First Lady Mary Pat Christie awarded $5,000 scholarships to three local high school students at a ceremony Thursday in Princeton today.

The recipients of the New Jersey Spirit of a Hero Scholarships are for New Jersey high school students who plan to attend college next year and showed a demonstrated commitment to volunteerism and community contribution.

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The 20 winners include

* Egg Harbor Township resident Omolola Agabalogun, of Egg Harbor Township High School, who has volunteered with Families of Autistic Children Education & Support for the past four years, helping to create a support network for families and children with autism. She also organized an Autism Awareness Week at the high school.

* Brigantine residents Joseph M. Mandes and Michael Mandes, of Atlantic City High School, twin brothers who co-founded the “Kids for South Jersey Cancer Fund.” The organization has raised $48,000 the last five years. They also started their own lemonade stand together, raising more than $34,000 to support “Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation.”

Joel Landau

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Senior copy editor for the Press of Atlantic City. Have worked as a reporter, copy editor and news editor with the paper since 1985. A graduate of the University of Delaware.

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