Who We Are

Message from Our Founder & CEO

It has been a remarkable journey -- one filled with enormous satisfaction as my colleagues and I have worked to carry out our mission of creating opportunities to transform lives in and around the City of Paterson.

Guided by the strategic business plan adopted in 2012 – which we are currently refreshing – we remain dedicated to a comprehensive approach to overall neighborhood revitalization, and specifically to replicating the work of the Harlem Children's Zone in Paterson. At its core, our work involves the creation of a network of related programs and services to help children and families succeed, and to maximize impact by doing so within a prescribed neighborhood -- The Great Falls Promise Neighborhood.

As we sought to fulfill the objectives of our five year strategic plan, we significantly expanded our programs in several areas. I am proud to say that we have programs serving children from birth through high school graduation – and beyond. We serve more than 2,000 people each day and are exploring every opportunity to strategically expand our impact.

2015 was an impactful year. In an effort to better understand our neighborhood and its needs, we completed a comprehensive neighborhood needs assessment in partnership with Montclair State University. We also broke ground on Park Corner Plaza, creating 11 units of affordable housing and two units of ground-floor retail space; hosted the first citywide preschool conference for 450 early childhood educators; served over 3,000 high school students at our area teen centers; and completed the expansion of the charter school we founded: it now has 900 students enrolled in grades K-8.

I'm extremely grateful that in carrying out our mission, we've enjoyed phenomenal support from corporations, governmental agencies, and caring individuals who share our vision. We are particularly grateful to The Nicholson Foundation, which has provided over $1 million to help launch many of our new programs. We are blessed with a dedicated staff, a strong Board of Trustees, and fantastic program collaborators who have made our work and our shared success possible.

While I'm proud of the impact we've had, there's also much more work to be done. With the continued support of our community partners and caring individuals, I know we will continue to create opportunities that enable others to transform their own lives.

Robert Guarasci

Support Our Work!
We at NJCDC are keenly aware of the challenging economic times. 92 cents of every dollar donated to NJCDC goes directly to programs which help families, teens, children and people with disabilities.