Congratulations to all 2016-2017 George E. Jonas Scholarship Recipients!

Being part of the Camp Rising Sun community enriches us far beyond our experiences as campers, counselors and family members. Being part of our community allows us to grow surrounded by ideas and plans of people from all over the world. LAJF wants to support our student alumni in their pursuit of Higher Education, this can be by creating platforms for alumni to share their expertise, being able to visit Rick Richter to get useful advice on college applications, and once a year in the form of the George E. Jonas Scholarship. We would like to make a special mention to the Pete Seeger Scholarship which has been awarded now for three years. This goes to a candidate who, in addition to meeting our regular criteria, exemplifies Pete’s courage, integrity and humanity, and who over time, we believe will be exemplary at helping within their community.  

2016 GEJ Scholarships and the Pete Seeger Scholarship have been awarded to: 

José Galarza - CRS 2011, 2015-‘16 - Hood College -  Pete Seeger Scholar

Emily Broyles  - CRS 2001,’05 - University of Denver          

Lucrecia Mena Melendez - CRS 2008 - UCLA

Amelia Colban - CRS 2010 - Columbia University  

Mina Hirsch – CRS 2005-’06,’10-’11 - Arizona State University 

Mo Tu  - CRS 2015-‘16 -  Mt. Holyoke College

We would like to thank everyone that applied this year and encourage all to apply next year. We spoke with some of this year's recipients about what it means to get financial aid from the CRS community,  the values learned at CRS and their future pursuits. Read on! 

“I feel very honored to receive the GEJ scholarship from LAJF.    This scholarship allows me to complete my degree more quickly and with more freedom to take risks. I am currently pursuing a master’s degree at the University of Denver in Organization Leadership.  My objective after completing my degree is to enter into the human capital development field, specifically helping organizations to identify and train leaders.  I am particularly passionate about bringing more leadership opportunities to women and people from diverse backgrounds. The CRS core values are present with me every day as I recruit and mentor the next generation of CRS campers from Colorado and as I envision my own role as a leader for innovation in my next professional pursuits.”

Emily Broyles (CRS '01,’05)

"Being awarded the George E. Jonas scholarship means a lot to me and my family. Being awarded the scholarship means that I can continue with my education. This also takes away the burden of my family having to cover the expenses of me going to college.
CRS has always been in my heart. What I show to the college community is being able to work with one another, embracing who you are, and being able to purse the role of a servant leader. I am very open in my college community and I try to make everyone welcome, just like Camp Rising Sun had done for me.
After college, I plan to apply and participate in different fellowship programs. I am currently applying for Fulbright, so I am keeping my fingers crossed! I hope to either work in the non-profit sector or in congress in the coming years.
I hope to give back to CRS in the future!"  

Jose Galarza (CRS '11,’15-’16)

“As an international student completing a PhD in Sociology in the United States, it is extremely hard to apply for any fellowships or scholarships. Hence, getting a scholarship from the LAJF is incredibly important in order to help me pay for university fees, textbooks, and tuition. As a third time recipient of this scholarship (twice as an undergraduate student and once as a graduate student), I can say that this scholarship has definitely allowed me to continue with my academic pursuits. I hope to one day be able to reciprocate the support to other members of the CRS community who need the financial support to continue with their studies.
Camp Rising Sun was an experience that completely changed my way of looking at the world. It all happened the summer of 2008 when I was awarded a full scholarship from George E. Jonas Foundation to attend Camp Rising Sun Europe in Stendis, Denmark. The great thing about the CRS experience was the pride I felt when I was chosen as the only Central American girl participating and the first Salvadoran in Camp’s 70-year history. Rising Sun opened new doors in my life, doors to a variety of truths about people, cultures and religions. As a member of a PhD community, and as a TA of undergraduate students at UCLA, I always try to teach and learn from others. That is a value that I learned at CRS and that I try to instill on a daily basis.
After completing my PhD, I would like to support policy-making through research. I would like to work for an international organization, governmental organization, or a research institution that seeks to expand knowledge and help members of society understand theoretical and policy issues we are facing today as a society.”

Lucrecia Mena (CRS '08)

“Receiving a scholarship from LAJF not only means help for funding my education; the award shows the continued support I have from my incredible community. It is a simple reminder of how lucky I am to be an alumna of CRS and how thankful I am.
After moving from my home in NYC to Tempe, Arizona I have worked harder than ever to immerse myself into the community here. I'm not hugely involved in the college specifically, more so focusing on the Phoenix Metro area. In the year I've been living in Arizona I have been doing nutrition related work with at-risk populations in Phoenix, volunteering my time with elderly diabetics to help them manage their condition, and learning about sustainable transportation efforts via biking as well as sustainable gardening techniques here in the desert. I have been able to share (both giving and receiving) knowledge, time, and resources with my community.
After I obtain my degree in Dietetics (Nutrition) I will apply to match with a Dietetic Internship which, once completed, will allow me to sit for registration exam to become a Registered Dietitian. At that point I will look to work in a hospital, long term care facility, or private practice for a few years before opening my own practice. I still have the idea of "Robin Hooding," (taking wealthier clients by day to give back to those in need by night) but I'll have to see if this is a practical or effective way of giving back.”

Mina Hirsch ('05-’06,’10-‘11)

"Chairing this Committee for the past five years has been a great honor.  Now, almost 60 years after my own CRS experience, I continue to see the significant, long lasting, and deeply satisfying impact that CRS had on me, and this is a great opportunity both to give back and to facilitate the paths forward for at least a few alumni each year.  The Committee is first rate, made up of members who bring energy, intelligence and integrity to our work, and who reach consensus decisions without rancor.  We’re always taken with the impressive commitments and leadership shown by the GEJ Scholarship applicants in the years between their camp attendance and their applications, and the ambitious expectations they hold for themselves when applying.  We’d love to receive your application!"

David Levine (CRS 1958-'59) - GEJ Scholarship Committee Chair


The GEJ Scholarship exists thanks to the generosity of the Georges Lurcy Trust and CRS alumni and friends. It would also not be possible without the commitment and passion of the GEJ Scholarship Committee members. The committee, chaired by David Levine ('58-'59), includes Eli Bromberg ('96), Inna Kuvich (01-’02,’06), Alexandra Pleier ('01) and John M Reilly ('97-‘98). We would also like to recognize the work done by Michael Engber (57-’58, '04) who completed his service to the Committee with the 2015/16 cycle for his outstanding work. 

Read more about the Scholarship how to apply here