New Community Corporation has steadfastly remained true to its mission of improving the quality of life for inner city residents since 1968. Take time to learn more about some of the people whose lives have been positively impacted by New Community:

SVA grad Chioma splitscreen

Monsignor Linder Scholar Graduates As Valedictorian Of Saint Vincent Academy

At times, Monsignor William J. Linder Scholar Chioma Onwunaka felt like the day would never arrive. But four years of rigorous college preparatory education at Saint Vincent Academy finally did culminate, and for Onwunaka, the valedictorian of SVA’s Class of 2015, graduation felt like a dream come true. “My fellow graduates, the time that we have been dreaming about and stressing over for these last four years has finally come,” Onwunaka said in her valedictory address at commencement on June 7 in Newark. “We must now move on and take what we have learned from SVA and bring it to the rest of the world.” Onwunaka, 18, is the daughter of Veronica Onwunaka, director of nursing at New Community Extended

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Anne Moran Family Resource Success Center volunteer

NCC Volunteer Keeps Serving Even After Landing New Job

When Anne Moran landed a new job, she felt no impulse to leave behind her role as a volunteer at the New Community Family Resource Success Center. Initially placed at the Family Resource Success Center as part of the Community Work Experience Program (CWEP), Moran quickly became Director Joann Williams-Swiney’s point person for anyone seeking help paying their energy bills through NJ SHARES. NJ SHARES is a nonprofit that partners with authorized provider agencies, such as NCC, to help families in a financial crisis pay their electric and gas bills with a grant of up to $1,200. As a CWEP participant, Moran was assigned to the Family Resource Success Center in April of 2014 to improve her employability through structured

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Home Health Aide three hires

Three Home Health Aides Land Jobs After Training At NCC

Landing your first full-time job is a life-changing experience. For three young women from Newark, that achievement resulted after they successfully completed the Certified Homemaker Home Health Aide Program at New Community’s Workforce Development Center. The three students who received job offers just two weeks after completing their training at NCC—Mizani Drummond, Qaneisha McCree and Shamella Hughes—will be employed by Caring People Home Healthcare Agency, according to the employment letters from the Clifton-based agency dated April 8, 2015. Director of Workforce Development Rodney Brutton said that the employer was impressed with the graduates of the Certified Homemaker Home Health Aide Program and requested that NCC recommend additional graduates in the future. “I’m excited for the three young ladies, Shamella, Qaneisha

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ShopRite Hires 14 Store Associates Trained At NCC

They have made the move from “trainee” to “store associate.” A group of 14 individuals who arrived at New Community’s ShopRite Training Program as hopeful job seekers have landed jobs as associates at the Brookdale ShopRite in Bloomfield. The Brookdale store is owned by Neil Greenstein, who has partnered with New Community’s Workforce Development Center in anticipation of hiring hundreds of employees upon opening his second ShopRite on Springfield Avenue in Newark this year. Rodney Brutton, NCC’s director of Workforce Development, said he was proud that 14 students from the first cohort of the training program, which relaunched in 2014, secured jobs. “Our graduates are well trained and well positioned to assume front-end positions at any area ShopRite stores,” Brutton

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Two NCC Building Trades Students Land Construction Jobs

Maurice Culley and Emiliano Jones start their workdays while most people are hitting the snooze button. Fully geared up and on site by 6:30 a.m., the two young men are working for TAI Specialty Construction, a Maryland-based company that’s contracted with Kuehne Chemical Company, which is located in the industrial area of South Kearny. They work in TAI’s Fiberglass and Coatings Division, cutting fiberglass and sanding and prepping pipes for use at the Kuehne worksite, where brine is made into bleach of a high concentration. Culley and Jones, who were hired in October and November, respectively, landed jobs with TAI as a result of training at New Community Workforce Development Center’s Building Trades Training Program. The 540-hour course, offered at

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Single Mom Plans To Pursue New Career After Finishing GED Classes At NCC, Despite Health Setback

When Ann Marie Auguste noticed that her daughter’s grades were beginning to slip, she knew it was time to go back to school herself. A single mother working two jobs, Auguste said she saw how her busy schedule working in food service for Sodexo a West Orange middle school and pulling a night manager shift at a nearby Dunkin’ Donuts was taking a toll on the well-being of her two children, Shernise, 14, and Obrian, 5. “Doing the two jobs was very hard,” she said. “I always wanted to go back to school to better myself.” But returning to the classroom wasn’t easy. The last time 35-year-old Auguste was in school was at age 16. She had also recently been

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Young Harmony House Resident Sprints Towards Her Dreams

She may be a sprinter on the track, but Infinity Hedrington is learning to chase her dreams with patience, despite life’s obstacles. A rising junior at West Side High School in Newark, Hedrington has snagged more than two dozen medals and awards in just the first half of her high school track career. She made her debut, as a freshman, at the storied Penn Relays, the oldest and largest track and field competition in the nation. In April, 16-year-old Hedrington and her parents, Michelle and Rudolph Jr., moved into New Community’s Harmony House, a transitional housing facility for homeless families. They had been temporarily living with Michelle’s mother at her home on Sixth Street but were forced to move when

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New Start Helps Young Mother During Uncertain Times

New Start Helps Young Mother During Uncertain Times Tamara White was referred to the Newark New Start Program one month before she was due to deliver her first child in November of 2012. White was 28 years old at the time and concerned about having stable housing by the time her baby arrived. She told New Start outreach workers that she feared having to live in a shelter so close to her delivery date. With the stress of her unstable housing, coupled with family and relationship struggles, White found herself admitted to the hospital for an elevated blood pressure that was at a dangerous level for an expecting mother. New Start outreach workers assisted in following up with White during

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New Lease On Life, Even With ‘Old’ Stuff

New Lease On Life, Even With ‘Old’ Stuff Sharon Thompkins still has some unpacking to do. But the bathroom in her new apartment is fully decorated in pink and her living room is meticulously arranged with a camel-colored sofa set, accent lamps and a curved glass coffee table—all in her beloved art deco style. “That’s my motif,” she said, admiring the furniture that was held in storage for 18 months after she was laid off from her longtime job at the Newark Housing Authority. Thompkins lost her apartment and bounced around several temporary living situations, including spending some nights in her white, two-door Mercury Cougar which was filled with papers, clothing and food. Last year her car was totaled in

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Best Friends Emerge From Homelessness To Lead Productive Lives

Former Harmony House residents and best friends, Sonya Thomas and Alnisha Smith, say that the year they spent at Harmony House helped them make progress towards reaching their goals. Best Friends Emerge From Homelessness To Lead Productive Lives By Angela Stewart Alnisha Smith and Sonya Thomas share a friendship that dates back to their days at Newark’s Weequahic High School. It was then that they discovered they had a mutual interest—a young man—but it turns out they were not the only two students in whom he was showing an interest. “We didn’t blame each other. We put the blame on him. We’ve been friends ever since,” said Thomas. Their friendship has endured through very difficult period in their lives, including homelessness.

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