July 25, 2022

Wayne’s Victoria Mistretta and Bloomfield’s Alexandro Velez to Receive $5,000 College Scholarship

Victoria Mistretta and Alexandro Velez have been named winners of the New Jersey Hall of Fame’s 2022 Areté Scholarship Fund, a $5,000 award granted to two graduating high school seniors each year.

“We are proud to recognize this year’s recipients of the Areté scholarship, which is a vital component of the Hall of Fame’ mission,” said Steve Edwards, president of the New Jersey Hall of Fame. “On behalf of our board of trustees and many supporters throughout New Jersey, we applaud Victoria and Alexandro for epitomizing the ideals of the Areté concept.”

Victoria recently graduated from Diana C. Lobosco STEM Academy in Wayne, New Jersey. She plans to attend The University of Pittsburgh in the fall. Victoria exemplifies Areté through her commitment to her AP studies at the STEM Academy and work at a local laboratory conducting research in the field of cognitive neuroscience, with her goal to be in the medical field.

Alexandro graduated from Bloomfield High School in Bloomfield, New Jersey. He will be attending Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in the fall. Alexandro achieves his Areté through his participation in baseball and basketball, volunteer work in his community, and his commitment to AP studies. He is also taking part in the Bridge Scholar program this summer, with a focus on math, physics, and computer science, with his dream to make an eco-friendlier car engine.

The scholarship is named after the ancient Greek concept of “Areté” of actualizing one’s highest sense of self with a moral excellence of character regardless of the circumstances or the adversities one is likely to face on the path to greatness. The recipients of the Areté scholarship must demonstrate qualities such as academic engagement, moral character, a commitment to their community, a sense of Jersey pride and a plan on how they intend to realize their highest sense of self: their Areté.

The New Jersey Hall of Fame partners with the New Jersey Education Association (NJEA) in the program, with both organizations jointly reviewing all the inspiring applications.

There are countless examples of how Victoria represents the characteristics of Areté, but what stood out the most to the committee is her perseverance and drive to push through obstacles and not accept the doubts of others.

Alexandro, who wrote in his application how important it is to “bring your passion to life,” was selected for his positivity and continuous quest to find opportunities to learn and widen his skills to achieve his educational goals.

President of the New Jersey Education Association (NJEA) Sean M. Spiller, who is also a high school science teacher in the Wayne public school system, said, “The Areté Scholarship Fund is a wonderful opportunity for students to see that with hard work, determination, and opportunity, the fulfillment of dreams is possible. The NJEA is very excited about this program and the way it has contributed to the successful educational journeys many students have since taken because of the scholarship program. We hope that this scholarship fund will inspire our students and ignite even more enthusiasm here in New Jersey.”

Victoria and Alexandro will be honored at the NJHOF’s induction ceremony later this year.

For more information on the Areté Scholarship Fund, visit:

ABOUT THE NJHOF: Because everyone needs a hero, the New Jersey Hall of Fame (NJHOF) honors citizens who have made invaluable contributions to society, the State of New Jersey and the world beyond. Since 2008, the NJHOF has hosted 13 ceremonies for more than 200 notable individuals and groups in recognition of their induction into the Hall of Fame. The NJHOF endeavors to present school children with significant and impactful role models to show that they can, and should, strive for excellence. The NJHOF is thankful for the support of its many sponsors, without which none of our endeavors would be possible. For more information, go to



Natasha Alagarasan,, (609) 789-7818