OceanFirst Foundation Awards $50,000 for Scholarships

OceanFirst check

Galloway, N.J. – The OceanFirst Foundation presented a check for $50,000 to Stockton University on Jan. 8 that is providing 20 scholarships for Stockton students.

Jeffrey Ropiecki, vice president of commercial lending at OceanFirst, said OceanFirst awards scholarships to assist students with the financial hardships that may arise during their time in college, as well as to thank the university for its services.

“Stockton is turning out tomorrow’s leaders,” he said.  “They are better customers, better employees, and most importantly, better citizens.”                

This is the second year that OceanFirst has supported Stockton students.

"OceanFirst and the OceanFirst Foundation are terrific community partners." said Daniel Nugent, .Stockton chief development officer and executive director of the University Foundation. "Not only do they support higher education throughout the state, and countless other meaningful causes here in Southern New Jersey, they are extremely supportive of Stockton students. They are making a critical difference in these students’ lives."

Stockton President Harvey Kesselman said the $2,500 scholarships mean a lot to students and the university.

“What OceanFirst is doing does make a difference,” he said. “What we’re finding is that students need that money, not only to purchase books and to pay tuition and fees, but to eat. We know from the information we gather from students that need funding to get through college that these awards make a difference of surviving. Every time you provide an institution with those kinds of funds, you are giving the gift of hope.”

Scholarship recipients for 2018-19 are: Flynn Altomare, Mikaela Altomare, Laila Angrilli, Julie Coker, Jenna Cooper, Quy Dinh, Danielle Dyson, Jacqueline Francisco, Leticia Galindo, Cara Gervasi, Morgan Hoopengardner, Ki'tra Hunter, Scott Jarvie, Sullymar Martir Gonzalez, Liliana Morales, Summer Powers, Alisha Romer, Ivan Rosales, Jeri-Marie Snyder, Erin Thompson.

Students shared the impact of the scholarships in thank-you letters. Some excerpts are below:

“Your scholarship has opened such a huge door for me, and I thank you for that. Without this amazing opportunity I would have had to seriously rethink higher education. However, this award makes that so much easier! I have to say I have never had a smile so big on my face as when I received the email saying I was awarded.”

“By receiving this scholarship, it helps my mindset and enhances my education. Not only because college costs money, but also because I now know that someone other than my family is invested in the success of my education.”

“I’m a firm believer that kindness can go a long way. Generosity is what will make the world a better place for us and any future generation to live in. The OceanFirst Scholarship will help me keep my mind off my loans, which means I can focus more on my school work. I promise I will use the scholarship to further my career and my studies at Stockton.”

“Without the gracious efforts of the individuals of the OceanFirst Foundation, I know that I would be struggling to afford the heavy price of college tuition. It is because of organizations, such as yourself, that young adults across New Jersey are lessened of the burden of student loans and debt. Upon receiving my scholarship notification, I was completely taken back. Out of all the young adults who had applied and are attending Stockton University in the fall, I was chosen, and for that I am truly grateful.”

- Reported by Kat H. Wentzell.

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Diane D’Amico
Director of News and Media Relations
Galloway, N.J. 08205