Arcelio Aponte, the senior vice chancellor for Administration, Economic Development and Chief Financial Officer at Rutgers University-Newark, has been appointed board president of La Casa de Don Pedro.
The appointment was announced at the organization's Burgers & Brew benefit at McLoone’s Boathouse in West Orange on Thursday, September 20. He replaces Richard Roper
Aponte has a long history in Newark, growing up in the Ironbound neighborhood and graduating from East Side High School. As Director of Operations and Management for Economic & Housing Development in the City of Newark, Mr. Aponte led the city’s programs in workforce, economic development, housing, and ex-offender re-entry programs.
Aponte also designed and launched the Newark College Freshman Initiative, a program to help first-generation young adults transition into college, and guide them through this often new and difficult experience, which can be especially challenging for immigrant families.
Aponte was one of the early partners of Newark’s City of Learning Collaborative, with its goal that by 2025, 25 percent of Newark’s population has a college education.
When Rutgers-Newark’s Chancellor Nancy Cantor hired Aponte to be her Vice Provost, he helped make her vision to provide free tuition to low-income Newark residents a reality. And, in his current capacity, Aponte was instrumental in opening up the Barnes & Noble college bookstore and Tech Bar in Newark’s newly renovated Hahne’s Building.
Aponte also worked closely to align resources to create the Rutgers Honors Living & Learning Community. Aponte also serves as President of the NJ State Board of Education, is a board member of the Newark Regional Business Partnership, the Newark Downtown District, and the Salvation Army Advisory.
He and his wife, Susan, are proud parents of two children, Arcelio and Elissa.
The Burgers & Brew event benefited La Casa de Don Pedro, a Newark-based comprehensive, social service and community development organization founded 46 years ago that empowers people and revitalizes neighborhoods, every step of the way.
Portraits and testimonials around the venue showcased beneficiaries of La Casa de Don Pedro’s programs.
“La Casa is there for my family in so many ways. They give my kids a safe environment to come to when they get out of school each day," said Francia Casado, a parent of child who partipates in La Casa's after school enrichment program. "My family is all in Santo Domingo; La Casa is our new family. My kids have friends that would be like cousins and teachers and staff who are like aunts and uncles. I am so grateful for everything La Casa does for me and my family.”