Recognizing students who make life better for others by volunteering

For more than 20 years, Nancy & Robert Eskow NCJW/Essex Volunteer Awards (Eskow Award) have recognized graduating high school seniors who demonstrate their commitment to making life better for others by volunteering, through either community service or advocacy. NCJW/Essex is a grassroots organization of volunteers and advocates who turn progressive ideals into action. Eskow Award winners reflect and support NCJW/Essex’s mission of improving the lives of women, children and families by safeguarding individual rights and freedoms. This is a non-sectarian award and we encourage all to apply.

Thank you to all 2024 applicants.
Information on next year's awards will be available in early 2025.

Letter to Schools

Application Instructions

Application Form

Eliana Jean
Science Park High School

Eliana set out with a mission to address the current limits on reproductive rights and sex education, and raise awareness of the issues surrounding self-esteem and healthy relationships facing girls and women today. That led her to Teen LINKS, a peer education internship at Planned Parenthood of Metropolitan NJ where high school students are trained in sexuality education and take that information to their peers through interactive workshops. Eliana’s commitment to PP and lifting up young people’s right and access to health care is inspiring, and she continues to “fill their brains” with encouragement and knowledge to transform the world for the better. Eliana plans to study Public Health and Women, Gender & Sexuality in college.

Juliette Lipari
Glen Ridge High School

The numbers of girls and boys enrolled in her AP Computer Science and AP Statistics classes piqued Juliette’s curiosity — and spurred her to action. Seeing the imbalance (so many more boys than girls) prompted her to start a Girls Who Code chapter at her school. Now with more than 40 members, Girls Who Code teaches lessons at local schools to excite girls about Computer Science, brings attention to the deep inequities in the field, and highlights the need to develop and showcase more women leaders. She plans to study Computer Science at university.

Nishna Makala
Livingston High School

Nishna was the founder and president of the Student League of Women Voters at Livingston High School. She hosted forums, organized student voter registration drives and managed the VoterGirl initiative together with the Girl Scouts. An active member of the LWV, Nishna manages the group’s website and social media channels, and got a firsthand look at democracy while acting as a timekeeper for local candidate debates. She is headed to college and plans to study Computer Science, Data Science and Public Policy, with the goal of eventually putting her data skills to work in policy and law.