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United Way of Northern New Jersey-Youth Empowerment Alliance

Our Work » EDUCATION

United Way Youth Empowerment Alliance

Summary of Our Work

Our future depends on our youth.  Behind this simple truth is an enormous responsibility.  The world has changed immensely in the last three decades and will continue to change at a rate we can only imagine.  To thrive in our increasingly complex world, our children will need to have competence in an array of skills:  ethical decision making, conflict resolution, teamwork, leadership, and critical thinking to name a few.  Today’s headlines – from college tragedies and teenage bullying, to cases of unethical business practices – remind us of the challenges our children face.

United Way of Northern New Jersey’s EDUCATION work for older children is focused on ensuring youth are able to achieve academically, tackle issues and problems with responsibility and integrity, and succeed in the 21st century workplace.  An important component is our work with schools to help them create safe, well-managed, caring, participatory places where children can thrive.

United Way Youth Empowerment Alliance fosters connections between and among children, schools, parents, and community and educational leaders, purposefully engaging the student’s voice and supporting schools.  By pulling the community together United Way is helping youth build skills to manage today’s challenges such as staying safe online, standing up to a bully, and avoiding risky behavior…and be better prepared to tackle the unknown challenges ahead.

New Jersey’s recent Harassment, Intimidation and Bullying (HIB) legislation accentuates the importance of school culture and climate – and United Way is supporting schools every step of the way.  The Alliance supports educators by providing resources and forums to share ideas and expertise and build relationships.  We focus on prevention by helping schools build a healthy culture, involving students in the process and providing volunteer mentors to serve as a positive sounding board.

In a survey of more than 400 U.S. employers, professionalism, teamwork, oral communication, and ethics/social responsibility were reported as the top skills needed for new hires in order for America to compete in the global economy.

Source: Are They Really Ready to Work? Employers’ Perspectives on the Basic Knowledge and Applied Skills of New Entrants to the 21st Century U.S. Workforce, 2006

Our research-based support aligns with studies that show that children need to positively manage social and emotional skills in addition to academics in order to be successful in school and life.  See Tools & Resources for more information on the importance of social and emotional learning and character development.

United Way Youth Empowerment Alliance Mission

The mission of United Way Youth Empowerment Alliance is to ensure youth have the lifelong skills and strong foundation needed to achieve academically, tackle issues and problems with responsibility and integrity, and succeed in the 21st century workplace in order to thrive in our increasingly complex world.

The goals of United Way Youth Empowerment Alliance are:

  • To support schools as they improve their school climate and culture to create safe, well-managed, caring, and participatory places where children can thrive.
  • To create ways to engage students in their own development and to cultivate social and emotional learning and character development.
  • To engage the community in the critical dialogue of our children’s well-being.
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