PASSAIC, N.J. — A Passaic non-profit seeks to act as guardian angels for local youth.
Certified Angels was formed around 18 months ago by volunteers from Passaic to help kids hone their creative sides.
Founder Jessica Delacruz had the idea years ago to help people from Passaic.
Giovanna Aguilar, who helps with outreach for the group, said they mix the arts together with volunteering to help kids ages 8 to 13.
"It's really a wonderful organization that's showing how hard work can really make progress," Aguilar told Daily Voice. "They're part of the community. They've gone out there and they've seen this need to fill."
Delacruz, a Passaic High School graduate, studied psychology and sociology at William Paterson University. She has worked with groups like NJ After 3, the Boys and Girls Club of Passaic/Paterson, Urban Crisis Council Daycare, and the Passaic Board of Education.
She felt there was plenty of talent in Passaic undiscovered, so the organization's workshops look to uncover it.
Other members include Amanda Rivera, Johanna DePena, Jessica Ramirez, Alexandra Saharig and Juan Izaguirre.
The group holds workshops periodically and Aguilar said they have a good turnout each time. In September 2016 the members hope to launch a full after-school program.
"It helps kids become empowered, motivated and creative through the process of learning arts," Aguilar said.
MORE INFO: Visit Certified Angels' website.
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