Scholarship Award Honors Darren Drake’s Legacy

Scholarship Award Honors Darren Drake’s Legacy

The Northern New Jersey Community Foundation’s The Darren Drake Memorial Fund names New Milford High School graduate Leanna Akguc the second recipient of a $2,000 scholarship award. This NNJCF charitable, donor advised fund memorializes New Milford High School graduate Darren Drake, who died in a terrorist attack in New York City on October 31, 2017.

The scholarship award recognizes qualified students seeking to pursue a trade or technical career. Akguc, an honor roll student, attained good grades in high school and volunteered in the community. Among her activities, she also painted sets for the high school’s musicals and volunteered on projects in school, at her church, and with the Art Center of Northern New Jersey. During high school, she was also a member of the National Art Honor Society, Yearbook Club and Mural Club. Furthermore, Akguc received awards for her artwork at Teen Arts, Music Inspired Art and the Montclair Art Museum. Now, she plans to attend Capri Institute in Paramus, New Jersey and pursue a career in cosmetology.

Leanna Akguc receives the 2019 Northern New Jersey Community Foundation's Darren Drake Memorial Fund's scholarship.

Barbara Drake congratulates Leanna Akguc on receiving the 2019 Northern New Jersey Community Foundation’s Darren Drake Memorial Fund’s scholarship.
Photo Credit: Kristen Wilkens

Fund Continues Darren Drake’s Legacy

The Northern New Jersey Community Foundation’s Darren Drake Memorial Fund perpetuates Darren Drake’s legacy. Drake served on the New Milford Board of Education.  He also identified the need to meet a shortage of skilled labor in the trade and technical professions.  Drake recognized preparing high school students interested in pursuing vocational careers would fill the void. Furthermore, career opportunities exist in the trade and technical professions.

The Fund awards an annual scholarship to a graduating senior of New Milford High School to pursue training in the trade or technical professions. In addition, the public continues Darren Drake’s commitment to education and his legacy with a donation in his memory. In remembrance of Drake, and as a lasting tribute to his lifelong love of and commitment to education, Moody’s Foundation provided the principal gift to establish the fund, which will be administered by his parents.

Donations are tax-deductible, as permitted by law, and may be made online. The Foundation also provides another option.  Send a contribution by check made out to ‘The Northern N.J. Community Foundation’ with ‘Darren Drake Memorial Fund’ entered in the memo line. 
Send checks to the Northern New Jersey Community Foundation, 1 University Plaza, Suite 128, Hackensack, New Jersey 07601.

For further information about the Northern New Jersey Community Foundation, contact nnjcf@nnjcf.org or call 201-568-5608.

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