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Persistence counts 'Best of Best' honoree told

Thursday, June 26, 2014 by DOUGLAS GRAVES Special to the Bethlehem Press in Local News

Cultivate grit.

That was some of the advice the area's competitive young scholars in the Lehigh Valley and the Hunterdon, N.J., area got from the Dean of Temple University University's Beasley School of Law.

She wasn't talking about something for breakfast. JoAnne A. Epps. Ph.D.. was talking about that characteristic of sticking to the pursuit of the goal even when it gets tough.

"Focus on your pursuit of success - however you define it - with passion and perseverance. In other words, cultivate grit," she said.

Grit is the best predictor of success in long-term pursuits, she said, more than IQ, talent, socioeconomic position or family history.

Epps was in Bethlehem Township's Blue Event Center as the keynote speaker at Cohen, Feeley, Altemose & Rambo, PC law firm's 20th Annual "Best of the Best" scholarship award ceremony May 17.

Partners from the law firm passed out scholarships to outstanding or "Best of the Best" high school seniors at the breakfast event.

The scholarship program awards the "best" two female high school seniors and "best" two male seniors selected from a list that the firm had been previously winnowed from applications.

All students selected from their high school received a $618 scholarship.

Four students selected as a Best of the Best awardee each received $1,168 plus $100 to the charity of their choice.

The Best of the Best for scholarship awardees were Parkland HS's Hannah Kim, Easton HS's Connor Mellett, Jared Bogdan, South Hunterdon Regional HS (New Jersey) and Warren Hill High School's (New Jersey) Adesola Sanusi.

Abby Rose Frankenfield of Liberty HS and Hannah Lucas of Belvidere HS were named Best of the Best for their community service and received $868 each. They also receive $500 each from Team Capital who helped sponsor the event.

Some other sponsors include Digital Justice, R. P. Mills, Intercontinental Development, Dennis and Deane Feeley Altemose Family Foundation and Veritext.

C. F. Martin & Co., Petrucci Family Foundation, Lehigh Gas Corporation, Courtyard by Marriott Bethlehem and OAA Orthopedic Specialists also were sponsors.Shopright of Greenwich, Printex, Kelly Jeep Car Dealer, Sacred Heart Hospital and Abraham Atiyeh contributed as sponsors.

Other sponsors included Diamond Nation, LCC, Health Quest of Central Jersey, LLC, the Palace at Somerset Park, Abraham Kassis, Piddock Company, Sally Slifer, Tuskes Homes, Dr. Marc and Aliette Abo, Dun Twiggar and Flemington Furs.

The Best of the Best program also donated $100 in the name of each student to the charities of their choice. The "Best of the Best" competition drew applicants from 37 high schools in Pennsylvania and in New Jersey.

Lehigh Valley honorees

Ryan Schnabel, Allentown Central Catholic;

Meredith Colton, Bangor HS;

Jonathan Neupauer, Bethlehem Catholic HS;

Jacob Rusnock, Bethlehem Catholic HS;

Connor P. Mellett, Easton HS;

Karina Guido, Emmaus HS;

John Wiegand, Freedom HS;

Jenna Atkinson, Lehigh Valley HS for the Arts;

Carissa Clift, Lehigh Valley Christian HS;

Robert Marrero Jr., Liberty HS;

Meng Ying Wu, Louis E. Dieruff HS;

Jasmine Sun, Moravian Academy;

Nathan DeRaymond, Nazareth HS;

Ian Wright, Northampton HS;

Nathaniel Czarnecki, Northern Lehigh HS;

Leigham Breckenridge, Northwestern Lehigh HS;

Gabriell Grys, Notre Dame HS;

Hannah Kim, Parkland HS;

Gina C. Baker, Pen Argyl HS;

Fiona Furnari, Phillipsburg HS;

Elizabeth Brennan, Piux X HS;

Luke A. Chassard, Salisbury HS;

Amanda Hillegass, Saucon Valley HS;

Abigail Kohler, Southern Lehigh HS;

Milena Nino, Whitehall HS;

Melissa Holihan, William Allen HS; and

Alexander Hagan, Wilson HS.