The FirstEnergy Foundation provides contributions to local nonprofit organizations to help strengthen the social and economic fabric of our communities.  The FirstEnergy Foundation presented Center for Prevention & Counseling, located in Newton, NJ with a grant in the amount of $2000.00 to support the Coalition for Healthy and Safe Communities 18th annual Taking Flight to Change, Positive School Climate Summit. The Summit aligns with FirstEnergy Foundation’s focus to help improve the vitality of communities, promote local and regional economic development, advance an educated workforce by supporting STEM initiatives and support FirstEnergy employees’ community leadership and volunteer interests. The Center for Prevention & Counseling is appreciative and thankful for this grant opportunity as it helps provide needed resources and supplies to ensure this year’s Summit is a success.

The Summit is taking place on Friday, October 25th at Sparta High School. This year, the chosen theme is Kindness Matters ~ Always & In All Ways and will feature Kyle Scheele, an inspiring speaker and writer who has been working with youth ever since he was a teenager, along with Jared Campbell – a singer/songwriter who shares his motivational messages through song writing and music. Our amazing presenters will empower over 900 Sussex County middle school students with the confidence, motivation and skills to be a positive student leader and role model in making his or her school a safer, more enjoyable place for everyone.   

Since 2001, approximately 17,000 middle and high school youth have attended the annual summit. Each year a team of students from each middle school are joined by high school mentors as they work together to learn new skills, brainstorm ideas and create an action plan. These action plans will assist in improving their overall school climate. The mission of Taking Flight to Change is to assist schools to build and sustain social emotional character development initiatives, reduce bullying and its negative effects and to improve school climate.

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If you are interested in learning more about the Summit or volunteering for the day, please call Center for Prevention & Counseling at 973-383-4787 or email


Picture L-R: Tina Aue, Center for Prevention and Counseling, Jackie Espinoza, JCP&L and Becky Carlson, Center for Prevention and Counseling