My name is Joy A. Young and I am running for the Berkeley Heights Board of Education because I believe in the value of giving back to my community. As a child of educators, I understand how important it is for schools to allow our students to develop relationships, increase knowledge, express themselves, investigate opportunities and be inquisitive in a safe and nurturing environment.

Moving to Berkeley Heights 13 years ago was a very deliberate decision for me and my husband. Over the years, I have been involved in various ways supporting my children’s groups and activities. As my children are older and currently students at Governor Livingston High School, I would like to deepen my involvement in the community to support the over 2,600 diverse students in our educational system who will one day become our future leaders. Further, I want to support the teachers and administrators that are essential to our children’s education and to address the concerns of the community at large.

Given today’s unprecedented times, I believe my professional experience as a workplace strategy lead for Johnson & Johnson can be of value to our community, particularly my role in creating a guide for managing our facilities in the COVID-19 pandemic. I will share this experience as well as my unique perspective as an African American parent to help make our district the best it can be. 

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Specifically, I will apply the following skills if elected to the Board of Education:

  • Workplace Strategy Experience - As a workplace strategy lead, I create environments that inspire, support health and well-being, enhance productivity, foster collaboration and create a sense of community. Through a collaborative effort, I work with different stakeholders to achieve our objectives. I will bring these skills to bear in supporting the efforts to improve our school district.
  • Change Management Certified Professional Skills - As a Prosci Change Management Certified professional I have facilitated change management for the benefit of thousands of individuals.  This deep experience will serve in my approach to prepare, equip, and support students, as well as parents, teachers, administrators, and the community at large as our district evolves in response to our ever-changing world and educational environment.
  • Volunteer Leadership Experience - For six years I served as a Berkeley Heights Girl Scout Troop Leader and my family has been actively involved in coaching and supporting athletic and academic programs in town. For the past seven years, I have also served as a Group Mother and Teen Advisor for Jack and Jill of America which is a “membership organization of mothers with children ages 2-19, dedicated to nurturing future African-American leaders by strengthening children through leadership development, volunteer service, philanthropic giving and civic duty.”
  • Inclusive Voice – Being an African American member of the community I bring a unique perspective and different personal experiences to the Board of Education. There are many diverse voices in the community, and I want to help these voices feel included.

If elected to serve on the Board, both myself and my running mate, Ramya Kasthuri, will work diligently to support the district’s understanding of our entire community so that all voices are considered. We will provide clear COMMUNICATION, focus on success in ACADEMICS for our children and make a CONNECTION with all members of the Berkeley Heights community. We know that school performance directly impacts the values of our homes and bolsters the community. When schools thrive, the community thrives.