CFNJ Honors Dominique Lee as “Young Changemaker

September 11, 2015

Headshot LeeThe Community Foundation of New Jersey (CFNJ) today announced that it will honor Dominique Lee of Newark as one of the state’s four Young Changemakers.

Lee is the founder and executive director of Building Responsible Intelligent Creative Kids (BRICK), a school management nonprofit that is restarting two of the most challenged elementary schools in Newark’s South Ward.

CFNJ is honoring Lee and three other Young Changemakers in recognition that many of the most innovative solutions to make our communities stronger are coming from new, young voices in New Jersey.

CFNJ will present each Young Chamgemaker with a $2,500 prize at its 35th Anniversary celebration on September 17, 2015 in Morristown.

BRICK’s mission is to restart chronically underperforming schools by implementing proven systems to place all children on a positive life trajectory and consequently ending generational poverty. Since BRICK’s launch, its students have had steady growth each year and are outperforming their neighborhood peers.

Dominique has formed partnerships with health and social service providers, addressed funding gaps, and attracted new resources to help the children and families he serves.

BRICK“Dominique is fundamentally reshaping public education in Newark,” said Helen Mazarakis, a member of the CFNJ board and chair of its Public Awareness Committee, which selected the honorees. “He is not afraid to roll up his sleeves and make sure that each and every child in BRICK’s schools is achieving his or her full potential.”

“It has been a blessing and honor to wake up every morning and operate in my passion,” said Lee. “I am humbled by BRICK’s many supporters and extremely honored by the Community Foundation to be one of the four Young Changemakers.”

The three other Young Changemakers who will be honored on September 17th are:

  • Adam Lowy, founder and executive director of Move for Hunger, which was founded in Monmouth County and facilitates food donations from moving families nationwide;
  • Jasmine Moreano, director of community engagement at City Green, which facilitates the creation of urban farms and markets that yield jobs and education in Passaic County; and
  • Aakash Shah, founder and director of Be Jersey Strong, which seeks to help the 250,000 uninsured New Jerseyans sign up for health insurance during the next open enrollment period of the Affordable Care Act.

About the Community Foundation of New Jersey

Established in 1979, the Community Foundation of New Jersey’s mission is to support charitable giving that is inspired by its fundholders, targeted at making communities stronger, driven by creative solutions, and effective in achieving lasting change. Through a combination of Legacy Funds and Donor Advised Funds, the foundation has granted an average of more than $30 million each year to charitable organizations and currently stewards over $320 million in charitable assets for current needs and future challenges.