Link graduates 49th class of eighth-graders, announces record $6.9M in awards

NEWARK, NJ — Link Community Charter School announced that 70 eighth-graders graduated recently and are joining the more than 3,000 Link alumni from the school’s past 48 graduating classes. The Class of 2020 will attend Catholic and public magnet schools in and around Newark, as well as prestigious independent day and boarding schools in the area and as far away as California. Together, the graduates in the Class of 2020 have been awarded more than $6.9 million in academic scholarships and financial aid for competitive private high schools — the largest amount granted in the school’s history.

“The Class of 2020 is an exceptional class. Their commitment to education and their perseverance have been demonstrated throughout their four years at Link, but never more clearly than in the recent months when they were asked to pivot to remote learning while navigating the uncertainties of the times and the continuing incidents of racial injustice,” Head of School Maria Pilar Paradiso said. “They have shared their strength and confidence with us and will contribute greatly in their communities and our nation. We are gratified that independent schools value the preparation that Link students receive and the amazing talent they possess. The class earned a record amount in academic scholarships and financial aid to competitive and prestigious high schools for next fall, where they can build upon the outstanding foundation they acquired at Link. Link and the scholars’ families appreciate the generous support for our graduates in the next stage of their educational journey, continuing Link’s work to bridge the opportunity gap and ensure educational equity.”

The graduates received acceptance into, and scholarships to attend, boarding schools, including Cate School in California, Governor’s Academy in Massachusetts, St. Mary’s School in North Carolina, Worcester Academy in Massachusetts and more. In addition, students were accepted into and received scholarship and financial aid from private day schools in New Jersey, including Newark Academy, Kent Place School, Morristown Beard School, The Hudson School, Seton Hall Prep, St. Vincent Academy, St. Benedict’s Prep, Immaculate Conception and others.

For 50 years, Link Community Charter School has worked toward educational equity as it fights for racial and social justice. Link provides a middle school education for grades five through eight with the mission “to develop the mind, body and spirit through a strong curriculum, experiential learning, immersion in the arts and an enduring commitment to core values.” Link, which was founded by the Sisters of St. Dominic, in Caldwell, in 1969 and converted to a public charter school in 2014, serves more than 300 middle school students from Newark, Orange, East Orange and Irvington. For more information about Link, visit