Contact: Kelly Vence


Public Information Office



ELIZABETH, NJ— June 27, 2013 — Earlier this morning, Mayor J. Christian Bollwage presented scholarship checks and awards to the Arabella Miller Halsey Trust Fund Scholarship winners.

The first of the two beneficiaries is Christopher Venegas, who graduated from Admiral William Halsey Leadership Academy and will be attending Fairleigh Dickinson University. The second is Kendal Simmons, who graduated from Elizabeth High School’s Upper Academy and will be attending the University of Delaware.

“I am happy to present these two students the Arabella Miller Award, as they both possess high morals and are dedicated to making a contribution to the City through service,” said Mayor J. Christian Bollwage. “It is so important for our young people to have access to higher education and with the help of this scholarship it enables these fine students to do so. I wish much success in the future to Christopher and Kendal.”

Out of forty-two applicants, Venegas and Simmons were chosen by a committee who selected the recipients based on their academic profile and essay submission. The topic of this year’s essay focused on student’s goals, dreams and aspirations for the future. Christopher aspires to study Law, while Kendal hopes to obtain her Doctorate degree in Biology (Pre-Med).

The Trust Fund honors the late Miss Arabella Miller Halsey, the founder of the Pioneer Club, whose charitable endeavors toward Elizabeth’s youth are recognized through this scholarship. According to Images of America: Elizabeth written by Jean-Rae Turner and Richard T. Koles, Arabella Miller Halsey devoted her life to helping others. She became interested in the plight of the children of immigrants, who crowded the Port of Elizabeth.

These scholarships, which have acted as a memorial for Miss Arabella Miller Halsey, provide each student with five-hundred dollars to put toward their first year of college education.

“I would like to congratulate Kendal and Christopher on this great achievement,” said Councilman-at-Large Frank Cuesta. “Working in the education field, I understand the importance of broadening academic horizons and I am pleased to see these young men and women working hard to do their best. I hope they accomplish everything they set out to achieve.”

The City of Elizabeth’s Office of Youth oversees the application and selection process each year. Members of the committee include: Jessica Topolowski, Denise Lowe, Lovely Randle, Stan Neron, Sergio Granados, Wakeelah Abdur- Rahman and Deborah E. Dixon.

To learn more about programs and opportunities offered through the Office of Youth, please contact Stanley Neron, Supervisor of Youth Programs at 908-820-4032 or visit the City’s website at