New Jersey Health Initiatives - A Better State of Health
A Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Program
Preparing the next generation of civic and community leaders to build healthier communities
New Jersey Community Development Corporation
Preparing the next generation of civic and community leaders to build healthier communities
New Jersey Community Development Corporation
Grant Award Amount

New Jersey Community Development Corporation (NJCDC) is leading this three-year project, in which a total of 30 youth from Paterson, ages 14-21, are receiving guidance from trained community-based coaches, to better understand topics around population health, develop leadership skills, and implement self-designed projects to make their communities healthier. By the end of this project, the youth participants will have the skills, knowledge, and confidence to work with municipal governments, cross-sector coalitions focused on health, school boards, and other organizations to build healthier and more vibrant communities. The youth will also participate in a statewide alumni network to stay connected to their peers as they continue on their leadership paths and move into the next phases of their lives. To advance this work in Paterson, NJCDC is partnering with the Passaic County Health Coalition, the NJHI-funded Passaic County Food Policy Council, the City of Paterson, the YMCA, Paterson Public Schools and others to engage youth representing a cross-section of the community to make a long-term impact on Paterson. These Paterson youth represent one of 10 New Jersey communities supported by the NJHI: Next Generation Community Leaders initiative.

In the first grant year, a team of Paterson youth worked to implement crime prevention through environmental design strategies and in Summer 2018, revitalized Costello Park and surrounding areas. A new youth team is now working to develop another meaningful community health initiative and implement it in the summer of 2019. Follow the alumni and the newest team’s progress on Instagram, plus

  • See an overview of all of the Next Generation Community Leaders teams’ summer projects here.
  • Get a statewide view of this work, and connect with the nearest team at #NJLeaders2030.
Grant Recipient

Denise Banaag
Project Director
(862) 221-2014

Counties Served

Follow the latest news coverage regarding NJHI: Next Generation Community Leaders:

YouthCares Program Heads to Camden and Philadelphia
NJCDC blog. (2018, July 30). (2017, August 7).
NJ Spotlight
. (2017, July 12).
SNJ Today. (2017, July 12).


View All: NJHI 2017: Next Generation Community Leaders