From a Paralympic hockey player to a hard-working actor, here are five Bergenites who are making it big in their community and beyond.

Franklin Lakes threw a parade in honor of resident Jack Wallace, an Indian Hills graduate and member of the U.S. sled hockey team. This winter, he helped lead the United States to the gold medal with a victory over Canada in the PyeongChang Paralympics.

C-O-N-G-R-A-T-S to Tai Nakamura, a sixth grader at Emerson’s Patrick M. Villano Elementary School, who recently won the North Jersey spelling bee. After four hours competition, he won the event by correctly spelling “Promethean.” Tai heads to Washington, D.C. this month to compete in the Scripps National Spelling Bee.

For her Girl Scouts Gold Award project, Northern Highlands High School senior and Allendale resident Caroline Martin organized “Women Empowering Women,” a conference where local female leaders shared inspirational stories. The lineup of speakers included MSNBC news anchor Stephanie Ruhle and Khuraira Musa, founder of Khuraira Cosmetics.

Forget living in Hoboken and NYC—Melissa Crosby has the coolest new digs: the USS George H.W. Bush aircraft carrier. There, the 2011 Hackensack High School grad serves as a personnel specialist for the U.S. Navy and is in charge of human resources, customer service and processing crew payments, among other responsibilities.

Lodi native Alexandru Aldea left his career in law to pursue his dream job: working as an actor. And thus far, the switch has been working in Aldea’s favor. He recently nabbed the role of “Martin Luther” in CNN’s new original series Pope: The Most Powerful Man in History.

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