NJCTS Celebrates Tourette Awareness in New Jersey Honoring Scholarship Recipients, Fundraisers and Advocates

Top Scholarship Recipients: Jenna Smith and Sam Regen

To mark the occasion of June 4 as Tourette Syndrome Awareness Day in New Jersey, NJ Center for Tourette Syndrome and Associated Disorders (NJCTS) celebrated with a virtual awards ceremony were they awarded their college scholarships, recognized the top walk teams, and awarded the Youth Advocates of the Year. This is the first year the non-profit marked the occasion without founder Faith Rice, who passed away in March.

Scholarships were awarded by NJCTS to accomplished high school seniors who live with Tourette Syndrome (TS)—an inherited, neurological disorder that affects 1 in 100 individuals, with onset typically occurring around 6 or 7 years of age. Academic achievement, community involvement and accomplishments all play a part in the NJCTS Scholarship Committee’s decision in selecting winning candidates each year.

Scholarship Recipients

Samuel Regen of Robbinsville

Jenna Smith of Scotch Plains

Eric Jones of Short Hills

Grace Reed of Oak Ridge

Jordan Rullo of East Brunswick

Natasha Vacca of Middlesex

Daniel Albanese of Branchburg

Eric Baldwin of Mantua

Erin Gass of Vernon

Gavin Jackson of Ocean City

Paige Kowalski of Plainsboro

Ethan Lehr of Ringwood

Ryan Perrone of Columbus

NJCTS has been conducting their virtual event NJ Walks for TS in conjunction with TS Awareness Month (May 15 to June 15). Several young advocates and long-time supporters stepped up for this crowdfunding event and have raised more than $20,000.

Top Five Walk Teams

Trabilcy Tackles Tourettes 3        Team Captain: Sofia Trabilcy of Flemington

Smile More Dentistry                    Team Captain: Amanda Silvers of East Brunswick

Team Jamo                                       Team Captain: Jameson Dougherty of Newfoundland

Oliver Newhoff                                Team Captain: Oliver Newhoff of Milford, PA

Center for Emotional Health        Team Captain: Dr. Marla Diebler of Cherry Hill

Also on board this year were Walk sponsors Dietz & Watson, Black Bear Brand Deli Meat, The Wawa Foundation, The Center for Emotional Health of Greater Philadelphia, Smile More Dentistry, and The Creamer Family Foundation.

Youth Advocate of the Year awards were presented to the graduating advocates who went above and beyond for NJCTS during their time in high school. NJCTS Youth Advocates are dedicated to improving awareness and breaking the stigma of TS by educating the public, medical professionals, and educators, and by supporting kids and families living with TS.

Youth Advocates of the Year

Samuel Regen of Robbinsville

Jenna Smith of Scotch Plains

Paige Kowalski of Plainsboro

Eric Baldwin of Mantua

“Every time we see our young people, it inspires us all to work harder and be better,” said Patricia Phillips, NJCTS Executive Director. “We love the work and dedication they put into everything they do, from academics to community service. We congratulate and thank each one of them.”

The NJ Center for Tourette Syndrome and Associated Disorders, the nation’s first Center for Excellence for Tourette Syndrome, is a not-for-profit organization committed to ensuring children and adults with Tourette Syndrome are empowered and accepted through education, advocacy and research. Dedicated to delivering high quality services to these individuals, the Center recognizes the importance of educating the public, medical professionals, and teachers about this disorder. To learn more about Tourette Syndrome and the programs available from NJCTS, visit www.njcts.org.