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May 17, 2022

Monmouth Regional Chamber of Commerce Hosts Annual High School Team Challenge

MRCC Team Challenge Essay Contest winners Katrine Birkeland from Manalapan High School and Jonna Crocker from Howell Township High School hold their award checks.

The Monmouth Regional Chamber of Commerce (MRCC) Education Foundation was proud to host its annual Team Challenge event this winter, which provides local high school students with hands-on experience in team building, creative problem-solving and dealing with the ethical decision-making process within the context of real-world business problems.

Nearly 100 students from all six Freehold Regional High School District schools participated in the Team Challenge. The program is presented each year by the MRCC Education Foundation, whose mission is to serve current and future business leaders within the greater Monmouth area by providing information and programs designed to develop the business and leadership skills needed to successfully serve employees, customers, and communities in a profitable and ethical manner and to promote public awareness of business and its value to the community.  

From left: Mitali Vasa of the Vasa Foundation, Team Challenge Brand Ambassador Jeremy Posluszny, New Jersey Senator Vin Gopal, Erika Boyer of Edward Jones-Marlboro, and essay contest winners Katrine Birkeland and Jonna Crocker.

Trophies were awarded to the top three finishing teams, with Marlboro High School taking first place, Colts Neck High School taking second place, and Howell High School in third place. Monmouth County Commissioner Director Thomas Arnone presented the awards and spoke enthusiastically about the merits of the Team Challenge program and its potential expansion as a countywide initiative for students throughout the Monmouth area, with hopes of having it held at Brookdale Community College in future years. 

MRCC members, FRHSD administrators, Team Challenge supporters and student winners

Team Challenge participants were given the opportunity to submit essays about their personal experience and involvement with the program. The MRCC Education Foundation presented two of the essay contestants with $500 scholarships, courtesy of the Vasa Foundation. Hosted by Erika Boyer at Edward Jones-Marlboro, the evening turned out to be even more exciting when featured guest New Jersey Senator Vin Gopal surprised everyone by presenting matching scholarships for both students, bringing their total awards to $1,000 each. The essay contest winners were Katrine Birkeland from Manalapan High School and Jonna Crocker from Howell Township High School, who were applauded at the reception by MRCC members and Freehold Regional High School District administrators.