(Eastern Bergen County, NJ; June 14, 2021) — The Community Chest of Eastern Bergen County announces the recipients of its fourth annual High School Young Women’s Leadership Awards program. Na Yoon Koh of Cresskill, a senior at Cresskill High School, received the Young Women’s Senior Leadership Award of $2,000. North Bergen resident Christine Salazar, a junior at Dwight Morrow High School-Academies at Englewood, received the Young Women’s Junior Leadership Award of $250 and the opportunity to participate in an internship. The awards were presented in an outdoor ceremony held at Tenafly Nature Center.
“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.
The awards program celebrates the leadership the three “Elizabeths” from Bergen County demonstrated throughout their lives. Elizabeth Cutter Morrow of Englewood became the founding board chair and president of The Community Chest during the Great Depression. Elisabeth Morrow Morgan, the founder of the Elisabeth Morrow School, grew up in Englewood. Elizabeth Cady Stanton, a Tenafly resident for several years, became an internationally recognized leader in the suffragette movement.
The 2021 award recipients demonstrated leadership, compassion, innovation and the courage of their convictions in the community. Koh, the senior leadership award recipient, was recognized for leading an educational effort to aid younger students in the Cresskill School District, during the COVID-19 pandemic, as social distancing led to isolation. To assist younger students, she researched materials on core topics within common subjects, and organized the students in the upper grades to record videos of themselves teaching these topics, which were uploaded onto a YouTube channel and shared with the PTA and other students.
Not only is Koh a leader in her community, she is a scientist and a musician. As a research intern at Plamica Labs, she contributed to publishing a review paper in the journal Nanomaterials. An internship at Englewood Health provided her with hands-on experience working in a research laboratory. Koh, a cello principal in the Julliard Pre-College program, is a symphony/orchestra scholarship recipient, leading the cello section in weekly practices and the Julliard Centennial Concert. Among her accomplishments, she won the National Young Arts Competition in classical music in 2019 and 2020. She also performs with the TWNY Music Guild, Inc.
Koh, a member of the National Honor Society and Spanish National Society, also finds time for extracurricular activities, including participating on Mathlete, the high school math and science team. Among her community activities, she is a volunteer student leader and assistant music therapist with New Beginning for Social Needs. In the fall, she plans to attend Yale University.
Salazar received the Junior Leadership Award in recognition of her activities in the school and in the community. A champion for environmental justice, she founded the environmental club, Mission Green, in her freshman year and is currently vice-president. Among her leadership roles, she is vice-president of the Film and Media Club, vice-president of the Tri-M Honor Society, and a Freshmen Experience Peer Leader. Salazar is also a member of the marching and concert bands, chorus, Model United Nations, Red Cross, Grieco Scholarship Club, Rho-Kappa Honor Society, Make-A-Wish Club, Class of 2022 Council and the Diversity Club. She has achieved honor roll and high honor roll throughout high school.
The runners-up for the Young Women’s Senior and Junior Leadership Awards received certificates in recognition of their leadership in the community. Daniela Mazzoni of Haledon, a senior at Dwight Morrow High School-Academies at Englewood, was named first runner-up in the Young Women’s Senior Leadership Award. Penelope Om of Cresskill, a junior at Bergen County Academies, was named first runner-up in the Young Women’s Junior Leadership Award.
About The Community Chest
Founded in 1933, The Community Chest, a nonprofit, tax-exempt organization, has supported local not-for-profit agencies for 88 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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