Sharon D. Berry, is President, Chief Executive Officer and Founder of Project Re-Direct/Youth & Family Services
A veteran ten year instructor of English and fifteen year Guidance Counselor, Sharon D. Berry had always had an affinity for children. She founded Project Re-Direct/Youth & Family Services in 1996 at the same time that she was an exemplary educator in Newark Public Schools. Focused on the under served population in Newark's West Side Park, the non-profit organization works proactively to facilitate the restoration of families and prevent child abuse and juvenile delinquency. Ms. Berry performs a myriad functions as its president and CEO, planning events, writing grants, conducting developmental workshops, training staff, counseling, marketing, and fund raising. She feels, however, her greatest role is an advocate of children and their families.
Driven always by the conviction that child abuse prevention initiatives work, Ms. Berry has observed with great dismay that present economic troubles have forced cutbacks in n programs that provide vital support - law enforcement agents, public awareness programs and family support services, to name a few - at a time when it is needed most. With this in mind, she develops and advocates programs that are specifically designed to work in this recession. Throughout April, acknowledged as National Child Abuse Prevention Month, she will be spearheading public awareness programs against child abuse, which will culminate in the “Children are a Gift” springtime campaign extending until June. The campaign will raise funds for the establishment of Project Re-Direct's Center for the Prevention of Child Abuse, which will advance programs to fight child abuse, intervene when it is suspected, and support families once it is identified . "There is no excuse for abuse,” Ms. Berry states. These public awareness programs are developed throughout all of New Jersey. From Essex County to Middlesex County; and the purpose of these programs is to educate the public to the prevention of the abuse, neglect and maltreatment of children.
A former School Counselor at South Seventeenth Street School, Ms. Berry is presently the Program Director of the Education for the 21st Century (EY2K Saturday) and Summer Madness initiative of the agency. . These programs are held at the West Side Park Community Center. Ms. Berry organizes recreational activities, field trips, life skills classes and academic instruction and tutoring to bring learning and enrichment into the lives of local kids. At the most basic level, she gives at-risk children a safe place to play and learn.. This program is proud of its 18 years in business and looks forward to celebrating its 20 years of services on June 9, 2016! Ms. Berry says” we have serve over 5,000 children over the past eighteen years and have fundraised over $300,000.00 to Newark Public school the ten years that we were school based.
Ms. Berry received her Master of Arts in n Counseling and Humanistic service from Montclair State University and her bachelor's degree in English and Secondary education from SUNY Cortland; she took courses in non- profit Management from Rutgers School of Business. She is a member of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, the NJ Association of Women Business Owners, and Phi Kappa Phi. Her goals for the next five years include becoming a licensed clinician and pursuing a Ph.D. In organizational development and non-profit management. She has two children Chia Lai and Kristian and resides in Middlesex Country.
Our Vision is to ‘Save the lives of children and Re-Direct them towards healthier lifestyles; while developing productive men and women who will pursue a better quality of life.”