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WAYVE Teen Philanthropy Board Announces $5,900 in Grant Awards to Union County Organizations

WAYVE Teen Philanthropy Board Members awarded $5,900 in grants to seven (7) Union County Organization in an awards ceremony that took place Monday evening, May 21, 2018, at the Westfield Area Y. Credits: Courtesy of WAYVE


WAYVE Teen Philanthropy Board chairs Ava Feldman and Aidan Maher announced $5,900 in grant awards to seven (7) Union County organizations at an awards ceremony that took place Monday evening, May 21, 2018 at The Westfield Area YMCA.  Grants were awarded to the following Union County organizations: Caring Contact; CASA of Union County; Community Coordinated Child Care of Union County; Elizabeth Coalition to House the Homeless – Operation Warm Heart; Family and Children’s Services, Inc.; HOPES Community Action Partnership-Plainfield College Readiness Program; and The Westfield Neighborhood Council.

All seven agencies attended the reception where the teen board presented grant awards to each agency.  Teen board members shared grant proposal qualities that touched them and why they thought it merited funding.

The Westfield Area Youth Volunteer Experience, (WAYVE) is made possible through a generous grant from the Westfield Foundation and is coordinated by Jewish Family Service of Central NJ (JFSCNJ), a non-profit, non-sectarian health and social service agency, that serves all residents of Union County, NJ.

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Members of the WAYVE Teen Philanthropy Board are: Thomas Brennan, Matthew Dispenza, Mackenzie Dulski, Ava Feldman, Roselyne Garabete, Nathaniel Fountain Jardim, Jesse Katz, Aidan Maher, Dominic Maurillo, Sloane Silverman, Rachel Simpson, Marianne Smith and Ryan Smith.  

WAYVE Teen Philanthropy Board Co-Chair Ava Feldman stated that it is her “Hope to inspire other teens to volunteer.” Co-Chair Aidan Maher said, “I have learned a great deal from being able to experience the business side of philanthropy while allocating funds to groups who directly help the underprivileged in Union county.”

All members of the WAYVE Teen Philanthropy Board have expressed an interest in community service and have all volunteered for a wide range of Union County based charities, social service organizations, synagogues and churches.  Mackenzie Dulski, Teen Board member, stated, “This was a unique and rewarding experience.  We learned so much about the responsibilities that come with being a board member.”

Amy Kover, Vice President of The Westfield Neighborhood Council added, “Adults and kids working together to build our community, it doesn’t get any better than that.”  

Tom Beck, Executive Director of Jewish Family Service of Central New Jersey spoke at the reception saying, ”I am very impressed with the hard work of this board and it’s grant award choices.  The agencies chosen by this board are lifting up our community.”

WAYVE Program Directors Jill Dispenza and Vicki Simpson closed the evening with a thank you to all who attended and announced that the 2019 WAYVE Teen Foundation Board will welcome 15 high school sophomores and juniors.  Applications for the 2019 board will be accepted in late summer.  If you are interested in being a board member or any other WAYVE volunteer opportunities, please email us at

The grants were for one-time, short-term projects that will improve the lives of Union County residents.  The focus areas were: technology/equipment, and social service and advocacy for impoverished and/or vulnerable populations.  Proposals demonstrated how the program will promote the health and social well-being of the Agency’s constituents.  Applicant agencies were all non-profit organization with proof of 501 © 3 tax-exempt status, have strong board involvement and demonstrate responsible financial stewardship.


In the photo above the article are: WAYVE Teen Philanthropy Board Members: Thomas Brennan, Matthew Dispenza, Mackenzie Dulski, Ava Feldman, Roselyne Garabete, Nathaniel Fountain Jardim, Jesse Katz, Aiden Maher, Dominic Maurillo, Sloane Silverman, Rachel Simpson, Marianne Smith and Ryan Smith with Grant Awardees, Janet Sarkos, Caring Contact, Gretchen Boger-O’Bryan, CASA of Union County, Ellen Tepper, Family and Children’s Services, Josefina Lieberman, Plainfield College Readiness Program, Alisha Jenks, Community Coordinated Child Care of Union County, Ahisa Quallis, Westfield Neighborhood Council, Erica Rodriguez, Elizabeth Coalition to House the Homeless. Tom Beck, Executive Director Jewish Family Service of Central New Jersey, Jill Dispenza and Vicki Simpson, WAYVE Program Directors.

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