SJSF assists scholar-athlete achieve dream of Catholic education
Thanks to the South Jersey Scholarship Fund, Aliyah Stephens’ Catholic education stayed on course, guiding her to success in the classroom, on the basketball court and in life. The 2017 graduate of Haddonfield’s Paul VI High School described how the fund’s contribution toward her senior-year payment enabled her to finish her secondary education at the Catholic high school. “[We] needed help with the tuition,” Stephens admitted, noting she lost her father to lung cancer in her junior year. Help came in the form of scholarship money from the fund, established in 2001 to aid students and their families with tuition costs to attend Catholic school. “I was so glad to be able to stay at Paul VI, finish high school with my friends and stay on the basketball team,” Stephens said.
As a service project, Stephens donated her time coaching special-needs adults through the Special Olympics program. Off the court, the student athlete was a member of the track team, participated in peer leadership and was a member of National Honor and Spanish National Honor Societies. Taking to heart the Paul VI school motto, “Excellence in learning, excellence in life,” Stephens continued her academic and basketball careers at Ursinus College, Collegeville, Pa. Stephens earned a master’s degree of science interdisciplinary studies in biological and physical sciences from Touro College of Osteopathic Medicine, New York, and plans to pursue a doctorate in osteopathic medicine at that school. The future physician is working this summer as a clinical research fellow at Drexel University, Philadelphia.
Stephens, now 23, has a message for those individuals and corporations considering assistance to the South Jersey Scholarship Fund. Paul VI High School president Mike Chambers added, “I believe that the generosity of those involved with the South Jersey Scholarship Fund opens the door for many more faith-filled, service-oriented students to attend Catholic school. The South Jersey Scholarship Fund is now in the midst of its Spring Sprint for Scholarships campaign to raise $50,000 to help students remain in Catholic School.
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