Press release from the Eastern Monmouth Area Chamber of Commerce Educational Foundation

A scholarship for higher education is life changing, just ask Laura Burns, a school teacher in Hazlet, who wanted to continue graduate work to reach her goal in school administration. As a middle school language arts and social studies teacher, Laura (at right) dreamed of taking the next step but realized the financial hurdles to make it happen would be an obstacle. She applied to the Eastern Monmouth Area Chamber of Commerce (EMACC) Educational Foundation for its annual scholarship and the rest is history or her story.

Laura was one of 12 recipients of the EMACC scholarship in 2019. She was awarded a $2,000 scholarship, which is designed to help non-traditional students. Laura knew what she wanted to do and she needed a Master’s degree to accomplish her goals. With the help of the scholarship, Laura is now graduating with a Master’s of Arts Administration and Leadership from Georgian Court University in May. She was also invited to give the commencement address for all master’s degree candidates.

“I wanted to thank you again for believing in me and helping me financially,” Laura told the EMACC Educational Foundation. “My 2-year journey has been daunting and incredibly rewarding; my dreams of becoming a school administrator are close enough that I can taste them!  I have accomplished something that I never imagined possible!”

The EMACC Educational Foundation selects up to 12 non-traditional students each year for a minimum $2,000 award. Students must be 25 years old and returning to school, changing careers, or pursuing education for career advancement or they must be college students entering their junior or senior year and/or have completed 60 credits.

“We do this because we believe it is beneficial for our communities to offer financial help for higher education. It’s a win-win for the Chamber members and others who graciously donate to the Foundation and also for those who are chosen for our scholarships and grants,” said EMACC Educational Foundation Board Chair Jackeline Mejias-Fuertes.

Since its inception in 1999, the EMACC Educational Foundation has awarded $332,000 in scholarships and grants.

The EMACC Educational Foundation Scholarship application is now open for the 2021-22 academic year for both full and part-time students. Those who are interested must demonstrate they are continuing their education and need additional funding to help them attend school. Applications for scholarships are due Friday, May 7.

“We are excited to begin the search for qualified candidates for this year’s scholarship awards,” said Mejia-Fuertes. A panel of board members will review each applicant’s credentials and financial needs and make a decision.

Eligible applicants must live or work in Monmouth County, New Jersey, be employed by or sponsored by a Chamber member, or live in housing provided by a Chamber member that is a 501(c) 3 non-profit organization or attend a Chamber member college or university. Visit to view affiliations.

The applicant does not have to be a member of EMACC but must provide a recommendation by a Chamber member in good standing who is not a relative. Applications may be downloaded from the Chamber’s website, Completed applications and recommendations must be e-mailed by 5 p.m. (EST), Friday, May 7 to

The Foundation also provides grants to assist with tuition and fees associated with post-high school vocational, technical, or certification programs. Those grants are available to full- and part-time students and those applications are accepted throughout the year.

The EMACC Educational Foundation will announce the scholarship and grant winners in June and will present the awards at a virtual ceremony.

Donations to support these unique awards are welcome and may be made on the EMACC website at or mailed to the EMACC Educational Foundation C/O EMACC, 8 Reckless Place, Red Bank, NJ 07701.