WEST ORANGE, NJ — In a continuation of a seven-year tradition, the Timothy Groves Memorial Scholarship has once again been awarded to seniors at West Orange High School. This year, 12 seniors benefited from the scholarship, which the Shauger family founded with the West Orange Scholarship Fund in 2014.
The 2021 Groves Memorial Scholarship recipients are Noah Adedjouma, Shanelle Chambliss, Amayah Clement, Andrew Cupo, Marissa Edelman, Lesly Flores, Troy Houlker, Elizabeth Marazere, William Rintzler, Kelsey Roberson, Giantonella Rojas and Tiara Wilson.
Including this year’s honorees, a total of 61 students have been awarded the Groves Memorial Scholarship to date. The scholarship carries on the legacy of former West Orange Police Officer Timothy Groves, a friend of the Shaugers who died in 2013 from cancer. Given Groves’ passion for law enforcement and dedication to volunteerism during his lifetime, the scholarship recognizes students who are similarly committed to community service or who demonstrate an interest in the area of law.
“We couldn’t be more proud to see such a wonderful, accomplished group of students receive the Timothy Groves Memorial Scholarship,” said Lisa Shauger, president and CEO of The Shauger Group. “They embody so many of the qualities that Timothy Groves did — especially with their passions for helping and serving others. They truly honor Officer Groves by showing the same heartfelt dedication to making the world a better place.”
The scholarship is geared specifically toward students who have exhibited a commitment to philanthropy. Honorees need not be planning careers in law enforcement or criminal justice, but many of them do share Groves’ interest in law, justice and related fields. Through an application process, the WOSF committee selects recipients based on their academic record, financial need and extracurricular involvement.
Some of this year’s Groves Memorial Scholarship recipients also received additional scholarships: Cupo was awarded the Dylan Pennell JROTC Scholarship, Flores got the WOHS Principal’s Scholarship and Rintzler was given the WOSF General Endowment Scholarship.
WOSF treasurer Jim Quinn thanked Donald and Lisa Shauger for supporting the WOSF, saying, “On behalf of the West Orange Scholarship Fund trustees, we cannot thank you enough for all that you have done, and continue to do, for the children of West Orange. Thank you so much for your generous support. Your commitment to charitable causes inspires me every day.”
The Shaugers made a $10,000 donation this past year to the scholarship, in memory of all West Orange residents who have died from COVID-19.
“Due to COVID, the last year and a half has been especially financially challenging for families,” said Donald Shauger, executive vice president of TSG. “We know that every bit helps, particularly during times like these, so we are honored to know the scholarship will ease the financial burden on some families. That has been an important goal of the scholarship over the last seven years: to make a difference in students’ lives and educational opportunities, while honoring the memory of Timothy Groves. Timmy was someone who dedicated his life to serving the West Orange community — not just as a police officer, but also by participating in mentorship programs and other volunteer activities to benefit the youth of West Orange. His impact on the community was long-lasting, and it means a lot that the Groves Memorial Scholarship in his name is making a lasting difference, too.”
These scholarships will certainly make a difference in the lives of the recipients, helping them to afford higher education.
An active athlete, Adedjouma plays tennis, runs cross-country and does track. Adedjouma participated in the Air Force Junior ROTC during his time at WOHS and is an actor as well.
A three-year member of the AFJROTC at WOHS, Chambliss intends to study at St. John’s University and pursue a career in law enforcement.
Clement volunteers at West Orange’s Our Lady of Lourdes Roman Catholic Church, with which the Shaugers are also heavily involved. Clement plans to have a career in health care.
Cupo too was a member of the AFJROTC, having participated in the program for all four years of high school. Cupo was a varsity athlete, played with the jazz band and belonged to the award-winning WOHS marching band. Cupo’s long-term career plans center around cybersecurity or homeland security.
President of the Fight for Green Club, Edelman also served as a student representative on the green team, where she has worked with Township Council members, supervisors and environmental science teachers to attain a Sustainable Jersey grant for WOHS. Edelman is planning to pursue environmental law.
Flores volunteers at a soup kitchen and, intending to become a crime scene investigator, Flores will major in forensic science in college. Flores is a member of three National Honor Societies, and she has also worked to help her mother.
With a love for computer science, Houlker has developed his own computer game. He plans to work in the field of cybersecurity.
Marazere finished high school with a grade-point average of more than 4.0. She was on the high honor roll and is a National Honor Society inductee.
With a passion for computer science, Rintzler has taught himself to code on his own over the last few years. Rintzler’s academic pursuits have also revolved around computer science: Rintzler has taken every computer course offered at WOHS, as well as a few outside of WOHS. Rintzler is considering a career in cybersecurity.
A former intern at the Essex County Prosecutor’s Office, Roberson plans to study law, with the ultimate goal of making positive improvements to the justice system. She will attend Howard University in the fall.
A well-rounded student, Rojas described herself as “kind and compassionate, yet ambitious and driven.” Motivated to succeed and work hard, Rojas makes a point of setting goals for herself and pouring her heart and soul into reaching them.
Wilson was a member of the track-and-field team and received postseason awards for her accomplishments. After having volunteered to work with displaced children, Wilson has been inspired to pursue a career in social work. She will attend Johnson C. Smith University in the fall.
Photos and Text Courtesy of Alexandra Gakos