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Star Citizens: February, 2013

by Editorial Staff, Suburban Family magazine

Skylar Raye Noyes (pictured)
This young star is ready for her close-up. Moorestown’s Noyes joined the cast of the Walnut Street Theatre at the start of 2013 in their production of “The Music Man,” where she sang and danced alongside several other South Jersey children.

Veronica Armstead-Williams
Armstead-Williams is now stationed in Mozambique, Africa, to work with the Peace Corps, where she’ll spend two years as a secondary English volunteer teaching English and contributing to community projects. This is not the first time the 23-year-old has helped with the global community. She previously worked with Habitat for Humanity during her junior year at Fordam University.

John Volpa
While serving as the vice chair of the Evesham Environmental Commission, Volpa took on his own side project, and helped found a new non-profit organization, Friends of the Black Run Preserve. Through this new group, Volpa wants to reach citizens and help care for the 1,300-acre preserve in an eco-friendly way. The group has held its first few meetings and is working with other local nonprofits to help sustain this important part of Evesham’s ecosystem.

Sophie Brookover
The New Jersey Association of School Librarians selected Haddonfield native Brookover as the recipient of their 2012 Presidents’ Award. Brookover serves as the program coordinator and social media manager for LibraryLinkNJ, and was awarded for her outstanding work going above and beyond as a school library media specialist at Eastern High School.

Bunker Hill Middle School Roots & Shoots Club
Washington Township
Members of Bunker Hill Roots & Shoots Club did their part for Washington Township’s Communitywide Clean-Up Day, picking up trash along busy areas to beautify the town. Club participants who chipped in to help their group included: Shanen Garate, Olivia McGough, Courtney Fields, Ally Gracie, Zemzem Amduka, Alyssa Jewell, Tabitha Campbell, Katie Parker, Elizabeth Kershaw, Brett Wos and Matthew Fasdini.

Zach Birnbaum
Cherry Hill
Fans tuning into Fox’s hit voice competition American Idol had a South Jersey singer to root for in 16-year-old Birnbaum, the Cherry Hill West student who earned a trip to Hollywood after his audition at the Prudential Center in Newark. Birnbaum, who performs around town with his band No Commitment, wowed judges with his performance of The Who's “Paintball Wizard.” Birnbaum was cut, but only after making it past the first round of Hollywood a cappella auditions.

Valerie and Samuel Still IV
On Martin Luther King Jr. Day, the Stills gathered a group of around 50 volunteers to help clean up the old medical practice of Valerie’s late great-great-grandfather Dr. James Still, known as The Black Doctor of the Pines. Volunteers, including Still’s son Samuel Still IV, cut down trees, mowed the grass, and raked up brush to help renovate the property, which will become a cultural and education center.

Justin Koch
Mount Laurel
Through his Family Fun Run, Justin Koch, a third-grader, was able to raise $400 for the American Red Cross. The Hillside student, who has a passion for running himself, planned his event with the help of family in an effort to aid the victims of Superstorm Sandy.

Taly O’Dell
Washington Township
Shortly after Kennedy University and Our Lady of Lourdes physician O’Dell found out that one of her nurses and personal friends was diagnosed with breast cancer, she got to work to help. O’Dell organized a Pantene Beautiful Lengths hair cutting drive, and had guests come in to Washington Township’s Salon Christopher to donate their hair to the American Cancer Society to build wigs for those faced with cancer.

Leta Strain
Strain, an enrichment program teacher at Osage Elementary School and four-time nominee for the Disney American Teacher Award, was named Voorhees Citizen of the Year by the Voorhees Breakfast Rotary Club, an honor reserved for community members only. Strain is also the director of the Voorhees Middle School drama club, which has received a commendation from the New Jersey State Assembly for Outstanding Community Service and Excellence, among other awards.

Kevin D. Walsh
Cherry Hill
Walsh, the associate director of Fair Share Housing in Cherry Hill, received the Mary Philbrook Award from the Woman’s Law Caucus at the Rutgers School of Law-Camden. Serving as the 27th recipient of this local award, Walsh was acknowledged for his dedication to civil rights and equality in the community, specifically with his work in local government to develop suburban homes for low-income families.

Published (and copyrighted) in Suburban Family Magazine, Volume 3, Issue 12 (February, 2013).
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