On June 15, 235 participants and supporters gathered at The Embassy Suites Grand Ballroom in Berkeley Heights to celebrate the 20th Anniversary of the Achievers.  The 2017-18 Achievers program was a collaboration between the Westfield Area YMCA, Fanwood-Scotch Plains YMCA and Plainfield YMCA.  The program’s goal is to raise the academic standards of minority youth, exposing students to diverse career options and inspiring them to reach their goals.

At the Gala, 2018 Achiever high school graduates, alumni Achievers scholarship recipients, mentors and the new Achievers steering committee were recognized.  The Connell Company presented a very generous $25,000 check for college scholarships for graduating high school seniors and Achievers alumni already attending college.  Union County freeholders and Assemblywoman Linda S. Carter presented a proclamation.

This year’s milestone event featured keynote speaker Tia Norfleet, the world’s first female African-American NASCAR driver; guest artist John Stanisci, a Marvel/DC Comic illustrator; mentoring speaker Stephen Powell, Chief Program Officer of the National CARES Mentoring Movement; leadership speaker Luke Wright, who takes his experience as a Marine Officer and empower and develops youth.  Proceeds of the event support the Achievers Program.

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For information on the Achievers Program, visit westfieldynj.org or contact Janice A. Carthens at jcarthens@westfieldynj.org or 908-301-9622 x227.

The Y is the nation’s leading nonprofit committed to strengthening communities through youth development, healthy living and social responsibility. Visit www.westfieldynj.org to learn more about Westfield Area YMCA programs.  Financial assistance is available for those who qualify.