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NJCDC Celebrates 30th Anniversary with a New Website

NJCDC Celebrates 30th Anniversary with a New Website

March 15, 2024

Watch our video of the event


On March 11, 1994, New Jersey Community Development Corporation was officially incorporated as a non-profit organization in the State of New Jersey. While we didn’t start operations until that September, March 11th is our official birthday.  With a full year of celebratory activities to come, we acknowledged the significance of March 11th with a ceremony at our Great Falls Youth Center. In attendance were NJCDC Trustees Martin Vergara, Bill Pascrell III, and Nita Das; City Council members Luis Velez and Maritza Davila; Paterson Mayor Andre Sayegh; community members; and NJCDC staff and supporters.  In addition to celebrating NJCDC’s anniversary, we also unveiled our new website and celebrated the launch of our new podcast studio.


NJCDC Founder and CEO Bob Guarasci started the evening’s program by welcoming our guests and sharing the organization’s history, before inviting NJCDC Board Chair Martin Vergara and Trustee Bill Pascrell III to say a few words. “I’m thankful and appreciative of the impact that we’ve had over the years,” said Martin. “There’s a lot more to be done, and we’ll continue to grow and have an impact in the years to come.”


Then, Mayor Andre Sayegh spoke about NJCDC’s impact on the city, and presented a proclamation honoring NJCDC’s 30 years of service. “Go almost anywhere in the Great Falls Neighborhood, and you’ll see NJCDC’s footprint and NJCDC’s impact,” said Mayor Sayegh. “Paterson is a better place because NJCDC calls our city home.”


The next speaker was Eddie Gonzalez, NJCDC’s Director of Community Outreach, who spoke about the new podcast studio and shared how the podcasts will give Paterson youth a voice. Eddie then introduced Danny Gonzalez, who is overseeing the new podcast studio. A Paterson native, Danny is an alum of several NJCDC programs, including Garrett Morgan Academy and the Paterson Youth Council, and recently graduated from Montclair State University with a degree in Communication and Media Arts. Bob presented Danny with a certificate recognizing his hard work in getting the new studio ready. After Eddie presented a few gifts to Bob to celebrate NJCDC’s anniversary, NJCDC’s Chief Program Officer David Gelman invited several alumni and parents from NJCDC’s programs to speak about their experience with the organization.


After the brief program, guests were invited to explore the new website. With a colorful and modern appearance, the website will more effectively share our work. The updated design will also make it easier for community members and supporters to learn more about NJCDC’s many programs and services.


Guests were also invited to visit the new podcast studio at the Great Falls Youth Center. By recording podcasts in the new studio, Paterson youth will have another avenue to make their voice heard. The podcasts will also share important resources, information, and workshops with community members. When guests visited the studio, they were invited to share a story about NJCDC’s impact on their lives. These stories will be compiled into our first podcast episode, which will be available on our website.


“30 years ago, I did not know that I’d be running an organization with 150 employees and founding a charter school that has another 150 staff. But what I knew then is the same thing that I know now—that my team and I will work as hard as we can, and as creatively as we can, to make a difference in the lives of our most vulnerable neighbors,” said NJCDC’s Founder & CEO, Bob Guarasci. “I think we’ve done that, and there’s no limit to the joy that helping others provides to me and to my colleagues. Especially on this day, 30 years to the day, when that clerk in a back office in Trenton, New Jersey stamped our Certificate of Incorporation, and so was born New Jersey Community Development Corporation. I am grateful for each and every one of you. Thank you!”


March 11, 1994 was only the very beginning of NJCDC, so we will be celebrating our 30th anniversary all year! Save the date for some of our special anniversary events below, and make sure to keep an eye out for more festivities to come.

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