Education

Senior at NPHS Tutors Syrian Refugee Families and Learns a Life Lesson

be44a8e23f657117fa4c_nphsarticle.jpg
Shaden Awad tutors Syrian families on the weekends, helping both the children and their parents learn English and adapt to American society. 
be44a8e23f657117fa4c_nphsarticle.jpg

NEW PROVIDENCE, NJ - Shaden Awad, a rising senior at New Providence High School, was reading about Syrian refugee families who had fled the horrors in their homeland and were settling in Elizabeth, New Jersey and knew she had to get involved. “I read about the war in the news and tried to comprehend the horrors that many individuals, who before the war were just like you and me, were forced to suffer for absolutely no reason,” said Awad.

One day Awad read an article about ten Syrian refugee families that were living in Elizabeth and instantly decided she had to do something about it. She began to network and finally met with people from the International Rescue Committee. The IRC offers emergency aid and long-term assistance to those displaced by war or persecution. “I was able to prove that I was a valuable asset to helping these families settle in America,” said Awad. She emphasized that she is proficient in Arabic and would be able to help bridge the language barrier.

As soon as she was able to help the families, she understood the many struggles they were facing, “the reverse language barrier we faced, the post-traumatic stress disorder from watching their livelihoods destroyed and the four years of education missed as they were forced to flee their countries, and they were supposed to be the lucky ones,” said Awad. She tutors the families on the weekends, helping both the children and their parents learn English and adapt to American society. She also is helping run a Girl Scout troop for some of the young girls “to help them learn the importance of giving back to society,“ she added.  

Sign Up for E-News

In addition to tutoring, Awad learned from the IRC how to lobby for families' rights with regard to school accommodations.  As they are living in a district with little funding, and since many of the parents have limited English, they are unable to effectively advocate for their children. 

In giving to these families, Awad learned the age-old axiom of receiving, “Throughout this entire journey, I’ve genuinely realized that I need these families more than they need me. The lessons on courage, compassion, and love I have learned from these families has changed my life, and for that I am eternally grateful.” 

TAP Into Another Town's News:

Sign Up for E-News

New Providence

WFP Tax Partners Walks You Through 4 Step Tax Return Process

February 22, 2018

Over 80% of Tax Returns Have Errors or Missed Deductions. You're Probably Paying More Than Your Fair Share in Taxes

BASKING RIDGE, NJ - Tax returns certainly give a clear picture of the past year, but WFP Tax Partners believes it's wise to strategize for the current year to have a plan for moving forward. 

At your tax appointment, they ...

Reminder: Free Wellness Program for Union County Military Women

All Union County women with military service – veterans, active duty and reserve – are invited to join “Boots 2 Heels,” a free event designed to foster wellness and connect women with resources and guidance for empowerment. Boots 2 Heels will be held on Saturday, February 24 at the Westfield Armory, located at 500 Rahway Avenue in Westfield.

The event is free but ...

CSA's 5th Annual Pasta Dinner Fundraiser Set for Sunday

Is everyone ready to come together as a community and break bread to support the CSA? It's time for The Community Service Association of New Providence's 5th Annual Pasta & Meatball Dinner! This fun, family-friendly event will take place on Sunday, Feb. 25, at the DeCorso Community Center, 15 East Fourth Street, New Providence. Pasta, meatballs, and dessert will be served from 3-7 ...

Caregiver Conference Sunday, Feb. 25, Focuses on Caregiver's Needs

 

Jewish Family Service of Central NJ, (JFSCNJ) a non-sectarian health and social service agency, will be hosting a Caregiver Conference called, “Caring for a Loved One While Being Mindful of Your Own Needs,” from 10 a.m. to noon, Sunday, Feb. 25, at the Jewish Family Service of Central NJ, Halpern Building, 655 Westfield Ave. Elizabeth.  

 The Conference, ...

'RAD Kids' Program Continues to Grow; Fundraiser Set for Feb. 24 in Summit

MAPLEWOOD, NJ - Begun two years ago by just a few families whose parents were seeking a safe space for their children to play and, according to group organizers, "meet other kids like them," 'RAD Kids' -- as the group is now known -- has become a safe space for gender-fluid children in North Jersey. 

“We’re now serving ...

Union County Magnet High School to Hold Silent Auction

A great night out with family and friends for just $10.  And we provide dessert and coffee/tea.

Please come to the Magnet High School PSA Silent Auction on Friday, Feb. 23, 6:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. at Union County Vocational Technical School in Scotch Plains (West Hall Cafeteria). 

Tickets are only $10. You can then bid on over $12,000 worth of ...

Colleen Mahr Has Paid Her Dues, Earned Peoples’ Trust, and Left a Track Record of Success

February 20, 2018

Dear Editor:

As a 26-year-old Scotch Plains resident who cares more about the well-being of our town than about local politics, I am extremely disappointed that the Scotch Plains Democratic Committee leadership has decided to abandon Colleen Mahr in her run for Chair of the Union County Democratic Committee.

Mahr, who as Mayor of Fanwood for 15 years has worked closely with Scotch Plains ...

We Need More Women Like Colleen Mahr in Municipal, County and State Government

Dear Editor:

I’m proud to support Colleen Mahr for Chair of the Union County Democratic Committee  (UCDC) and am encouraging my Scotch Plains peers to join me.

I was a first time candidate wanting to make a difference in my hometown of Scotch Plains, when Mayor Mahr of neighboring Fanwood stepped in to help me campaign and win my election to be Councilwoman three years ago.

Local Advisor Celebrates the 20th Anniversary of the Roth IRA

February 23, 2018

BASKING RIDGE, NJ - 2018 marks the 20th anniversary of the Roth IRA. First made available to American investors in 1998, a Roth IRA is an individual retirement account that is funded with after-tax dollars and provides tax-free growth and income for retirement.

In honor of this significant milestone, Walter Pardo, CEO/Certified Wealth Strategist at Wealth ...

Chatham Borough Police Chief Crosson has Retired; Captain Gibbons is Acting Commander

February 12, 2018

CHATHAM, NJ - Phil Crosson Jr., who has been a member of the Chatham Borough Police Department since 1992, retired from his position as the police chief on Feb. 1.

"It came on pretty quickly," Crosson said when reached by phone on Sunday. "I was on vacation for six weeks and I bought a business. I came back for one day and retired."

According to Crosson, ...

‘Reefer Madness’ Comes to Chatham Borough Council; Cannabis Advocates Make Pitch for Chatham Marijuana Shop

February 14, 2018

CHATHAM, NJ - A group of pro-cannabis activists came to the Borough of Chatham Council meeting on Monday night and used the public commentary portion of the meeting to ask the council to support a marijuana dispensary in town.

The advocates, who say they have attended more than 80 town meetings to inform about the benefits of medical cannabis, mentioned the 1936 movie "Reefer ...

Upcoming Events

Fri, February 23

Scherman Hoffman Wildlife Sanctuary, Bernardsville

NJ Audubon: Volunteer Art Show!

Arts & Entertainment Green

Carousel_image_7f6c107703df2d416aa6_barre_intesity

Fri, February 23, 8:00 AM

Providence Health and Fitness, New Providence

Barre Intensity with Kathy

Health & Wellness

Carousel_image_4ca4b046b48f94f03540_unnamed_4

Fri, February 23, 9:15 AM

Providence Health and Fitness, New Providence

VInyasa Flow with Lauren

Health & Wellness

Carousel_image_a4801a3d56342db1596a_pilates_reformer

Fri, February 23, 10:30 AM

Providence Health and Fitness, New Providence

Pilates Reformer with Kathy

Health & Wellness

Carousel_image_7f6c107703df2d416aa6_barre_intesity

Fri, February 23, 12:00 PM

Providence Health and Fitness, New Providence

Barre Intensity with Kathy

Health & Wellness

Carousel_image_b59229b3972266545812_magnet_fundraising_auction_2018_flyer_0219

Fri, February 23, 6:30 PM

Union County Vocational Technical Schools, West Hall Cafeteria, Scotch Plains

Union County Magnet High School Silent Auction

Arts & Entertainment Food & Drink

I've Always Wanted to be a Doctor...Or an English Teacher

Think about the impossibility of the task we lay in front of high school students.  In addition to getting good grades, filling up a resume, finding the right colleges and writing countless admissions essays they also need to decide on their life’s passion at 17 years old...or do they?

As a college admissions representative the first question most students would ask me was whether ...