NEWARK, NJ. — The Newark Charter School Fund joined Link Community Charter School this morning to celebrate Link’s 50th first day of school. 

 More than 300 students, educators, and elected officials enjoyed breakfast and participated in a “Morning Circle,” Link’s trademark event in which Head of School Maria Paradiso discussed the school’s history and its vision for the future.

 “Link has generated strong student outcomes for 50 years,” said Michele Mason, the executive director of Newark Charter School Fund, an organization that helps grow the number of charter schools in the city. “Newark Charter School Fund is thrilled to celebrate this milestone with Link Community Charter School.”

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Link was founded after the civil unrest in Newark in 1967  by the Sisters of St. Dominic in Caldwell, who wanted to contribute to the healing of the city by offering a “safe haven” for the under-served youth in the city. 

They developed a nurturing and academically stimulating educational center that would prepare students for life. The school opened in 1969 as a  private Catholic school before converting to a charter school in 2014.

More than 3,000 students have attended the school since its founding. Graduates in the class of 2019 were awarded over $6.5 million in scholarships and financial aid, the largest awarded in the school’s 50-year history.  Students have gone to schools like 

The graduates received acceptance into, and scholarships to attend, prestigious boarding schools in the mid-Atlantic and northeastern U.S., including St. Mark’s School, George School, Purnell School, St. Paul’s School, Stoneleigh-Burnham School, and The Darrow School.

Students were accepted into and received scholarships and financial aid from private day schools in New Jersey, including Montclair-Kimberly Academy, Newark Academy, Kent Place School, Morristown Beard School, The Hudson School, Seton Hall Prep, St. Vincent Academy, St. Benedict's Prep, Marist, and Immaculate Conception.