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Robert B. Farneski, Sr., was the father of Anna Farneski, formerly the Assistant Vice President, Governmental Relations at Ramapo College. Mr. Farneski was a beloved father and husband who was committed to helping others through his service in the United States Navy, as well as his work with the Elks and the Knights of Columbus. Mr. Farneski was a model citizen, who valued education and the impact it could have on one’s life. The Robert B. Farneski, Sr., Memorial Scholarship will provide both an inspiration and an opportunity for students with documented disabilities to achieve their goal of an undergraduate degree.
- Candidate must have a documented disability
- Seeking an undergraduate degree
- Good academic standing
Lizzet Soto of Hackensack, N.J. is double majoring in Finance and Marketing and double minoring in Psychology and International Business.
At Ramapo, Lizzet has been active in several organizations and activities, including APO the service fraternity of Ramapo, ASL Club, and Stock Market Club. She is currently VP of her NIM class for APO and next semester she will hold Conference Chair Officer.
Lizzet has also been involved in off–campus activities and organizations, including tutoring elementary school students who are in ESL, volunteering for the Lupus Foundation of America and the Arthritis Foundation. She also dedicates her time to give back to her community by visiting nursing homes and spending time with the seniors during the holidays, bringing them small gifts that are collected in her community.
At Ramapo, Lizzet hopes to finish her studies next year and pursue her MBA.
Audrina Dobrevic of Caldwell, N.J. is a senior Computer Science major with a minor in Mathematics. She is on the Dean’s List and will be the first female in her family to earn a college degree. She plans to pursue a graduate degree in cybersecurity or robotics.
Audrina has held e-board positions for both the Computer Club, Technology Club and the ACM-W Club. She has worked as a Building Supervisor for the Bradley Center and has held various positions in the Office of Residence Life.
Off campus, she volunteers as an EMT at the local Mahwah Emergency Medical Services. She is also active in the fight for climate justice and can be found doing garbage clean-ups around the Ramapo Reservation.
Esther Marie Gonzales
Esther Marie Gonzales of Hillside, N.J. is a Communication Arts Major with a concentration in Journalism with a Human Rights & Genocide Studies minor. Upon graduation, Esther plans to pursue a Master’s in Journalism and work with international humanitarian organizations to create sustainable orphanages and health clinics in impoverished areas around the globe. Amongst her endeavors, she hopes to raise mental health awareness and end the stigma surrounding depression.
Esther has received a reward for her journalism and now serves as the Arts & Entertainment Editor for the Ramapo News, alongside working on the e-board for Campus Crusaders for Christ.
She also has gone on several mission trips to countries such as Panama, Nicaragua, and the Dominican Republic.
Additionally, she worked for Move Language Ahead, a cultural immersion program dedicated to giving international students the opportunity to study ESL in the United States. As an activity leader, Esther guided students on local and regional excursions to New York City, Washington D.C., Baltimore, and Toronto.
“Never limit yourself because then you might never see how far you can truly go,” says Hunter Helfenbein of Montvale, N.J. The Visual Communications Design major has learned that others can only provide encouragement, but the belief starts within yourself.
After completing her Bachelor’s Degree and gaining some career experience, Hunter would like to return to school for a Masters’ in Teaching to give students a compassionate understanding of others that is all too often lacking in school systems. “Only you know what you are capable of and if you do not take risks then you will not know the extent of your capabilities.”
Hunter has a 3.0 GPA.
“I’m proud that I’ve been able to return to college as a full-time student,” says Patrick O’Hagan of Wyckoff, N.J., who transferred to Ramapo from SUNY Cortland. “I never give up and have been able to turn difficult situations into opportunities,” added Patrick, who missed a full year of school due to a traumatic brain injury.
Patrick is a Communications Arts major with a concentration in Global Communication. He is interning at The DSM Group, a marketing communications agency, and also works as a senior counselor and assistant basketball coach at the Wyckoff Family YMCA.
He has a 3.6 GPA and made Dean’s List in the fall of 2016 and spring 2017.
Ian Macdonald is a sophomore from Plainsboro, NJ majoring in Communication Arts.
The recipient wishes to remain anonymous.
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