Read about Bridget’s community impact in her own words in a letter to SEA’s manager, Chris Macioch.
I was thinking about you and the Seasurfer Organization a few weeks ago during the POAC (Parents of Autistic Children) Surfing Event which was held on Brighton Avenue in Seaside Park on July 18. Our neighbor, Dennis Farrell, invites us to attend each year and, as usual, it was a wonderful turnout of both children and volunteers. It was also a very positive experience for me, personally. My family volunteered at the event, and we all enjoyed helping several young, autistic children learn how to surf and showing them how to enjoy riding in the waves. It was a perfect day and was very rewarding for me.
As for me, I have been quite busy since the last time we corresponded! I left the Jersey Shore for college in August of 2012 and enjoyed four exciting years at West Chester University in Chester County, PA. In the fall of 2012, I was honored to be named as a “Young Hero Award Recipient” by the National Liberty Museum in Philadelphia, PA. During my college years, I played on the WCUPA Women’s Soccer team, travelled to Spain as part of a course in Nutrition, worked as a Kickboxing employee and trainer at CKO Kickboxing, travelled to London, Rome and Paris, and was near the Eiffel Tower in January 2015 during the Charlie Hebdo terror attacks. In my senior year, I served as the Social Chair for NSSLHA, which is the National Student Speech and Language Hearing Association and I visited Gallaudet University in Washington DC as part of my studies in American Sign Language. I also spent two years as a youth soccer coach and trainer for the West Chester United Soccer Club and served as team captain for our Relay for Life Team in April of this year. On May 8, 2016, I graduated from WCUPA, magna cum laude, with a degree in Communication Sciences and Disorders and a double minor in Linguistics and Deaf Studies. I was named to the Dean’s list for multiple semesters and was inducted into Alpha Mu Gamma, the national collegiate foreign language honor society. After graduation, I began working as a substitute teacher in the Sayreville school district and presently, during the summer months, I am working as a waitress at Park Seafood in Seaside Heights while on the search for permanent employment. Currently, I am in my eighth year of volunteering as a planner and co-organizer of the Sayreville Hit the Bricks 5K road race, which benefits the Sayreville Brain Injured Children and which is scheduled for October 8th.
In my spare time, I have been enjoying time with my family on the beach in South Seaside Park, spending time kayaking on the bay, working out and running for exercise and babysitting for the infant daughter of my former 4th grade teacher! I am actively sending out resumes and applications and I hope to find permanent employment soon in a field which will enable me to serve others. While I am not exactly sure of the professional course I will follow yet, I know that I will be most effective in a career that keeps me on the go, and which allows me to give back to my community and my neighborhood, as well as to those in need.
As you know, I was the recipient of a $1500.00 scholarship which was awarded by the Surfers Environmental Alliance. This scholarship enabled me to attend the university of my choice, and allowed me to experience travel and participate in additional extra-curricular activities that helped me to learn and grow as a young adult. Having been given the opportunity to see and experience the world outside of the classroom is a valuable lesson; one which has helped me to prepare for my future and which will ultimately determine the impact which I will leave on the world around me. I am beyond grateful for this award and I know that it is both my responsibility and my goal to be able to give back to the community which has given so much to me. Thank you to all of the members of the Surfer’s Environmental Alliance for having faith in me as a student and a community volunteer.
With sincere appreciation,
Bridget R. Giovenco