary College and United Way of Northern New Jersey Women’s Leadership Council Continue to Sponsor $10,000 Scholarship

08/12/2013, 04:09 PM

Hackettstown, N.J. – For the second year, Centenary College and United Way of Northern New Jersey Women’s Leadership Council will continue to sponsor a scholarship designed to help female, non-traditional students from Warren County to afford the costs of completing their college education.  The 2013-14  recipients are Tracey Semcer from Lopatcong and Christina Chmielewski from Harmony, for the second year in a row. Both women will be graduating from Centenary in May 2014.

First established in Fall 2012 for Centenary students who graduated from Warren County Community College, the scholarship was instituted with $5,000 by United Way with Centenary College providing a $5,000 match.  This agreement builds on a similar partnership United Way Women’s Leadership Council established with Warren County Community College in 2010 to provide financial assistance to students struggling to afford the costs of higher education.

“It is a pleasure to continue this tradition,” says Dr. Barbara Lewthwaite, Centenary College President.  “It is a wonderful outgrowth of the strategic partnership that Centenary has with the United Way.  Centenary College and the United Way opened the United Way Women’s Leadership Center on our campus last spring as a resource for members of the community and students.  This scholarship fits in well with the vision of the Center.”

A new element of the scholarship that was added this year is one-on-one mentoring by a United Way Women’s Leadership Council member.

“The intention is to equip the recipients with the tools and resources that they may need for continued success,” says United Way Women’s Leadership Council Director Sarah Brelvi.  “An excellent way to do that was to implement a mentoring component to this opportunity.  Both students will be paired with a professional in their field of interest who they can consult with on a regular basis.”

For Semcer, the scholarship means she can keep pursuing her dream of becoming an advocate for victim’s rights.  She plans to continue her studies at Centenary College after she graduates by studying for a master’s degree in Counseling Psychology.

“My experience at Centenary College has been so positive,” says Semcer.  “The small class sizes and having access to my professors has been instrumental to me thriving as a student.  I am so pleased that I was selected to be the recipient for this scholarship for a second year.  It allowed me to attend this institution, which was always my first choice.”

Before returning to college, Semcer was a legal secretary who had been out of the corporate world for 13 years.  She was concerned about what her employment options would be after not being employed for so long and felt that going to college was the best option for her.  She graduated from Warren County Community College in May 2012 and was selected to be the student Commencement speaker. 

Chmielewski was not working a little over three years ago after needing time away from the workplace to manage some medical issues that she thought could be life threatening.  She re-evaluated her life and decided to go to college once she was healthy. 

She has a flair for number crunching, so she decided to go to Warren County Community College and earned her associate degree in May 2012.  She is pursuing a dual degree in Accounting and Mathematics at Centenary College with the goal of becoming a Certified Public Accountant. 

“I am absolutely thrilled that I am receiving this scholarship again,” says Chmielewski.  “It enables me to come to Centenary and not worry as much about my financial burdens as I would otherwise.  I am so grateful for this opportunity.”

Those who are interested in learning more about the United Way of Northern New Jersey Women’s Leadership Council Scholarship should call (908) 979-4292. Moving forward, recipients who are selected for Fall 2014 will automatically receive the scholarship for the following year, as well, as long as they fulfill specific academic criteria.

About United Way of Northern New Jersey
United Way of Northern New Jersey is a nonprofit organization working to improve people’s lives and strengthen communities by focusing on education, income and health.  These are building blocks for a good life – a quality education that leads to a stable job; the tools needed to achieve financial stability; and good health.  United Way of Northern New Jersey leads caring communities to create long-lasting changes that transform people’s lives.  Together, united, hope can be inspired and create opportunities for a better tomorrow throughout Morris, North Essex, Somerset, Sussex and Warren counties.  Give, Advocate, Volunteer. LIVE UNITED. To learn more, call (973) 993-1160 or visit www.UnitedWayNNJ.org.

About Centenary College
Founded in 1867 by the Newark Conference of the United Methodist Church, Centenary College’s academic program integrates a solid liberal arts foundation with a strong career orientation. This mix is designed to provide an educational experience that prepares students to succeed in the increasingly global and interdependent world.

Centenary College’s main campus is located in Hackettstown, N.J., with its equestrian facility in Washington Township (Morris County).  The Centenary College School of Professional Studies offers degree programs in two locations: Parsippany and Edison, and at corporate sites throughout New Jersey.  The School of International Programs recruits international students for study at Centenary and Centenary students for study abroad.