Community Foundation of New Jersey

Beck Scholar Cynthia Amuruotu Continually Seeking Justice

April 27, 2017

For Cynthia Amuruotu of Orange, “justice” has always been more than a theory – it’s been at the core of her character, and a key motivator in her academic and soon-professional career.

At Marylawn of the Oranges, Cynthia distinguished herself by participating in numerous organizations and activities that emphasize justice in the community. She held leadership positions in her Campus Ministry Program and Student Council, and served as a member of the Key Club, National Honor Society, and even the track team. Outside of school, Cynthia volunteered at a soup kitchen, in a food bank, and with numerous food drives, as well as two different breast cancer awareness organizations.

It was a 2012 internship in the Essex County Prosecutor’s Office, however, that helped focus Cynthia’s interests in the law.

More motivated than ever to pursue a career in the justice system, Cynthia applied for and was awarded a scholarship from the Elsie E. and Joseph W. Beck Memorial Scholarship Fund at the Community Foundation of New Jersey.

The scholarship enabled Cynthia to attend Montclair State University and study in the College of Humanities and Social Justice.

As a freshman in 2014, Cynthia joined the Native African Student Organization (NASO) and committed to a major in Justice Studies with a concentration in Justice Systems.

She told the Community Foundation at the time that the Beck scholarship, “truly helped launch my college career on the right start.”

By her sophomore year, Cynthia had joined the Pre-Law Society and decided that she would like to become a defense attorney to help those who are wrongfully accused. She would go on in her junior year to take another internship with the Essex County Prosecutor’s Office, as well as a position in the Essex County Public Defender’s Office in Newark.

In her senior year, Cynthia took the LSAT exam and focused on applying to the right law school.

Happily, she was accepted at St. John’s Law School in Queens and will matriculate this fall.

“I am very excited about this next step in my life,” she recently reflected. “I look forward to finally sitting in a law class and saying to myself, ‘wow, Cynthia you are finally here.’”

She also added, “I pray that one day once I am well established into my career, I will be able to also donate to the Community Foundation of New Jersey to help another aspiring student.”

Click to learn more about the Elsie E. and Joseph W. Beck Scholarship Fund, and how this one-time private foundation came to the Community Foundation of New Jersey.

Click to learn more about scholarship funds at the Community Foundation of New Jersey.