NBT Announces The 2013 Leadership Now Class

NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ – New Brunswick Tomorrow (NBT) announced today the members of the 2013 Leadership Now Class.  Because of their successful participation in a prerequisite program, Leadership Tomorrow, these alumni were invited to participate in the advanced leadership training program. Leadership Now requires a one-year commitment that consists of six-two day modules, a seminar series and a community change project. The program is facilitated by the Community Change Center at Rutgers University, which implements a curriculum using self-assessments, simulations, lectures and speakers, and a group project focused on a community development issue. Each member will receive the support of a coach who is a Leadership Now alumnus from the 2007 class. Leadership Now is offered only once every five years.

In announcing the members, Jeffrey Vega, President of NBT, stated, “We are extremely pleased that these 14 individuals have agreed to participate in a year-long rigorous program whose aim is to make a difference in the quality of life in the City of New Brunswick.” Vega added, “Empowering these emerging leaders is part of New Brunswick Tomorrow’s community building strategy.”

NBT is the non-profit organization whose ideas, partnerships and initiatives are moving New Brunswick’s people forward. Established in 1975, NBT has developed many successful public/private partnerships that have benefited New Brunswick’s youth and families, primarily in the areas of human services, health and education. NBT’s current initiatives can be found at its website at www.nbtomorrow.org.

Mr. Vega announced the following 14 members as the 2013 Leadership Now class:

Luis Berrios was born and raised in New Brunswick. He graduated from New Brunswick High School in 2003 and earned an Associate’s Degree in Liberal Arts from Middlesex County College and transferred to Rutgers to study Accounting. He works at the New Brunswick’s Youth Services System as the Assistant Site Facilitator at A. Chester Redshaw School.

Captain William S. Borke III, a New Brunswick resident since 1983, has been with the New Brunswick Fire Department for 16 years and is an avid volunteer throughout the city. Captain Borke enjoys coaching youth athletics and speaking throughout the city’s schools and churches to discuss first aid, fire safety, fire prevention and awareness.

Marisol Conde-Hernandez graduated summa cum laude from Rutgers University with a B.A. in Sociology. She won the Dee Garrison Award for Peacekeeping and the Human Dignity Award, both citing her persistent activism for undocumented immigrant youth.

Daniel Dominguez proudly serves the New Brunswick Police Department, where he began his career nearly 17 years ago as a police sergeant assigned to the Internal Affairs Unit. Sgt. Dominguez has degrees in Criminal Justice from Rutgers University and a Master of Arts from Seton Hall University.

Rev. Martisha Dwyer is a graduate of New Brunswick High School and Rutgers University and is currently completing a graduate degree at the New Brunswick Theological Seminary. Martisha is a veteran of the US Navy, an ordained minister who serves at Tabernacle Baptist Church, and works as a chaplain at Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital.

Catherine Feaster is a lifetime resident of New Brunswick and her family has been rooted in the city since the 1800s. She attended St. Mary’s of Mt. Virgin elementary school and graduated from St. Peter’s High School. She is currently working on completing her undergraduate degree from Rutgers University in History and Political Science.

Zachary A. King earned a Bachelor’s in Nutrition and a Master’s in Social Work, both at Rutgers University. For seven years, he served as a certified science teacher for middle school students.

Genevieve Kumapley, Ph.D., is a co-founding Executive Director of MyGOAL, Inc., (My Gateway to Overcoming Autism in Life Inc), which is a non-profit organization helping families with limited economic resources access therapies, programs and information about Autism Spectrum Disorders.

Franchesca M. Rodriguez attended Fordham University on a scholarship, graduating with high honors and receiving a B.S. in Finance and Accounting. Graduating from the Rutgers University School of Law with a commendation for Outstanding Scholastic Achievement and Excellence in Tax Law, Franchesca is now in a multimedia development and consulting firm.

Jaymie Santiago is the Program Coordinator of the New Brunswick Community Farmers Market, which is a collaborative effort between Rutgers Cooperative Extension and Johnson & Johnson. Jaymie lives in New Brunswick.

Rev. Douglas Shepler is the Senior Pastor of Second Reformed Church in New Brunswick, where he has facilitated the establishment of Five Loaves Food Pantry Store and a leadership development program for college-aged students through hands on experience in social program ministry.

Jose R. Sibaja attended the New Brunswick Public Schools, graduating both elementary and high school as the Class Valedictorian. Recognizing his talent, Mr. Sibaja was awarded the James Carr Scholarship by Rutgers University, where he earned a BA Degree in Economics and Mathematics in 2010, earning Dean’s list every semester.

Elder Rev. Kevin E. Taylor celebrated his 10th year as Pastor of Unity Fellowship Church New Brunswick in January 2011. Rev. Taylor has hosted community health fairs, financial literary workshops and health and wellness days at his church.

Vipul Verma is a State Farm agent serving the community of Middlesex County with their insurance and financial needs. Prior to State Farm, he spent 13 years providing business and management consulting services to Fortune 500 clients in Chicago.

Dr. Christopher M. Cimarusti, Chair of the Board of Directors, expressed his deep appreciation to the program’s financial supporters. Dr. Cimarusti stated, “With the generous contributions of our most ardent supporters, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and Johnson & Johnson, New Brunswick Tomorrow is able to empower our Leadership Now class in making a difference in the community.” Dr. Cimarusti added that the class would be eligible for a seed grant ranging between $25,000 to $50,000 to implement their community change project developed during the program.

The program begins with the first of six two-day modules on Friday, October 19 and Saturday, October 20.

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