Down to Earth Living Awards Three $500 Scholarships to North Rockland High School Graduates


For over 30 years, Down to Earth Living in Pomona, New York has been providing scholarships to North Rockland High School graduates. This year’s recipients of the $500 awards are Kelvin Bacelli, Emily Lichtbraun and Karina Jarrin.

“Down to Earth is delighted to provide three deserving students with an award that will help them continue on their path toward their futures. Helping young people in our community realize their dreams is an important part of our company’s mission,” stated Stuart Leventhal, owner of Down to Earth Living.

Kelvin Bacelli is a programmer in FIRST Robotics, Treasurer of the National Honor Society, and Vice President of Mu Alpha Theta. He is also a member of the Math League, Academic League, and the ESAP Program. Additionally, he is a math tutor and camp counselor. He has also received numerous scholarships and awards including AP Scholar with Distinction, Principles List, ESAP Certificate, NYV’s SPARC Certificate, and a Manhattan College Mechanical Engineering Summer Institute Certificate. Kelvin intends to study computer science in college.

Emily Lichtbraun is the Vice President of the Drama Society, Assistant Treasurer of the Key Club, Treasurer of her Student Government Association, Publicist for the Kindness Club, and President of the Academy of Health and Science. She also volunteers for Meals on Wheels, UNISEF, and donated to those recently effected by fires. Emily was twice awarded the Hispanic Heritage Award. She plans to study nursing in college.

Karina Jarrin is the third recipient and equally as impressive as the first two. Karina is the Co-President of the 10 Minute Orchestra and a member of the Academy of Art, NRHS Varsity Crew Team, NRHS Drama Society, and Pit Orchestra. She is also a part of National Honor Society as well as English, Social Studies, and Art Honor Societies. Karina was awarded the Rockland County Bar Association Juneteenth Scholarship in June 2023. She intends to study studio/fine arts in college.

Down to Earth Living staff use five criteria to determine the winners each year. First and foremost is academic performance which is based upon GPA and other available test scores, followed by participation in extracurricular activities, applications and club memberships, and community service. A topical essay is also required to demonstrate the student’s ability to communicate, and the student must also show the specific goal-directed activities taken toward achieving his or her future career. Financial need is also taken into consideration.

Down to Earth Living, Down to Earth Living Garden Center in Rockland County offers 12.5 acres filled with perennials, flowers, shrubs and trees, with new arrivals coming in every week. The 10,000 square foot showroom has a large and unique selection of contemporary, classic, traditional, and transitional teak, aluminum and all-weather dining and deep-seated furniture. The center is open 9 – 5 every day and is located near Bergen County at 1040 Route 45. Phone number is 845-354-8500. Website is for more information. 

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