2019 Action Scholarship Winner

Last week we had the pleasure of presenting our 3rd annual Action Environmental Group scholarship award. The winner was High School Senior Shannon Breun. Our CEO Ron Bergamini and her father IWS Packer Driver, Chris Breun were on hand to present Shannon with her award. Her captivating essay and incredible 4.1 GPA made Shannon the ideal recipient of this award.

In the fall she will begin the journey of receiving her Bachelor’s Degree in American Sign Language at Montclair State University. She fell in love with sign language in High School and wants to become an interpreter for the deaf.

2019 Scholarship Winner2

Read her award-winning essay below.

Question 2: Describe your most meaningful achievements and how they relate to your field of study.

My most meaningful achievement is my Girl Scout Gold Award, which I began in November of 2017 and completed in August of 2018. For my project, I taught a series of ten American Sign Language classes at my local library to members of my community who were interested in learning.

I began taking ASL classes as a freshman in high school; since then, I have fallen in love with the language and Deaf Culture. Each week, I prepared a lesson plan, a corresponding PowerPoint, and a handout with all of the signs I was teaching that week so participants could practice at home. I taught over 600 signs, and contributed about 100 hours to my project. Every second was worth it, as I was able to share my passion for sign language with my community, and teach participants how important accessible communication is.

My Gold Award pertains to my career aspirations as I plan on becoming an ASL interpreter. My job will be to facilitate communication between deaf and hearing people in order to bridge the communication barrier. I am eager to study American Sign Language at Montclair State University and to continue my endeavors in sign language.


Jonah Schectman was one of our runner ups this year. A Park Ridge High School Senior, Jonah is going to attend Stevens Institute of Technology in the Fall. Jonah’s father Neal is our Corporate Safety Trainer.

Sarah Lukach was another runner up for this year’s scholarship award. Sarah is a Minisink Valley High School Senior who plans on attending Orange County Community College in the Fall, Her mother Colleen is our IWS Chester Maintenance Administrator.

Both students were also awarded a cash gift card for school expenses.

Read the winning essay from 2018!