Impact100 Essex awards $120,000 grant to Schools That Can Newark

Photo Courtesy of Impact100
The Impact100 Essex Steering Committee, in green, with Tiffany Jackson, manager of school programs; Executive Director Erin Sweeney; and Schools That Can Newark Advisory Board Chairwoman Stephanie Baker.

NEWARK, NJ — Impact100 Essex awarded a $120,000 grant to Schools That Can Newark, a nonprofit that reimagines education to provide real-world, hands-on, industry-specific STEM education and experience for high school students in Newark. Schools That Can was voted the awardee by the Impact100 Essex membership at their annual meeting after each of the four finalists for the grant presented a proposed project.

“This is a transformational grant for us, supporting our Career Skills Program, where we work with Newark high schools to expand high-quality, middle-skill career and technical education programs, preparing students for successful careers throughout our region,” Schools That Can Executive Director Erin Sweeney said. “Because of this grant, we will hire a Career Skills Manager to build out our program, from a one-school pilot to an expanded multischool model. We are thrilled!”

“It’s a great pleasure to award the second Impact100 Essex grant to Schools That Can,” said Helen Mazarakis, co-founder of Impact100 Essex, a collective giving organization that funds grants for transformational projects in Essex County. “Our members were moved by the opportunity to support Newark students in their dreams to thrive professionally. It’s important that Newark youth are well-positioned to succeed as the local economy grows.”

Schools That Can was a finalist with three other nonprofits that proposed projects, including The Community FoodBank of New Jersey’s project to distribute monthly menstrual supplies to low-income women and girls; Imagine: A Center for Coping with Loss’ project to support and foster resilience in children and families grieving a loss; and NJ Tree Foundation to fund tree planting in urban neighborhoods in Essex County.

“As heartwarming as it is to award this grant to Schools That Can, it’s also heartbreaking to see these other incredibly worthy projects go unfunded,” Impact100 Essex co-founder Margo Greenfield said. “All of these organizations presented compelling, impactful and well-designed projects for our membership to consider. We wish we could fund them all. Our goal is to increase our membership from 120 to over 200 in the weeks ahead so we can fund two grants in 2019. We invite more women from across the county to join us in supporting these transformational local programs.”

The grants are funded by $1,000 gifts from each Impact100 Essex member. Impact100 Essex is holding a members night out on Wednesday, Jan. 30, from 6 to 8 p.m. at Papillon 25, 25 Valley St. in South Orange, and welcomes prospective members. For more information about Impact100 Essex and to find out how you can join, visit