Jeffrey Waldin knows a little bit about being a team player.
After all, the Moorestown High School senior gets a true taste of it every time he and his crew teammates get in the boat for practice or races.
But he’s also learned the importance of being there for others at home, where he takes time to help care for his grandmother who lives with his family and needs round-the-clock care.
“Crew as a whole is definitely a team sport,” said Waldin. “It is not a one man show, you really have to work together to achieve something big. Crew is more than just a sport; it is a way of life.”
Saturday, it was announced that Waldin earned a $1,250 scholarship from the Camden County Freeholders through the Garden State Scholastic Rowing Championships by writing a 500-word essay. Other scholarship winners included Kyle Hershman of Absegami High School, Thomas Puhalski of St. Augustine Prep, Lauren Slattery and Claire McLenna of Holy Spirit High School, and Rebecca Barbosa-Goncalves of Kearny High School.
“I wrote my essay more or less about myself and what I have gone through,” said Waldin. “Then, I brought crew in as a way of showing how the sport itself matured me and how I’ve changed because of it. Crew isn’t just like any sport; it’s a life sport.”
With Waldin’s busy schedule, it’s a wonder he even could find the time to write an essay at all. On a typical day, he gets up at 6:00 a.m., takes advanced placement classes without a study hall and carpools to rowing with a team member.
“After school, I have about an hour, maybe about an hour and a half, to get ready for crew,” said Waldin. “We will have practice from 3:30 to 5:30, and some days we actually almost will end at six and it does help a lot. When I get home I’ll be so exhausted but I guess it’s just that I have so many things going on sometimes I go to bed really late like 12, maybe 1:00.”
Not only does he have school and rowing, but Waldin also takes care of his grandmother, who lives with him at home and needs 24-hour care. In any given day, not a minute is spared in this young man’s life.
“You have to sacrifice time,” said Waldin. “I didn’t really live the classic student life or normal kid life because I always had to cut out time with hanging out with my friends to take care of my grandmom. With that time I take out, that is also the time I do my homework while I’m with my grandmom.”
Last summer, Waldin was one of eight Moorestown male students to attend the 68th session of American Legion Jersey Boys State (ALJBS) at Rider University in Lawrenceville, a weeklong retreat where students lera about civics and government at the local, county and state level, as well as party politics.
After high school, Waldin will be attending La Salle University where he will continue his rowing career in the school’s Division I rowing program. Once there, he will have other opportunities to earn scholarships after his freshman year. He has also applied for the Braxton Scholarship and the Scholastic Rowing Association of America Scholarship where two $3,000 scholarships will be awarded to one female and one male rower.