Homegrown Hero Nicole
Meet Our Homegrown Hero, Nicole Harris -

This week’s Homegrown Hero is Nicole Harris, Executive Director of After-School All-Stars New Jersey. This past week we caught up with her to know more about her story, and what she has been able to achieve at ASAS since the pandemic started. We thank Nicole for all her efforts and for inspiring our club with her acts. 

Tell me about your career and what inspires you every day? 

At After-School All-Stars I have the honor of leading a team of dynamic youth-development educators who are amazing, intelligent, and talented. Together we serve approximately 1,000 students in NJ. Our students are young prodigies filled with grit, purpose, and passion. They inspire me to seek opportunity and secure resources that will set the foundation of success for their lives.

How much have your duties at ASAS changed since the pandemic started? 

At the height of the COVID-19 pandemic and in the wake of the unjust murders of Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor and George Floyd, our students need more social-emotional support to help them through these unprecedented times. They miss in-person interaction with their peers and we miss teaching them in school. The work now is harder with school being closed and as funding priorities have changed, but we remain committed to educating, engaging, and empowering our students with robust enrichment programs that will keep them safe and help them succeed in school and life. 

What initiatives or projects are you most proud of as you're about to start another school year? 

Our pivot to virtual programming is nothing short of amazing. Our classes include sewing, physical fitness, cooking, art, and STEM. Our students cook, conduct science experiments, sew masks, compete in fitness challenges and more. We made after-school enrichment within the home possible. COVID-19 did not stop us!

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