Kids’ Chance of New Jersey was created in 2012 to provide financial support to the children of injured workers in our home state of New Jersey. A serious or fatal work -related injury often creates a financial hardship for the families of these injured workers, leaving little or no money for a child’s education. With up to $10,000.00 per school year, Kids’ Chance of New Jersey helps ease the burden of higher education.
Today we update you on our very first scholarship recipient, Mackenzie Kurnath. When we first met Mackenzie, she was a senior at West Mendham High School and ready to embark on her dream of attending University of Delaware majoring in Fashion Merchandising. Her dreams were almost crushed when her dad was injured at work and sustained a serious spinal cord injury. Now forced to survive as a family on just her mother’s income, the family struggled to keep up with daily expenses let alone college for Mackenzie and her sisters. Mackenzie received a Kids’ Chance of NJ scholarship for all 4 years while she attended University of Delaware totaling $40,000.00. Mackenzie graduated college in 2017. In 2018, Mackenzie and her sister, Ali, were the keynote speakers at our 7th Annual Gala. Mackenzie and her family continue to support KCNJ. Her sister Ali is also a KCNJ graduate and her sister Casandra is currently a scholarship recipient.
In Mackenzie's Own Words...
Thanks to KCNJ, my dream of working in the fast-paced fashion industry has been fulfilled beyond what I could have imagined at this stage in my life. After college graduation, I landed my first job within the industry at a New York based handbag company, MZ Wallace. I started working as an Assistant to the E-Commerce team, and after one year I was promoted to a position within the Wholesale department. After spending a few months learning the in's and out’s of the Wholesale business at MZ Wallace, I got an offer to join the Wholesale team from the world-renowned company and fashion industry leader, Ralph Lauren.
Currently, as a Sales Assistant to the Director of Women's Polo, the knowledge I am exposed to is infinite. I absolutely love going to work every day, and it's safe to say a few years ago I was afraid I would never get to say that. It is truly hard to imagine where I would be at in life right now had I not received the KCNJ scholarship. I would likely be living at home, trying to make enough money to finish my education. It is because of KCNJ that the potential for me to grow in my career is limitless. I am so excited for what the future holds and will forever be grateful for the Kid's Chance of New Jersey giving me the opportunity to earn my degree in Fashion Merchandising.