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SkillsUSA advisors and students at SCVTHS with holiday baskets

(l-r): SCVTHS SkillsUSA Advisor Michelle Fresco and SCVTHS SkillsUSA Advisor Sam Inga; SCVTHS students Emily Rosalli (Hillsborough), Grace Chen (Hillsborough), Pranav Potrevu (Basking Ridge), Jiya Mody (Martinsville), and Reilly Sibilia (Raritan); SCVTHS SkillsUSA Advisors Karen Morlock and Pratima Patil with some of the “baskets” created from the food drive.


This holiday season, the students and staff at Somerset County Vocational & Technical High School (SCVTHS) took part in various events with the hopes of bringing joy to those who are less fortunate.

In November, SCVTHS held their 22nd Annual Holiday Food Drive, generating enough food baskets to support 13 local families in need with a complete Thanksgiving meal including a turkey, fresh pie created by the culinary arts students and all the trimmings. In addition to creating the baskets, SCVTHS continued the food drive with all supplementary donations given to the Food Bank Network in Bound Brook. Also as part of the food drive, each class grade had the opportunity to win a free cookie voucher for their efforts. This year, the sophomore class led by Physical Education Instructor Matthew Poznanski won the contest.

Additionally, from November 1st to December 16th, students in the HOSA (Health Occupations Students of America) Club and Health Occupations Program collected a total of 60 winter coats during their Jersey Cares Winter Coat Drive.

Finally, two groups held toy drives during the month of December. The annual Cosmetology Holiday Toy Drive collected 57 toys for the Memorial Sloan Kettering Pediatric Center. The TOPS (Technical Occupational Preparation for Success) alternative education program at SCVTHS collected 29 toys for the Agapé House in Somerville.

The Agapé House, run by Volunteers of America Delaware Valley, is a 60-bed family shelter which provides temporary housing and case management to homeless families and individuals. TOPS Program Instructional Aide Karen Morlock stated, “The TOPS Program would like to thank everyone for their generosity in helping the children who live at the Agape House have a special Christmas this year. Together we were able to make twenty-nine children's wishes come true. We could not have done this without all of you.”

For more information on this story, contact James Strickhart at (908) 526-8900, x7169 or For more information on the Agapé House, please visit


Photo (below, left to right): TOPS English Instructor Cristina Perrone, TOPS student Richard Primus of Skillman, TOPS Instructional Aide Gayle Behot, TOPS student Kye Taran of Bedminster, and TOPS Student Advocate Aja Palmer take a break from wrapping gifts for their toy drive.

TOPS staff and students take a break from wrapping gifts