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Natural Awakenings Central New Jersey


Strong Roots Build a Healthy Tree

Feb 28, 2022 09:41PM ● By Jared Zornitzer

Last month I celebrated accepting my first internship. This is something which I have worked toward for years. During high school it was registering for increasingly difficult courses and sacrificing time during lunch and after school to go to teachers for extra help to ensure that I did well. Now, at college, I have continued to push myself by taking advanced engineering courses and holding demanding, rewarding leadership positions in my fraternity and clubs. My jubilation with getting this internship caused me to reflect on the people who helped get me to where I am today. For me, it is easy to trace my accomplishments back to my parents, Nicole and Matthew.

Growing up, my mom has always been a steadfast and immensely influential figure in my life. Being the recipient of her unconditional love taught me how to lead with my heart; by holding myself to high moral standards and taking pride in hard work and always doing what is right. Witnessing her as a successful entrepreneur and owner of four yoga studios motivates me to emulate her work ethic and pour my full effort into all my endeavors.

Likewise, my dad has been an incredible role model for me. When he was my age, he was an achiever, and went on to graduate from medical school and become a successful doctor. Some of my early memories with him revolve around us playing games, where he sat on the floor with me and tested my ability to identify all my Star Wars character action figures. From an early age he was devoted to bringing out my potential. I attribute my sense of focus and my relentless drive to him as well.

This achievement reminded me to appreciate my roots. I am proud of myself because I put in the hours of hard work which ultimately allowed me to secure such an amazing internship opportunity. That being said, my parents raised me into the person that I am today, and I would not possess my dedication and aspirations without them. I cannot imagine a world with them not in it because they have been so vital to me at every single milestone of my life.

Just like a tree cannot prosper without strong roots, I could not have arrived to where I am without the guidance and love from my parents. This internship is a kickstart to a bright career for me and it is just as much a tribute to them for making me the person that I am today.

Jared Zornitzer is a full-time college student at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, NY studying engineering. An advocate of balancing work and school with exercise and healthy living, he loves hiking, biking, running, cooking, spending time with family and friends, and learning in his classes.

Tick Talk

Spring officially sprung on March 21. We have turned our clocks ahead. We are looking forward to warm winds, sunny skies and the smell of fresh cut grass. The daffodils and tulips have recently bloomed and we are just starting with the yard work that comes with the warmer weather.  Sadly, another season has started ramping up.  Tick season.

•             The best form of protection is prevention. Educating oneself about tick activity and how our behaviors overlap with tick habitats is the first step.

•             According to the NJ DOH, in 2022 Hunterdon County led the state with a Lyme disease incidence rate of 426 cases per 100,000 people. The fact is ticks spend approximately 90% of their lives not on a host but aggressively searching for one, molting to their next stage or over-wintering. This is why a tick remediation program should be implemented on school grounds where NJ DOH deems high risk for tick exposure and subsequent attachment to human hosts.

•             Governor Murphy has signed a bill that mandates tick education in NJ public schools. See this for the details.  Tick education must now be incorporated into K-12 school curriculum. See link:

•             May is a great month to remind the public that tick activity is in full swing. In New Jersey, there are many tickborne diseases that affect residents, including Anaplasmosis, Babesiosis, Ehrlichiosis, Lyme disease, Powassan, and Spotted Fever Group Rickettsiosis.

•             For years, the focus has mainly been about protecting ourselves from Lyme disease. But other tick-borne diseases are on the rise in Central Jersey. An increase of incidence of Babesia and Anaplasma are sidelining people too. These two pathogens are scary because they effect our blood cells. Babesia affects the red blood cells and Anaplasma effects the white blood cells.

•             Ticks can be infected with more than one pathogen. When you contract Lyme it is possible to contract more than just that one disease. This is called a co-infection. It is super important to pay attention to your symptoms. See link.

A good resource from the State:


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