What would it look like if we could help students graduate from college without the burden of overwhelming debt? Well, this picture is made more vibrant thanks to the General Board of Higher Education and Campus Ministry (GBHEM) and the generous donations they receive. This year GNJ’s BHEM awarded 11 scholarships to students who are not only faithful servants but are boldly plotting out their futures.
The recipients are Kate Sallee of Aldersgate UMC, Ebenezer Shim and Emmanuel Shim of Wall UMC, Noa Park of Monmouth Grace UMC, Kori Isaac and Andre Morales of St. Mark’s UMC, Brittany Boetticher of UMC of Lake Hopatcong, Luke Horton of First UMC, Grace Kim of Christ First UMC, Melissa Johnson of Bishop Janes UMC and Aaron Boylan of St. John’s UMC.
“Kate has been a strong role model of faith for so many of our youngest disciples over these years,” said Rev. Erica Munoz who has worked with Kate at Aldersgate UMC for the past seven years and seen how she faithfully contributes to outreach ministries, fundraisers, mission opportunities and music ministry. “She has helped lead our Sunday School children’s choir, given music lessons to some of our children and is always willing to do ‘whatever needs to get done’ in order for Sunday mornings to be filled with the joy and the spirit of Christ.”
But when the pandemic shut the doors of churches, Munoz said Kate stepped up to travel 45 minutes to the church to help with the virtual worship service every Sunday. “She shared her gifts, she brightened our dark and empty worship space with the light of Christ’s love every week, and for this I will always be grateful and forever blessed as will her community of faith at Aldersgate UMC.”
Kate began her studies at Gettysburg College this fall.
Luke Horton is a sophomore at Brown University, studying international and public affairs psychology.
“Luke [Horton] is very bright, but not just in a “book smart” way. He is not afraid to push the envelope when it comes to his faith and the role the church has in his life,” said Rev. Tom Korkuch.
“What especially impresses me about Luke is his willingness to ask questions and not just blindly accept aspects of his Christian faith. He is particularly interested in putting “love into action” by engaging in outreach, particularly to those on the margin.”
Aaron Boylan is a student at Rowan University.
“While Aaron has been involved in St. John’s since childhood, he has grown and developed as a disciple and leader,” said Rev. Michael Bill.
“The past several months have been hard for all, and especially for our high school juniors and seniors. However, it was during these months that I saw Aaron’s walk with Christ flourish. He now is a key member of praise band, invests his life in other students, and strives to engage his faith in all aspects of life. We are very proud of him and blessed to have him as a part of our church!”
Grace Kim, a junior at Vanderbilt University, is a budding music educator who loves to play the flute. She is dedicated and committed to teach, encourage and inspire students, possibly abroad. She is pursuing a Bachelor of Music in Integrated Studies/Teacher Education and Flute Performance, with a continued track for a Master of Education through the Blair School of Music to Peabody College five-year program and a minor in Special Education.
“Grace has worked hard in her academics and her passions while attending campus in person through the pandemic,” said Rev. Hyoik Kim, who is also her proud father. “She is blessed to have been awarded this scholarship and will continue to strive in her undergraduate career.”
Melissa is a junior at Messiah University where she is majoring in Early Childhood/Special Education and minoring in Speech-Language Pathology.
“Her efforts during the Covid shutdown to maintain a meaningful children’s ministry at our church while also being a full-time student were amazing,” said Mathew J. Enzler, senior pastor, Bishop Janes UMC.
“She recruited several of her classmates to make weekly video lessons that were absolutely amazing; they contained bible stories acted out in various forms, from finger puppets to little skits; she included two activities, one was a craft, the other was a game or interactive thing to do with family; and they always ended with a memory verse.
Melissa has truly been a blessing to our church for years, but considering she is away at college, we are so wonderfully blessed to have her continued engagement with our congregation while she studies.”
Ebenezer Shim, who is studying environmental geoscience at Boston College, will graduate this spring. She is also an intern for the institution’s Mother Earth podcast.
Her brother, Emmanuel Shim, is studying finance also at Boston College. He is scheduled to graduate in 2025.
“For Ebenezer and Emmanuel Shim, the United Methodist Church has been a huge part throughout their lives. Having their mom (Rev. Sunny Shim) and dad (Rev. Hyun-Bo Shim), as the clergies at GNJ, they always have participated in the church e.g. worship, Sunday School, VBS, missions, and volunteer projects,” said Rev. Sunny Shim.
“They are exceptionally compassionate towards God’s people and passionate about the causes of building up God’s Kingdom! As a senior (Ebbie) and a freshman (Emmi), they are heavily involved with helping other students and community works (representing the Methodists of GNJAC well).”
Noa Park of Monmouth Grace UMC is a student at Stony Brook University; Kori Isaac is a student at Seton Hall University; and both Andre Morales of St. Mark’s UMC and Brittany Boetticher of UMC of Lake Hopatcong are students at Drew University.
On November 28, United Methodist Student Day, we have the opportunity to help students again to achieve their dreams. On the last Sunday in November, your gifts through this offering benefit students as they pursue opportunities in higher education. Your contribution will be joined with those of millions of other United Methodists to provide scholarships to deserving recipients. This offering has raised more than $400,000 and helps more than 300 students a year.
Student Day was first celebrated in 1940 when a college education could be attained for $450 annually.
More info and resources can be found at www.umc.org/en/content/united-methodist-student-day-sunday-ministry-article.