When Toms River High School South holds its graduation ceremony next Friday at Detweiler Stadium Chris Nolze will be among a class of just over 400 to receive their diplomas.  

Chris J. Nolze (Townsquare Media NJ)

There is little doubt that he has earned that diploma as he’s ranked second in his graduating class which is quite a distinction.  Chris has been a member of the International Thespian Society at South and was an honorary member of the Hitting Indians football team.

In early January he was honored as a WOBM/Gateway Toyota Student of the Week and along with 37 other high school seniors it made him eligible for the $1000 college scholarship that WOBM and Gateway Toyota award each year at the conclusion of the program.  Tuesday morning Gateway General Sales Manager Michael Dowd pulled Chris’ name out of the bucket as the recipient of the scholarship but that’s not the end of the story.

Chris is a brain cancer survivor who has had undergone 16 surgeries and never been able to spend an entire year in school.  Not only that but he created a non-profit foundation “Chris’ Fight For A Cure” in order to help other kids diagnosed with cancer and after Superstorm Sandy he collected toys and gift cards for families in need during the holiday season.  Recently he was awarded the Governor’s New Jersey Jefferson Youth Services Award for his volunteer and charitable efforts.

While his health has been improving Chris will need to have a couple of surgeries over the summer so he plans to begin his college career at Ocean County College.

Clearly he is an extraordinary young man who while dealing with his own medical problems has sought to help others.  I can’t think of a more deserving recipient of the WOBM/Gateway Toyota Student of the Week scholarship.