Multi Year Scholarship Support to Qualifying Seventh Graders

We thought this was pretty neat.  Scroll down for information on a scholarship for qualifying seventh graders.

The Jack Kent Cooke Foundation Young Scholars Program is one of the most generous awards for seventh-grade students in the country. Those selected receive financial support for educational and extracurricular activities throughout high school, as well as one-on-one help applying to high schools, colleges, summer programs, and more. While this is not a Center for Talented Youth scholarship, many Young Scholars have used the award to take CTY courses, and CTY has staff available who can answer questions about the application process.

The Young Scholars Program is open to students with outstanding academic records, accomplishments outside of the classroom, and substantial financial need. Learn more at http://www.jkcf.org/scholarships/young-scholars-program/how-to-apply/. Applications are due by Thursday, March 20, 2014.

Anyone with questions should feel free to contact Bridgette Yee McIntyre at the Center for Talented Youth at 410-735-6270 or jkcinfo@jhu.edu.

Impact 100 Helps NJ Veterans Cope Through Printmaking

How cool is this?

Thanks to a $135,000 grant from our friends and partners at Impact 100 Garden State (learn more about them here), more New Jersey veterans will be able to confront and cope with tough experiences through the art of making paper.

Here’s the cool part: the veterans shred old fatigues and turn them into handmade paper. On that new paper, they write about their experience in the military.

“We deconstruct, reclaim and communicate,” says David Keefe, Combat Paper NJ director and Iraq War veteran, to the Daily Record. “It’s the perfect marriage of concept and medium. It transforms the material, the artist and the viewer.”

Click here for the full article (PS - it’s worth it).

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Wealthy Increasingly Using Donor Advised Funds

Have you heard?  Donor advised funds - the kind offered at the Community Foundation of New Jersey - are on the rise.  Here’s what Barron’s reports:

According to a recent report by the National Philanthropic Trust, the total assets parked in donor-advised funds last year surpassed $45 billion. That’s a 55% increase in giving since the spooky days of 2009.

Why the uptick?  Barron’s say it’s obvious - donor advised funds are straightforward, less costly than family foundations, and often offer a greater tax advantage.

Click here for the full article.

What’s ‘Recency Bias’ Got to do with Halloween?

Our friends over at RegentAtlantic make an interesting observation: for 8-year olds in New Jersey, one quarter of the Halloweens in their lifetime have been canceled. Last year’s was canceled due to Hurricane Sandy, and the year prior thanks to a major snow storm. These kids now have a bad case of recency bias, which is the assumption that whatever happened most recently, is most likely to happen again.

RegentAtlantic then goes on to explain how a lot investors are experiencing this same kind of recency bias, with so much bad economic news in the not-so-distant past.  We’ll let you decide whether that’s the case, but point out that New Jersey’s communities - particularly those still recovering from Hurricane Sandy - have many long-term needs that will outlast one-time successes and setbacks. 

It’s why we’re here, really.  To help New Jerseyans support lasting solutions to our State’s critical or overlooked needs.

Here’s to a happy and safe Halloween!

Have You Heard about the MacArthur Fellows?

The 2013 MacArthur Fellows have been selected and we’re particularly proud of two New Jerseyans who made the list, Rutgers Professor Julie Livingston and Camden physician Jeffrey Brenner.  Click below to learn more about Jeffrey and his work in Camden.  Or click here to read about the Fellows in the Star-Ledger.

So what is the MacArthur Fellowship?  Well, it’s a program sponsored by the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation which supports creative people and effective institutions committed to building a more just, verdant, and peaceful world. Here’s how the describe the Fellowship:

The MacArthur Fellows Program awards unrestricted fellowships to talented individuals who have shown extraordinary originality and dedication in their creative pursuits and a marked capacity for self-direction. There are three criteria for selection of Fellows: exceptional creativity, promise for important future advances based on a track record of significant accomplishment, and potential for the fellowship to facilitate subsequent creative work.

NJ Classrooms Need Your Help!

Looking for a direct way to help New Jersey’s school recover from Hurricane Sandy?  Check out the Community Foundation of New Jersey’s partnership with DonorsChoose.org.

The Community Foundation’s $100,000 grant to DonorsChoose.org will go directly to classrooms, and you can help match the grant.

Just go to this link to see a list of classrooms that could use the help.  You can give online right away. 

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Classroom needs that are part of the project include new books for a school library, a laminating machine to be shared by several grade levels, and student subscriptions to Scholastic News magazine, among many others. 

“This grant represents the kind of collaboration it will take to help our schools fully recover from Hurricane Sandy,” said Hans Dekker, president of the Community Foundation.  “We are pleased that our Sandy Relief Fund and its many donors are able to make sure classrooms impacted by the storm are once again safe and healthy learning environments.” 

The classroom projects are in schools primarily along New Jersey’s coast in communities devastated by Hurricane Sandy.

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Using Soap to Fight Human Trafficking

Who’d have thought soap would be one of the most effective tools in the fight against human trafficking?  Turns out, it really is. 

That’s why the Community Foundation of New Jersey is partnering with the NJ Coalition Against Human Trafficking to provide soap - on whose wrapper there is the national human trafficking hotline - to hotels and motels in the area of the 2014 Super Bowl. 

A similar project was implemented in New Orleans with great success.  Stay tuned as the Community Foundation announces its grant.  In the meantime, here is more information on the critical issue of human trafficking.

New Jersey Recovery Fund Makes Grants

Have you read the news about the grants from our New Jersey Recovery Fund?  Working with our friends at the Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation and other philanthropic partners, we recently distributed $3.8 million in grants to organizations in the areas of environment, media, and arts. 

Here’s an excerpt from the Star-Ledger’s coverage:

“The billions of dollars that will be spent on recovery offer a window of opportunity to protect our communities and state economy from future devastation – if we make smart decisions,” Community Foundation of New Jersey President Hans Dekker said in a statement posted on the foundation website. “The choices we make now about how these public and private funds are spent, and where we rebuild will directly determine how we weather the next storm.”

For the full story, click here.

Home Rule or Regional Planning?

NJ Spotlight recently tackled the tougher issues of rebuilding New Jersey in their aptly-titled, “Post-Sandy Recovery: Balancing Regional Planning and Home Rule.”  We encourage you to read it by clicking here.

Here’s an excerpt from the piece that captures local tensions about rebuilding:

Over the past 50 years, Lynch says he’s heard the growing calls by environmentalists for people and development to move away from the most vulnerable areas of the coast, places like Seaside Heights, Mantoloking and Ortley Beach. Those calls have intensified in the aftermath of Sandy. But Lynch sees them as premature. “I think it’s too early to retreat. It’s too early to bail out,” he says. “I’m not sure whether anybody could even figure out an economic solution to retreating at this point. There’s a lot of property value out there, and you can’t just tell people they can’t use their property. You can’t deny building permits unless you compensate. I don’t think pragmatically that there’s a way to do a strategic retreat.”

But it isn’t simply a question of retreat or restore. What decisions are made and where they are made are among the thorniest issues facing planners looking to reinvent the shore. New Jersey has a strong tradition of “home rule,” in which communities decide key issues for themselves. It may help explain why the concept of shared services never really caught on.

But thinking locally can be particularly problematic post-Sandy, since one town’s plan of action may not jibe with a neighbor’s. One of the most notable examples of this is Hoboken’s plan to build a seawall to redirect storm surge. Unfortunately, the redirected water may flood nearby towns.

What’s more, weather patterns are regional rather than local, as several planners point out. But what it will take to move local New Jersey officials to take a broader — or more holistic — view of the Sandy scarred beaches and boardwalks is still an open question.