Leaders Making Change in a New Normal

NJHI 2017: Next Generation Community Leaders Emerging Leaders for a Healthier Community

As the world responds to the COVID-19 crisis, the Emerging Leaders of Perth Amboy responded to our community’s needs with a focus on food insecurity, city beautification, and carbon monoxide safety. To stay safe, the Emerging Leaders executed their initiatives remotely and limited their contact with the public. However, just because they were primarily remote does not mean that they did not make an impact within our community! The Emerging Leaders of Perth Amboy overcame these obstacles thanks to social media, where they promoted their initiatives.

The Emerging Leaders’ Planters initiative allowed them to grow produce from home, such as basil, bell peppers, and cilantro. The plants, not just the produce, were distributed to Perth Amboy families in need. To ensure recipients understand how to maintain their plants, the team provided a brochure translated in both English and Spanish, that outlined plant care tips and provided some suggested recipes. The Emerging Leaders also helped a local food pantry named Mercy House, where they packed food bags for families in need. The first group to work at Mercy House packed 52 grocery bags! In addition, the Emerging Leaders made and placed wellness rocks around the City of Perth Amboy. These wellness rocks featured uplifting quotes and provided information to both national and local services such as the National Suicide Prevention Hotline and a local taxi phone number. Whether you are a resident or a visitor, we  encourage you to take a rock if you find one! Along with these efforts, the Emerging Leaders created TikTok videos highlighting the dangers of carbon monoxide and where to get free carbon monoxide detectors within the City of Perth Amboy.

The Perth Amboy Emerging Leaders created TikTok videos to promote all of their initiatives addressing food insecurity, community beautification, and carbon monoxide awareness. As of August 2020, we have a combined total of 2,042 views on TikTok! Along with TikTok, the Emerging Leaders also used Instagram as another outlet to reach an even larger audience and have a combined total of 829 views! Thanks to the City of Perth Amboy, the Emerging Leaders were able to extend their summer employment until the end of August. We are truly grateful to the City of Perth Amboy and look forward to reflecting on the impact we’ve made within our hometown!

To see the Emerging Leaders’ summer initiatives, follow us on TikTok and Instagram!

Janelle Sonsiadek
Jewish Renaissance Foundation