Keeping Our Streets Clean

NJHI 2017: Next Generation Community Leaders Next Gen Leaders
From left to right, Bridgeton Next Generation Community Leaders Erick, Stephanie, and Joanna.

The Next Generation Community Leaders (NGCL) program has helped me develop my leadership skills. Our NGCL team attended a Bridgeton City Council Meeting and spoke to our Mayor, Albert B. Kelly. I was pretty nervous before I spoke before the council, but our team leader, Josue Ruiz, helped me through it. We went to the council meeting to ask permission for our three-mile sanitation project, and successfully received the councilmembers’ support. They provided us with gloves, trash bags, and other cleaning supplies. The day of the project, as we worked from Cohansey Street to Irving Avenue, then to Inspira Health Center Bridgeton, the Cumberland County Sheriff’s Office, and back to the Gateway Main Office, I was surprised to see the mayor there. He was not afraid of getting his hands dirty. He showed he wants to make Bridgeton a better place, and seeing this made me respect him and want to help my community more.

From left to right, Bridgeton Next Generation Community Leader Alezea, Mayor Albert B. Kelly, and Next Generation Community Leader Tra’mir.

I always look forward to coming to the Next Gen program meetings. I see the program as a home away from home. At first, I was afraid of public speaking. Slowly but surely, my skills are improving, thanks to the love and guidance I receive from our coaches.

Bridgeton is an incredible place that just needs love and help like any other city. Bridgeton just needs a great team to help it succeed–like ours.

Connect with the Bridgeton Next Generation Community Leaders team and follow their progress on Facebook. Track all of the Next Generation Community Leaders teams through the hashtag #NJLeaders2030.

The Grantee Blog publishes a different NJHI-supported community’s update every week. Bookmark this site to stay up-to-date and share in the work of building healthier communities across New Jersey.
Erick Ojeda
Gateway CAP