New Jersey Needs You (NJNY) fights for economic mobility for ambitious, low-income college students. We do this by providing intensive career development, mentorship, and professional networks to enable students to realize their academic and career aspirations.
First-generation college students …
- Drop out 5x more than their peers (89% do)
- Earn 10% less than their peers after graduating
- Are primarily from low-income households (85% are)
Our Fellows go through a rigorous selection process. Each of NJNY’s first two Fellows Classes are comprised of 25 rising sophomores and juniors, reflecting the diversity of NJ. The third Fellows class will recruit rising sophomores only, and have 35-50 Fellows. While initially, students were recruited from 12 northern New Jersey colleges and universities, NJNY has a long term goal of recruiting students from all 19 community colleges and 39 four year colleges in the state..
NJNY replicates New York Needs You (NYNY), a highly successful program launched in 2010 currently with 100 Fellows and 100 Mentor Coaches in each class, and active alumni:
- Two year Fellowship commitment with workshops every other Saturday
- Key program components: Academic Success (College Success, Transfer & Completion) and Career Development (Selecting, Securing & Succeeding in Careers)
- Emphasizes professional and soft skills
- Help Fellows seek, secure, and succeed in summer internships within their industry
- Up to $2,000 professional development grant to cover required technology, materials, and costs related to internship and job searching
- Volunteer Mentor Coaches with access to the resources of our entire network to assist Fellows
Initial evaluation of 2010 NYNY Fellows suggests significant impact on college persistence, transfer, and ability to secure internships towards career development:
- Internship Placement: 98% secured summer internships vs. 28% of their peers
- College Persistence: 96% remain enrolled in college vs. 73% of their peers
- College Transfer: 93% of community college students transferred to four-year colleges
- Unique Focus: Only nonprofit in New Jersey focused exclusively on the career development and academic success of first-generation, low-income college and community college students.
- Volunteer-Driven: Most intense academic and career mentoring program in New Jersey with volunteers committed to contributing close to 1,000 hours per Fellow over a two-year period.
- Multiplier Effect: Fellows and NJNY volunteers will partner with Career Service offices to provide additional career exposure and coaching to their classmates in New Jersey community colleges and four-year colleges.