A new scholarship program will lend a helping hand to New Jersey high school seniors looking to continue their education.

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First Lady Mary Pat Christie has launched Spirit of a Hero Scholarship through her New Jersey Heroes initiative.  The scholarship will be awarded to students that meet several criteria, including a demonstrated commitment to volunteerism and community contribution.

Christie said the scholarship will help shine a spotlight on those giving back.

"It's just another way that we can recognize people in the community that are providing goods and services out of the goodness of their heart.  I've met so many people who are doing good work throughout our state to help improve the lives of others and give back to their communities," said Christie.

The scholarship amount is $5,000.  Christie said the number of scholarships distributed will depend on the quality of the applicants they receive.

"We hope to give out anywhere from 10 to 20 scholarships," said Christie.

The application deadline is April 12.

"Through this Spirit of a Hero Scholarship program, we hope to provide deserving students with the ability to follow their dreams and desired career path to a successful future," said Christie.

Application forms are available here.