A Bordentown City woman and student at Northern Burlington County Regional High School were recognized by Burlington County officials for contributions to their communities
As part of a Feb. 27 announcement from Burlington County Board of Chosen Freeholders Director Felicia Hopson to list the 2020 winners of the “Annual Outstanding Women of Burlington County Awards,” Bordentown resident Doan Tucker and Northern Burlington County Regional High School senior Athira Arayath were among the nine recipients named.
“It is such honor to recognize the outstanding women in Burlington County that contribute so much to our community,” Hopson said in a statement. “We are more excited than ever this year to recognize the 100th anniversary of the passage of the 19th Amendment, allowing women to vote.
“We want to use this time to celebrate women of Burlington County who are making an impact on our community and paving the way for other women to follow in their footsteps,” Hopson added.
Hopson said the winners were chosen from several areas of exceptional service. In addition to the awards being presented, three local students will also receive scholarships in the amount of $1,000 each. They will be honored at an awards reception on March 30 at 5:30 p.m. The event will be held at the Merion in Cinnaminson.
Tickets are $75 each to attend the event and may be purchased by mailing a check or by credit card via EventBrite. To pay by credit card, visit EventBrite at www.eventbrite.com/e/outstanding-women-of-burlington-county-awards-dinner-tickets-86035828479.
Officials said Tucker, a Bordentown City resident, was chosen for her community service. She studied fine art and design at Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, N.Y., and has put her passion to use by volunteering her time to design websites for churches and flyers for community events.
She volunteered as the youth pastor of St. Patrick’s Episcopal Church in Falls Church, Va., and worked for the Fairfax County School System. Tucker also worked in an ad and marketing agency that focused on the Asian and Hispanic demographics in the D.C. Metropolitan Area.
After moving to Burlington County, she began getting involved in the community as a member of Christ Episcopal Church in Bordentown where she supports other church members by being a part of the Altar Guild and other guilds and committees. She also helps to organize many outreach programs that benefit men, women and youths in the community.
She works with the “Homefront Project,” which provides meals to homeless families in the community. She also supports the “Bordentown Laundry Project,” which provides families with free laundry services once a month and organizes the “Fill Father Matt’s Truck” events at Thanksgiving and Easter, which help stock the community pantry. She helps families in need by providing homemade meals and encourages others to do that same through “Meal Trains” as well.
During the holidays, Tucker even devotes her time to “Operation Cookie Drop,” in which she bakes, collects and coordinates a cookie drop for troops that are deployed out of the local Joint Base McGuire – Dix – Lakehurst Military Base. She has worked with spouses on base along with a chaplain’s wife to organize monthly dorm dinner meals for single service members.
Tucker is also an active volunteer for the “Good Neighbor Food Pantry,” which provides food for families in need. She routinely brings in local teens to help organize the pantry. She organizes both Easter and Thanksgiving meals for families in need. She also works closely with “Soles4Souls,” a non-profit organization that collects used shoes and clothing to help reduce the cycle of poverty, and with Newborns in Need, a Mount Holly based program that helps deserving newborns and their mothers.
Meanwhile, Arayath is planned to receive the Elizabeth Coleman STEM Award. Arayath is a senior at Northern Burlington County Regional High School and is a top-ranked student. She is involved in varsity tennis and several clubs, all while maintaining nearly perfect grades during her entire high school career.
She started the Chess Club with her friends while attending Dunn Middle School and participates in HomeFront during the summer where she helps students learn and play chess. During her sophomore year of high school, she founded a FIRST Teach Challenge robotics team along with her brother and two friends. The group has received multiple awards and has qualified for state championships. To date, she is the only girl on her robotics team.
During the summer of 2017, inspired by the North American Solar Eclipse, she also developed a computer simulation that modeled planetary and lunar orbits. Later that year, she was selected to attend a two-week camp on the Physics at the University of Maryland. At the end of her sophomore year, she was also accepted to the Columbia University’s Science Honors Program (SHP).
Last summer, Arayath was selected for the New Jersey Governor’s School in Sciences, an intense three-week summer program. While in this program, she attended classes on Neurobiology, Special Relativity, and Molecular Orbital Theory. During her senior year, she applied to and was accepted to participate in the Princeton Plasma Physics Program. She began her internship at Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory this year.
She has been a leader in the “MathCOUNTS team,” “Odyssey of the Mind” and the Science League. Arayath even runs robotics workshops where she builds robots with youths to give them exposure to robotics and STEM.
Following graduation, She will be majoring in Physics at the Massachusetts Insitute of Technology. She plans to continue to earn a Master’s and Doctorate in Physics and ultimately become a theoretical physicist.