The College of Communication and the Arts has partnered with the philanthropic organization, Team Walker to establish donation drives for the holiday season.
Jerry Walker, an alumnus of the College of Communication and the Arts and co-founder of Team Walker, communicated with founding dean of the College Communication of Communication and the Arts Deirdre Yates earlier in the year to facilitate a collaboration with Seton Hall on service projects according to Danielle Clements, the executive director of Marketing and Enrollment in Comm Arts.
“In the month of November, the college participated in a goods and toy drive for Thanksgiving,” Clements said. “In December, a group comprised of faculty, staff and students from the college will volunteer to conduct a two-day workshop of improv games and Christmas caroling for Team Walker’s students in Jersey City.”
Taylor Salomon, a junior mathematical finance major was introduced to the Team Walker program as a student of The Gerald P. Buccino ’63 Center for Leadership Development program. Salomon said she worked alongside the CEO, Jerry Walker, and the organization’s board of directors on projects such as constructing a user-friendly website, building an alumni and donor database and organizing annual fundraisers.
According to Team Walker’s website, the mission of the organization is “to improve the quality of life for the children of Jersey City.” The organization offers youth programs and community outreach programs for the citizens of Jersey City. The programs intend to provide positive role models and encourage students “to realize their capabilities,” according to the organization’s website.
“If you are from Jersey City, then you know about Team Walker,” wrote Salomon in an email. “It is known as a positive and safe space for students. Jersey City has a stigma around it for its poverty and low high school graduation rate. CEO Jerry Walker goes out of his way to make sure students focus on their studies.”
Salomon said Team Walker provides after school tutoring sessions and a two-month long summer program. This year, Salomon is working alongside five other Seton Hall students on projects with Team Walker for the holiday season.
“I am proud to work with Team Walker as they make efforts to promote higher education and healthy lifestyles,” Salomon said.
Allison Gennette, a freshman business management major is currently working on creating an alumni database for the organization. Additionally, she is helping the group transition to a paperless system.
Furthermore, on the Monday prior to Thanksgiving, Gennette and other Seton Hall students provided meals for families with Team Walker.
“This after school learning environment gives kids something to do and encourages them to improve and be the best version of themselves,” Gennette said. “I think this is very powerful and helps to change lives.”
Finance and IT major Matthew McCarthy also assisted in providing meals for families on the Monday before Thanksgiving.
“Team Walker is such a fantastic organization and I can see how much it helps the community around it, and as a student and a young person it is truly amazing to be a part of something so much bigger than me,” McCarthy said.
Thomas Schwartz can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.