In honor and in memory of our dear friend Alicia Carmine, we have created the Alicia
Carmine Memorial Scholarship to be awarded to a Metuchen High School graduating senior each year. The recipients will "Shine Like Alicia" through their athletic and academic achievements, community service and positive character traits.
Alicia was a scholar, an athlete and a woman of faith and service. She was a life long runner and a true warrior. She was one of the top runners for Metuchen High School, winning the State Championship in the 800m and being awarded the MHS Scholar-Athlete Honor. After high school, Alicia continued her impressive academics and running at The United States Coast Guard Academy. She also served as a guide runner for NJ blind athletes, helping blind runners compete in National Championship races all across the country. Through her work, philanthropic efforts and just being her true self, Alicia championed for the poor, the disabled and the outcasts. She was first and foremost a woman of faith who loved her family unconditionally and her definition of family expanded beyond blood relatives into her tremendous circle of friends and community members.
It is so difficult to believe that someone who spent much of her life using her breath to run and win so many races, would lose her life to a disease that took her breath away. Alicia so valiantly battled a disease called Scleroderma for many years up until she took her last breath only a little over a year ago. It was important to Alicia to spread awareness of this disease so we would like to educate you regarding Scleroderma. According to the Scleroderma Foundation,
"Scleroderma, or systemic sclerosis, is a chronic connective tissue disease generally classified as one of the autoimmune rheumatic diseases. The word “scleroderma” comes from two Greek words: “sclero” meaning hard, and “derma” meaning skin. Hardening of the skin is one of the most visible manifestations of the disease." Alicia had the systemic form of Scleroderma which affected her hands and lungs first. It became very difficult for Alicia to use her hands to grip or open things and eventually Alicia needed oxygen 24/7. Just as Alicia would finish strong in her races, during the last few months of her life, she came so close to her life's finish line but in true Alicia fashion she kept running her life race as long as she possibly could. Although we are beyond saddened to lose Alicia we are comforted to know she is no longer suffering or in pain and can now run and breathe freely in eternal life in Heaven.
Alicia worked hard in everything she did, right up to the very end. The race of her life was one of true altruism, a selfless love for others. She had a contagious laugh and her warm smile not only would brighten up everyone's day but it was so welcoming and would guarantee all people felt a sense of belonging. Her incredible spirit and faith could lift up even the most sorrowful person.
"There are some who bring a light so great to the world that even after they have gone their light remains"
Alicia was always the bright light for those she came in contact with. She had a way of making people feel welcome, comfortable, happy and blessed. Her smile itself would fill your heart with happiness.
This scholarship will help to make sure that Alicia's legacy lives on and her light will continue to shine brightly through future generations of scholars, athletes and all around good citizens. We were so pleased to be able to award the first Alicia Carmine Memorial Scholarship this past June to an extremely well deserving MHS graduate, Michael Lapczynski. He is very grateful for the scholarship and in his thank you note he included this powerful quote,
"service to others is the rent you pay for your time here on Earth" (Mohammed Ali). Such a compelling statement representing Alicia so perfectly. Michael also shared a story with us in his thank you note, telling us that after receiving the scholarship his mom told him that she attended Metuchen High School with Alicia and Alicia was the first new friend his mom made at MHS. He explained that Alicia welcomed his mom by smiling and inviting her to sit with her on the gym bleachers. This simple act of kindness is representative of everything Alicia!
After Alicia passed away I posted that in the Metuchen High School Talent Show in 1980, Alicia and I sang "Ebony & Ivory" with our sisters. I mention this again as this song is so relevant to Alicia's character and to the world back then and remains relevant today. During Alicia's last few months on Earth many of us from MHS have reunited because of Alicia. She had a way of bringing ALL people together, then and now. Please think about the words from this beautiful song,... "Ebony and Ivory, live together in perfect harmony"....Alicia lived in perfect harmony with ALL people and I know it would be her strong desire that with her passing there could be much more Love in this world and hate could be eliminated. Please let the memory of Alicia's contagious laughter and radiant smile remind us to simply be kind and make a little extra effort to live in harmony with each other. Alicia is missed by so many of us including those that were fortunate enough to truly know her and witness her beautiful smile and spirit in action. Rest in Peace our angelic sweet friend and may her memory live on and bright light shine forever through those of us who loved her and through those who have never met Alicia but will carry the bright flame of her life as they are awarded this memorial scholarship for years to come.
Please help us to keep Alicia's bright light burning and her beautiful legacy live on for all to continue to see and feel by contributing to the Alicia Carmine Memorial Scholarship. Please make your secure online contribution through this site. We plan to award one or potentially more scholarships each year depending on funds raised.
Thank you for your anticipated Kindness and Support of the Alicia Carmine Memorial Scholarship. This scholarship enables Alicia's light to continue to shine brightly for years to come through the positive impact of those students who are awarded this scholarship. Alicia's parents, siblings, family and friends are forever grateful for your generosity.
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