About the Ryan Marie Patterson Scholarship

Who Is Eligible?

High school students in the communities that we serve (Metuchen, Edison, Woodbridge Township, South Amboy, Sayreville and Piscataway) who are pursuing higher education in the fall of 2024. Previous winners of the scholarship are not eligible.

Are recommendations required?

You will be required to provided two written recommendations from non-family members in support of your application. Your scholarship application will not be considered complete or eligible for review without these two supporting recommendations.

What is the scholarship amount?

This scholarship is funded through the Ryan Patterson Memorial Scholarship Program, administered by The YMCA of Metuchen, Edison, Woodbridge & South Amboy, a 501(C)3 organization. Additional funds are raised throughout the year in support of the scholarship program.  The final scholarship award amount for 2024 is $2,000.

Are there any restrictions on how the scholarship money can be used?

The scholarship can be used to fund the recipient’s higher education cost. If you are selected to receive the scholarship, you will be asked to provide proof of enrollment and tuition payment from your school/university. Upon receipt of the documentation, the scholarship funds will be released to you.

When are applications due?

All applications are now submitted electronically.  The link to submit your application is below.  All scholarship applications must be received electronically by April 30, 2024.

How are people selected?

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.

Do you have a grade point average requirement?

There is no grade point average that is required to apply for this scholarship.

When will I find out if I have been granted the scholarship?

The Committee will notify the scholarship recipient in April and the award will be presented at the YMCA of MEWSA Annual Dinner to be held in May.

About Ryan Marie Patterson

Ryan believed that every child should be provided the opportunity to sparkle. She helped so many children realize their gifts and share them with the world. Ryan believed that gestures both large and small had the power to make a difference in the life of a child. 

At a young age, Ryan committed to helping those around her. As a teen she began her work with children as a member and coach of the Metuchen Branch YMCA Manta Ray swim team. Her work with her teammates inspired her and helped guide her direction in college.

Ryan attended Colgate University, graduating with honors with a Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology. She then received her Master of Social Work degree from Fordham University in the Bronx.

After graduate school, the Bronx became her new domain. Ryan’s caring, insight, and persistence allowed her to help troubled children in need.  At the time of her death, Ryan worked at the Morris Heights Health Center counseling and supporting students at the Health Opportunities High School and Truman High School in the South Bronx.

Unfortunately, Ryan’s time was cut short. There is still much work to be done.



Congratulations to Anushka Khandelwal of Edison! She was awarded the Ryan Patterson Memorial Scholarship Award. Anushka works with The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society and is responsible for raising over $45 thousand for blood cancer research. She also works with the Still Waters Anti-Trafficking Program, which provides financial, medical, and emotional support to victims of human trafficking. With this group, she initiated the creation of pocket-sized emergency medical cards to help reduce language barriers and has also assisted clients with help applying for financial aid, finding employment, and evaluating their living arrangements.

Anushka will be attending Drexel University in the fall, studying biological sciences and plans to become a doctor. We can't wait to see what other amazing things she'll do in the future!

Please help us to continue offering this scholarship by donating to our Annual Support Campaign: