In July of 2006, Ricky Lee Smith Jr., a 15 year old Teaneck boy, was killed in town after a house party. Ricky’s death brought to light the need for safe, drug and alcohol-free activities for Teaneck’s teens.A community meeting was held that brought together various segments of the Teaneck community in support of its teens. The “Teen Explosion & Parent Expo”was organized and took place on August 20, 2006 at the Richard Rodda Center. The event was a huge success, but it was decided that one event could never be enough. Instead an ongoing effort would be needed. So, TCT was born.
In May of 2007, TCT received its 501(c)3 designation, becoming a federally recognized not-for-profit organization.
Youth Internship Training Program – Interns are trained in youth leadership, advocacy and event planning. Interns are vital to the growth and development of the organization. Interns can earn up to 50 hours of community service each year.
Parties with a Purpose –events that couple educational information /motivational speakers with social/recreational activities
Summer Fun –Movie Nights, field trips, college tours
Annual Community Tailgate Event –free food, face painting, games, DJ music, photo booth, and more
Annual Culture Bowl –a community celebration of Teaneck’s diverse cultures and faiths featuring top-notch performances, delicious cultural foods, games and other fun activities
Javalda Powell is the Middle School Behaviorist for Teaneck Public Schools, where she develops school-wide, group and individual behavioral interventions, provides individual and group counseling, and implements special programs. Javalda received a Bachelor of Arts degree in both Psychology and Africana Studies from Douglass College, Rutgers University. She received a Master of Social Work degree from New York University. Javalda is a Licensed Social Worker with over twenty years of solid social work experience. Javalda is determined to make a difference in the lives of young people and has received several awards, including “Educator of the Year” by both the NJ Department of Education and the Teaneck Chamber of Commerce.
Renee Forte-Clarke is the Academic Support Counselor in the Forum at Teaneck High School.She coordinated both the tutoring program and the Homework Club. She graduated from Pace University and Seton Hall Law School. She has worked in the corporate and legal fields for over 15 years and is currently utilizing her expertise in the academic environment.
Jason Juxon-Smith was born in Hackensack and raised in Sierra Leone, West Africa until the age of nine when he returned to Teaneck to continue his education. Jason is a graduate of Teaneck High School and received his bachelor's degree in Psychology from Kean University. Currently he is supervises the In-School Suspension program at Thomas Jefferson Middle School and is pursuing a graduate degree in school counseling. Jason is the Vice President of the Urban League for Bergen County’s Young Professionals (4 years) and a member of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc. (7 years). He believes in service to others and empowering youth and communities. Working in the education system and with these organizations, he hopes to strengthen and give back to the township of Teaneck all that it has given him to help him grow into the person he is today.
Schantelle Henry is a proud resident of Teaneck and an alum of Teaneck High School. She is currently the Diversity and Inclusion Associate at Burson-Marsteller, a full-service Public Relations firm in New York. She graduated from Bentley University with a Bachelor of Science in Information Design and Corporate Communication. Schantelle has been a member of Teaneck Comes Together for 4 years as the Internship Coordinator. Her favorite part of her position is interacting with the interns. “They are truly incredible people and have so much to offer our community”. Outside of TCT, Schantelle is the chair of her church’s YAMS (Young Adult Missionary Society) and a member of the Alice L. Benekin Scholarship committee. In her spare time, she loves to listen to music, read, going to Broadway shows, hanging out with family and friends and TRAVELING!!!!!
Shanice Clarke is a native of Teaneck, New Jersey and alum of Teaneck Comes Together, Shanice Clarke traveled to Washington, D.C. in her pursuits of her college education at Howard University in 2010. Upon her graduation from Howard University, she then enrolled in the Women in Entertainment Empowerment Network Academy. This further ignited her passion by serving the community through working with organizations as the Get Schooled Foundation, Usher’s New Look, RUSH Philanthropic Art Foundation and more. Shanice is inspired to continue supporting the community and empowering the youth by uplifting their voices to all.
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