Giving Back

Press Releases

Nathan Weiss Graduate College May 2016 Grad Leaves Legacy of Leadership and Service

Joseph Lentini working on the Memory Garden at Kean University Credits: Be the Change

Nathan Weiss Graduate College May 2016 Grad Leaves Legacy of Leadership and Service 

Joseph Lentini of Union demonstrates local and global activism.

Sign Up for E-News


As Nathan Weiss Graduate College student Joseph Lentini receives his Master of Arts in exercise science degree this month, he is reflecting on his time at Kean University and the opportunity it gave him to not only study and learn, but also to lead and serve. With activism experience and dedication, Lentini’s horizon is open for life after college.

Lentini leaves Kean with a bachelor’s degree in athletic training, his soon­to­be­awarded master’s degree in exercise science, and years of experience with Be the Change, a community service group. He joined the group in 2012 while still an undergraduate, but became very involved after becoming the graduate assistant for Professor Norma Bowe, who advises the group.

“Through his passion for helping others in need at Kean and all over the world, Joey is an excellent example of how Kean students are leaders in our society,” said Bowe.

Through Be the Change, Lentini had the opportunity to attend Clinton Global Initiatives University (CGI U) two years in a row. CGI U hosts a meeting where thought leaders come together to discuss and develop innovative solutions to pressing global challenges. In 2015, Lentini and Be the Change exhibited their “Vertical Gardens Peace Project,” a peace garden for the women and children of Kosovo affected by war. In 2016, Lentini and Be the Change returned to CGI U to expand on their vertical gardens idea, seeking support for a portable vertical garden that uses recyclable water to be shipped to Syrian refugees in Greece. The new design system will be able to grow food anywhere in the world while addressing the issues of food insecurity and social justices.

Working with Be the Change, Lentini made an impact in Newark by transforming empty lots into urban gardens. He also planted gardens at the Bonnie Brae schools in New Brunswick, Bound Brook and Bridgewater to create therapeutic recreation for boys in crisis. In his spare time, he delivered peanut butter and jelly sandwiches to the homeless at Penn Station.

“I made a great decision to come to Kean University in the first place,” said Lentini. “This school helped me grow into a leader and effect change around the world while developing great relationships with the people around me.”

Lentini is unclear on where he will end up after commencement, but hopes to be placed somewhere he is passionate about.

TAP Into Another Town's News:

Sign Up for E-News

Union

The Week Ahead in Union

April 24, 2017

UNION, NJ – Happenings in Union this week:

Monday, 4/24

•Career Connections Mobile Lab, 11:00 a.m., Union Public Library

•Lego Club, 3:30 p.m., Union Public Library

•Hilton Readers Book Discussion Group: "Me Before You" by JoJo Moyes, 6:00 p.m., Vauxhall Public Library

•Panel Discussion on Child Abuse Awareness and Prevention, 6:30 p.m., Town ...

Upcoming Events

Carousel_image_166512b3e15564efdefa_932f2cc58060e08b4c96_dd83a2bf9dee9c509762_baa435a4f6de3995d59a_lego

Mon, April 24, 3:30 PM

Union Public Library, Union

Lego Club

Carousel_image_78685b2a164c3792ff9b_union_public_library

Mon, April 24, 5:00 PM

Union Public Library, Union

Career Connections Mobile Lab

Carousel_image_54c91e4423e73be2f407_mini_magick20170404-6228-rwexhf

Mon, April 24, 6:00 PM

Vauxhall Public Library, union

Hilton Readers Book Discussion Group: "Me Before ...

Obituary: James J. Kielwasser

April 20, 2017

UNION, NJ - James J. Kielwasser II, 43, of Bridgewater passed away on Tuesday, April 18.

The funeral Mass will be at St. Michael's Church, 1212 Kelly Street (corner of Vauxhall Road), Union, on Monday April 24, at 10:15 a.m.  Cremation will be held privately.  Visitation will be on Sunday from 2:00-6:00 p.m. at Galante Funeral Home, 2800 Morris Avenue.

Born in ...

Rumors of Poisoned Animals Spread After Two Dead Deer Were Found in Kenilworth

April 24, 2017

KENILWORTH, NJ- Rumors of poisoned animals are spreading after a post in the Union County Lost Pets Facebook Group showed a photo of two dead deer on a Kenilworth street. The resident who posted the photo also claimed that there was a dead cat in the same area.

According to comments on the Facebook page, the animals were found on Michigan Avenue and the deer show no major signs of ...

Debate Over Bike Trails in Watchung Reservation Continue at Union County Freeholders Meeting

ELIZABETH, NJ — Debate about the possible addition of trails for mountain biking in Watchung Reservation continued at Thursday night’s Union County Freeholders meeting. The county had asked for input regarding the trails in February, which sparked an outpouring of people into the subsequent board meetings.

A resolution regarding mountain biking had appeared on the agenda for ...

More Than 1,000 Expected to Participate in Greta’s Run in Westfield Sunday

WESTFIELD, NJ — Greta’s Run, a 5K run, walk, roll and fundraiser for people of all abilities organized in memory of Greta Schoenemann takes place this Sunday at Roosevelt Intermediate School.

Online registration ends Friday at 11:59 p.m. The entry fee is $30.

Greta was Westfield High School freshman in 2002 when she died from injuries after a large tree branch fell on her ...

April is National Donate Life Month

April 23, 2017

UNION COUNTY, NJ - Union County Freeholders Christopher Hudak and Angel G. Estrada presented a resolution to Michele Dabal, Sue Quiroga and Elizabeth Stamler of NJ Sharing Network recognizing April as National Donate Life Month in Union County.

NJ Sharing Network, based in New Providence, is the non-profit organization responsible for the recovery and placement of donated organs and tissue for ...

Columns

Mrs. Sherlock Holmes by Brad Ricca

Mrs. Sherlock Holmes by Brad Ricca (St. Martin's Press, 2016)

At the turn of the 20th century, the thrilling, fictional detective, Sherlock Holmes, penned by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, had captured the imaginations of both British and American readers. In those days, when sleuthing as a career was a relatively new venture, the idea of a woman detective was preposterous.

Grace Humiston, who ...

Tragedy on the Tracks East of Millburn Train Station

April 13, 2017

MILLBURN, NJ - The nightly calm was shattered Tuesday evening as a New Jersey Transit train collided with an individual on the tracks just east of the Millburn Train Station at Wyoming Avenue. 

At approximately 10:22 p.m., train 6676 on the Morris-Essex line operating as a Midtown Direct traveling from Dover to New York Penn Station hit a trespasser on the tracks, a representative ...

Letters to the Editor

Election Sloganeering

April 23, 2017

November seems like a long way off, but is it possible to at least hear more substantive ideas instead of recycling campaign rhetoric? Presenting a litany of a city's or state's problems (and virtues) without offering any real solutions, improvements or original ideas is somewhat embarrassing. "Keep our schools great." What does that mean?

"We need to keep taxes ...