Trenton City Council Hears from FA Scholars


Foundation Academy Collegiate scholars addressed the Sept. 19 Trenton City Council meeting, urging council members to improve the community by focusing more on education, expanding community activities, and keeping neighborhoods clean.

In a presentation titled "What Trenton Needs," members of the FA Collegiate National Honor Society highlighted city challenges and identified concrete steps Council should take to address them.

"A large recurring issue with education specifically in Trenton is this ...mentality that because we come from a low income city, our futures are set in stone," scholars noted. "We have to change this."

Foundation Academies is a free public charter school serving more than 1,000 scholars K-12 in Trenton, NJ. FA opened as a middle school in 2007 and now includes three schools on two campuses in the city's north and south wards.

"At FA, we empower our scholars to lead purpose-filled lives," said Foundation Academies CEO Sheria McRae said. "We value their voices and ideas -- and I'm sure City Council will, too."

"This presentation comes from the heart," Mrs. McRae said. "I grew up in Trenton and returned after college to make a difference in my community. These scholars feel the same way."

The presentation was prepared over the summer by scholars Hobbes Chukumba, Aundrea Grizzle, Brianna Telles, and Jedidah Worrell, with support from NHS sponsor Vianney Anzures, a teacher at FA Collegiate.

North Ward City Councilwoman Jennifer Williams invited FA scholars to share their perspectives with city leaders. "It is always great for our Trenton City Council to engage our city's youth," Ms. Williams said. "Seeing and hearing the perspectives offered by these Foundation Academy students is important for us as decision-makers and the public."

FA scholars called on City Council to:

  • Collaborate with all school leaders to create more education and enrichment opportunities
  • Improve park conditions/Create a graffiti park
  • Host and promote community events
  • Repurpose abandoned buildings/Beautify with gardens
  • Enforce penalties for littering/ Bigger trash cans in neighborhoods
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Michelle Ruess