Eisen Scholar Honors Family through Service

Tommy Coman’s story is incredibly inspiring, marked by resilience and dedication to both academics and community service. His journey from experiencing a profound loss to honoring his father’s legacy through his studies and service is remarkable and why the Community Foundation of New Jersey is especially proud to administer his scholarship on behalf of the Peter Eisen Scholarship Fund.

Tommy’s involvement in community service, evident from his accolades and roles at South Amboy High School, highlights his proactive approach to making a difference. Tommy was not only the president of the Student Council and editor of the yearbook, but also a volunteer junior firefighter and the 2021 recipient of the Middlesex County Unsung Heroes Award for Community Service.

His father’s influence instilled in him a legacy of service. Before his passing in 2020, Tommy’s father was a 35-year volunteer firefighter. Despite the adversity of losing his father, Tommy not only persevered but also doubled his focus on excelling at school, working to support his family, and pursuing his dream of becoming a firefighter like his father.

At Middlesex County College, Tommy is studying Homeland Security, with plans to graduate in Spring 2024. His engagement in classes ranging from Computers to Psychology and Forensic suggest a well-rounded skill set crucial for a career in Homeland Security.

Tommy thinks often about something his father told him, “it’s not about how you start the race, it’s how you finish.” Tommy explains further that, “a tragedy or disaster can come and knock you down, but remember to keep getting up and finish what you started.”

The Community Foundation of New Jersey is proud to administer Tommy’s scholarship to Middlesex College on behalf of the Peter Eisen Scholarship Fund. Paul and Gail Mandel founded this scholarship fund in memory of their dear friend. The scholarship’s criteria include a narrative on how the recipient managed to turn adversity into positive personal growth.

Tommy’s aspiration to become a firefighter in honor of his father’s memory showcases his commitment to service and making a tangible impact within his community. His story is one of turning personal loss into a drive for excellence and service, embodying the values of the Peter Eisen Scholarship Fund.

Learn more about the Community Foundation of New Jersey’s work with scholarships.