Donald and Lisa Shauger’s Timothy Groves Memorial Scholarship Awarded to Nine WOHS Seniors
By Alexandra Gakos
July 25, 2018
When Donald and Lisa Shauger founded the Timothy Groves Memorial Scholarship with the West Orange Scholarship Fund (WOSF) in 2014, they dreamed it would both make a difference in the lives of West Orange youth and continue to honor the memory of their friend, former West Orange police officer Timothy Groves.
Four years and 25 scholarship recipients later, it’s safe to say it has accomplished both.
On June 7, 2018, at West Orange High School’s Senior Awards Night, the Timothy Groves Memorial Scholarship was awarded to nine more graduating seniors: Gabriela Cupo, Michael Gordon, Jennifer Guevara, Hillary Lemus, Pearl Louie, Johana Miranda, Giordana Parsons, Karen Rivers, and Christopher Walker. As industrious, community-oriented individuals, many of whom aspire to pursue careers in criminal justice or law enforcement, this year’s scholarship recipients fittingly have carried on the legacy of a man who meant so much to the West Orange community—and who sacrificed every day to protect it. Beloved throughout West Orange, Groves served his hometown for many years before he lost his battle with cancer in 2013.
In total, the nine 2018 Groves Memorial Scholarship recipients received $10,500 in scholarship funds. Several of the Groves Memorial Scholars also received additional scholarships, including the West Orange High School Principal’s Scholarship and the Michele & Lucia Russo Italian Language Award. The seniors graduated on June 21, 2018.
To be eligible for a WOSF scholarship, candidates must submit a written application; as the final list of recipients is determined, consideration is given to financial need, academic performance, extracurricular involvement, and commitment to community service. For the Timothy Groves Memorial Scholarship, specifically, special consideration is granted to students who exhibit commitment and dedication to various charities, organizations, and volunteer opportunities—just as Groves did during his lifetime—regardless of their intended career path. Although future career plans in law enforcement or criminal justice are not required criteria for a Groves Memorial Scholar, it is particularly meaningful when recipients share Groves’ passion for law and justice.
At this year’s West Orange High School Senior Awards Night ceremony, $92,000 was awarded to 83 total graduating seniors at West Orange High School.
Last year, at the 2017 West Orange High School Senior Awards Night, the WOSF awarded over $108,000 in scholarships—that record-setting sum, split between 79 students, marked the highest amount ever awarded by the WOSF since its founding in 1923.
The WOSF receives funds annually from three sources of income, including permanent endowment. In its almost-100-year history, the WOSF has never missed a year of giving out student scholarships, and it has awarded over one million dollars in scholarships to date.
Since the creation of the Timothy Groves Memorial Scholarship in 2014, the Shaugers have hosted a couple of Timothy Groves Memorial Scholarship fundraiser dinners in order to raise funds for the scholarship. One hundred percent of the proceeds from the events have gone to the scholarship. The Shaugers donate frequently to the fund themselves, as well as encourage others to do the same.
“No matter how many years go by, Lisa and I are still just as excited to learn the names of the scholarship recipients for that year,” said Donald Shauger, executive vice president of The Shauger Group. “It brings us so much joy to know the scholarship is making an impact on these kids’ lives—and it would have brought Timmy much joy, too.”
“This year’s scholarship recipients were an extraordinary group of individuals,” said Lisa Shauger, president/CEO of The Shauger Group. “With their dedication to community service and their long-term interest in careers related to law enforcement, they truly embodied many of the same principles and values that Timmy Groves stood for. These students are committed to making the community a better place, and Timmy would have been proud knowing these impressive young adults earned a scholarship in his name.”
Tireless in his efforts to give back to the community, Groves was heavily involved with service and outreach projects in West Orange and the surrounding area. As a mentor to kids in West Orange, and as the youth coordinator of the West Orange Police Department, Groves dedicated himself to helping local youth. He was also a regular Special Olympics volunteer and even was chosen to run the torch into the arena for the Special Olympics State Games one year.
Groves earned many accolades and awards for his contributions to the West Orange area. During his lifetime, Groves was presented with several awards, including West Orange Police Officer of the Year, West Orange Elks Citizen of the Year, Elks Distinguished Citizen Award for outstanding meritorious service to humanity, 200 Club Valor Award for outstanding action in the line of duty, and the Essex County Valor A Award.
To donate to the Timothy Groves Memorial Scholarship through the WOSF, please contact WOSF President, Richard Rizzolo, at [email protected] and WOSF Treasurer, Jim Quinn, at [email protected]. Please make the donation check payable to the West Orange Scholarship Fund (noting Timothy Groves Memorial Scholarship Fund in the memo) and mail it to West Orange Scholarship Fund, c/o Jim Quinn, 23 Witte Place, West Orange, NJ 07052.
About the 2018 Timothy Groves Memorial Scholarship Recipients
Gabriela Cupo: With the goal of one day becoming a lawyer, Cupo plans to study criminal justice. An AP student, Cupo served as president of the Daughters of Israel Outreach program, president of Institute for Citizen Empowerment (ICE), and a Mountaineer mentor this past year. She also worked as a supervisor at a trampoline park.
Michael Gordon: Gordon will attend the University of Maryland, where he is interested in pursuing a degree in cybersecurity. Self-described as highly motivated to accomplish all of his goals, no matter how difficult, Gordon is always eager to take initiative and be a leader—much like Groves was.
Jennifer Guevara: Guevara will pursue criminal justice, with the intention of becoming a crime scene investigator. Like Donald Shauger before her, Guevara served as a lifeguard at Ginny Duenkel Pool at West Orange’s Colgate Park. An honor roll student for all four years of high school, Guevara was a member of both the English and Spanish national honor societies. Guevara also participated in the Berkeley College Workshop for Law and Legal Studies, a summer workshop offered annually for high school juniors and seniors interested in pursuing law.
Hillary Lemus: Similar to Groves, Lemus is firmly committed to community service: she volunteers both at the West Orange Public Library and the Montclair Art Museum. At West Orange High School, she belonged to the Spanish Club, Interact Club, Unity Club, and the History and Spanish national honor societies. Hoping to incorporate her love of psychology and forensic science into her career, Lemus wants to study criminal justice.
Pearl Louie: A dedicated worker, Louie puts one hundred percent effort into everything she does. She currently works as a receptionist at a medical office and hopes to become a forensic scientist.
Johana Miranda: Intending to study criminal justice and become a lawyer, Miranda seeks to make a positive change in the world through her career. Much like Groves, as well as several of her fellow Groves Memorial Scholarship recipients, Miranda is dedicated to helping the community. Her many community service endeavors include volunteering at an animal shelter and at Our Lady of the Valley Church’s soup kitchen, as well as at various organizations that benefit children and senior citizens. She was a cheerleader for four years and earned a varsity letter; she also was part of the National Honor Society and Italian Honor Society.
Giordana Parsons: Philanthropic at heart, Parsons loves the rewarding feeling of helping others and giving back. While at West Orange High School, she balanced her studies with extracurricular activities, which included being on the cheerleading squad for four years and serving as one of its captains. Parsons is eager to attend the University of New Haven for its forensic science program, which she believes is one of the most comprehensive forensic science programs in the nation.
Karen Rivers: Just as Groves left a mark on West Orange youth, so too did another police officer have a lasting impact on Rivers. Rivers still remembers the day when a fire alarm went off in her childhood home and that Orange police officer’s kindness, warmth, and compassion helped her in that moment of need. That interaction eventually fueled Rivers’ own desire to become a police officer—so that she too can make a difference in people’s lives. With the ultimate goal of becoming a detective, Rivers will study criminal justice.
Christopher Walker: Following closely in Groves’ footsteps, Walker plans to pursue criminal justice and become a police officer. As captain of his baseball team, Walker learned the importance of discipline, hard work, and responsibility—skills that are crucial for law enforcement as well. Walker’s accomplishments as an athlete included being named one of the top 100 baseball players in the entire state of New Jersey.