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April 28, 2011


(Newark, NJ) – The Essex County Board of Chosen Freeholders held its 8th Annual “Essex County Cares for Kids” Celebration on Wednesday, April 27, 2011, at the Hall of Records.  This happy and heartwarming annual event is intended to acknowledge and encourage outstanding young people throughout the County who have already accomplished and contributed so much, and proven themselves to be role models for their peers.

Pictured above are:  in the front row (left to right) Freeholder President Blonnie R. Watson, Jenny Michel, Chiamaka Udoye, Cassandre Louis, Vanessa Aryee, Bryan Pierre-Paul and Freeholder D. Bilal Beasley; and in the back row (left to right) are Edward RosenHanst, Brittany Newby, Sherlyn Mitchell, Freeholder Donald M. Payne, Jr., and Freeholder Carol Y. Clark.”   PHOTO BY GLEN FRIESON

This year’s honorees were: Vanessa Aryee, a 5th Grade student at East Orange’s George Washington Carver Institute; Sherlyn Noreen Mitchell, a Junior at East Orange’s Cicely L. Tyson School of Performing and Fine Arts; Bryan Neel Pierre-Paul, an 8th Grade student at Maplewood Middle School; and the members of the Irvington High School Consumer Bowl Team, Cassandre Louis (Junior), Brittany Newby (Junior), Ed RosenHanst (Senior), Jenny Michel (Junior) and Chiamaka Udoye (Sophomore).                                                                 

Vanessa Aryee of East Orange (left) receives her commendation from Freeholder Carol Y. Clark, also of East Orange.   PHOTO BY GLEN FRIESON

VANESSA ARYEE, of East Orange is 10 years old and attends the George Washington Carver Institute where she is a Distinguished Honor Roll student, a member of QUEST (the school district’s Gifted and Talented Program), a member of both the Environmental Club and the Student Council Advisory Committee.  She is an avid reader, enjoys math and science, loves to sing and draw, and was a participant in the Annual Invention Convention Contest.  Vanessa is also an active member of the Ghana Methodist Church in East Orange where she participates in the Youth Group.  Vanessa, whose award was sponsored by Freeholder Carol Y. Clark of East Orange, is also very concerned about children’s health issues and aspires to become a pediatrician.  She is the daughter of her proud parents, Regina and Edward, and the sister of Lettice and Emmanuel.

Sherlyn Mitchell of East Orange (left) receives her commendation from Freeholder President Blonnie R. Watson of Newark during the “Essex County Cares for Kids” Celebration.   PHOTO BY GLEN FRIESON

SHERLYN NOREEN MITCHELL, also of East Orange, is a 16-year old Junior at the Cicely L. Tyson School of Performing and Fine Arts.  She is the daughter of Michael and Janet Mitchell, who emigrated from Guyana, and the youngest of four siblings.  Sherlyn’s talent for singing was first noticed when she was a student at the Washington Academy of Music School.  As a student at the Cicely Tyson School she has participated in several musical recitals including, “The Sound of Music”, “Bye Bye Birdie”, “Once on this Island” and “Black Nativity”.  She also performed this year with the school’s Concert Choir at the 85th Celebration of the Schaumberg Center in Harlem, and had an opportunity to perform at the B.E.T. Awards when the school’s namesake, Cicely L. Tyson, was honored.  Sherlyn is a member of Temple of the Abundant Life Church and aspires to continue her musical career and to become a successful music producer.  Sherlyn’s award was sponsored by Freeholder President Blonnie R. Watson of Newark.

Freeholder Donald M. Payne, Jr., of Newark (right) presents the Freeholder Board’s commendation to his honoree, Bryan Pierre-Paul of Maplewood.    PHOTO BY GLEN FRIESON

BRYAN NEEL PIERRE-PAUL, 14, attends the 8th Grade at Maplewood Middle School where he has been on the Honor Roll several times, a recipient of the “Principal Award”, and a member of the stage crew where, as a technician, he has been responsible for sound, music and lights during school plays and assemblies.  Bryan is also a graduate of the Maplewood Junior Police Academy, where he had an opportunity to learn about law enforcement and participate in the Crime Scene Investigation (CSI) program and the Maplewood Police Bike Patrol.  He also enjoys reading, cooking, football and soccer.  An active church member, Bryan has a fervent interest in philosophy, volunteers at school and church, and is an advocate for the Youth Net Program.  He believes in the virtues of law enforcement and aspires to become a lawyer.  Bryan, whose award was sponsored by Freeholder Donald M. Payne, Jr., of Newark, is the son of his proud parents, Lhericia and Serge, and he has an older brother, Steven.


Freeholder D. Bilal Beasley of Irvington (back row, right) presents commendations to the members of the 2011 Irvington High School Consumer Bowl Team: (front row, left to right) Chiamaka Udoye, Jenny Michel and team captain Cassandre Louis; and (back row, left to right) Edward RosenHanst and Brittany Newby.  PHOTO BY GLEN FRIESON

Freeholder D. Bilal Beasley of Irvington selected the IRVINGTON HIGH SCHOOL CONSUMER BOWL TEAM as his honoree this year.  The team, which recently won both the Essex County and Northern New Jersey Regional championships, will compete for its second straight New Jersey State Consumer Bowl Championship on May 9th at the Richard J. Hughes Justice Complex in Trenton.  The team is comprised of Captain Cassandre Louis (a Junior), Brittany Newby (a Junior), Edward RosenHanst (a Senior), Jenny Michel (a Junior) and Chiamaka Udoye (a Sophomore).  The team’s advisor/teacher is Joseph Romano.  The 2011 Consumer Bowl competition, an academic competition for high school students across the state, is the 15th sponsored by the New Jersey Division of Consumer Affairs.  It is designed to help students become smart consumers by challenging their awareness of how to protect themselves against rip-offs and scams, and by preparing them to make the most of the dollars they will earn over the course of their lives.  The Consumer Bowl is a game show format that tests students’ knowledge of consumer issues including Ponzi schemes, investment fraud, purchasing and leasing of new and used vehicles, and consumers’ rights when making retail purchases.

The Honorable Sheila Y. Oliver, Speaker of the New Jersey General Assembly and Deputy Essex County Administrator, offered congratulatory words to the honorees on behalf of County Executive Joseph N. DiVincenzo.  Musical entertainment was provided by Marlon Brown, a Senior at Montclair High School, and the reception that followed the program was catered by students enrolled in the Culinary Arts program at Newark Vocational High School.


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For Additional Information:
Gary Kroessig, Public Information
Essex County Board of Chosen Freeholders
973-621-4452 (phone) 973-621-5696 (fax)

Board of Chosen Freeholders, County of Essex
Hall of Records - Room 558, 465 Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Blvd., Newark, New Jersey 07102
Tel: (973) 621-4486 Fax: (973) 621-5695