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Wall High Schooler Receives Caring Award

Nik Duritza among students selected for annual award

A senior was among recipients of an annual award given to Monmouth County students who exemplify a spirit of giving.

Nik Duritza was among more than 30 high schoolers who received the 2012 Caring Award at a ceremony at Brookdale Community College, Middletown, on Friday.

Duritza, to raise money for charity, was honored for his commitment to "Project Snowflake," the Wall High School program that provides gift cards to needy families at Christmastime.

The Caring Award is given annually to one student from each of the county’s participating high schools by the Monmouth County Guidance Director Association to honor the commitment of students who go the extra mile to help and support their communities.

"We wanted to showcase the good things that go on in our schools in Monmouth County,'' said Patrick Leary, a counselor from Allentown High School and head of the county association.

The award has been given out for more than a decade. Each school is also given a $100 scholarship, and those students who attend the event were also entered into a drawing to win one of five $750 scholarships given away.

One honoree from each participating high school is recommended by the school’s guidance counselor each year. Nominees are also required to submit a short video explaining their activities.

"We have some kids who traveled to Haiti or to Africa to build homes to teach English. They've done blood drives, raised money for cancer reasearch or Autism awareness,'' Leary said.  "The array of what the kids are involved with is just amazing.''

The following is a list of this year’s winners of the 2012 Caring Award and, where available, links to their submission videos:

Allentown High School: Regina Scaccetti  Video

Allied Health High School: Samantha Noblejas, Video

Asbury Park High School: Sari Wyckoff

Biotechnology High School: Katherine Rittenbach Video

Christian Brothers Academy: Michael McCarthy, Video

Colts Neck High School: Karen Torres-Soto, Video

Communications High School: Mary Badger, Video

Freehold  Borough High School: Brandon Wesley, Video

Freehold Township High School: Kristen Stephenson, Video

Raritan High School: Jennifer Delre, Video

Henry Hudson High School: Maureen McBurnie, Video

High Tech High School: Melanie Chen & Andrea D'Souza,Video

Holmdel High School: Samira Anifowoshe, Video

Howell High School: Evan LaGuardia, Video 

Keansburg High School: Katherine Crowe, Video

Keyport High School: Casey Fisher, Video

Manalapan High School: Marisa Cabral, Video

Manasquan High School: Madalyn Higgins, Video

Marlboro High School: Elif Anda, Video

Marine Academy of Science and Technology: Elizabeth McCormack, Video 

Matawan Regional High School: Not participating

Mater Dei Prep: Not participating 

Middletown North High School: Brittany MacDonald, Video

Middletown South High School: Paige Sessock, Video

Monique Gamboa Academy Charter: Not participating 

Monmouth Regional High School: Plair Gennarelli, Video 

Neptune High School: Tiara Anderson, Video

Ocean Township High School: Erin O’Gorman, Video

Red Bank Catholic High School: Meghan O'Malley, Video

Red Bank Regional High School: Chloe Johnson, Video

Rumson-Fair Haven High School: Elise Keale, Video

Shore Regional High School: Benjamin Hall, Video 

St. John Vianney High School: Hayley Markovich, Video

St. Rose High School: Victoria Brown, Video

Wall Township High School: Nikolas Duritza, Video

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