the Inkblot

Stark gives back through grief

Stark, left, sits on her brother Ryan’s shoulders in 2008 in her first home in
Westfield, NJ. She started a foundation in his name after his overdose.

Zoe Conner-Bennett

October 9, 2020

“It has been said that grief is the final act of love,” says Ryan’s Love of Life Foundation and its co-founder, senior Brooke Stark of Manasquan, “and we’ve chosen to channel our grief into healing.” Stark began Ryan’s Love of Life Foundation in January along with her mother as a tribute...

Music to their ears: Jodry uses her musical talent to give back

Jodry, left, holds friend Shiva on her back in January 2020 at One Life to Love Orphanage in New Delhi, India.

Zoe Conner-Bennett

June 12, 2020

Instead of opening dozens of presents from family or celebrating with friends, freshman Mary Jodry of Neptune City has spent her last three birthdays using her musical talent to raise money for One Life to Love, a charity devoted to helping disabled and orphaned children in New Delhi, India. While h...

Peng’s art gets regional acclaim

A cropped version of Peng’s award-winning artwork, “Identity Propagnda.”

Emily Toro

May 8, 2020

“I don’t really like most of the things I draw,” said junior Alexis Peng of Marlboro. Two weeks prior to this interview, the Scholastic Art and Writing Awards, “one of the nation’s longest-running and most prestigious recognition programs for creative teens,” nominated Peng for a national m...

1 in 300: Williams tunes into passion

Williams plays cello for the New Jersey State Youth Orchestra.

Will McHale

March 9, 2020

Junior Madeline Williams of Wall began playing the cello when she was just nine years old. Although it may be an unusual choice for a fourth grade pastime, she was inspired by her mother. “My mom played the cello, so she really wanted me to play it too,” Williams said. However, she quickly devel...

Cohen lives and leads in faith

Cohen, second from left, poses with other USY Co-Regional Executive
Board members in April 2019 at the Westin Hotel in Princeton, NJ. after
being elected to their positions.

Kaitlyn Delaney

January 17, 2020

Despite growing up in Marlboro, junior Abi Cohen’s roots tie back to Israel, where she was born. Cohen moved to the United States as a baby, but with the majority of her extended family still living in Israel, she and her family make efforts to visit almost every year. Though she no longer lives in h...

Viggiano speaks fluently in five digital dialects

Viggiano next to a computer displaying code he has written.

Kaitlyn Delaney and Timothy Wilburn

November 15, 2019

Like many young boys, freshman Mark Viggiano of Ocean spent his time in elementary school playing Minecraft with his friends. But, in fifth grade, the world of building digital homes and villages unexpectedly allowed Viggiano to “level-up” from a zombie-fighting gamer to a coding expert. In 2014,...

Lin makes a splash in competitive diving

Lin competes at the Amateur Athletic Union Diving Nationals at Northside Swim Center in San Antonio, Texas in July of 2018.

Kaitlyn Delaney

September 13, 2019

After injuring her elbow from gymnastics in 2016, junior Melody Lin of Freehold Township found herself in search of a new sport to occupy her time. Though Lin lost interest in gymnastics, she explained that she always enjoyed the “flipping around.” So, she searched for a sport where she could do...

Shubov dances her way to international success

Shubov performs at the 2018 YAGP finals in New York City

Madison Beekman

May 10, 2019

Standing behind the stage on which hundreds of people would watch her perform, freshman Renee Shubov of Marlboro practiced her solo over and over. After her final run-through, she fixed the ribbons of her pointe shoes and stepped in front of the Youth America Grand Prix (YAGP) audience and judges. ...

Liam Umbs hits the right notes at Carnegie Hall

Umbs plays piano during the Crescendo Competition at Carnegie Hall, Jan. 27, 2018.

Kaitlyn Delaney

March 15, 2019

At the age of four, sophomore Liam Umbs of Monmouth Beach sat at the piano and plucked random notes, acquainting himself with the keys in front of him. Much to the surprise of his parents, Umbs quickly taught himself how to play nursery rhymes like “Old MacDonald.” Umbs’ mother realized her sel...

Toman adventures across both sides of scouting

Toman, right, poses with members of Venturing Crew 4385.

Tess Rempel

January 25, 2019

Finding someone who has met the producers of Tarantino movies, explored Czech graveyards and swam with barracudas is not easy to come by. But as a Girl Scout for 13 years and a Boy Scout for five, senior Clare Toman of Spring Lake Heights has lived a multitude of experiences. Toman joined the Girl Scouts when she was on...

Megerle hits her stride in cross country career

Madison Beekman

November 21, 2018

Growing up, senior Colleen Megerle of Colts Neck watched her parents and older siblings run. Now, her family returns the favor as she prepares for state championships. Megerle has been running since the seventh grade and now runs for her home high school, Colts Neck. She has won many awards, both in...

Martin pursues passion for medicine in Nigeria

Senior Connor Martin of Spring Lake Heights learned various ways to treat injured patients during his service trip to Africa.

Evan Kuo

September 14, 2018

“There is a child running around Nigeria with a scar because of me, so that’s great,” senior Connor Martin of Spring Lake Heights said while recounting his trip. Despite what his story implied, Martin had only good intentions when he stitched up the child’s wound. In the summer of 2017, he tra...

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