‘America Needs You New Jersey’ Serves First-Generation College Students


America Needs You (ANY) fights for economic mobility for ambitious, first-generation college students by providing transformative mentorship and intensive career development. ANY was founded in New York in 2009 and began in New Jersey in 2012.

New Jersey schools represented here: Bloomfield, Drew, Essex County, Fairleigh Dickinson, Gloucester County, Hudson County, Montclair, NJIT, Rutgers, Seton Hall, St. Peter’s, Steven’s, William Paterson

Across the country, organizations focused on youth development, high school graduation and college acceptance have fought to ensure that the public education system prepares our youth for future success. We have seen their impact, as national high school graduation rates and college acceptance rates have improved. While we should be proud of these successes, the challenges faced by students once accepted to college are deep and vast and many do not graduate. For first-generation, low-income students, graduation rates are even more startling: only 11 percent graduate college, the vast majority of them in good academic standing.
ANY-NJ currently works with two cohorts of 50 Fellows each from universities and community colleges from across the state, including Montclair State University, Rutgers University and Hudson County Community College. We provide intensive career development, mentorship, and access to professional networks to enable students to realize their academic and career aspirations. Specifically, pairing one-on-one mentorship with hands-on professional development training has helped more than 1,000 ANY Fellows across the country graduate from four-year colleges; in New Jersey 96% of our Fellows graduate and 91% have secured employment or enrolled in graduate school. These outcomes do not do justice to our incredible Fellows who are our best ambassadors:

“ANY teaches you not only how to market yourself, but that you are marketable.”
– Zarina, 2016 ANY NJ Fellow

Zarina works one-on-one with her Mentor Coach at bi-monthly Saturday workshops that help her build her resume, practice interviewing skills and expand her professional network, among other career development activities.

“I feel like I hit the jackpot with my Mentor Coach, Mike. His constant support and knowledge has helped me grow so much more than I ever thought I could.”
– Carolina, 2016 ANY NJ Fellow

Mike has helped push Carolina to apply to internships she might not otherwise have considered.

We are confident that our innovative, volunteer-driven program model can successfully transform lives and communities

If you are interested in learning more about ANY please contact Monica Ward, New Jersey Executive Director, at monica.ward@americaneedsyou.org. We are recruiting for our 2017 cohort and applications can be found at https://www.americaneedsyou.org/fellow-application/.

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