Jill Dispenza, Program Director for The Westfield Area Youth Volunteer Experience (WAYVE) Program today announced that applications are now being accepted for the 2020 WAYVE Teen Foundation Board.   According to Dispenza, “The WAYVE Teen Foundation Program seeks to educate teens on the vital roles that non- profit agencies play in improving the lives of the residents of Union County, by walking the teens, step- by-step, through the entire grant review process.”

The WAYVE Program is made possible through a generous grant from the Westfield Foundation and is coordinated by Jewish Family Service of Central NJ (JFSCNJ), a non-profit, non-sectarian health and social service agency serving all residents of Union County, NJ.

The prospective WAYVE Teen Foundation Program applicants are expected to fill out an application expressing their interest in applying to the program, and make a one-time donation of $300 each to serve on the board. Limited scholarships will be available. These donations will be used to partially fund the grants.  

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Robert Gorelick, Board President of The Westfield Foundation, expressed the need “to educate teens on the importance of giving back to the community where you live”. Tom Beck, JFSCNJ Executive Director, echoed the need to “give teens a better understanding of the gamut of non-profit agencies in the area and help donate the funds they require to fulfill their missions.”

The WAYVE Teen Foundation Program will be open to high school students in their freshman through junior year who reside in Westfield or the neighboring areas. Once accepted to the Board, the participants are expected to attend all meetings beginning on March 23 and continuing on April 27, May 4, 11 and ending with the announcement and celebration of grant recipients on May 18. There will also be a group volunteer morning at the JFSCNJ garden in Elizabeth on April 26th. All meetings will take place at The Westfield YMCA located at 220 Clark Street at 7 p.m.

The WAYVE Teen Foundation Board will be mentored by Elie Bodner, Director of Community Engagement Jewish Family Service of Central NJ and Robert Gorelick, President of the Westfield Foundation. These seasoned mentors will provide teens with the necessary tools needed to review the proposals to address the needs of Union County residents.

Anyone who is interested in applying to the program should email WAYVE@jfscnetralnj.org or fill out the online form at https://jfscentralnj.wufoo.com/forms/m14sp80p15n94tg/. Teens are encouraged to visit the WAYVE Facebook and Instagram page and search the hashtag #ridethewayve to learn more about volunteer opportunities.