A’Dorian Murray-Thomas of Newark lost her father to gun violence at the age of seven. Growing up, she had a strong support system that helped her navigate through life after an immense loss.  She later learned that a significant number of adults experienced some form of trauma in their early lives, referred to as A.C.E. or Adverse Childhood Experiences. Determined to “pay it forward,” she founded SHE Wins! -- a leadership and social action organization that provides a support network for young women from Newark who’ve been exposed to violence.

SHE Wins! has touched the lives of more than 500 young women, providing social and emotional learning with college and career readiness to empower the next generation of women leaders from the Brick City. 

Nominate an Unsung New Jersey Hero like A’Dorian Murray-Thomas for the 2020 Russ Berrie Making a Difference Award.  Up to 10 people will be selected for awards ranging from $7,500 up to $50,000.  Learn more and nominate online at https://www.ramapo.edu/berrie-awards/.   Deadline is February 21.