NJCDC’s Twenty-Eighth Anniversary Gala Ad Journal

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Wednesday, November 2, 2022 Westmount Country Club 728 Rifle Camp Road Woodland Park, New Jersey 28 Years of Creating Opportunities To Transform Lives HONOREES Senator Nellie Pou GALA UNDERWRITERS



Students from NJCDC’s Paterson Family Center Preschool


Donald F. Buckley Chair

TD Bank

Anthony Coscia Vice Chair

Windels Marx

David Berninger

Eric Daleo

Development Corporation

Nita Das S&P Global Etta Denk Bank of America

Robert Garrison Laborers’ International Union

Robert Guarasci, Ex-Officio

NJCDC Founder & CEO

Victor J. Herlinsky, Jr. Sills Cummis & Gross, P.C.

Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield

Senator Nellie Pou


Carline Morrison BD

William Pascrell, III

Princeton Public Affairs Group

Kenyatta Stewart, Esq. City of Newark

Martin Vergara II Morgan Stanley

by Beth Hyslip.

32 Spruce Street, Paterson, NJ 07501

Tel: 973.413.1600


New Jersey Community Development Corporation (NJCDC) is a non-profit community development and social service agency organized as a public charity under section 501 (c) (3) of the Internal Revenue Code. Contributions are tax-deductible to the extent allowed by law.

by Ace Reprographics, Paterson, NJ

Treasurer ICBC
Ad Journal design
Our Great Falls Youth Corps participants work at the Paterson GFNHP during their summer break

NJCDC’s Twenty-Eighth Anniversary Gala

Special thanks to all of tonight’s sponsors, attendees, and advertisers for helping to make this evening a success!


Don Buckley, Chairman, Board of Trustees

New Jersey Community Development Corporation

CEO’s Remarks

Bob Guarasci, Founder & CEO

New Jersey Community Development Corporation

Musical Performance

Hector Otero Community Charter School of Paterson ‘19 Video Presentation

The Impact of NJCDC

Speaker: Natalia Bundick Bridge to Success ‘22; Great Falls Youth Center and JFK Compete for Life Participant

Speaker: O’Brien Walters

Former Independence House Resident

Speaker: Jaylynn Griffin NJCDC Housing Resident Presentation to the Honorees Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield

The Honorable Nellie Pou

New Jersey State Senator, 35th Legislative District Dinner

Raffle & Closing Remarks

Bob & guest greeting residents a NJCDC’s annual Block PartyIn September, we held a Groundbreaking Ceremony for the expansion of our Great Falls Youth Center

I Want to Welcome And Thank You

For the past 28 years, New Jersey Community Development Corporation (NJCDC) has worked to change the landscape in the City of Paterson. We focus our work on a 95-block area we call the Great Falls Neighborhood, with the majestic Great Falls at its center. Our bold vision is that all 8,000 children living or going to school in our neighborhood will graduate from high school ready for college and a career.

We’re thankful that this year we were able to continue in-person pro gramming, services, and events, allowing us to connect with our com munity and supporters in meaningful ways. And though this year has been a challenging one, our work hasn’t stopped—instead, our work has grown as the need for our programs and services has increased. We’ve never been busier.

At present, we are nearing completion on a 56-unit apartment building developed in partnership with St. Joseph’s Health. In April, we cut the ribbon on the new Lou Costello Park, funded by the City of Paterson after a resident-led design process that we facilitated. We resumed our Ivy League Tour, where our students visited Brown and Harvard, as well as MIT, and our annual trip to Washington D.C., where students spoke on the steps of the Capitol with Senator Bob Menendez.

After more than a year of intensive consultations and meetings with local residents, we created, and the state recently approved, a new ten-year plan that outlines our goals and objectives to improve the neighborhood surrounding Paterson’s Great Falls. We broke ground on an expansion project at our Great Falls Youth Center to accommodate more young people, and we’re about to open a Financial Empowerment Center to help local residents succeed.

While we have accomplished a great deal over these 28 years, there is much more work to be done. The transformational change we are pur suing will take more time, but because of committed partners like you, change is happening each and every day. We draw inspiration from your support—and plan to do more, to help more, and to achieve more in the years ahead.

Bob Guarasci NJCDC Founder & CEO

Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield

We salute Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield for their steadfast support of our work to create opportunities to transform lives for Paterson children and families.

Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield

Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey (Horizon BCBSNJ), the state’s leading health solutions company provides a wide array of medi cal, dental, vision, and prescription insurance products and services. Horizon BCBSNJ is leading the transformation of health care in New Jersey by working with doctors and hospitals to deliver innovative, pa tient-centered programs that reward the quality, not quantity, of care patients receive. Horizon BCBSNJ is an independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association serving approximately 3.8 mil lion members.

Since 1932, Horizon BCBSNJ has offered quality health insurance prod ucts and services to New Jersey families and businesses. It empowers its members to achieve their best health and is New Jersey’s health solutions leader driving innovations that improve health care quality, affordability, and member experience in the markets they serve.

Horizon BCBSNJ is a longstanding supporter of NJCDC. Horizon has played a leading role in NJCDC’s health fairs for Paterson children and families, sponsored (and helped launch) our mindfulness and stressmanagement programs, and supported the creation of our Great Falls Youth Center—which serves hundreds of teens daily—and Park Corner Plaza mixed-use building through the state’s Neighborhood Revitaliza tion Tax Credit (NRTC) program. NJCDC is grateful to have Horizon BCBSNJ as a committed partner in building a better and brighter Pa terson.

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Senator Nellie Pou

We’re so very proud to call Senator Nellie Pou our friend. She’s long been a fighter for all of the issues NJCDC cares about, and a faithful ally as we carry out our mission.

New Jersey State Senator, Legislative District 35

Senator Pou was first elected to the New Jersey Legislature in 1997, having served in the Assembly for the first 14 years before her rise to the Senate in 2011. She was the first woman and the first Latina elected to represent the 35th Legislative District, and only the second Latina to serve in the New Jersey Legislature.

In January 2022, Senator Pou became part of Senate Leadership as Senate Majority Caucus Chair and she currently serves as Chair of the Senate Commerce Committee, Vice Chair of the Senate Judiciary Com mittee, and Chairwoman of the New Jersey Legislative Latino Caucus.

She was recently installed as the President of the National Hispanic Caucus of State Legislators (NHCSL). She is the first legislator from New Jersey to preside over the 425-member organization, which was founded in 1989 as a nonpartisan nonprofit and spans 42 states, as well as Puerto Rico. In this role, Senator Pou works closely with legislative colleagues from across the country, where she continues to champion resolutions reflecting many of her landmark prime-sponsored state laws that serve as a model for other legislatures.

Senator Pou has worked for the City of Paterson for over three decades, including as Director of Human Services and Business Administrator. She has served in many leadership positions throughout her years of service to the community.

For over 25 years serving in the Assembly and the Senate, she has navigated into law many policies ranging from social justice to crimi nal justice reform, as well as human and civil rights. Senator Pou has worked with colleagues to provide businesses with more opportunities to grow, improve economic independence, provide quality and afford able education and healthcare for all ages, expand voter participation, restore funding for vital programs, and to ensure more diversity on the New Jersey Supreme Court, as well as ensuring the passage of un precedented legislation during the recent State of Emergency due to the COVID-19 pandemic, in addition to advocating for many other im portant initiatives.

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Governor Murphy and First Lady Tammy Murphy helped collect food at our service event on Dr. MLK Day in January

Inspiring and empowering people with opportunities to transform their lives …

New Jersey Community Development Corporation (NJCDC) is a non-profit community development and social service agency head quartered in the City of Paterson with a mission of creating opportunities to transform lives.

NJCDC was created in 1994 and has 28 years of experience in the areas of education, youth development, affordable/supportive housing, and community building. Starting with two employ ees, NJCDC has grown into a $15 million agency employing more than 130 individuals performing a wide variety of services that collectively reach more than 4,000 children, teens, and families each day.

We have adopted a place-based approach to community development targeting the Great Falls Neighborhood, a 95-block area with the Great Falls of the Passaic River as its epicenter. The residents of the Great Falls Neighborhood are diverse in race, religion, nationality, and need. Overall, it is a poor neighborhood—the median household income is about one-third the state’s average and only 11% of residents have earned a college

degree—but it is also a neighborhood with a rich history and a great deal of hope and promise. Our vision is that all 8,000 children living or going to school in our neighborhood will graduate from high school ready for college and a career. To that end, we continue to expand our substantial base of success ful programs for children and families, to grow our pipeline of services to address emerging and often emergent needs, and to expand our brick and mortar work to create additional affordable housing and community facilities.

The 2022-2023 school year is off to a great start
at our Community Charter School of Paterson!

Education, Another Word for Opportunity

We offer high-quality education for Paterson students from preschool through grade 12. We believe that education is another word for opportu nity, and that our efforts to instill a love of learning and to promote student success will help the students we educate to ultimately reach their greatest potential. It’s a responsibility that we take very seriously, and we do it with a host of enthusi astic partners—from parents to community organizations and stakeholders.

NJCDC founded and supports the operation of three schools:

Our Paterson Family Center preschool provides 105 children with an evidence-based curriculum delivered by highly qualified staff in order to pro mote learning among our youngest students. The preschool also offers support to the entire family through before-school and after-school program ming, as well as specialized staff who connect families to vital resources.

The Community Charter School of Paterson (CCSP) was founded by NJCDC in 2008 to help advance educational choice in Paterson while promoting positive youth development and strengthening families. CCSP opened in 2008 as a K-3 school serving 400 students and now serves 900+ students in grades K-8 across two campuses.

CCSP also has a strong connection to the Paterson community, drawing on a variety of resources to help students and families succeed.

Garrett Morgan Academy, a high school with nearly 175 students in grades 9-12, places a special focus on science, technology, engineering, and math. We partnered with the Paterson school district to open Garrett Morgan in 2000 and have since graduated hundreds of students who have gone on to college and successful careers. Named for the turn-of-the-century African-American inventor of the traffic light, the school provides students with a curriculum that makes STEM instruction relevant and accessible.

Our Paterson Youth Council visited Washington, D.C. in May

Fostering The Next Generation of Engaged Citizens

In helping to foster the next generation of engaged Paterson citizens, NJCDC reaches beyond the classroom. We invest in the future leaders of our community at their individual points of development—particularly during after-school programming, in our Youth Center and our Teen Centers, and through comprehensive youth lead ership initiatives. By doing so, we are consistently investing in the human potential of the great City of Paterson.

Our youth development programs include our Paterson Youth Council, a year-long leadership development program that is the premier voice for the city’s young people; our Great Falls Youth Center, which provides a safe place for hundreds of neighborhood teens to study, learn, and enjoy recreational activities; and our AmeriCorps national service program, whose members work in several Paterson schools to eliminate barriers to academic achievement. We also sponsor an array of summer programs and comprehensive Teen Centers at four area high schools to promote healthy lifestyles, and we operate three Full-Service Community Schools programs at Paterson’s School #5, the Joseph A. Taub School, and JFK High School.

Future Great Falls Youth Center Annex A game of pool at our Independence House, a home for young men transitioning out of foster care

Affordable Housing For Our Most Vulnerable Residents

We believe having a place to call home is one of the most fundamental human rights and is necessary to foster stability and personal growth— especially during times like these. NJCDC prides itself on providing affordable and supportive hous ing in Paterson and the surrounding area to scores of vulnerable individuals and families who need it most.

We build and operate housing with on-site social services for individuals with special needs includ ing those who are homeless, mentally ill, those with developmental disabilities, grandparents raising grandchildren, and youth who are homeless or aging out of the foster care system.

Our goal is to offer those we serve a safe, decent, and affordable place to call home, to provide as sistance in navigating everyday challenges, and, most importantly, to instill hope, confidence, and optimism. These programs not only provide oppor tunities to transform individual lives, but also serve as catalysts to help build social stability and safer neighborhoods.

To date, we have built nearly 200 units of afford able and supportive housing. And we have more projects in development that will allow us to expand our work in this area. This includes the Barclay Street Apartments, in partnership with St. Joseph’s Health and New Jersey Community

Capital. This building will soon provide 56 units of affordable “healthy home” housing for hard-working Patersonians. Other exciting projects are on the drawing board.

In April, we helped cut the ribbon on the renovated Lou Costello Memorial Park

Community Building For A Brighter Paterson

Since 1994, NJCDC has taken a lead in rebuild ing and strengthening our community through the empowerment of—and in partnership with—those who live and work in our neighborhood.

We just completed a new neighborhood plan— written hand in hand with local residents and other stakeholders—to guide our work over the next decade. Since 2014, our Neighborhood Help Center has served as a one-stop shopping environment for neighborhood residents to receive assistance on a broad range of topics, including housing, immigra tion, job readiness, education, and financial literacy. We also host a variety of educational workshops, community forums, and family-friendly events to provide those we serve with valuable information and life-changing resources.

We also regularly carry out neighborhood cleanups and have built 15 playgrounds and commu nity gardens to help revitalize our neighborhood. Gardens allow residents to spend time outside in a relaxing atmosphere, while playgrounds encourage outdoor play, which is an integral part of a child’s development.

With the help of our friends and partners, we’ll continue to make the Great Falls Neighborhood

an example of a comeback community by bringing people together, working on common interests, and always advocating for change.

This summer, we held programming for Paterson students of all ages!

We intend to continue serving as a powerful agent of change…

In celebrating our 28th Anniversary, we are proud to honor Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey—a longtime supporter of our work— including supporting our work to build affordable housing and operate neighborhood-level programs. We are also delighted to honor Senator Nellie Pou, a committed public servant who has helped to advance NJCDC’s objectives in countless ways over the past two decades. Without a doubt, our ability to get things done is thanks in part to special friends like Horizon and Senator Pou, who embrace our mission and help however and wherever they can.


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GALA UNDERWRITERS: The Daleo Family • Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield CELEBRATION LEVEL: Amerigroup • BD • Railroad Construction Company Valley Bank FRIEND LEVEL: AvalonBay • Marilyn Clark • The Daloisio Family Federal Home Loan Bank of NY • Lakeland Bank M&T Bank • PNC Bank • Practical LLC • PSEG TD Bank • Windels Marx SUPPORTER LEVEL: Arc Building Partners • Broadridge Financial Solutions Enterprise Community Partners • GTI Greater Bergen Community Action • Langan New Brunswick Development Corporation Passaic County Community College • Reliable Benefits NJCDC Supportive Housing NJCDC extends its sincere gratitude to the sponsors below for their generous support. To our many friends and advertisers who helped make this evening a success, WE THANK YOU!
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