The Ridge Alumni Memorial Scholarship Fund on Wednesday night awarded its annual scholarship award for character and determination to Ridge High School Senior Jeremy Baum.
The $6,000 Ridge AMS scholarship was presented to Baum at Ridge High's annual Awards Night on June 8. Earlier that evening, Baum and his family were honored at a reception hosted by the Ridge AMS board of trustees, attended by family, friends, and RHS alumni, as well as members of the RHS faculty and administration.
Since 2008, Ridge AMS has awarded an annual scholarship to a graduating senior in memory of RHS alumni. The award is based on character, determination, team play, nontraditional achievements, and ability to turn a negative into a positive. The recipient is chosen after he or she submits an essay describing an applicant's demonstration of these qualities, rather than his or her grades or test scores.
The AMS fund was started by the Alumni Class of 1967 to remember one of their classmates, John Peterson, who was killed in Vietnam. It can be applied not only to school but to other vocational programs and related expenses, said Jane Cullinan of the scholarship's board of trustees.
Baum's award represents a $1,000 increase over the 2010 Ridge AMS scholarship. According to AMS founding board member Carol Schoenig, “This is the largest grant we've awarded. Our donors, and our board, have been extremely generous, and we are still devoting 100 percent of all donations to help great kids — like Jeremy.”
Surgeries and Crohn's Disease-related problems kept Baum on home instruction for the first eleven weeks of his junior year, according to his essay submitted to Ridge AMS. Yet, in addition to succeeding in tough courses, he found the time and energy to help others, including fundraising for Crohn's Disease research, according to his scholarship application essay and Cullinan.
Baum is planning to head to the University of Miami in the fall, where he'll study political science and sports management.
"When we set up Ridge AMS, we searched across the country for a model at another public high school," Cullinan said. "We couldn't find anything quite like the award we had in mind."
Further information on the scholarship fund and Baum's application — as well as previous recipients of the award — can be found on the Ridge AMS website.