New Jersey Youth Soccer recently hosted its 32nd Annual NJYS Awards Dinner presented by RWJBarnabas Health, where many players, coaches and members of the soccer community were celebrated at the Pines Manor in Edison, N.J. Included in the ceremony was the announcement of the 2019 Allan Sinclair Memorial Scholarship recipients, with Izabella Aravich and Luke Marolda receiving the honors.
The Allan Sinclair Memorial Scholarship was established to honor the many contributions that Allan Sinclair made to youth soccer. Sinclair had an extensive career with NJ Youth Soccer, serving as NJYS President for nearly 25 years before working as the NJYS Executive Director from 2008-2012. His time and dedication to youth soccer was mostly done as a volunteer, not only in the state but also in the region.
Izabella Aravich started playing soccer at Wall Soccer Club when she was just four years old. She now plays travel soccer for the Wall Tsunamis as well as on the varsity team at Wall High School, which were the Group II Central Division Champions and runners-up in the State Finals this past fall. In addition to soccer, she has done very well in the classroom and is a member of the National Honor Society at Wall High School. She also enjoys volunteering her time for community organizations such as Habitat for Humanity and the Emmanuel Cancer Foundation.
Aravich has proven to be a very effective leader, serving as captain of both the soccer and lacrosse teams during high school. Further, she has been a captain of Wall’s Knights of Giving and co-president of the Care Club. She also participated in the Engineering Academy at Wall High School and plans to study Civil Engineering in college this fall. She credits soccer as being a key developer of her leadership skills and her ability to work well amongst a diverse group of teammates and individuals.
“One of the most enjoyable things that I do is volunteer with the Emmanuel Cancer Foundation,” said Aravich. “We host overnight activities at our high school and help with all of the fundraising. It is really fun to have the children who are recipients of funding from the foundation and their families come to our school, and there is nothing better than to see them smiling and happy.”
Soccer has played a significant role in the life of Luke Marolda since he was four years old. The start of his soccer journey occurred with the West Windsor Blazers, which was his local travel team. He later made the move to Match Fit Academy and currently plays with the PSA National 02 Boys. Additionally, he will continue playing soccer this fall at Carnegie Mellon University while he studies Computer and Electrical Engineering.
During the summer of 2017, Marolda and a friend created Education for Success, which acquires high school tutors from the West Windsor Public Schools District to work with students in underprivileged areas.
“This scholarship signifies how important it is to give back, and to understand what a gift that education is,” said Marolda. “Education for Success is focused on tutoring underprivileged students in underserved areas. To be able to provide the gift of education to others is such an incredible feeling.”
Beyond Education for Success, Marolda has been very involved on campus at the Peddie School, where he is the only current student to serve as a class representative during all four years of high school. Additionally, he was an accomplished player on the soccer field for Peddie, receiving Team MVP honors this past fall.