Lawnside Graduates Receive Inspirational Message From Retired Maj. Jasmine Walker Motupalli


Photo of Jasmine Walker Motupalli courtesy of Lawnside Historical Society

AC JosepH Media

LAWNSIDEJasmine Walker Motupalli, 2006 graduate of the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, told graduating high school seniors from Lawnside earlier this month that it is better to choose the harder right than the easier wrong.

Walker Motupalli was the keynote speaker at the Lawnside Scholarship Club’s 2023 Salute to Graduating Seniors on June 3, which can be viewed on the Club’s YouTube channel. This was the 78th anniversary of the club and the 48th special event honoring graduating seniors.

Walker Motupalli is a retired U.S. Army major with citations for her service in Iraq and Afghanistan. She entered West Point in 2002 after graduating from Haddon Heights High School with the highest average among Lawnside students.

She was commissioned as a lieutenant after graduating from the academy. Soon after, she served in intelligence and commanded as many as 500 soldiers in combat when women were a rarity.

As an example, she recounted leading her troops out of a firefight through a chest-high sewage creek as the tactically sound way to go.

After suffering a brain injury from a blast and contending with post-traumatic stress disorder, she recalled achieving her lowest grade point average ever in graduate school. She advised the seniors, “Give yourself grace in the really hard moments.”

This year, the Club presented $17,100 in Club and Community Awards. The following recipients were announced at the event. The Lawnside Scholarship Club Award recipients were:

Photo of Zuri Al-Uqah courtesy of Lawnside Historical Society.
  • Highest AverageZuri Al-Uqdah, Springside Chestnut Hill Academy. Her other awards are Edna Jay Sports Award, Masjid Freehaven Model Citizen, Walter A. Gaines Natural Science, Dr. Flora Young Social Science, Madge Mitchell Math, Dr. & Mrs. Cecil Still and Steven Israel Sports. She will attend Howard University as a Pre-Med major.
  • Second Highest AverageNicole Garcia, Camden County Technical School, Pennsauken Campus. Her other awards are Curtis & Lula Moss Memorial, Steven Israel Unsung Hero and Sonia Farmer Character. She will attend Stockton University to pursue a nursing degree.
  • Third Highest AverageBengalie Kanu, Haddon Heights High School. His other awards include Helen Mae Henderson Nursing, Dr. William Young Health Services and Linese Miller Leadership. He will attend Rutgers University, New Brunswick, to pursue nursing or medicine.
  • Fourth Highest AverageDylan Pasley, Haddon Heights High School.

Zuri Al-Uqdah, Nicole Garcia and Bengalie Kanu also received the Elizabeth Jones Academic Excellence Award for G.P.A.s above 93.

Community Award Recipients

  • Dwight and Yvonne Anderson Award Karima Davis, Woodbury Junior Senior High School and Hanif Qadar, Camden County Technical School
  • Bryson C. Armstead AwardTodlena Jackson, Haddon Heights High School
  • Bertha Cobia AwardAllure Tindley, Haddon Heights High School
  • Lawnside PTA Awards for Unsung Heroes Jayson Brown, Haddon Heights High School and Saliyah Thurman, Haddon Heights High School
  • Edna Harper Service AwardTodlena Jackson, Haddon Heights High School
  • Henry Long Memorial AwardHanif Qadar, Camden County Technical School
  • Raymond G. Davis, Jr. Memorial AwardJayson Brown, Haddon Heights High School
  • I.R. & Anna J. Bryant AwardAllure Tindley, Haddon Heights High School
  • Leon N. Williams Law AwardRashad Ellis, Haddon Heights High School
  • Amos & Roxie Rogers Award — Saliyah Thurman, Haddon Heights High School
  • Dorothea Carter Memorial AwardCiarah Lewis, Haddon Heights High School
  • Thomas A. Whitaker Award for Mechanical AdvancementHanif Qadar, Camden County Technical School
  • Rick Williams Health Services Award — Karima Davis, Woodbury Junior Senior High School
  • Ephraim J. & Mary C. Still AwardTodlena Jackson, Haddon Heights High School

The club also offers book awards to students who submit requests with the proper documentation.

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