Sicklerville woman named Stockton’s HERO of Year for 2016

Cherie Sloan, a 19-year-old health science major from Sicklerville, was named the HERO Campaign’s 2016 HERO of the Year for Stockton University on Thursday.
The HERO of the Year is a student who exemplifies ‘HERO’ qualities in serving as a safe and sober designated driver for friends and family.
A nomination for HERO of the Year is made via an essay written by a fellow Stockton student; the essay details how the nominee has gone over and above in serving as a designated driver. A panel of administration staff selected the winning nominee from the submitted essays.
Sloan, who also has a minor in Spanish, said she had a slight inkling that she might win the HERO of the Year designation. “Someone said they had nominated me,” she said, “so I knew it could be possible.
“It’s a great honor,” she said.
Sloan serves on the Stockton campus as an alcohol and drug awareness peer educator. She hopes to become a physcian’s assistant when she leaves Stockton; she is finishing up her sophomore year.
First runner-up for HERO of the Year went to Angelo Bechara, 20, of Egg Harbor Township. Bechara is studying political science and French.
Second runner-up went to Elizabeth Zinckgraf, 19, of Annandale. Zinckgraf is a health science major.
Sloan succeeds Haley Matsinger, of North Cape May, who served as Stockton’s HERO of the Year for 2015.
The HERO Campaign, which has its headquarters at Stockton University, also has HEROES of the Year at Monmouth University, Rider College, The College of New Jersey and Atlantic Cape Community College.
The John R. Elliott HERO Campaign for Designated Drivers is a non-profit that promotes the use of safe and sober designated drivers as a way to prevent drunk driving tragedies. It was founded in 2000 by Bill and Muriel Elliott, of Egg Harbor Township, after their son, Ens. John R. Elliott, was killed in a drunk-driving crash just two months after graduating from the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, Md.
The HERO Campaign now operates in seven states. It is in the midst of its ‘100,000 HEROES’ program, in which it seeks to have 100,000 people take the HERO Pledge to be a safe and sober designated driver for friends and family. For more information on taking the HERO Pledge, go to

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