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June 18, 2024

YMCA of MEWSA Announces 2024 Ryan Patterson Memorial Scholarship Recipient

The YMCA of Metuchen, Edison, Woodbridge & South Amboy has announced that the 2024 Ryan Patterson Memorial Scholarship has been awarded to Caden Leung of Piscataway. The Ryan Patterson Memorial Scholarship was established in 2012 in honor of late 27-year-old Metuchen Branch YMCA swim coach and mentor, Ryan Marie Patterson. The recipient must strive for excellence in academics, sports, or the arts. In addition, they must demonstrate that they have made an impact in their community through volunteer work, a service project or other means, live by the golden rule, have influenced others in a positive way and advocated for others who are less fortunate. The scholarship award of $2,000 can be used to fund the recipient’s higher education costs. 

Caden attended Piscataway High School, where he consistently excelled in academics while balancing his volunteer and extra-curricular activities. While achieving membership in various honor societies, Caden also participated in Chess, Badminton, and Chinese Culture clubs. He learned leadership skills from these activities as well as with the Highland Park Lion/Leo Club where he served as President and taught English as a Second Language and organized community service projects. With Rise Against Hunger in Union County, he assisted with gathering and packing food to alleviate global hunger. His most meaningful volunteer experience has been with Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, where he assisted patients and staff with a wide variety of needs, from greeting to transportation, supply distribution to patient room prep, and mailroom duties to laboratory experience. From his experience at Memorial Sloan Kettering, Caden learned technical skills, but more significantly he gained an understanding of the patience, awareness of others’ perspectives, and empathy essential to working with critical care patients.

In the fall, Caden will be attending at Rutgers University in New Brunswick and plans to continue a lifetime of service to others. The YMCA of Metuchen, Edison, Woodbridge & South Amboy is proud to support him and his education, and looks forward to learning about all the good he will continue to do for our communities.