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"He who knows his WHY in life can live through any HOW" - Victor Frankl

Friday, December 5, 2008

George Washington Carver, Bruce St. School for the Deaf, Team Academy Spotlight

Newark, NJ – December 4th, 2008 - On December 8th, 2008 from 1:30 PM to 2:30 PM, 75 to 100 elementary school students in career-aspiring garb will parade Newark City Hall, touring offices of City Hall Executives and learning about their careers, career paths and daily responsibilities, the students will showcase inherent talents in the "Picture Me Tomorrow Extravaganza." The Art of Survival Corporation and the Weequahic Park Super Neighborhood Community Council selected George Washington Carver (GWC) Elementary School, Bruce Street School for the Deaf, and Team Academy Middle School to participate in their pilot program. "Picture Me Tomorrow Extravaganza" is the first phase of the long-term "Picture Me Tomorrow Mentoring Program" designed to help elementary school students prepare for their future careers with support from community mentors while increasing parental involvement.

A powerful and motivational address by Mayor Cory A. Booker will kick-off the final piece of the extravaganza. This celebration of the student's journey ahead includes a talent show. Students from the participating schools have been sharing their dreams for tomorrow in class, as part of this new program. The opportunity for them to realize those dreams will be inspired by high-energy student performances, keynote speeches from community role models and the influx of mentoring organizations galvanized by Newark’s Mentoring Coalition (NMC).

Super Neighborhood Community Covenant designed by Mayor Cory A. Booker improves the fabric of Newark through community stakeholder participation, collaboration, and empowerment. The Weequahic Park SNCC, also Newark Now's "Super Neighborhood of the Year," is one of ten covenants steering agendas of change in Newark.

"I applaud Brenda, the Weequahic Park Super Neighborhood Community Council, and The Art of Survival Corporation members for their diligent efforts to bring the "Picture Me Tomorrow Extravaganza" to fruition. This exciting mentoring program mobilizes our community in such a powerful way and resonates to our dedicated residents, businesses, and supporters that cultivating our children's talents and academic success is a top priority," proclaims Mayor Booker.

The Picture Me Tomorrow concept is the brainchild of Weequahic Park SNCC Chairperson Brenda Toyloy, who is also founder of The Art of Survival Corporation. Ms. Toyloy's vision to see Newark's youth develop a sense of ownership of their futures and community sits on their ability to discover their inherent talents.

Ms. Toyloy comments, "We are excited as we begin a new tradition in Newark. Picture Me Tomorrow is an opportunity to engage our students in a fun way, to envision their future, and to dress up in costumes that reflect the careers they're dreaming about. We believe we can effectuate positive proliferating change through mentoring and increased parental involvement in NPS and the super neighborhood.

I applaud Mayor Booker he is a true visionary. The tone of his administration was set early, within four months of being elected Mayor, Mayor Booker began challenging and empowering community stakeholders to accomplish all they desire through the Super Neighborhood Community Covenant initiative. In that instant, “the Mayoral signing of Super Neighborhood Covenants,” the socio-political fabric of Newark’s landscape changed. With Mayor Booker’s full support, we at Weequahic Park SNCC push forward with solutions we design collectively. We have received full support and recognition by the Mayor says Ms Toyloy. We salute the Southward Councilman Oscar S. James II for his continued support and Newark Public Schools’ Superintendent, Dr. Clifford B. Janey for opening the doors.

The "Picture Me Tomorrow Extravaganza" encourages student achievement and career exploration through parental involvement, community engagement, and mentoring alliances. Mentoring provides guidance, support, and direct linkages to career fields, truly ensuring that no child is left behind. The Art of Survival Corporation/Picture Me Tomorrow is a member of The Newark Mentoring Coalition. For media opportunities contact: Rose Farias, Newark City Hall (973) 733-3818 (201) 407-5733 or Patrice Theard, The Art of Survival Corp/Picture Me Tomorrow (323) 828-6549.

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