Community Foundation of New Jersey

Roots & Wings Hosts Successful ‘Rise & Fly’ Gala

November 1, 2017

Roots & Wings on Friday, October 27th hosted 300 attendees at the Mansion at Mountain Lakes for their annual gala event at which they raised nearly $300,000.

The Rise & Fly gala honored the Community Foundation of New Jersey and other funders, partner nonprofits, and volunteers who have dedicated significant resources and time to helping individuals who are aging out of New Jersey’s child welfare system.

“This has been an amazing year for Roots & Wings,” said June Toth, Chair of the Roots & Wings Board. “As a result of long range strategic planning, including reforming our infrastructure to strengthen the program, we’ve almost doubled the number of clients in our residential program from 12 at the beginning of the year to 22 today.  We opened three apartments, the highest number ever, to serve more aged out foster young who deserve an opportunity to achieve independence and self-sufficiency.

Roots & Wings is client-centered, providing nurturing support, safe housing, educational support and practical life skills to young adults who have aged out of the child welfare system. Roots & Wings provides a foundation for this high-risk population of disadvantaged young adults on which they can build – replacing dependency with self-sufficiency.

“Each year, the 800 youth who leave the foster care system cost NJ an additional $218 million in welfare, Medicaid, lost wages and incarceration costs,” said Emily Marchese, Executive Director of Roots & Wings.  That cycle stops here, with young adults who are becoming productive, self-sufficient members of society. Eighty six percent of Roots & Wings graduates have their GED and a further 85% are making significant progress towards a 2/4 year diploma or vocational certificate.  79% of our graduates live without any government assistance.”

About Roots & Wings
Roots & Wings is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization established in 1999 that provides young adults who age out of the child welfare or foster system in New Jersey with safe housing, educational support, counseling, and life skills in order to empower them toward self-sufficiency.