Jersey Give Back Guide: Sadie Nash Leadership Project

December 27, 2014

Sadie Nash

Throughout December, we are highlighting each of the organizations featured in our Jersey Give-Back Guide, an online portal for year-end giving that makes it easy to donate to some of New Jersey’s most effective nonprofits. Today we feature Sadie Nash Leadership Project.

Newark2Organization name:  Sadie Nash Leadership Project 

Connect: Website | @sadienash | Facebook

Communities served: We serve low-income young women in Newark. To date, our programming has focused on young women age 14-22, but with our acquisition of The Girls Project, we look forward to expanding to serve middle school girls.

Founded: Sadie Nash Leadership Project was founded in New York City in 2001. We opened our doors in Newark in 2008.

Get Generous: Make A Year-End Gift

Sadie Nash 3

WHAT WE DO: Sadie Nash offers carefully tailored critical leadership programs to more than 100 low-income young women in Newark who lack traditional educational enrichment opportunities. Through summer and yearlong after-school classes, our participants experience individual transformation in very concrete ways: speaking up in class and gaining voice; building healthy relationships with other young women; and identifying themselves as problem-solvers in their lives, schools and communities.

All our programs help young women identify their strengths, teach them leadership tools, and foster a lifelong belief in their potential to lead. They include:

  • Flagship 6-week Summer Institute offers a rigorous curriculum introducing concepts of power, identity,and privilege, and the opportunity to learn from women leaders. The Summer Institute is housed at the Rutgers-Newark, the first time many of our young women have been on a college campus.
  • Our internship program trains, supports, and pays young women to intern at local community organizations.  Sites for Spring 2015 include Gilda’s Club, labor union SEIU 32BJ, Essex County College Urban Studies Institute, the Ironbound Community Corporation, and the Newark Trust for Education.
  • Our college preparation program, Nash University, encourages young women to advocate for and reach their educational goals. We provide local and out-of-state college trips, one-on-one college advising, and a special Leadership Scholars educational justice class.  Many of our participants are the first in their families to go to college.
  • Our yearlong afterschool class Sisterhood Academy introduces themes of identity, safe space, youth activism, and social change.
  • School-based programming provides leadership classes to harder-to-reach young women at underserved ward schools including Barringer and Shabazz.
  • Drop in Super-Saturdays provide a safe space with interactive activities like step classes, print-making art workshops for young women who are unable to attend our regular programs but want to stay connected with Sadie Nash.

WHY WE’RE GREAT: Last year, we received the prestigious National Arts and Humanities Youth Program Award from First Lady Michelle Obama atthe White House recognizing Sadie Nash as one of the top 12 educational programs for youth in the country.

We also received the 2010 Excellence in Summer Learning Award from the National Summer Learning Association recognizing programs that demonstrate excellence in accelerating academic achievement and promoting healthy development for young people, and the 2010 New York Times Gold Prize for Overall Management Excellence – SNLP overcame a field of 89 non-profits to become the smallest non-profit ever to win this award.

Our 10-year impact study assessing Sadie Nash on 6 key priority outcomes (leadership development, self-esteem, social justice awareness, future career and education options, intellectual competencies and skill building, and community building) found that our alumnae (in comparison to their peer group) are significantly more likely to graduate from college,strive for personal growth and achievement and pursue challenging experiences.

Our Nashers say it best:

  • “I gained a family, a reason to believe in myself and that the power within me is real”
  • “Be true to yourself and fight for what you believe in. Create a safe space for yourself and others.  Compassion and devotion go a long way in life.”
  • “I have grown so much this summer that it is impossible to describe in words how deeply [SNLP] has impacted and changed me for life.”

HOW YOUR DONATION WILL HELP:  Your donation will help us to serve more young women in Newark!



ADDITIONAL NEEDS: We will be recruiting faculty and Deans (college teaching assistants) soon for Summer Institute 2015 and are always looking for talented committed educators!  We will also be recruiting soon for mentors for our college prep program.  Drop us a line if you’d like to get involved!

— Lorena Estrella, Sadie Nash Program Coordinator


The Dodge Foundation is offering $1,000 challenge grants to each of the organizations featured in the Jersey Give-Back Guide. To be eligible, each organization must receive at least 50 donations through the Guide by December 31st. Help them reach their goal and get that extra $1,000!