News For Summer 2012
On Friday, July 13, 2012, the RU Ready for Work Program partnered with the Essex County Division of Senior Services to provide community service and to assist with the coordination of their Annual Farmer’s Market Kick-Off Event. The event took place at the Stephen N. Adubato, Sr. Sports Complex located in Branch Brook Park, in Newark, New Jersey.
The purpose of the event was to distribute Farmer’s Market food vouchers to 500 senior citizens who were notified to participate in the kick-off of distribution of the food vouchers. Although the county provided transportation for the seniors, many others traveled by car or walked to the location on their own. This resulted in over 900 senior citizens attending the event from municipalities throughout Essex County including Newark, East Orange, Maplewood, and Verona.
The RU Ready for Work participants served as Youth Ambassadors for the event. Ms. Lesley Leslie, Assistant Director of the RU Ready for Work Program, worked with Ms. Jaklyn De Vore, Director of the Division of Senior Services, to assign the Youth Ambassadors to various work stations. Some of the RU Ready Youth Ambassadors served as greeters and escorts to the seniors when they arrived, directing the seniors to the event registration area. Some Youth Ambassadors served as processors at the registration area, helping to verify documents that determined the seniors’ eligibility to receive $20 food vouchers which they used to purchase fresh fruits and vegetables.
Other RU Ready Youth Ambassadors functioned as “personal shoppers,” helping the seniors to select food items and to carry their bags back to their vehicles. Finally, there was a group of RU Ready participants who served as refreshment assistants, distributing boxed lunches and water to attendees; there also were errand runners, who helped to ensure that all aspects of the event went smoothly.
The impact that the students made was evident in the comments that you heard over the course of the day. The seniors commented on the bright smiles, pleasant attitudes and patience that the youth displayed at the event.
Many of them sought out event supervisors to say how much they appreciated the Youth Ambassadors for their helpfulness and courteous manners. Some seniors even commented on how nice the Youth Ambassadors looked in their Rutgers shirts.
Towards the end of the event, the Division Director gathered all of the RU Ready participants to give them a heartfelt thank you. The Division Director also encouraged them to continue to “give back” to their communities where ever they go in life.
On Wednesday, July 18, 2012, the Office of University-Community Partnerships collaborated with the City of Newark, the Newark Public Schools, and the United Way of Essex and West Hudson to host the “Girls Represent” Town Hall at the Rutgers-Newark’s Paul Robeson Campus Center. Dr. Diane Hill, Assistant Chancellor for University-Community Partnerships at Rutgers-Newark, joined Deputy Mayor of Neighborhood Engagement Margarita Muñiz, State Assembly Speaker Sheila Oliver, Assemblywoman L. Grace Spencer and a host of other community leaders to greet and engage more than 160 Newark girls who attended the town hall meeting.
The event created an opportunity for the youth and their parents to interact with leaders in the education, faith-based, non-profit, government, and business sectors toward developing policy recommendations for encouraging positive changes in media messaging for girls in the Newark community and beyond. Organizations represented at the event included Girl Scouts, Heart of New Jersey, National Council for Jewish Women, Newark Youth One Stop, Newark Youth Court, and Supporting Our Sisters.
A screening of the critically acclaimed documentary Miss Representation served as a thought-provoking focal point of the event. The film screening was followed by discussions and breakout groups in which the students discussed their thoughts about the film.
Written and directed by Jennifer Siebel Newsom, Miss Representation exposes how mainstream media contribute to the under-representation of women in positions of power and influence in America. The film challenges the media’s limited and often disparaging portrayals of women and girls, which make it difficult for women to achieve leadership positions and to feel empowered in everyday life. Miss Representation includes stories from teenage girls and interviews with a host of politicians, journalists, entertainers, activists and academicians including Condoleezza Rice, Lisa Ling, Nancy Pelosi, Katie Couric, Rachel Maddow, Rosario Dawson, Jackson Katz, Jean Kilbourne, Gloria Steinem and City of Newark Mayor Cory A. Booker.
For more information on the film, visit www.missrepresentation.org.
RU Ready for Work, a youth work and college readiness program administered by the Office of University-Community Partnerships in partnership with the City of Newark and the Victoria Foundation, hosted RU Fit Day on Friday, July 20, 2012. The purpose of RU Fit Day is to expose RU Ready for Work summer program participants to various ways that they can enhance their health and wellness. Over 50 students from Newark area high schools participated in RU Fit Day 2012.
The morning kicked off with a variety of exercises for improving physical and mental health. The participants then heard an educational presentation on healthy living for teens which was facilitated by Dr. Felesia Bowen, Assistant Professor in the Rutgers College of Nursing. The presentation focused on obesity and type-2 diabetes prevention, stress reduction, and the importance of sleep and daily exercise.
Interactive learning stations were another engaging highlight of the day. Participants rotated among a variety of health-themed stations that featured HIV/AIDS risk reduction representatives from Newark Community Health Centers, Wii Fit sessions provided by the Rutgers-Newark Health Center, and body mass index screenings sponsored by the Rutgers-Newark College of Nursing. Participants also were able to make their own healthy trail mix using granola, nuts, and dried fruit.
During lunch, participants were treated to a theatre presentation by the Unity Theatre of Rutgers-Newark. The theatre group presented skits that explored peer conflict that can result from teenage alcoholism and the adverse mental and emotional effects that can result from obesity. Participants had the opportunity to question the players while they still were in character to further understand why they made certain choices.
The day ended with a raffle for health and wellness giveaways.
OUCP Partners with the Rutgers Institute for Ethical Leadership to present the 2012 Rutgers-Merck Summer Bioethics. For more information, please click here.