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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 2, 2004
CONTACT: Faith Jackson
Office of University Relations
(908) 737-NEWS

Kean Student Wins NJRPA Student of the Year Award

UNION, N.J. – –Rosa De Jesus, Kean University sophomore majoring in recreation administration with an option in therapeutic recreation, was presented with the New Jersey Recreation and Parks Administration (NJRPA) Student of the Year Award at the organization’s annual banquet at Bally’s Park Place Hotel in Atlantic City on March 16. Each year, NJRPA members nominate students who exemplify the association’s mission to enhance the public’s quality of life by promoting recreation, parks, conservation and leisure services. The young person who has shown the most dedicated service to volunteer work, has a high grade-point average (GPA) and submits an exceptional essay is selected as the winner.

In addition to being a Dean’s List student with a 3.87 GPA, De Jesus has donated her time to various causes since she was a pre-teen, when she began babysitting young children at the Saturday Morning Family School in Perth Amboy, N.J., which was established to offer free classes and health and counseling services for the city’s children, their parents and extended family members. Since arriving at Kean, she has continued to volunteer for the Community FoodBank of New Jersey, Inc., the Kean University Golf Outing and the Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital in Rahway, N.J. “I find it very fulfilling to give something of myself to others,” De Jesus said. “It was great to have an organization like NJRPA recognize the work I’ve done.”

De Jesus augments her busy school and volunteer schedule as president of the Recreation Majors Club of the Student Organization of Kean University, Inc., and as editor of the club’s newsletter. A student-athlete, she plays singles and doubles on the Kean Cougars tennis team and teaches the sport during the summer in her hometown of Perth Amboy, N.J. De Jesus is also employed on campus in the Department of Physical Education, Recreation and Health.

“We look for well-rounded students who will best represent the qualities and values of a recreation professional,” said Michele Collins, adjunct professor of therapeutic recreation at Kean, who has been a member of NJRPA for more than 25 years and is on the Awards Committee. “I was so pleased when I saw that Rosa was nominated. She is in my Saturday morning Principles and Practices in Therapeutic Recreation class, and I have had the opportunity to witness firsthand how bright, motivated and hard working she is. I was proud to be the NJRPA member to present her with this well-deserved award, and I know that she will be a great asset to our profession.”