Our Founder

 

 

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.”