They are valedictorians, salutatorians, student council and class presidents, National Honor Society officers, musicians, athletes, volunteers in their school and community.

They will be attending the University of Pennsylvania, Stevens Institute of Technology, Villanova, Seton Hall, Penn State, the University of Delaware, NJIT, TCNJ, the U.S. Naval Academy and many others.

They are the 38 high school seniors who during the course of this school year were honored as WOBM/Gateway Toyota Students of the Week.  For the 24th consecutive year the Toms River auto dealership and 92.7 WOBM recognized two seniors from every Ocean County high school as well as the MATES and Performing Arts academies of the Ocean County Vocational Technical Schools.

From early September through this past Monday we saluted a student each week with an on-air and online tribute and they each received a framed certificate.  These students were chosen by their individual schools as truly outstanding representatives of their senior class, a group that was clearly challenged and shortchanged by the pandemic which hit New Jersey very hard.

I would be remiss if I did not offer our debt of thanks to Gateway Toyota and specifically General Manager Rick Cardwell.  We first approached Gateway with this program in 1995 and asked them to partner with us because being a part of the community has always been important to them.

They said “yes” then and have done so every year since and even when the dealership was closed because of COVID-19 they never wandered in their support in wanting to highlight the very best our schools have to offer.

As part of this program we annually award a $1,000 scholarship through a random drawing of all the honored students with Gateway and WOBM each contributing $500.  Today in a drawing conducted live on the 92.7 Facebook page from Gateway Toyota, Gabriella Raffetto of Point Pleasant Beach was selected as this year’s recipient.

The valedictorian of her school, Gabriella will be attending the University of Pennsylvania in the fall. Watch the live random drawing below.

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