(Eastern Bergen County, NJ; June 15, 2020) — The Community Chest, a nonprofit based in Englewood, New Jersey serving eastern Bergen County, named the recipients of the third annual High School Young Women’s Leadership Awards program. Ashley Dinerman of Closter, a student at Northern Valley Regional High School-Demarest, received the Young Women’s Senior Leadership Award of $2,000. Teaneck resident Eliza SiIletto, a junior at the Dwight-Englewood School, received the Young Women’s Junior Leadership Award of $250 and the opportunity to participate in an internship.
“We were very impressed with the caliber of the applicants for these leadership awards. Each demonstrated exceptional talents and a commitment to social justice causes. A tremendous need always exists for good leaders and especially now, young women with strong leadership abilities and a commitment to social consciousness are critical in our communities, ” said Dr. Shelly Wimpfheimer, Executive Director, The Community Chest.
Senior Leadership Award
The award recipients demonstrated leadership, compassion, innovation and the courage of their convictions in the community. Dinerman, an active volunteer, is co-founder and director of the Change4good Foundation, a national organization engaging teens in community service and supporting local community projects. She helped create Prom Perfect, a nonprofit organization collecting and distributing formal wear to students, who would be unable to attend their proms, at five high schools in Passaic County.
Throughout high school, Dinerman held a range of leadership positions as student council president and class treasurer for four years. In the fall, this leader plans to attend the University of Wisconsin at Madison and afterward, pursue a career in government serving the public and working on social issues.
Runners-up for the Young Women’s Senior Leadership Award received certificates in recognition of their leadership in the community. Katie Vinson of Closter, a senior at Northern Valley Demarest High School, was named first runner-up. Wendy Casimiro of Englewood, a student at Dwight Morrow High School, was named second runner-up.
Junior Leadership Award
SiIletto, a tireless environmentalist and citizen lobbyist, working with her local Girl Scout troop for over five years to lobby for a plastic bag ban in Teaneck and for stricter state legislation of plastic use. She spoke at the New Jersey joint legislative session on plastic and at Governor Murphy’s Town Hall meeting, as well as at individual meetings with state representatives. For her efforts, Silletto and her troop received the New Jersey Environmental Lobbyist Award. Currently, she is creating a video to educate other young people about how to be successful citizen lobbyists.
Among her volunteer activities, she is a member of the Dwight Englewood Absolute Zero robotics team heading up outreach and management and an English tutor actively working to increase diversity awareness at her school. As co-founder and editor for four years of the Teaneck Kids Chronicle newspaper, she received the Teaneck Chamber of Commerce’s Youth Achievement Award. Her future plans include pursuing government policy law or environmental studies to build on her experience, as a citizen lobbyist and fulfill her passion for community service and making positive change.
The runners-up for the Young Junior Women’s Leadership Award also received certificates in recognition of their leadership in the community. Susan Dong of Northvale, a junior at Northern Valley Regional High School-Old Tappan, was named first runner-up. Mia Clingham of Tenafly, a student at Tenafly High School, was the second runner-up.
About The Community Chest
Founded in 1933, The Community Chest, a nonprofit, tax-exempt organization, has supported local not-for-profit agencies for 87 years. The Chest leads initiatives and supports nonprofits that make our communities stronger and benefit people in need in eastern Bergen County. Each year, The Chest raises funds and allocates them to agencies demonstrating the capacity to provide services to local citizens. The organization also provides coordinating and planning services in its communities, serving as a bridge between agencies and organizations and investing in the stability and quality of the service network.
The Community Chest’s Board of Managers is comprised of community leaders dedicated to improving the lives of neighbors in need. People interested in being considered for board membership may contact executive director Shelly Wimpfheimer at (201) 568-7474.
For further information about The Chest, visit www.thecommunitychestebc.org/ or contact (201) 568-7474. Stay updated about the organization’s activities on Facebook and Twitter.
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