Last night, our most recent class of youth entrepreneurs showed their products and demonstrated their newly-found knowledge. According to our judge, Mike Kostak, owner of Olde Granddad Industries, Inc., our students were able to present their products and defend their businesses convincingly. Indeed, Mike left his sessions with our students full of ideas about how to move their business ideas forward and anxious to share!
We know that entrepreneurship education benefits students by introducing alternate career paths from ones they might have considered. In every graduating class, there are students who want to go into business right away. There are some who will consider it after college or several years of employment. Some graduates aren’t considering it now, but will at some time in their lives. There are even those who have thought about it and now, with more knowledge about what it takes for entrepreneurial success, decide it's just not for them. Finally, there is the student that has no interest now in entrepreneurship and will never be interested in it, but will be a better employee because she now knows what is important to her employer. He knows how businesses make money. We think every student should have the opportunity to make an informed decision about entrepreneurship as a career path now or later in life, or be informed by this knowledge..
Most youth entrepreneurship programs assume that the students are operating in a close business community that is supportive of their endeavors, and that the students enter these programs with business ideas. We know that is not the case for most of our students -- indeed, many of them have never heard the word entrepreneurship before beginning at GlassRoots. A major benefit to the program at GlassRoots is that, by providing the opportunity to apply their business learning to a 'glass-based business', one that may or may not ever come to fruition, we give context for our students' learning. Our program isn't simply theoretical, it is fully experiential. Fully applied learning. And glass provides the opportunity for learning other skills, including persistence, resilience, communication, and cooperation that are essential for success in business, and in life.
We also provide a context for the academic subjects they are studying, giving those subjects a grounding in the real world. Entrepreneurship can be the answer to, “Why do I need to study this?” Math, science, writing and communication, history, geography, and the arts can be connected to today’s world through a connection to entrepreneurship. How will a scientist turn a discovery into income? How will an artist turn that talent into a family-supporting career? Every career and technical student with a skill to sell in the market place should consider the difference between finding a job and making their own job, and every student should understand that option.
We're proud of our students and our program. We're proud of our staff who bring this all together.
Finally,when asked, last night, what was the most important learning, one student quickly shared, "Blood doesn't define family." Another learning to add to our list! GlassRoots truly creates community, and our students know that no one has to go it alone!
By the way, the few unsold items from last night's competition are for sale in our gift shop. Come visit soon!
Thank you to the funders of our high school programs:
Common Sense Fund
NJ Office of Faith Based Initiatives
NJ State Council on the Arts
S. Irving and Anne Nevard Sherr Foundation
TD Bank Charitable Foundation
Special thanks to those volunteers who generously provided their time, ideas, and support to our students during the year:
Steve Prato, Joe Tea Company
Ricky Boscarino, Luna Parc
“To describe my mother would be to write about a hurricane in its perfect power. Or the climbing, falling colors of a rainbow.” --Maya Angelou
We love to celebrate Moms - and, in honor of the Moms on our staff (Barbara, Katie, Lisa, Ellen and Sandra) we want to help you celebrate the Moms in your life!
So buy Mom a gift made with love by our students and staff - our gift to Mom is 25% off!
We even have cards for you to color for, or with, Mom! Download one below!
Whether you choose to share your words of love on a blank card, make a gift in your Mom's honor and note it with a card, or surprise her with a day in the gardens supporting GlassRoots, she'll know that you care!
Most important, make sure to tell the Mom in your life that she matters.
Happy Spring! As the season is (finally) changing, and a spirit of renewal is amongst us, it is with great excitement that we share with you our big news - GlassRoots is moving to a new home within the next year! Our mission to counter the challenges youth face by providing a safe environment, positive role models, and rigorous program and skill development opportunities through the creation of glass art is continuous and our impact has an important place in the lives of youth from Newark and around the state. By relocating to more accommodating space, we envision growing our services for youth and their families and, by extension, helping to strengthen the local economy and contributing to a thriving arts community.
Support for our move has been tremendous – at the time of this letter, we’ve raised over 70% of the capital funds needed to properly build out our new space. That funding, however, doesn’t cover the day-to-day costs of offering our unique STEAM-grounded glass-art classes and entrepreneurship programs, in which our students gain hands-on experience in chemistry, physics, math and engineering while becoming entrepreneurs as they create and market their glass products.
Your support of our annual fund is essential for GlassRoots to continue providing students the experience of success in our studios, which impresses upon them that they can become agents of their own learning -- leading them to a brighter, more productive future.
Investment in real work experience for vulnerable youth can improve their understanding of the value of education and increase their self-esteem and ambition, while increasing prospects for future employment, whether they are heading to higher education or seeking job opportunities within their communities.
We look forward to welcoming more young people into our new studios, engaging them like we did Maya Curry in 2008. Maya shared:
GlassRoots strongly contributed to my confidence and customer service/people skills – both of which have been key to every success I have had thus far. I found GlassRoots at a point in my development where I was still growing and learning to be comfortable in my own skin. I was given so many opportunities to interact with the public in ways that helped me shed my some of shyness and discomfort with public speaking. At GlassRoots I was able to experiment and ask questions without judgment. My curiosities were always encouraged, which I think is incredibly important for young people, especially young women.
Maya graduated from Saint Vincent’s Academy here in Newark in 2009. During her high school career Maya participated in our Summer Youth Leadership program, and then our Business and Entrepreneurship programs – creating a glass jewelry business called Genesis Glass for “people who have a funky sense of style!”
Our youth entrepreneurship programs combine hard business skills with the beauty of glass art. In addition to important business concepts, our programs teach skills associated with entrepreneurs, such as money management, financial literacy and interpersonal communications, which are relevant and beneficial for day-to-day life. During the last 4 years, 100% of the students in our youth entrepreneurship programs who have been eligible to graduate high school have graduated.
Following high school graduation, Maya went on to receive her BA from Montclair State University, and she now works here in Newark at the Newark Regional Business Partnership as their Director of Communications.
Maya went on to say that people should know that “GlassRoots is a safe haven where kids and young adults from a variety of cultural and financial backgrounds can meet, flourish and gain unique skills.”
Your gift to GlassRoots ensures that more students will have the opportunity to experience this unique, safe, supportive community. GlassRoots contributes directly to students’ successes.
We live in a world in which the future is uncertain, people rarely retire from a career that they started after high school or college; the average worker currently holds ten different jobs before age forty, and this number is projected to grow. We know that young people need skills that will allow them to make their own way, and since we can't predict the job market our youth will enter, we can’t know the exact content our students will need in order to be successful after they leave our programs. But, we know without a doubt, that our students will need skills that will allow them to navigate uncertain waters and chart their own paths. Our programs teach skills -- that are not uniquely relevant to any singular career path. After all, one can be an entrepreneur in any field, so it stands to reason that the skills needed for starting a business would also be desirable in terms of being an employee. Our entrepreneurship education teaches these skills.
Entrepreneurship education equips students to seek out problem-solving opportunities, empathize with others, think creatively, take risks, accept failure as part of the growth process, and appreciate the correlation between hard work and success.
Your support to GlassRoots is central in our impact and in the lives of our students. Please join us by making a gift today to revel in what’s been accomplished since 2001 and to celebrate what’s ahead!
With our great thanks,
Barbara Heisler, CEO
Please help us welcome Sandra Charlap and Anthony Lovari! Click on their photos to learn more about each of our talented new colleagues!
No matter what the tax law, your gift always counts at GlassRoots.
But, if you itemize, to take advantage of the current tax law, you'll want to make your gift before midnight Dec. 31, 2017. Gifts received online, or postmarked by year's end, will be acknowledged, with our gratitude, as a 2017 gift.
Click here for more information.
MAKE YOUR 2017 GIFT TODAY
10 Bleeker Street Newark, NJ 07102
The holidays are a time for reflection and time for us to give thanks for all we've been able to accomplish throughout the year with your help. At GlassRoots,we’re grateful for your support that continues to help us grow, surpass new goals, and transform lives.
GlassRoots is a glass art studio and more. Ask the students what they think:
"Before I came here I didn't know a place like this existed nor could I have imagined the possibilities that came out of me being here." KT
"To be able to push the limits of my hands to keep up with the constant images that my imagination kept dreaming up..." JT
For the literarians among us, glass constitutes some pretty heavy lifting. Shakespeare, Emily Dickinson, St. Paul— all these big hitters took on the poetic complexity of this crazy, light refracting, non-crystalline, amorphous-solid-of-frozen super-cooled-liquid stuff known as glass. Glass is like love: Magical, profound, beautiful, baffling, transformative, and, as our teaching artists remind us, completely irrational. (It's the holidays, I'm taking some license!)
As we think about holiday magic, imagine the magic of realizing potential, ofmeeting challenges, of growing and succeeding.
We hope hope you’ll consider a gift to GlassRoots to further expand our reach, our magic! Your gifts serve all of our students -- young people who catch the spark during class trips to our studios or residency programs with our teaching artists, high school youth in our Business and Entrepreneurship programs, young adults in our Bead Shop and GlassRoots-Penland Fellowship programs, and differently-abled adults who workshop in our studios.
We also extend our invitation to visit our studios in the coming year. Take a tour or a class! Until then, our videos bring our students and programs to you! Look at the sparkle in our students' eyes!
From our studios to your home, our staff and board wish you a happy and healthy holiday season and joy in the New Year,
PS. That's our board and staff below (though we're missing Jason, Ellen and Sanaz.) We had such fun at our holiday party!
PPS. We'll be closed from December 24 through New Year's Day, but we will acknowledge any gifts received during this time as 2017 gifts (for tax purposes.)
We hope you enjoy our posts, and find them to be informative and enjoyable. For this post, however, we have to deviate from our usual routine.
This one is serious.
The dueling House and Senate tax reform bills being fast-tracked through Congress are complex and differ in many key respects, but they have one important thing in common: both are harmful for New Jersey charities and all of us who rely on them for programs, services, protection, and well-being.
Unless dramatic changes are made, both bills would have a devastating impact on nonprofits and the communities they serve.
We're not only concerned about the youth and young adults we serve here at GlassRoots, but for the thousands served by our colleagues by NJ's 30,000 charitable nonprofit organizations, including wellness, hunger prevention, domestic violence and other significant programs.
We do not want to dive into partisan politics. We do, however, ask you to consider if this is the outcome you desire. If not, take three minutes as soon as you finish reading this plea to pick up the phone and call your Senators (202-224-3121) to tell them to vote NO on the “Tax Cuts and Jobs Act” bill and start over.
Read more about the impact of this bill at http://www.njspotlight.com/stories/17/11/20/for-nj-charities-tax-reform-bills-offer-little-to-be-thankful-for/
Barbara Heisler, CEO
Newark Arts brings together youth from
GlassRoots and Newark School of the Arts to design “Windows to the City”
Newark, NJ – November 28, 2017 – Children from two Newark arts organizations spent the summer designing colorful mosaics to brighten an industrial city block that is home to the PSE&G Federal Square Switching Station. The finished project, “Windows to the City”, commissioned by Newark Arts and sponsored by PSE&G, will debut at a community unveiling on Monday, December 11, 2017 from 3:30 to 5 pm.
Created by youth from Newark School of the Arts and GlassRoots, the mosaics are permanently affixed to planters and bollards that surround the wall-enclosed substation at Mulberry and Orchard Streets. The decorative images represent the young artists’ views of the City of Newark and the wonderful things discovered while living in or visiting the city.
“PSE&G is proud to call Newark home for more than 100 years,“ said Calvin Ledford, Director of External Affairs for PSE&G. “We welcome the opportunity for our city’s children to beautify a facility that provides safe, reliable electricity to Newark residents.”
“We see this project as an extension of Newark Arts’ mission to power the arts to transform
lives for those who live, work and visit the City of Newark,“ said Susan Schear, Deputy
Director of Newark Arts. “In the spirit of collaboration, we brought together these amazing
Newark institutions to inspire the community through the power of creativity.”
"The Newark School of the Arts changes the lives of our youngsters through arts education,” said Carmen Santos-Robson, Assistant Director of Newark School of the Arts. ”We are happy to collaborate on a project in which students are engaged in beautifying Newark.”
“GlassRoots is excited to provide a learning opportunity for students to translate their images into mosaic fabrication and facilitate a creative process that will last for years to come,” said Katie Witzig, GlassRoots' Chief Operating Officer.
All are welcome to celebrate the “Windows to the City” Mosaic Project Unveiling on Monday, December 11, 2017 from 3:30 to 5 pm on Orchard Street in Newark (between Camp and Chestnut Streets).
About PSE&G: Public Service Electric and Gas Company (PSE&G) is New Jersey’s oldest and largest regulated gas and electric delivery utility, serving nearly three-quarters of the state’s population. PSE&G is the winner of the Reliability One Award for superior electric system reliability. PSE&G is a subsidiary of Public Service Enterprise Group Incorporated (PSEG) (NYSE:PEG), a diversified energy company.
About Newark Arts (formerly Newark Arts Council): Newark Arts is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization which powers the arts to transform the lives of those who live in, work in, and visit Newark. The Council is the umbrella for the Newark Arts Education Roundtable (NAER) and is a partner with the Mayor’s Office of Cultural Development, Arts, and Tourism. The Council awards neighborhood grants through its ArtStart program, produces the Open Doors Citywide Arts Festival, and will oversee Newark’s Community Cultural Plan in 2017-2018. For more information, visit www.newarkarts.org.
About GlassRoots: GlassRoots is a Newark-based 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that provides opportunities for achievement to youth and young adults by engaging them in the creation of glass art and the development of entrepreneurial and life skills. GlassRoots programs are STEAM-based (science, technology, engineering, arts and math), and are offered as in-school residencies, after-school and summer arts programs, and as workshops for teens and adults, using competency in handling molten glass as a pathway to personal development. Additionally, GlassRoots offers workforce development programs to move young adults to the world of work. For more information, please call 973.353.9555 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
About Newark School of the Arts: Starting in 2018, the Newark School of the Arts (NSA) will be celebrating its 50th Anniversary. The School provides high-level training in the performing and visual arts. Since 1968, the school has offered instruction for everyone with an interest in the arts regardless of age, talent and financial resources. NSA is a family and community oriented school that serves children from age 3 months to senior citizens. Specialized instruction is offered on all musical instruments, dance, drama and the visual arts. In addition to on site-training, the school also serves area preschools, public, charter and private schools as well as other organizations through special arrangement. The School received a 2015 and 2016 "Citation of Excellence" and is designated a "Major Presenting and Service Organization" by the New Jersey State Council on the Arts.
At our Annual Fall Celebration in mid-October, former GlassRoots student Yanice Toha spoke eloquently about the profound impact GlassRoots has had on his life. His words bear repeating:
My mentors and teachers gave everything they had to see me succeed and improve in my art making, and never asked for anything in return, except for me to keep learning and growing as an artist. Their devotion to my success opened my eyes to what it truly means to “give back”, something I have been inspired to do wherever and whenever I can. The lessons I learned about character were enough to set me on the right path. It is my hope to someday become a successful writer who has the opportunity to give back to my city in the same way GlassRoots gave to me.
Yanice joined the first cohort of the GlassRoots-Penland Fellowship program, which identifies public high school students who have extraordinary potential and seek extra support before entering the traditional college process. Together with the Penland School of Crafts, GlassRoots gives our Fellows the tools to pursue personal and academic excellence by providing a supportive environment and the opportunity to explore and build their strengths, all while earning college credits. The impact is powerful - Yanice is now working on his B.A. in creative writing at Rutgers University, Newark!
Yanice's speech reminds us that civic responsibility matters; the idea of giving back was an important take-away from his time at GlassRoots. He is one of hundreds who have participated in GlassRoots’ programs and internalized these kinds of important values. But positive character development like this is just the beginning of what GlassRoots offers its students day in and day out, in Newark and throughout the state.
Your gift today makes it possible for GlassRoots to continue to work with youth and young adults to help them imagine and create new visions for their futures.
In today's world, career trajectories are meandering and varied. The average worker holds ten different jobs before age forty, and this number is projected to grow. We can't predict the job market or industries our youth will enter, but we DO know the critical skills young people will need to make their own way and navigate a course toward professional success. When they leave our Scientific Glassblowing program or Business and Entrepreneurship programs, students walk out the door with vital skills in money management, financial literacy, and interpersonal communication. Through every program we offer, GlassRoots guides students on the path towards independence, responsibility and accomplishment – in the classroom, in their homes, in their neighborhoods, and in the workplace.
Please join us to invest in the development of character. Join us and invest in a community dedicated to youth. Join us and invest in a vision for new urban life energized by the lively arts and commerce.
Make a gift today to immediately impact the future of our students!
With our great thanks,
Barbara Heisler, CEO
My name is Joshua, and the best words I can find to describe the opportunity that you all have given me is thank you. Within the fall concentration I have taken the liberty thanks to you, to take an Iron class with a wonderful instructor Andrew Hayes. I have learned everything from welding to forging and will definitely be applying it to the world outside of Penland, just as you most likely intended for me to do. Yet, before I got here I didn't feel I was able to craft at all. To be able to push the limits of my hands to keep up with the constant images that my imagination kept dreaming up. However, now at this monastery for the hands I have acquired a new found and deeper respect for artists and art itself, I have obtained an aesthetic that I am proud to call my own, and most importantly I have gained knowledge from those around me that I have lived with for two months. This experience and this way of living and breathing creation cannot be found or taught as well as Penland School of Crafts. So I thank you and greatly appreciate all that you have done for me and the other students at GlassRoots, and hopefully you continue this process/grant for future artists who have not yet awoken to their potential as a creator like me. Thank you.
Joshua is a student in the GlassRoots-Penland Fellowship, Cohort 2. View his work at the show in our studio on December 7, 2017. (Photo of Joshua by Mercedes Jelinek)