Four years ago, Northern New Jersey Scoutreach Director Rosa Urena, met Bryan. Bryan was a quiet kid who, like many, hadn’t found his niche. A bit lonely and isolated, Bryan quickly took to the structure of Scouting and thrived. He made fast friends with Thomas and together they lead a patrol. Bryan’s mom sees the change. “My son is a different boy. I am so grateful.”

Rosa and Bryan did not meet by chance. The Northern New Jersey Council put action behind the vision to reach more kids in economically challenged areas of Union City and Newark, NJ. They partnered with the BSA Foundation in a way that provided them operational support to hire a Scoutreach Director, Rosa Urena.  Rosa is uniquely passionate about Scouting. With operational support, Rosa is able to concentrate on her volunteers and growth. Rosa incorporates  volunteers in every unit. Many volunteers have taken their Scouts to summer camp and even Philmont.  In 2012 she started with 4 units. Now there are 29 units serving 800 kids!

Scout Executive Steve Gray states, “we have been able to leverage the Foundation’s initial support to open doors of influence and affluence. As a result, our council has a solid foundation on which Scouting programs can continue to serve more youth in our most urban and diverse communities.” The Northern New Jersey Council now has two Scoutreach Directors with no plans of slowing down.  While Rosa is dreaming big about reaching the 38,000 potential youth in Hudson County and Newark, NJ, it’s the “one” Scout that keeps her going.

-Northern New Jersey Council