HomeWorks Trenton, the community-based, after-school boarding program for young women, received a $50,000 grant from the James Kerney Foundation for a school bus to further the organizations transportation abilities to and from the residential home.
A non-profit organization dedicated to providing an academically and socially-enriching program for high school girls in the Trenton area, HomeWorks Trenton provides its scholars with a safe space where they can receive academic and social-emotional support, including WiFi, a computer, assistance gaining access to their online classes, food, tutoring, HomeWorks programming and community. From Sunday evenings to Friday mornings, the girls attending the program live onsite. Each day, the girls are transported to and from their public schools.
In previous years, the organization would rent a van to transport the students to school. With the help of the James Kerney Foundation, that extra expense is no longer required.
In an interview with NJ.com, Natalie Tung, HomeWorks co-founder and executive director said, “Our success is in large part because of the James Kerney Foundation and its generous donation for our very own school bus.”
She continued, “We are so grateful for their investment in us and our scholars.”
The James Kerney Foundation, founded in 1934, was established to commemorate the author, diplomat, jurist and philanthropist James Kerney and to provide grant support to education, family services and community development in Trenton and surrounding areas. For more information, visit jameskerneyfoundation.org.
With the grant funding, HomeWorks was able to purchase a 20 passenger school bus back in August of 2020. The new transportation method allows for HomeWorks to continue reaching their goal of advancing Trenton scholars while also battling the 36 percent chronic absenteeism rate in Trenton high schools.
Tung said, “This fall, the Trenton district reported a 59% attendance rate amongst high school students…Our HomeWorks scholars have an average of 94%.”
Like multiple other organizations globally, HomeWorks Trenton had to adapt last years’ program and the upcoming one to fit the needs of the COVID-19 pandemic. The scholars of the program where transported to and from the residential home in Trenton where they received virtual schooling support in addition to emotional support during this unprecedented time. In addition to their support with schooling, the young women attending HomeWorks Trenton partake in a variety of supplemental activities to further their learning experience and foster a strong social and developmental skills.
To learn more about HomeWorks Trenton, visit homeworkstrenton.org.