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Since 1971, Monmouth Arts has been committed to celebrating youth in the arts. Celebrating young artists and their work is necessary in order to inspire the next generation of artists in our world. As a community of artists and arts supporters, Monmouth Arts continues to invest in our young artists and their education. Each year, Monmouth Arts presents young art students with college scholarships through our Emerging Artist Scholarship Program. This year the program awards $1000 scholarships to three deserving Monmouth County high school seniors who are committed to pursuing the arts in higher education.

2024 Scholarship Recipients


MC² Scholarship for the Performing Arts

Sponsored by MC² Funding the Arts

Award Recipient Maria Guerrero, Red Bank Regional High School

Maria is a vocal major in Red Bank Regional High School’s Visual & Performing Arts Academy. She has spent four years as an active member of the school community and an honor roll student. Her dedication to music, in addition to her overall academic achievements, has allowed her to be a member of RBR’s chapter of the Tri-M National Music Honor Society. She performs with the RBR Concert and Chamber Choirs, RBR Theatre Company, and is part of the RBR Stage Technology group, where she obtained experience working offstage in scene design and sound. Outside of RBR, Maria has performed in multiple community theater productions with companies such as Phoenix Productions, Spring Lake Theatre, Villagers Theatre, Algonquin Arts and Howell PAL Theater Company. Maria looks forward to studying theater performance and directing in college where she will also continue her vocal study.

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Emerging Scholarship for Literary Arts

Sponsored by Sarah Fischell

Award Recipient Amanda McMillan, Henry Hudson Regional High School

Amanda is currently a high school senior at Henry Hudson Regional. She is a part of her school's literary arts program, band program, and is a member of the Varsity Bowling Team. Amanda will be attending Montclair State University this fall with an intent to double major in Physics/Astronomy and Creative Writing. Amanda currently has multiple poems published in different poetry books and she plans on publishing more in the future. She is a lover of all things art and plans to involve her love of space and writing into a fulfilling and meaningful career in the future. Amanda is deeply grateful for her friends, family, and teachers that have continuously supported and facilitated her passion for the literary arts.

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Victoria J. Snoy Memorial Scholarship for the Arts

Sponsored by friends of Victoria J. Snoy

Award Recipient Olatomi Gabriel, Freehold Township High School

Olatomi is a senior currently attending Freehold Township High School. Art has always played a huge role in his life but more recently, art has served as a connector between himself and his Nigerian heritage. For a long time, Olatomi had felt a rift within himself and his culture that caused him to feel insecure within it. Creating art has served as his rebuilder, as it’s strengthened his love for the intricacies of his Nigerian heritage.  It has excited a creative path in which Olatomi aims to highlight the beauty of his culture in future projects. As of right now, Olatomi is currently deciding between the University of Pennsylvania and Duke University in which he intends to major in Design.


William Blake

MC² Scholarship for the Performing Arts 

William is a senior at Red Bank Regional High School, plans to study Electrical Engineering with a concentration in Audio Engineering at the University of Miami this Fall. He will also have a Minor in Music. William has been a musician all his life and intends to remain engaged in all aspects of the industry. Music is, by far, the thing he enjoys the most; playing the piano, as well as the alto saxophone, and he spends most of his free time either practicing, listening to, or creating his own music.


Ryan Sickles

Scholarship for Literary Arts Sponsored by Sarah Fischell

Ryan is a senior at Red Bank Regional High School, has been a member of RBR’s Creative Writing Academy for four years. His talent in writing is fueled by his love of language and allows him to explore unique discussions on topics that range from controversial to deeply meaningful to hysterical. He plans to study Writing for the Stage at Marymount Manhattan College and continue his stand-up comedy career.


Ashley Soriano

Victoria J. Snoy Memorial Scholarship for the Arts

Ashley is a senior at Long Branch High School, grew a passion for social justice and mutual aid work throughout her time in school. She believes using her personal grief in her art can showcase the struggles of marginalized communities to bring awareness and spark change. Ashley will attend New York University this fall as a Studio Arts major, studying at the Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development.

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Samantha Yannarelli

Monmouth Arts Young Musical Artist Scholarship

Samantha is a senior at Saint John Vianney High School will attend Berklee College of Music as a Commercial Voice-Songwriting/ Composition Major in the fall. Throughout high school, Sam performed and starred in every drama and musical. In 2022 she won a Basie Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Musical. She is also a singer/songwriter who released her first self-produced EP and two singles recorded at Dug Deep Production.


Amya Johnson-Ashe

MC² Scholarship for the Performing Arts

Amya Johnson-Ashe is currently a senior at Monmouth Regional High School. She will be studying political science and music at North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University. In 2022 Amya won the Special Evaluation award from Count Basie Center for the Arts for her role as Audrey 11 in Little Shop of Horrors. Her passion for singing has enabled her to compete in the McDonald's Gospelfest at the Prudential Center in Newark, NJ, for three seasons, performing on stage for thousands of people including notable singers Donnie McClurkin, Cissy Houston, and Fantasia.


Emma Ekberg

Grunin Foundation Scholarship for the Arts

Emma Ekberg is a graduating senior at Communications High School. She is attending the Fashion Institute of Technology for Fashion Design this fall. Emma hopes to make positive changes in the fashion industry, including more inclusive body representation and sizing in both garment production and modeling, as well as addressing the environmental impact of the trend cycles and fast fashion.

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Dakim Randolph

50th Anniversary Emerging Artist Scholarship for Literary Arts


Dakim Randolph is a senior at Asbury Park High School. He will be pursuing a career in Creative Writing and Journalism at Brookdale Community College and Seton Hall upon graduating this spring. Dakim is an active member of his school community. In addition to being a talented writer, he is also on the track team and a member of the National Honors Society and Student Council. He hopes to discover the world by expressing his thoughts through writing.


Anna Zimmer

Jay & Linda Grunin Scholarship for the Arts


Anna Zimmer is a senior currently attending Communications High School under the instruction of visual arts teacher Shelley Ortner. She plans on attending Stevens Institute of Technology this fall, majoring in Visual Art & Technology. In that vein, she aspires to design more immersive art experiences through interactive technology.


Liam Umbs

MC² Scholarship for Performing & Literary Arts


Liam Umbs, of Monmouth Beach, NJ, is a senior at Communications High School. He has studied piano for fourteen years and is a student of Marina Strakovsky. Besides piano, Liam enjoys serving as Editor-in-Chief of his school’s newspaper. This fall, he will attend the University of Pennsylvania to study Music.

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Aisa Feratovic

MC² Scholarship for Performing & Literary Arts

Aisa Feratovic is a graduating senior at Long Branch High School. Her theatre teacher is Mr. Moore, who she says “has had an everlasting impact on my performance.” She will be attending Drexel University in the fall with a major in Entertainment and Arts Management, and a minor in theatre.

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Jillian Tracy

Jay & Linda Grunin Scholarship for Visual Arts

Jillian Tracy is currently a senior at Communications High School, taught by visual arts teacher Shelley Ortner. While at Rochester Institute of Technology this fall, she aims to merge intuitive visual design and technology to create dynamic user experiences, majoring in New Media Interactive Development.

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Maxwell Connery

MC² Scholarship for Performing & Literary Arts

Maxwell Connery is a senior at Rumson-Fair Haven Regional HS, and in the Fall will be attending NYU Tisch School of the Arts – Clive Davis Institute of Recorded Music as a Songwriter Entrepreneur.  A multi-instrumentalist, trained in classical, jazz and contemporary styles, Maxwell is the singer-songwriter of 2018 Asbury Music Award winners “Sonic Blume.” Recently named one of the “Top NJ Bands to Hear in 2019” by NJ Star-Ledger, their second album “Beach Karma,” was also named one of the “Top NJ Records of 2018.

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Sebrina Gao

Jay & Linda Grunin Scholarship for Visual Arts


Sebrina Gao is a 17-year old senior at Communications High School. Sebrina has been the recipient of many regional and national awards, and is a student of Shelley Ortner. She aims to pursue a career the entertainment industry and one day, create visual development art for animated films. She will be attending the ArtCenter College of Design - Pasadena, CA in the Fall of this year. 

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Elena Yasin 

MC² Scholarship for Performing & Literary Arts


Elena Yasin is a member of both the Dance Team and Dance Academy at Matawan Regional High School under the direction of Julie McKurth. She has been training for 14 years through various programs including the Senior Ensemble at Peridance Capezio Center in Manhattan, and the Monmouth County Arts High School dance program. She plans to continue exploring the capacity of her physical and artistic abilities in expressivemovement at the Mason Gross School of the Arts at Rutgers University in the fall.

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Andrew Wang

Jay & Linda Grunin Scholarship for Visual Arts

Andrew Wang is a student artist who enjoys using a variety of media and techniques in order to create pieces with an illustrative feel. Andy currently attends Communications High School, and studies under his visual arts teacher Shelley Ortner. He will attend the Rhode Island School of Design this fall.

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