Five New Jersey Students Receive Scholarships from the New Jersey Utilities Association

Trenton, NJ –The New Jersey Utilities Association (NJUA) has identified five deserving New Jersey high school students as the 2017 recipients of the Association’s James R. Leva Scholarship, Excellence in Diversity Scholarship and Trade and Vocational School Scholarship awards. 

“Congratulations to this year’s NJUA scholarship recipients,” said Mary Patricia Keefe, chairperson of NJUA’s board of directors and vice president of external affairs and business support for Elizabethtown Gas. “These five students have an impressive record of academic and personal achievement, even in the face of life’s toughest challenges.  We’re thrilled to help these extraordinary individuals further their education and pursue their dreams.”

The James R. Leva Scholarship Award is awarded to assist one NJUA member company employee who is employed in New Jersey or a member of their family in pursuing their higher education goals at a New Jersey junior college, college or university. The scholarship is named in honor of James R. Leva, a former Jersey Central Power & Light (JCP&L) executive and NJUA President from 1990-1991. Leva’s professional achievements serve as a model for those who seek to advance themselves professionally through continuing education. A one-time award of $4,000 was given to:

  • Julia Rusak of Lanoka Harbor, daughter of New Jersey Natural Gas Project Manager Richard Rusak

The Excellence in Diversity Scholarship Award is awarded to two students who are minority, female or have a disability and are pursuing a bachelor’s degree at an accredited college or university in New Jersey. The scholarship award is valued at $1,500 per academic year per recipient, and was awarded to:

  • Daniela Cruz of Bound Brook, NJ
  • Kelsey Ruiz of Harrison, NJ 

The Trade and Vocational School Scholarship is awarded to qualified students who will be pursuing a trade or vocational degree at an accredited school in New Jersey. This year’s scholarship, valued at up to a total of $6,000 depending on the total cost of the vocational program, was given to:

  • Justin Cianchetta of Manchester, NJ
  • Juan Victoria Robles of Morristown, NJ

“NJUA and the investor-owned utilities in New Jersey are committed to the education of our state’s future workforce,” said Andrew Hendry, NJUA President and Chief Executive Officer. “Through the generosity of NJUA member and associate member companies, we are able to support future generations by providing financial assistance to some of the New Jersey’s best, brightest and most deserving students.” 

Recipients of NJUA’s 2017 scholarships awards were chosen from among 10 James R. Leva Scholarship Award applicants, 159 Excellence in Diversity applicants and 11 Trade and Vocational School Scholarship Award applicants. NJUA’s scholarship review committee selected this year’s scholarship winners based upon a number of criteria, including each students’ high level of academic excellence.

Funding for NJUA’s scholarship awards is made possible through financial support by NJUA’s member companies. NJUA scholarship applications for 2018 will be made available on NJUA’s website in January.  To learn more about NJUA’s Scholarships, please visit