Even as a young student at Newark Academy, Dr. Lesly A. D’Ambola ’78 was interested in finding ways to reconnect the Academy with its origin city of Newark — also her hometown. In fact, she dedicated her senior project to that aim, which culminated in a slideshow of the city to her classmates. She was also instrumental in organizing multiple class trips to Newark, including to Integrity House, an outpatient rehabilitation center, to learn about the social issues facing the city at that time.

Forty-five years after completing that senior project, Lesly has magnified her efforts to enhance NA’s ties with Newark through a bequest to support the Newark Scholars Program. Lesly feels forever grateful to have been educated and supported by beloved teachers like Blackwood “Blackie” Parlin, Joe Borlo, Mary Burg, Tony Ungaro and her faculty advisor Ray Cruitt, and it is not lost on her that she was lucky enough to be born into a family with the financial resources to send her to NA. Now Lesly wants to pay that forward to students in need of financial assistance who live in Newark.

“The Newark Scholars Program really does level the playing field for these students who are so talented,” Lesly says. “All of these kids deserve a chance. I truly believe that every Newark Academy alumnus — especially those of us who came from the city of Newark — should contribute to the Newark Scholars Program.”