New Jersey Hall of Fame and New Jersey Education Association Announce 2021 Essay Contest Winners



NEWARK, New Jersey, June 25, 2021 / PRNewswire / – The New Jersey Hall of Fame (NJHOF) and the New Jersey Education Association (NJEA) are delighted to announce the winners of the 2021 Essay Contest titled Who Belongs to the New Jersey Hall of Fame.

In the college category, the committee chose Hanna juma, eighth grade student at Glassboro Intermediate School in Glassboro for his essay on Mark Chitkwesit Mexhaniat “Quiet Hawk” Gould, the elected chief of the Nanticoke Lenni-Lenape tribal nation. Naima Bari, ninth grade student at Diana C. Lobosco STEM Academy in Passaic, was selected in the high school category for her essay on the Nobel Prize-winning biochemist and microbiologist Selman Abraham Waksman.

The essay competition is open to all New Jersey students from fourth to 12the grades and divided into two age categories: intermediate (fourth to eight) and high school (nine to twelve). Applicants must write an essay of no more than 500 words describing who should be inducted into the New Jersey Hall of Fame. The Academy will then review candidates for induction into the 2022 class.

“As educators, we are proud of every student who entered this essay competition,” said the president of the NJEA. Marie Blistan. “We learn a lot by reading their essays. The quality of their work and the creativity of their submissions demonstrate the great things that are happening in our public schools.”

“We are excited to see the next generation of leaders voice their opinions on who should be in the New Jersey Hall of Fame,” said NJHOF President Jon F. Hanson. “This year’s nominations are a wonderful example of the incredible talent and heroes that can be found in our great state.”

“We created the Hall of Fame to inspire the younger generation about the many heroes and role models within our state,” said Steve edwards, president of the NJHOF. “We hope that we can continue to provide this inspiration to our future leaders and all residents. “

Mark “Quiet Hawk” Gould, of Bridgeton, served in the leadership of the Nanticoke Lenni-Lenape Tribal Nation for more than four decades, most notably playing a major role in the public reorganization of the tribe in the 1970s. He was an active voice for the rights of indigenous peoples . The tribe has been in New Jersey, in Cumberland and Salem counties, and Delaware for over 10,000 years.

Known as “The Father of Antibiotics”, Selman Abraham Waksman was born in the Ukrainian town of Nova Priluka before immigrating to a small farm on the outskirts of Metuchen at the age of 22. He enrolls at Rutgers College, now Rutgers University, on a state scholarship in 1911 and obtained a Bachelor of Science in Agriculture. He is credited with discovering and isolating more than two dozen new antibiotics, including streptomycin, actinomycin and neomycin.

The winners of the essays will be recognized at the 13e New Jersey’s annual Hall of Fame induction ceremony in October, which will be televised on My9NJ.

The competition is one of a series of NJHOF initiatives to inspire and encourage students in New Jersey. The organization also manages the Arête scholarship fund, which awards two $ 5,000 scholarships for a female and male at the end of high school for use in college and vocational studies.

ABOUT NJHOF: Because everyone needs a hero, the New Jersey Hall of Fame (NJHOF) honors citizens who have made invaluable contributions to society, the New Jersey State and the world beyond. Since 2008, the NJHOF has hosted 12 ceremonies for over 180 notable individuals and groups in recognition of their Hall of Fame induction. The NJHOF strives to present school children with meaningful and impactful role models to show that they can and should strive for excellence. The NJHOF is grateful for the support of its many sponsors, without whom none of our efforts would be possible. For more information, visit

CONTACT: Natasha Alagarasan, [email protected], (609) 789-7818

New Jersey Hall of Fame

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