Judy’s Comments

Business Summit for High School Girls Draws Capacity Crowd

Business Summit for High School Girls Draws Capacity Crowd

Attendance at the 4th Annual Business Education and Career Day held at Rutgers Business School in Newark drew a capacity audience of students, parents and school guidance counselors.  

Welcoming the capacity crowd, co-sponsor and Founder of the Garden State Woman Education Foundation, Judy Chapman was joined by Sangeeta Rao, PhD, Dean of Mentoring at the Rutgers Newark Business Schools.

Opening remarks by Keynote Speaker, Jyoti Singhvi, CEO of JYOTI Couture Jewelry, emphasized the importance of planning for the future they dream about.   Having a career to provide financial security is necessary for them to have personal freedom. Women from a variety of businesses participated on two panels – sharing personal and professional experiences.

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9th Annual Joetta Clark Diggs Sports Foundation Gala A Huge Success

9th Annual Joetta Clark Diggs Sports Foundation Gala A Huge Success

The 9th Annual Joetta Clark Diggs Sports Foundation (www.joettasportsandbeyond.com) Gala was indeed “Magical”.

 

This year marked the 12th consecutive year that the Foundation has brought fitness programs, knowledge, joy and inspiration to children throughout the State of New Jersey. This year the foundation will introduce and provide Financial & Fitness initiatives to schools throughout the Tri-State area.

 

Joetta writes, “As a four-time Olympian, I have often been described as the epitome of athletic fitness, focus, and fearlessness. However, what is not mentioned is that my athletic and academic success started at a very young age and continued for over three decades. Today I see a very different picture with our youth. It seems that often academic excellence, athletic involvement and community services have taken a back seat to many of the current day distractions. These observations caused me great concern. In 2002 I formed The Joetta Clark Diggs Sports Foundation, Inc. which is committed to teaching good health and positive work ethics, life skills, participation in sports and the introduction of the different opportunities for girls and boys in the sports and entertainment industry. The Foundation believes that we must continue to provide hope and solutions as we address the inactivity and health concerns with our youth."

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9th Annual Joetta Clark Diggs Sports Foundation Gala A Huge Success

9th Annual Joetta Clark Diggs Sports Foundation Gala A Huge Success

The 9th Annual Joetta Clark Diggs Sports Foundation (www.joettasportsandbeyond.com) Gala was indeed “Magical”.

 

This year marked the 12th consecutive year that the Foundation has brought fitness programs, knowledge, joy and inspiration to children throughout the State of New Jersey. This year the foundation will introduce and provide Financial & Fitness initiatives to schools throughout the Tri-State area.

 

Joetta writes, “As a four-time Olympian, I have often been described as the epitome of athletic fitness, focus, and fearlessness. However, what is not mentioned is that my athletic and academic success started at a very young age and continued for over three decades. Today I see a very different picture with our youth. It seems that often academic excellence, athletic involvement and community services have taken a back seat to many of the current day distractions. These observations caused me great concern. In 2002 I formed The Joetta Clark Diggs Sports Foundation, Inc. which is committed to teaching good health and positive work ethics, life skills, participation in sports and the introduction of the different opportunities for girls and boys in the sports and entertainment industry. The Foundation believes that we must continue to provide hope and solutions as we address the inactivity and health concerns with our youth."

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9th Annual Joetta Clark Diggs Sports Foundation Gala A Huge Success

9th Annual Joetta Clark Diggs Sports Foundation Gala A Huge Success

The 9th Annual Joetta Clark Diggs Sports Foundation (www.joettasportsandbeyond.com) Gala was indeed “Magical”.

 

This year marked the 12th consecutive year that the Foundation has brought fitness programs, knowledge, joy and inspiration to children throughout the State of New Jersey. This year the foundation will introduce and provide Financial & Fitness initiatives to schools throughout the Tri-State area.

 

Joetta writes, “As a four-time Olympian, I have often been described as the epitome of athletic fitness, focus, and fearlessness. However, what is not mentioned is that my athletic and academic success started at a very young age and continued for over three decades. Today I see a very different picture with our youth. It seems that often academic excellence, athletic involvement and community services have taken a back seat to many of the current day distractions. These observations caused me great concern. In 2002 I formed The Joetta Clark Diggs Sports Foundation, Inc. which is committed to teaching good health and positive work ethics, life skills, participation in sports and the introduction of the different opportunities for girls and boys in the sports and entertainment industry. The Foundation believes that we must continue to provide hope and solutions as we address the inactivity and health concerns with our youth."

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"From Girl to Leader": A Celebration of Women's Equality Day

"From Girl to Leader": A Celebration of Women's Equality Day

(August 13, 2014; Bergen County, New Jersey)--The League of Women Voters of Northern Valley (LWVNV) presents "From Girl to Leader": A Celebration of Women's Equality Day on Tuesday, August 26, marking the 94th anniversary of the 19th amendment to the United States Constitution granting women the right to vote. The program is open to the public and begins at 5:30 p.m. at Bergen Community College, Technology Building, located at 400 Paramus Road in Paramus, New Jersey. Parking is available in Lot B.


The event is presented by the LWVNV and co-sponsored by the Women's Institute at Bergen Community College, YWCA Bergen County, Women's Rights Information Center, Bergen County Commission on the Status of Women, Girl Scouts of Northern New Jersey, UniteWomen.org and UniteWomenNJ.


Girls of grammar school age and young women of high school or college age will have the opportunity to meet with women leaders in Bergen County. Senator Loretta Weinberg's Office will present a resolution declaring August 26 Women's Equality Day in New Jersey, given the state's connection to the successful passage of the 19th Amendment, granting women the right to vote.


Lucy Beard, Executive Director of the Alice Paul Institute (API) in Mount Laurel, New Jersey, will show a brief video about New Jersey's Alice Stokes Paul, who led the final, successful fight for suffrage, ending with the passage of the 19th Amendment. Paul also wrote the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA) in 1923, in an attempt to ensure women had not only one right: the right to vote, but all rights guaranteed by the Constitution. The API educates the public about the life and work of Alice Stokes Paul (1885-1977), and offers heritage and girls' leadership development programs at Paulsdale, the home of suffragette Alice Paul, a National Historic Landmark.


Liz Abzug, Executive Director of the Bella Abzug Leadership Institute (BALI) and daughter of late New York Congresswoman Bella Abzug, will also speak about the organization's work. In 1971, Congresswoman Abzug designated August 26 as Women's Equality Day in honor of all women endured to obtain voting rights, to take a look at progress toward passage of the ERA, to examine progress regarding equal pay for women and in honor of a nationwide demonstration by women in 1970 calling attention to the need for equal rights for women. Each year since Congresswoman Abzug requested Congress for an annual acknowledgement of the passage of the 19th Amendment, the President of the United States reads a proclamation on August 26, declaring it Women's Equality Day in the country.
The Bella Abzug Leadership Institute utilizes the signature leadership skills of the late New York Congresswoman Bella Abzug (1920-1998) to mentor and train high school and college age women in the development of confidence and skills needed to become effective, dynamic and visionary leaders as well as active and creative participants in civic, political, corporate and community life.

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Business & Leadership Academy for High School Girls

Business & Leadership Academy for High School Girls

A unique Business & Leadership Academy for high school girls is being held by the Garden State Woman Education Foundation from August 11th to the 15th in Florham Park, NJ. Any high school young women with plans to attend college and likely pursue a business education and career will be inspired by and benefit from participating in this Academy program. It is unlike any other business-oriented learning "camp" ever offered in New Jersey for young high school women.

It's not too early for teenage young women, i.e. high schoolers, to be thinking of their future. What education goals and career opportunities will they pursue?

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Education Foundation's May 3rd Business Summit

Education Foundation's May 3rd Business Summit

Our Education Foundation's May 3rd Business Summit held at Rutgers Business School in Newark for New Jersey high school girls was a smash hit. Over 120 young women attended the all day program from 38 high schools. Several of their counselors came as well as some parents. Rothstein Kass and Townsend Tomaio and Newmark sponsored the program. Twenty two highly qualified, leading business women participated as key note speakers, panelists and moderators.

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A Call for Change

A Call for Change

"We came to the decision that cigarettes and providing health care just don't go together in the same setting" is the explanation Larry J Merlo, chief executive of CVS, gave in response to the country's largest drugstore chain in overall sales announcing they plan to stop selling cigarettes and other tobacco products by October. It is a very obvious idea, but it is one that took long to act upon because it involves a loss of sales—$2 billion to be exact. CVS has set an amazing example of looking past the immediate financial losses of this decision and instead doing what is right for the consumer and what makes sense for CVS's image in matching their values to their actions.

Now, if only more corporations would follow this example, especially where it involves becoming more environmentally friendly. Companies should take a step back and place a higher value in preserving the health of our planet, and less importance on any extra expenses or financial losses they may incur in the short term. It is important for their company's image, their employees, and their consumers to make these efforts to become more "green".

There are so many causes that are progressively changing in the news—the regulation of cigarettes, marijuana legalization, and gay rights are just some examples. However, none of these changes will matter if we end up destroying our planet anyway. It is a major issue that is not talked about as much in the news as it should be given the significance it holds to every person inhabiting this planet. Yet, it is the most crucial thing that is threatening our existence. Some people even think that global warming isn't real because of the recent harsh winter of 2013-2014. They say, "global warming my a**, I'm shoveling my way out of my house!" This is a huge misconception. Global warming means that ALL forms of weather are gaining energy and becoming more forceful. In a documentary called "An Inconvenient Truth", it is explained that as the water temperature increases, wind velocity increases and the moisture content increases and therefore we have harsher winters as well as the devastating hurricanes we have been experiencing such as Hurricane Katrina.

At this point I'm sure you're thinking, "I don't know what to do to help. I have to drive my car into work every day, I have to heat my home, etc." I have drawn a conclusion that may help. The reason why we have come so far with regulating cigarettes is because smoking is now more stigmatized in the United States than it ever was in the past. Characters on television and movies are no longer seen smoking, or if they are, they are portrayed as the "bad guy". Children are taught early on in health class how unhealthy it is. Not only that, but we are literally taught that people smoking look stupid. I always remember posters displayed in classrooms depicting animals such as pigs or cows with cigarettes in their mouth (photo-shopped obviously) with a caption "You look just as stupid". I'm 21 years old and I'm proud to say that I have never even tried a cigarette.

While I was studying abroad in Australia, it became very clear to me that smoking was not nearly as stigmatized as it is here. Australians knew it was bad for them, and yet that did not deter them from smoking. Their cigarette cartons actually displayed gruesome pictures of cancerous lungs and people's disfigured faces due to the effects of smoking. I couldn't believe they could still puff away as if nothing was wrong. The key was, they didn't feel as though they looked stupid doing it.

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Woodrow Wilson New Jersey Teaching Fellowship at William Patterson University

Woodrow Wilson New Jersey Teaching Fellowship at William Patterson University

What is it?

A few months ago, William Paterson University and four other New Jersey institutions of higher education were awarded a grant from the Woodrow Wilson Foundation to offer a 15 month master's degree in education to candidates seeking to teach the STEM disciplines in schools in Passaic and Paterson This is a unique opportunity for individuals in their STEM careers who might be interested in becoming teachers at high schools in New Jersey. The Teaching Fellowship carries with it a stipend of $30,000 and an offer of subsidized tuition making this an unusual opportunity for the right individuals.

Who is it for?

The Woodrow Wilson New Jersey Teaching Fellowship (WWNJTF) seeks to attract talented, committed individuals with science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) backgrounds-including current undergraduates, recent college graduates, mid-career professionals, and retirees-into teaching in high-need middle and secondary schools.

What does it include?

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When Kayla Was Kyle: Children’s Book by Amy Fabrikant

When Kayla Was Kyle: Children’s Book by Amy Fabrikant

Have you ever felt out of place? Perhaps in high school you walked into a party that your usual friends didn't attend like they said they would and you instantly wanted to run away and hide. Maybe you've walked into an office for an interview that had a completely different vibe from the last place you worked (can everyone stop staring at me already?!). These instances, although they make you want to put a bag over your head and crawl into a hole, only last for a brief amount of time and then are forgotten. What if you had this feeling for your entire life? What if you felt out of place in your own body?

When Kayla Was Kyle, as the title suggests, is a story about a young boy who felt like a girl inside. He is teased by his classmates, he is depressed, and his father just can't understand why he doesn't want to stick with playing basketball.

Unfortunately, this is a reality for many young people. Over the last few decades, LGBTQ (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer) support and education has increased, but society is still not at the point that it needs to be. From the book's website, www.WhenKaylaWasKyle.com , 91% of LGBTQ students felt deliberately excluded or "left out" by peers, 86% had mean rumors or lies told about them, 64% were sexually harassed, and 57% experienced "cyber-bullying". Studies of LGBTQ youths indicate that between 48% and 76% have thought of suicide, and between 29% and 42% have actually attempted suicide.

The author, Amy Fabrikant, is a writer, literacy coach, and LGBTQ safe school consultant in New Jersey. She has worked with kids in schools for over 30 years and is the author of parenting and school based advocacy articles. With this book, she has taken a huge step in starting to educate children about gender diversity early, and helping them to understand that everyone should be accepted as they are and to do what makes you happy.

What can you do to help?

If this book isn't already in your town's public library or in your child's school's library, it should be. Contact your local libraries and request that they have this book available.

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The Chopsticks-Fork Principle

The Chopsticks-Fork Principle

Cathy Bao Bean of Blairstown, NJ, www.cathybaobean.com, author of The Chopsticks-Fork Principle, A Memoir and Manual and co-author of The Chopsticks-Fork Principle x 2, A Bilingual Reader for ESL and CFL learners, is a daughter, mother, wife, friend, sister, aerobics instructor, business manager (www.bennettbean.com &  www.bennettbeanstudio.com), and president of the Society for Values in Higher Education (www.svhe.org) as well as its Summer Workshop for Teachers in China team leader. 

In a previous incarnation, she was a philosophy teacher, cook, student, carpool driver, and on the Board of Advisors of the Claremont Graduate University School of the Arts and Humanities (www.cgu.edu), the NJ Council for the Humanities (www.njch.org), and founding member of the Ridge and Valley Conservancy.

None of it has been painless.  All of it has been fun - except the cooking.

In the process, she has been learning how to make the "foreign" more familiar and the ordinary and extraordinary into each other.  Hear her presentation on November 8, 2012 at The George H. Whitney Chapel at Centenary College in Hackettstown, NJ.

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Who Is Shaping Our Children's Minds?

World Citizens Transform New Jersey Classrooms

SCHOOL IS BACK IN SESSION. Do we know who is shaping our children's minds? New Jersey's cultural kaleidoscope is transforming classroom dynamics across the state. Will this year's crop of teachers convey information in ways that help will New Jersey students compete with the educations many of their classmates received in Port of Spain, Hong Kong, Sao Paulo, or New Delhi? How will they fare? With what communications tools and networking strategies are teachers equipping students to excel in New Jersey workplaces where mangers and division-chiefs who hail from around the world will weigh in on the course of their career progression? How will they connect? Who is transitioning youth into the academic and corporate realities of a culturally transformed New Jersey as we cross the threshold into the second decade of the millennium?

Smita Saraswat, Bara Levitt, Gainwaite (Geeta) Mangal and "Rafiya," exemplary, motivated young women and New Jersey educators, inform and expand students' sensibilities and their range of cross-cultural experiences by quantum leaps as they step into their New Jersey classrooms. These women arrived in their Plainfield, Newark, North Plainfield, and Gloucester, New Jersey classrooms by way of Dubai, UAE, New Delhi, India, South Orange, NJ, West Bank Berbice, Guyana, and Kinshasha, Congo (Democratic Republic). In addition to their mastery of the subjects they teach, they are citizens of the world who represent the brightest and most dedicated minds in New Jersey's Indian, Jewish, Indo-Guyanese, and Congolese Diaspora communities.

New Jersey classrooms now reflect successive waves of newcomer-students from countries such as India, China, Russia, Poland, Nigeria, Liberia, Mexico, the Dominican Republic and Haiti. Yet not long ago (2005) a study of NJ teachers and administrators in public and private schools* revealed that while teachers had, "a rhetorical understanding of important aspects of [their students' diverse] cultures," many didn't grasp the "how-to" of translating that knowledge into practice. Teacher-respondents could for example, identify communication and parent/teacher conferences as key to students' success, but wrestled with what strategies to use in basic intercultural exchanges with their students' parents. Teachers cannot convey what they themselves cannot fathom.

There are however, dazzling "points of light" sprinkled throughout NJ school systems; educators who are harbingers of healthy transformation. Smita Saraswat's classroom at East Side High School in Newark is evidence of how accelerated demographic change in New Jersey in the years since the 2005 study, has dramatically shifted NJ classroom dynamics to the advantage of students, the educational system, and the state. Ms. Saraswat, born in India, educated in Dubai, New Delhi, and Bloomington, Indiana teaches TV-video production to Portuguese, Brazilian, Mexican, Ecuadorian, African American and Cape Verdean students in Newark's East Ward known as the Ironbound.

In addition to gaining the technical expertise needed to express themselves through television production, Smita's students thrive in her openness to the totality of who they are. Ms. Saraswat's perspective stems from having spent one third of her life in a Hindu-dominated society (India), one third in the Islamic world (Dubai, UAE) and most recently, anchoring her family in the suburban hub, Secaucus. When students who represent a vast spectrum of cultural reference points enter Smita's classroom, they immediately sense that, far from erecting barriers, cultural difference can fuel a level of curiosity that builds a strong, eclectic community. Unconditional acceptance is a powerful catalyst for learning.

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An Educational Summer Vacation

A Starbucks on every corner, a blackberry in everyone's hand, cabs flying down busy streets, and looking up to see the sky covered by sky scrapers. It is quite apparent that this describes New York City, particularly Manhattan. It is called the city that never sleeps because it truly never does.

Monday through Thursday I rode the train into the city for a course called, "The Fabulous World of Fashion Forecasting" at the famous Fashion Institute of Technology. On my morning trips into the city I noticed it was surprisingly quiet. Everyone chose to either listen to their ipod, read a book, sleep or email/text on their blackberry. No one had a conversation on the train. How are people supposed to network without saying even a hello or goodbye to the person sitting next to you?

I learned to network and I received a gift for it. On Monday I went into the city with my father and we sat next to a man reading the newspaper. We spoke for a minute, I gave him a smile and at the end of the trip the traveler gave me his last train ticket. "It's nice to be nice" that's my motto! Walking up the stairs to exit Penn Station, every morning I was greeted with a woman yelling "Good Morning New York!!" handing out newspapers which was exhilarating to me! Arriving early for my nine thirty class I witnessed businessmen dressed in slacks, ties, and crisp collared shirts holding briefcases, while women in skirts, blouses, and heals held large cups of coffee, all heading to work.

The class lasted four days and each day ended at four thirty, with seven hours of fashion. Class trips entailed walking to Barney's Co Op, the FIT fashion gallery, Meatpacking District, Manhattan Mall and surrounding stores. Clothes in the Meatpacking district were amazing! Main places we used for our assignments were Alexander McQueen, Scoop, Stella McCartney, Anthropologie, Hugo Boss and Jeffery. (Jeffery is the most expensive store in the city!)

It was an exciting course where I learned how experts use future trends to forecast fashion in the next season. The main "watering hole" for trends is none other than blogs like The Sartorialist or Bill Cunningham's snapshots of upcoming styles featured in On the Street.

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What To Bring To College

Before my daughter, Diana, started college, we were looking for a detailed list of items to bring with her for her first year away. So I put this list together which was very helpful. This year, my niece Michelle is going away to college and I emailed her the list. She added a few items regarding technology, as times have changed even in the past few years. So we are submitting this list in the hopes that it helps other parents and students get ready for the first year away from home.
Wishing you lots of luck,
Jeri Cohen, Diana Cohen and Michelle Pomerantz
July 2010

What to bring for college

Linens

Bedspread/comforter
Fitted and flat sheets (2 sets)
Pillows and pillow cases
Bath Towels
Hand Towels
Washcloths

Dorm Stuff

Garbage can
Throw Rug
Light bulbs
Hangers
Mirror
Plastic glass and bowl, plastic utensils
Shower Curtain and rings
Picture frames/photos
Air freshener
Fan
Hamper
Dustbuster
Clock radio w/ alarm

Health

First aid kit
Advil + Tylenol
Tylenol
Benadryl
Cortizone
Bandaids
anti bacteria stuff
Vitamins
Allergy Medication

School Stuff

School supplies -paper, pencils/pens, notebooks -Costco
Bulletin Board
Desk Supplies
Desk Lamp
Wall Calendar
Back-pack

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Mentoring For a Transformed New Jersey

Teri Duda & Nancy Drepaul
Extraordinary New Jersey girls and women continually confound media-driven clichés and expectations of who we are... or are not. Mentor and mentee, Teri Duda and Nancy Drepaul serve New Jersey in an exceptional way at a critical juncture as our state becomes increasingly diverse. Teri and Nancy are way-showers who personify the power of a profound woman-to-young woman bond that transcends divergent background and ethnicity.

Once in a rare blue moon we are privileged to meet a woman who is the genuine article; the real deal. That is, one who masterfully --steps out of the way— so that the best possible professional...or personal... outcome for all parties is achieved in each interchange she orchestrates. Teri Duda, Senior Vice President of External Affairs for Berkeley College is such a woman. Teri's often disarming humility sets the tone for honest, forthright transaction of business; whether she is advocating for higher education among legislators or, providing services for the homeless. Her authentic, transparent openness is as immediately apparent as her business savvy.

Rarer still is a mentor with the capacity to transmit a mission-driven commitment to social transformation. When filtered through the prism of Teri Duda's humility and deep faith in young people, the mission translates into a very purposeful, "lightness of being" exemplified by mentee, Nancy Drepaul. Transfer of knowledge, of professional skills-sets, even of value systems, is wonderful, but much more commonplace. Conveyance of the ability to tap into one's core-self and transmit that power in such a way that it spontaneously energizes and uplifts everyone one meets is another matter altogether. This way of navigating business ....of navigating the world, is the gift that mentor Teri Duda has given to Nancy Drepaul; currently an intern at Pfizer's Global Talent Acquisition Group handling staffing for North America. Teri has awakened Nancy's innate capacity to lift a portion of people's burden by simply walking into a room.

Teri and Nancy met at Berkeley College where they worked together on a series of outreach programs that continue to foster community engagement with higher education in support of a multicultural student population of largely first generation college students. Theirs was never a formal, institutionally arranged "accomplished-to-underserved," mentoring relationship. Nancy who is Guyanese, and Teri whose great-great-great grandfather of Dutch/English descent fought for the North in the US Civil War, developed an organic bond as they worked shoulder to shoulder in Berkeley campus communities. They came to understand each other's worldview and philosophy. As Nancy states, "Teri read my heart and saw the dream in me."

Berkeley College's unwavering commitment to offering access to higher education for ALL, supported them in the outreach mission they epitomized, shared and executed together. Nancy remembers looking at the Office of External Affairs and marveling at how such a small workplace could have such a massive impact on the college and community.

Hundreds of first-generation Berkeley graduates are firsthand witnesses to the empowering resonance of this team of socially engaged women who demonstrated the capacity and willingness to transcend cultural boundaries. Teri Duda and Nancy Drepaul have touched and transformed lives and families.

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The Overture is About to Start

2010 Census Unveils: “Faces of New Jersey Women,” in Transformation

The suspense heightens as the drum roll grows louder. The gold-trimmed envelop slips into the trembling hand that is poised to open it. And the winner is………..EVERYWOMAN in the state of New Jersey. The 2010 Census drawing to a close this spring will necessarily reveal a demographically transformed image of the, “Faces of New Jersey Women.” Census 2010 will present a clearer picture of precisely who New Jersey women are as we move into what promises to be an exciting new decade. Already the most densely populated, and one of the most ethnically and religiously diverse states in the country, the unveiling of the dynamic, ever richer New Jersey cross-cultural tapestry that we all witness in workplaces and supermarkets is about to begin.

New Jersey women and the economy of our tiny powerhouse of a state, stand to reap tremendous rewards from one of the most increasingly cosmopolitan living experiences and highly qualified professional talent bases offered by any state in the country. Home to the third highest populations of Asians & Italians (by %), Indians (by absolute numbers) and the largest population of Cubans outside of Florida for example, New Jersey small businesses and technical science-driven firms draw from an internationally enhanced pool of highly educated professionals. The state’s broad spectrum of universities and superior county college system have creatively adapted programs to facilitate learning and workforce development for increasingly international student bodies, even as educational opportunity is open-ended for native New Jerseyans.

Of equal importance however, is the unprecedented opportunity for New Jersey women, to enrich our personal experience by deepening our understanding of women from around the world who are now our neighbors in Randolph, Cherry Hill, Milburn and Bound Brook. We need not rely upon the paucity of positive media depictions of women from disparate cultures when we can choose to strike up conversations with women who hail from around the globe, at the office, while we shop, or as our children use New Jersey parks together.

The TRANSFORMATIVE VISIONS column will …….highlight and chronicle innovative business and social approaches taken throughout the New Jersey to embrace, and maximize positive outcomes inherent in the state’s evolving demographic landscape.

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Jahn Studios - A Top NJ Art School

Timothy Jahn and his wife Holly - a dancer and choreographer – opened the Jahn Studio (www.jahnstudios.com) in 2008 in Central New Jersey and it is already a top art teaching studio. That’s the good news. The bad news is that the studio can accommodate no more than 12 students at any given time. The curriculum is a challenging and rigorous program that can extend from three to five years depending on the time available for each student. Tim recommends that anyone interested in attending apply one to two years in advance! The studio has never had a drop out. Tim and Holly, both in their early 30s, are careful in screening and accepting students for their studio. As a result they don’t anticipate any drop outs.

Tim, a highly accomplished artists in his own right has shown his work for the past 11 years, also is a apprentice studying under Anthony Waichulis at his studio in Pennsylvania one day a week. Tim previously studied at other U.S. schools and in France. He has had showings of his work in multiple states including NY, NJ, California, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Georgia. His resume of artistic accomplishments would choke a horse.

The demanding curriculum developed by Anthony, “one of the best art teachers in the world” according to Tim, is the same one that Tim brought back to New Jersey and provides to his students.

Students at the Jahn Studio learn to work with charcoal, oils and, to a limited extent, pastels. They learn to
draw and paint a variety of subjects from portraits to landscapes in order not to be limited later in their career.

Students range in age from 18 to mid 60s and are split evenly between men and women. Tim believes the blending of ages and genders is an important element in the dynamics and success of his classes.

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Developing a college strategy for your son or daughter

My husband helps evaluate high school seniors applying to MIT. He routinely meets awesome young people. Most of whom have strong academic records. Many have other aspects of their backgrounds that make them above average applicants. From his experiences over the past many years he believes that too often young people and their parents fail to develop an early stage strategy that will enhance their child's chances of gaining admission to the college of their choice. He believes that by time kids enter high school they should have a strategy and plan for how they will be spending the high years positioning themselves for the college application process. Waiting to think about these things until they are high juniors or seniors is way too late.

At a minimum young people entering high school should:

  • Be focused on getting good grades from the very first high school semester. Grades later on may be more important to college selection committees but mediocre grades in the freshman and sophomore years can come back to haunt.
  • Take AP courses when possible, assuming they can handle the tougher courses
  • Get involved in school and hopefully community activities. If possible, do this at a leadership level and try to maintain some consistency in the things in which they do engage.
  • Spend summers being productive, not just hanging out. Try to get some work experience. Having opportunity to travel with the family or on school sponsored trips can be an important difference maker.
  • Consider getting some tutoring for the SAT tests which should be taken often.
  • Visit the target colleges. It gives the student a real feel for the place and it is another way to demonstrate to the college how serious the applicant is.
  • Many colleges offer off campus interviews with alums. Ace these meetings. Come well prepared including with good questions to ask the interviewer. It's always a good idea for the student to bring a well written resume and maybe some examples of their activities.
  • To the extent possible, be able to articulate in their application and interviews their college education objectives and their eventual career objectives.
  • Apply to at least 5 or 6 colleges with at least one being the "safety" school. The best colleges and universities may only accept 10-15% of those applying. Make certain your son or daughter winds up with choices to make.

Jack's experience has been that high school guidance counselors are often overwhelmed trying to provide exceptional advice to all their college applicants. As a result, parents and their kids have to assume the basic responsibility for gaining admission to the right college.

 

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Get Your Kids Excited For College

Ever since our son was born, whenever we went anyplace (and I mean any place) we tried to find time to sneak in a campus visit to whatever college or university was near-by. We did this mostly in the U.S. but also a bit in Canada and in Europe. During his grammar and high school years we probably visited 75 to 100 campuses without ever once really going out of our way to make a college visit. And it didn’t really matter to us which schools we were visiting. We wanted him to experience all types from the biggest to the smallest and from the most prestigious ( the Yales, Harvards, MITs, Notre Dames of the world) to the lesser known ones including such fine schools as Appalachian State and Reed College.

Sometimes, if we had time, we would pop into the admissions office to see if we could get a tour or talk with someone and sometimes we would just walk the campus, talk with students we met, visit the book store to buy a cap (all hanging in his room) and find the gym so he could shoot some hoops with my husband. In our journeys we visited a range of colleges from Cornell and Colgate to University of North Carolina to University of South Carolina to Vanderbilt to the University of Florida to Rice, University of Texas, University of Washington and many more.

In the fall, for several years, my husband and Jonathan would have a “boys” weekend together at a major campus for a football game so Jonathan got to experience that aspect of college life. These trips took him to the University of Michigan, Notre Dame, Penn State, Duke, Texas Tech and others.

In the winters they would find basketball games to go to including at Lehigh, St. Johns and others.

During his younger years we tried to get a week off between Christmas and New Years to get away. This gave us the opportunity to visit universities in London, Paris, Rome and Montreal.

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