Two FHS Seniors Receive $80,000 Scholarships for Their Post-Secondary Education
Two Freehold High School seniors, who are graduates of the Freehold Borough School District, have been awarded financial support for their post-secondary education through the Tomazic Family Scholarship.
Destiny Claudio and Joseph C. Berryman will receive up to $80,000 over four years to support their enrollment at a college or post-secondary vocational program.
The Tomazic Family Scholarship was established in 2022 to build on the educational work of retired Freehold Borough Schools Superintendent Dr. Rocco Tomazic. The scholarship is funded through the Foreside Foundation, registered in Maine. The Tomazic Family Scholarship will run for a ten-year period, awarding up to nearly $1.2 million to students from the Freehold Borough School District. Partners in the Tomazic Family Scholarship program include the Foreside Foundation, members of the immediate Tomazic family, the Freehold Borough Educational Foundation, the Freehold Borough School District, and the Freehold Regional High School District.
This year’s selection process was especially competitive with 31 12th-graders vying for the scholarships.
“I am honored to work with Richard and Linda Berthy of the Foreside Foundation,” said Dr. Tomazic. “They have joined the positive Freehold story in a meaningful way, providing significant amounts of financial assistance to support the success of our students. They have made a difference.”
For 2023-2024, the Tomazic Family Scholarship was awarded to one boy and one girl in 8th grade and 12th grade who attend/attended school in the Freehold Borough School District. In the scholarship application, students were asked to outline financial need, articulate their academic goals, and express why they should be selected from among other similarly qualified candidates. They also submitted their academic transcripts.
About the scholarship, Mr. Berryman noted in his application, “The same community that I have helped to build has also built me and is now giving me the opportunity to move on with my life and pursue my ambitious dreams.” He plans to study mechanical engineering at the University of Michigan.
“Obtaining a higher education allows students who come from backgrounds like mine to pursue a life with more opportunities. The generosity of the Tomazic Scholarship would be my chance at pursuing a new life in which I’d be able to utilize a college degree to escape systemic poverty and hardships,” wrote Ms. Claudio in her application. She plans to pursue a degree in Social Work.
The first cohort of awardees selected in 2022 has just finished their first year of college and their 9th-grade classes respectively. The third cohort of 12th graders and 8th graders will be selected in 2024, and the final cohort of 12th graders will be selected in 2025.
“The Freehold Borough Educational Foundation is honored to partner with the Tomazic Family and the Foreside Foundation in providing what can only be described as life-altering financial assistance for these remarkable, community-minded, and academically talented young people,” said Jean Holtz, chairperson. “We wish them all the best and stand ready to support them through their ongoing studies.”
Financial support through the Tomazic Family Scholarship will be applied primarily to post-secondary tuition, room, and board. While awardees are in high school, financial support can be applied to incidental expenses related to their high school education.
“Pursuing higher education is a costly endeavor. Tuition and other expenses, such as textbooks, lab fees, and technology, can be a significant burden for students and their families,” shared Maryanne Tomazic, a member of the selection committee. “We are excited to support these students and watch them achieve their dreams.”
The Tomazic Family Scholarship accepts applications by April 1st of each year and announces the awardees prior to the end of the school year. If for any reason a student is unable to maintain qualification for the scholarship, the pro-rated scholarship will be transferred to the next qualified candidate from the original application pool.
“We are excited for the initial cohort of students to be supported in their academic journeys. Our only regret is that we could not do more for the many other very deserving applicants,” said Dr. Tomazic.
“It is exciting to watch our students propel themselves forward to higher education and their adult careers,” said Dr. Tomazic. “Reading their applications and hearing their voice describe their past and their dreams for the future has been very moving. Freehold Borough can be justly proud of its students.”