New Jersey Health Initiatives - A Better State of Health
A Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Program
Rising Leaders of Perth Amboy

In November 2019, the Emerging Leaders for a Healthier Community in Perth Amboy officially inducted its third cohort of young leaders. Although the evening was brisk and chilly, the atmosphere inside the Brighton Avenue Teen Center was warm and lively.  

The Emerging Leaders – Perth Amboy team is extremely excited about this new cohort of leaders. All of the leaders came together for the first time in our October meeting and we observed one important quality the group has: perseverance. During a teambuilding activity called the Human Knot, the group linked arms and was given 20 minutes to untangle themselves. Although they were still coiled in a knot after 20 minutes, they did not give up and wanted to keep going. This showed us that no matter how difficult a task can be, the leaders will persevere and accomplish whatever action plan they choose to create.

Our 14 newly inducted leaders received encouraging words from our Program Coordinator, Cecilia Gonzalez, our two AmeriCorps Coaches, Kaelin Conover and Janelle Sonsiadek, the Emerging Leaders Peer Mentors, Steven Bacuilima and Charlize Leon, and our CEO, Alexandra Mansonet-Cross. Although each speaker had their own personal flare, the main message that resonated with the leaders was that they are extraordinary young people who are dedicated to improving health within our community. The evening concluded with light refreshments and dancing. 

Over the course of their experience, our leaders will be put to the task to promote positive health changes in the Perth Amboy community, all while developing leadership and teambuilding skills. We are looking forward to our future meetings and activities, including our Winter Day Retreat.

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Project
Author
Kaelin Conover
Organization
Jewish Renaissance Foundation