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Even as a little girl, Ashante Salvant knew she wanted to be a helper. She grew up serving through her church community and was exposed to the many different needs of those around her. From fundraisers to soup kitchens, her family loved to be involved in it all. As the years passed, she realized that she wanted to spend her life creating solutions for those in need around her.
As an adult, Ashante was driven to action when gun violence among teens reached an all-time high in her own city of Newark, New Jersey. She joined forces with a team of community and social service professionals to create a program that would truly benefit the youth of the area. The program she co-founded is called Strive, and it focuses on helping youth with education, career readiness, and ultimately, helps them become productive adults. After rounds of fundraising, Ashante and the program advocates pitched Strive to schools in the area—at no cost to the school. All they wanted was space and students!
Over the years, Strive has helped countless students prepare for the workforce and higher education. The goal is to show students how to “connect their passion to their paycheck.” Life is about more than clocking in and out, and Ashante wants youth to find ways in which they can passionately contribute to society.
Each year, program alumni return to talk to current Strive students about what the program has done for them. They share their progress into their education or careers. This mentorship, along with mentorship from other sources within the program, has been a key factor in helping students see what they are capable of!
Recently, Ashante co-founded another program, Rise, that provides therapeutic help and resources to youth and families struggling with behavioral health needs. At an appropriate time in their recovery and healing, many of these teens begin participating in Strive as well, to help them prepare for the life ahead of them. The two programs work hand in hand to lift up the youth of the community.
In all her time of service, Ashante has resonated with one message: “What you do matters.” She is proof of the fact that “if we all do something, the world would really be a better place.” We are so pleased to announce Ashante as our September 2022 Goodness Grant recipient!
If you would like more information about Strive, or are interested in getting involved, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.