Nadine Wright- Arbubakrr: President and founder of Nassan’s Place – a mother and advocate for children with Autism. Holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Business Management and Marketing and over twenty five years of managerial experience.
Sharnette Vidal: Vice President of Nassan's Place - business professional and Advocate for children and families affected by Autism.
Patricia Wilson: Treasurer of Nassan's Place - Vice President of Human Resources at City National Bank in Newark, NJ and an aunt of a child with Autism.
Gloria Jones: Office Manager at social service agency in East Orange, NJ, Business Owner, attended Fashion Institute of Technology (Buying & Marketing).
Ted Green: Mayor of the City of East Orange.
TaKeesha Drake: Administrative Assistant for over 18 years at Essex County College at the West Essex Campus. Holds an Associate degree from Essex County College and a Bachelor’s degree from Montclair State University in Accounting/Business. Over 20 years of experience in business and education in early childhood and higher learning. Mother of three and aunt of Nassan.
Osner Charles: He is the Former Director of the Department of Recreation & Cultural Affairs for the City of East Orange, New Jersey. During Osner’s tenure as Director, some of his most notable accomplishments were developing programs, which serviced the special needs population. Under Osner’s leadership, the City of East Orange hosted its first Walk for Autism, developed the Autistic Aquatics Program, which was featured on News 12 for being the only City-operated Autistic Aquatics program in the State of New Jersey. In 2017, the New Jersey Recreation & Park Association (NJRPA) also recognized the Autistic Aquatics Program with the Excellence in Educational & Interpretive Programing Award.
Osner is passionately committed to public service. He works tirelessly to ensure that all people have access to quality education, healthy food services, and enjoyable extra-curricular activities. Osner strives daily to live by a quote from President Barack Obama…“The best way not to feel hopeless is to get up and do something. Don’t wait for good things to happen to you. If you go out and make some good things happen, you will fill the world with hope, you will fill yourself with hope.”
Catherine Cruz: Vice Principal at Mount Carmel Guild Academy where she has been a faculty member since 2000. Prior to becoming an administrator she worked for Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Newark as a certified social worker from 1987 to 2000; when she decided to change careers within the agency to become a special education teacher because of her passion and desire to help educate special needs students. Several years later she obtained her certification in school administration.
Catherine holds a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology as well as a Masters in Curriculum and Instruction she holds certifications from the New Jersey Department of Education as a Principal, Supervisor, and Teacher of the Handicapped. In addition to her work at Mount Carmel Guild Academy, Catherine supports other non-profit organization through volunteer work and fundraising. She is a member of several organizations throughout NJ involving special needs students but in particular students on the autistic spectrum.
Zelma M. Crump lives in Newark, NJ. She enjoys spending time with her family, reading, and writing. She loves being a mother to her two wonderful children and being married to C. Lawrence Crump, Esq. Her goal is to raise Autism Awareness. She received a BA from Bennett College in Greensboro, NC and a MA from St. Peter’s University in Jersey City, NJ. She is a member of Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Inc. She also serves on two boards, Girls Live, Love, Laugh, Inc and Nassan’s Place which is a nonprofit for families that are affected by Autism. She is the author of Cecil…. The Greatest Brother, An Autism Awareness Book. She was inspired and motivated to write this book because of her children. She is an employee of Essex County Division of Family Assistance and Benefits.
Rodney E. Jenkins is the third child born to the late Herbert and Mary Norma Jenkins in Newark, NJ. His parents instilled in him a strong work ethic and community awareness. He was raised with his siblings in Newark before moving to Montclair in 1972. He attended South 8th Street School in Newark, He graduated from Montclair High School in 1978. It was during his collegiate years that he was introduced to a career in education. He was a substitute teacher for Montclair Public Schools and was hired as the Program Director for the Frog Hollow Day Care Center where he served for two years. The desire to become an educator increased within him resulting in a career change in 1999 when he was appointed as an elementary teacher within Newark Public Schools. During the summer of 2000, he had the opportunity to work as an alternative summer school teacher. He believes that is was durng this experience, that he discovered that he wanted to work with challenged youth. Rodney graduated from Saint Peter's College and was awarded a Masters Degree in Education Administration and Supervision in 2001. He further developed his leadership skills as a principal with the Essex County Regional Services Commission in 2005 where he supervises and mentors special and alternative education students. Rodney is a father of a son who has Autism. When not transforming the lives of his students, he enjoys traveling and relaxing with his wife Monique and his two sons, Evan and Rodney.
William S. Parrish, Jr.
PHOTO AND BIOGRAPHY TO FOLLOW!