Community Engagement

Broken Not Broke: Childhood cancer and economic mobility
Research demonstrates that the economic mobility and financial stability of a family is drastically impacted by childhood cancer. The Guarini Institute has built the most comprehensive database of nonprofit, faith-based, public, and private organizations supporting childhood cancer in the country. It includes more than 450 entities in 50 states and Puerto Rico.

This database has been used to create a user-friendly online portal of financial resources available at no cost for families afflicted with childhood cancer:

Starting in 2024, a partnership with NJCU’s social work and nursing programs will provide these families with direct support to navigate the portal. 

Engagement with the Mexican American community in New Jersey
New Jersey City University and the Consulate General of Mexico in New York signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the purpose of creating opportunities to increase the well-being, educational opportunities, and social and economic mobility of the Mexican and Mexican American communities. As a result of this initiative, the Consulate drew upon the space and resources at NJCU to operate its “Consulate on Wheels” Program on NJCU’s campus.  

In 2022, from May 3 to Saturday, May 7, the Consulate assisted a total of 277 people from the community, providing consular services where 180 passports, 96 consular registration cards, and 35 voter cards (INE) were issued.  

Additionally, the Consulate operated with the support of local health agencies to provide free, safe, and confidential health service, and with the support of NJCU the consulate facilitated access to information about US higher education options for first-generation, immigrant and other non-traditional students. 

Given the success of this pilot program, the Consulate on Wheels returned to NJCU from October 10 to 14, 2023 as part of the celebrations of Hispanic Heritage Month.

Student Programs

Competency map of students at School of Business
The Guarini Institute contracted the firm Claira to map the competencies of a group of students at the NJCU School of Business. Claira is a firm that uses artificial intelligence (AI) to analyze the competencies and skills of employees in order to boost productivity and assist leaders to close gaps in the labor force. The collaboration with NJCU became the firm’s first partnership with a higher education institution.

Claira’s analysis offers insights on the competencies of the NJCU’s student body. The analysis will also optimize information for career services and identify future programs with corporate partners. The students’ information will be added to a national and international platform that match them with potential employers.

Student Competitions
The Guarini Institute at NJCU sponsored $10,000 to the NJCU team to participate in the 2nd Annual HSI Battle of the Brains Competition between March 8-12 in Austin, TX.

NJCU's team was comprised of five undergraduate students – Jessica Rivera and Katie Borjas (Marketing), Gercy Sorto (Accounting), Eduardo Vidal (Finance) Topu Saha (computer science). Along with academic advisor Dr. Jorge Medina, the students competed against teams of 10 other Hispanic Serving Institutions (HSI) from across the U.S.

International Partnerships

The Guarini Institute at NJCU signed an official agreement with the Government of Mexico, the Port of Ashdod, and with top Irish tech universities to foster academic exchanges, community outreach and development of tools to facilitate economic mobility.

Young Latin American Innovation Fellows
During the summer of 2022, the Guarini Institute facilitated the placement of 2 entrepreneurs from Latin America to work at the Fintech and Sports Wagering Innovation Center at NJCU. Matheus Parreira from Brazil and Christian Salazar from Mexico were selected by the US State Department to join the Young Latin American Innovation Fellows, a program to support emerging entrepreneurs in Latin America. 

In 2023, three YLAI fellows will be hosted by NJCU. One of them who specializes in HealthTech will support the Guarini Institute’s BrokenNotBroke program. Two of them will work at the Fintech and Sports Wagering Innovation Center.