Provided/From left, Dr. Daniel Walters, 2022 scholarship recipients John Alice of Mainland Regional High School, Robert Fishbein of Atlantic City High School, and Maria Walters, July 12, 2022.

MARGATE – Literary classics such as “Tom Sawyer,” “1984,” and “Alice in Wonderland” have been a part of high school reading programs for generations. But what if these giants of literature had been banned from library bookshelves, never to be read again?

The Margate Business Association’s Daniel and Maria Walters Scholarship Program is challenging students to provide reasons why their favorite books should never be banned. The top two student essays will each be awarded a $2,500 college scholarship.

Last year’s scholarship recipients responding to the essay prompt on bullying are John Alice of Mainland Regional High School and Robert Fishbein of Atlantic City High School.

The 2023 scholarship application is now available to download from the website and through high school guidance offices.

The scholarship is open to Margate and Longport high school students who attended the Margate City schools. Students will be asked to write a 250–300-word essay detailing reasons why a favorite book they have read should never be included on a list of banned books. Three adult reference letters, a list of schools attended, extracurricular activities, community service activities and special honors received will also be part of the application.

The deadline for submissions is Tuesday, April 11. Essay judges will not know the identity of the applicants and winners will be announced in June.

Since its inception in 1999, the MBA scholarship program has awarded more than $120,000 to local students attending institutions of higher learning.

Daniel and Maria Walters were both educators in the Greater Egg Harbor Regional School District and began the program as a way to give back to the community.

The program, in part, is also supported by funds raised at the MBA’s 20th annual Wine Tasting to be held Friday July 28 at the Edgmar Circle Field. To purchase tickets or make a donation visit


Nanette LoBiondo Galloway

Award winning journalist covering news, events and people of Atlantic County for more than 20 years.