The Community Chest Honors Exceptional Young Women With Seventh Annual Leadership Awards

(Eastern Bergen County, New Jersey; July 1, 2024) -- The Community Chest of Eastern Bergen County announces the recipients of its seventh annual High School Young Women's Leadership Program's awards.

The recipients were presented their awards at the 2024 Young Women's Leadership Award Ceremony on June 3 at the historic Elizabeth Cady Stanton House in Tenafly, New Jersey.  During the ceremony, guest speaker Kathy Clay Boyd, Service Excellence Manager and Banking Officer at Valley Bank’s Englewood branch, discussed her career path and how she became a banker and a leader in the community.

The 2024 award recipients demonstrated leadership, compassion, innovation and the courage of their convictions in the community. Selina Liu, a resident of Fort Lee and a 2024 graduate of Dwight Morrow/Academies of Englewood, received the Young Women’s Senior Leadership Award and a $5,000 award. This fall, Liu plans to attend Claremont McKenna College in California and major in economics with a minor in finance. In the future, she would like to start an eco-friendly fashion company.

The Young Women’s Senior Leadership Award runner up, Emma Voorhis, was recognized  with a $2,000 award. Voorhis, a 2024 graduate of Dwight Morrow/Academies of Englewood,  plans to attend Bryn Mawr College in Pennsylvania, major in political science and economics, and enroll in law school after college.

Two juniors were recognized for their leadership, with each receiving a $1,000 award. The 2024 Young Women's Leadership Junior Award recipients are: Lucia Martinez-Pelaez from Tenafly High School and Alison Lihanda from Closter, a student at Dwight Englewood School. They will participate in an internship with the League of Women Voters of Northern Valley.

"The Community Chest received a record 50 applications this year, representing 17 municipalities from 15 different schools! An outstanding range of applications were submitted for these leadership awards. Each applicant demonstrated exceptional talents and a commitment to social justice causes. The need exists for good leaders, especially now. Young women with strong leadership abilities and a commitment to social consciousness are critical in our communities,” said Dr. Shelly Wimpfheimer, Executive Director, The Community Chest.                         

A team of readers, representing different fields in the community, reviewed each application. These Connect One Bank readers participated and reviewed the applications:  Brooke Rutkowski, Dana Zeller, Danielle Flaherty, Gabriela Cabreja, Kayla Rodriguez, Dawn Machacek, Kim Sayther, Michele Bell, Rori Sagal, Veronica Alonzo, Vanessa Nesheiwat, Laurie Liebers. Other volunteer readers included: Audrey Winter Kahn, Ava Rattigan, Marsha Campbell-Young, Ellen Skowronski, Flora Schiminovich, Fran Eiss, Phyllis Kesslen, Karen Schaefer, Lisa Levinthal, Melanie Zingler, Nichole Osborne. Jan Hurewitz, Robert AbuRustum, Robin Rogers, Ryan Chang, Vered Feiwus, and Vicki Sidrow.

Leadership Awards

The awards program celebrated the leadership the three "Elizabeths" from Bergen County demonstrated throughout their lives. Elizabeth Cutter Morrow of Englewood became the founding board chair and president of The Community Chest during the Great Depression 91 years ago. Elisabeth Morrow Morgan, daughter of Elizabeth Cutter Morrow and the founder of the Elisabeth Morrow School, grew up in Englewood.  Elizabeth Cady Stanton, a Tenafly resident for several years, became an internationally recognized leader in the suffragette movement. 

About The Community Chest

            Founded in 1933, The Community Chest, a nonprofit, tax-exempt organization headquartered in Englewood, New Jersey, has supported local not-for-profit agencies for 91 years. The Chest leads initiatives and supports nonprofits that make our communities stronger and benefit people in need in eastern Bergen County.  Each year, The Chest raises funds and allocates them to agencies demonstrating the capacity to provide services to local citizens. The organization also provides coordinating and planning services in its communities, serving as a bridge between agencies and organizations and investing in the stability and quality of the service network. 

The Community Chest's Board of Managers is comprised of community leaders dedicated to improving the lives of neighbors in need. People interested in being considered for board membership may contact Executive Director Dr. Shelly Wimpfheimer at (201) 568-7474.

For further information about The Chest, visit or contact (201) 568-7474.  Stay updated about the organization’s activities on Facebook and Instagram, and YouTube.

Photo Caption: Selina Liu received The Community Chest of Eastern Bergen County’s Young Women’s Senior Leadership Award.  Shown from left to right: President Franci Steinberg, award recipient Selina Liu, Executive Director Dr. Shelly Wimpfheimer, Vice President Amie AbuRustum, and Vice President Emily Yang.

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