[Updated with Footage from PVTV] Teen Center Presented with NJCDC Award by Former Hornet Maria Hoffman
Gabriella Gutierrez '22
12 February 2020
The Teen Center was honored at the annual New Jersey Community Development Corporation's Friends Breakfast to highlight the program’s progress within the school and community. Maria Hoffman, a Passaic Valley alumn and current student at Montclair State University, was chosen to represent the Teen Center, for she was an honorable member of the program and grew to become a successful leader.
The Teen Center selected Maria Hoffman to accept the award on the their behalf, because she showed the most growth over the years and would be a great representation of the program’s valued work. She embodies how students can grow into aspiring adults and reach their goals. Hoffman was an active participant in the Teen Center, attending many of their workshops, activities, and events.
Director of the Teen Center, Ms. Kelly Carmichael, who helped Hoffman grow into the well-respected person she is today, praised her for her progress. “She blossomed into a confident leader and mentor for others," said Ms. Carmichael. "She understood her growth within the program, inspired others to reach their goals as well.”
Hoffman delivered a heart-warming speech at the NJCDC’s Friends with Breakfast event and took this honor to heart. Hoffman was thankful for her experience with the Teen Center and always felt welcomed by the program. “The Teen Center was there to help me, and everybody else, adjust to being in high school, and being teenagers,” she stated in her speech.
In her speech, Hoffman credited the Teen Center with helping her find her place both academically and socially. "When I was struggling in school, they offered me tutoring and my grades drastically improved," Hoffman said. "I also became involved in their Girls' Group and workshops regarding careers and college admissions, and even later became ambassador of the Teen Center."
This award speaks for itself, in saying how much the Teen Center and students involved can accomplish. “It feels good to be recognized for all the hard work we do but the real reward is knowing that we made a difference in helping someone achieve their goals,” said Ms. Carmichael.
The Teen Center thanks Superintendent Dr. JoAnn Cardillo and the Passaic Valley staff for their contributions in receiving an award like this. They appreciate their support and hope to see more students grow through the program.