The JCC of Central New Jersey’s Teen Action Service Corps (TASC) for high school students has added a new initiative to its experiential learning program that features 59 teenagers who come from six towns and seven different schools. The program incorporates intensive leadership symposiums, group volunteer experiences and social programming in a fun, year-long adventure and introduces teenagers to valuable skills. 

This year, TASC INSPIRE, which teaches teenagers how to apply their leadership skills in real life situations by making a philanthropic impact on their community, was incorporated into the program. In this first year of TASC INSPIRE, the teens chose to fundraise to help support new and innovative programming at the JCC.   

The teens fundraised over the course of several weeks, and the funds raised were matched with a generous donation from Stacie and Barry Friedman, long-time JCC members. Stacie currently serves on the JCC Board of Directors.  

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The teens then heard proposals from all the different departments within the JCC, and based on the teens' five core values: community, passion, acceptance, risk and responsibility, they allocated the funds to those JCC programs they felt best captured those values.  

The funds were divided among four different programs. 

  • Clips for Flicks, a film program which engages seniors is intended to spark lively conversation and, through old movies, provide a type of ‘reminiscence therapy’ proven to be effective for memory stimulation for senior adults. 
  • The Brody Family Early Learning Center, the JCC’s preschool, will receive money for their outdoor classroom which provides an open-air space for children to learn and discover which is core to the JCC’s Early Childhood philosophy. 
  • Year-round programming for teens with special needs. 
  • The celebration of Israel’s 70th birthday coming up in May 2018.

The JCC prides itself on being an inclusive community center which already has many special needs programming and accommodations in place; this will help ensure that it can continue to provide this great service.  

The teens are very proud of this first year’s accomplishment and hope to continue to leave a lasting legacy at the JCC as TASC INSPIRE continues and grows.

For more information on the Teen Action Service Corps (TASC) and how to participate, visit www.jccnj.org or contact Jordyn Barry, Teen Outreach and Engagement Director at jbarry@jccnj.org or 908-889-8800 x203.

About The JCC of Central New Jersey

The JCC of Central New Jersey is located at 1391 Martine Avenue in Scotch Plains. The JCC of Central New Jersey is a constituent agency of the Jewish Federation of Greater MetroWest NJ, United Way of Greater Union County and the Westfield United Fund. Financial assistance is available for membership and various programs.