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After-School All-Stars New Jersey awarded $1,000,000 in federal funding to reduce school violence

After-School All-Stars New Jersey receives $1 million to expand its Peace Ambassador Program


Newark, New Jersey – After-School All-Stars New Jersey has been awarded the ‘Strategies to Support Children Exposed to Violence grant from the United States Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP), making history for the chapter as the first in the ASAS network to be awarded such funding to reduce violence in school communities. “This is a dream realized. With this generous funding ASAS NJ can now amplify its commitment to creating safer schools and communities for the students we serve. We are deeply honored to be called to do this work” – Nicole Harris, ASAS Vice President of Development for Chapter Relations.

The Peace Ambassador Program will be an extension of the organization’s core anti-violence work through its Youth Ambassador Program that equips and empowers students to be leaders in their community. The program focuses on supporting students and members of the community to be active advocates for peace and non-violent interventions at school, at home, and in the community.

“Our Peace Ambassador Program aligns with the City of Newark’s Office of Violence Prevention and Trauma Recovery’s 2023 strategic plan. We are committed to working with all stakeholders to end violence in the City of Newark. The health and safety of our scholars is of utmost importance and this investment will be a critical component of our current robust comprehensive enrichment programs that serve 2,000 students in Newark and Paterson, NJ.” - Dr. Naima K. Ricks, ASAS New Jersey Executive Director.

The Youth Ambassador Program will be intentionally integrated as an SEL and youth violence prevention strategy into all aspects of ASAS’ signature enrichment programs including academic support, career exploration opportunities, health and wellness programs, and STEAM enrichment. Emphasis will be placed on integrating activities that promote positive relationships, non-violent conflict resolution, and reduce community, school, and youth-related violence.

On behalf of the 2,000 students served by ASAS NJ, thank you to the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention for this historic investment into the lives of our scholars.

About After-School All-Stars New Jersey

After-School All-Stars New Jersey’s mission is to provide free, comprehensive afterschool programs that keep children safe and help them succeed in school and life to over 2000 students year-round. Our goals for our All-Stars are that they grow up healthy, graduate from high school and attend college, find careers they love, and give back to their communities.

ASAS NJ provides diverse, high-quality enrichment for youth from underserved communities, expanding access to and improving the quality of educational experiences. These efforts aim to break cycles of inequality, close the opportunity gap, and reinvent what out-of-school time looks like for our students. We respond to students' evolving needs, help them create their own pathways to success, and help them transform the way they see themselves and their ability to impact the world.



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