LITTLE SILVER – Red Bank Regional High School (RBR) senior Lynese Rawlins of Red Bank was one of 20 students in New Jersey to be awarded the New Jersey Heroes Spirit of a Hero Scholarship.
She received the $5,000 scholarship from first lady Mary Pat Christie at a reception held at Drumthwacket, the governor’s mansion in Princeton.
More than 700 students applied for the scholarships. Criteria for consideration included U.S. citizenship, good academic standing, letters of recommendation and a commitment to volunteering in the community.
“I’ve met so many young people who are doing good work throughout our state to help improve the lives of others and give back to their communities,” Christie said in a prepared statement. “Through this Spirit of a Hero Scholarship program, we hope to provide deserving students with the ability to follow their dreams and desired career path to a successful future.”
Rawlins, a drama major in RBR’s Visual and Performing Arts Academy, is the president of her senior class and captain of the cheerleading squad. She serves as a mentor to freshmen as a Student to Student leader. She has organized coat drives in her community and volunteered at Lunch Break, the neighborhood soup kitchen. She also works two jobs after school.
Two years ago, Rawlins started a chapter of the GlamourGals organization at RBR, which attempts to bridge the generation gap between the elderly and teenagers by providing complimentary beauty makeovers and company on a regular basis to elderly women residing in senior homes. Over the past two years, Rawlins has grown her cadre of beauty makeover artist/companions to 45 girls who visit The Chelsea assisted-living residence in Tinton Falls.
For her work on Glamour Girls, Rawlins also received the Monmouth County Directors’ Association’s Caring Award, the NJ Rising Scholars, Mrs. Citizenship and the Elks Leadership Conference Scholarships. She is very excited to be attending Montclair State University in the fall. Rawlins hopes to become an entertainment attorney and would also like to establish her own nonprofit company providing tutoring services to homeless children in her area.
“I believe that this scholarship will only encourage me to continue my walk in life with helping people. My mother has always influenced me to be the best I can be and to never stop until I am living my dream,” Rawlins said. “My elderly friend Josephine, from the senior home that I volunteer at, inspires me to continue to help build friendship between the younger generations and the older generation and to make people smile on a daily basis.”