UNSPLASH PHOTO COURTESY OF Szabo Viktor
Andi Leibowitz would say that her parents are the true sentimentalists in the family, but the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree. A graduate of the Class of 2013, Leibowitz became the first Communications alumni to award a current CHS student a scholarship at the Senior Awards ceremony on Thursday, June 3.
Alongside the help of her father, Leibowitz decided just months ago that she wanted to find a way to give back to the school and community that had a lasting impact on her. This led to them creating the Leibowitz Family Scholarship, granting $750 to two outstanding students of the Class of 2021.
“I was talking with my dad a few months ago… and my dad had said, ‘you went through this really amazing experience and it was so great getting to see you graduate…and I think it’s amazing that there are kids that go through this every year,’” Leibowitz said. “‘I’d love to just find a way to give a little gift as a congratulations to them.’”
As she introduced the award, Leibowitz recounted how seeing the TV studio for the first time during her eighth grade information session inspired her to apply to and later attend CHS. She made it clear that it was a decision she would never regret.
“I do remember…a few months into my freshman year of school talking to one of my grandparents and they asked me how school was going,” Leibowitz said. “And I told her about all the things we were doing and all of the fun I was having with my classmates and I remember my grandma saying, ‘I don’t think you’re supposed to be having that much fun at this school.’”
I addition to showing gratitude to the CHS community, Leibowitz also wanted to give back to CHS for giving her the experience to help her find her career. She explained that when she left high school, she was interested in going into graphic design, as she enjoyed experimenting with programs such as Photoshop and Illustrator while at CHS.
She later graduated with a degree in graphic design from Temple University and now works in project and web design.
“I definitely would not be where I am today without my experience at CHS…I don’t think I’d be in the field that I thought I’d be in, I definitely don’t think that I would’ve gotten the jobs that I would’ve gotten, I don’t even think my college experience would’ve been the same way,” Leibowitz said. “I feel like all of the teachers…gave me a really good opportunity to explore a lot of things and really figure out what I liked and what I didn’t like.”
The scholarship was presented to Ravenna Gemignani of Oceanport and Adah Shimanovich of Freehold during the ceremony. Both expressed their gratitude and honor at having been chosen to receive the newly created award.
“I’m super grateful,” said Gemignani. “The scholarship just means a lot to me because somebody just…had a really good time at CHS and they wanted to give back to us.”
This wasn’t Leibowitz’s first time back at CHS and, should she have her way, it certainly won’t be the last. Though much has changed to both her and the building in the eight years since she graduated, she always holds CHS in a special place in her heart for all it’s given her in her four years of high school and beyond.
“I have such good memories from being here,” Leibowitz said. “It just makes me feel really good to come back and see how the school is thriving and how the rest of the students and the faculty are thriving as well.”