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Oprah Surprises Newark High School

Oprah Surprises Newark High School

Photo: @principal_akbar

When Oprah Winfrey saw Newark principal Akbar Cook on a CBS News Story featuring their “Lights On” program, she knew she wanted to do something to help, so she came to Newark, treated the Newark High School students to a pizza party then donated half a million dollars!

Cook became principal just 10 short months ago, but he has already improved the Newark school system in huge ways by implementing real solutions to big problems that students face. He started by bringing in washer and dryer units for student use after he saw the staggering number of kids who skipped school because they didn’t have clean clothes, resulting in ruthless bullying from other students. After that program was a success, he started Lights On to combat gun violence outside of school- and, it too worked.

During the school year, the Lights On program allows students to come after school from six to 11 and enjoy the use of the gym and other recreational activities instead of being on the streets. During the summer, Lights On allows the school to be open 3 nights a week. Before Lights On, NHS had lost three students in a short time to gun violence, but since the program has been implemented, that number has stayed there. When Oprah heard of this amazing program created by the new principal, she reached out and surprised the students and Principal Cook with a $500,000 donation. “I’m gonna leave here tonight,” she told the crowd of students and faculty “and leave you with half a million dollars!”

Principal Cook plans to use this money to give his students even wider resources from educational programs to work programs, teaching kids how to get a job, and life skills to use in the real world. He understands that education is essential, but that a lot of students just can’t go to college, they have families to support, no financial resources, or aren’t expected too, and he respects that. “If I can give them some educational resources and show them some life skills so they can be more employable to employers,” Cook said. “Anything I can [do] to make them successful.”

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Oct
28
Mon
7:00 pm Grand Tasting 2019 in Florham Pa... @ Park Avenue Club
Grand Tasting 2019 in Florham Pa... @ Park Avenue Club
Oct 28 @ 7:00 pm – 9:30 pm
Grand Tasting 2019 in Florham Park, NJ @ Park Avenue Club
Our biggest wine tasting event of the year! Enjoy a stellar selection of premium wines, cocktails and craft beers, served with plenty of savories at the beautiful Park Avenue Club, in Florham Park, NJ. Taste...
Oct
29
Tue
5:30 pm Trinitas Foundation Peace of Min... @ The Park Savoy Estate
Trinitas Foundation Peace of Min... @ The Park Savoy Estate
Oct 29 @ 5:30 pm – 10:00 pm
Trinitas Foundation Peace of Mind Event with Mariel Hemingway @ The Park Savoy Estate
Trinitas Peace of Mind Campaign Chairs, Deborah Q. Belfatto, Sue Head & Jill Sawers invite you to join them on Tuesday, October 29, 2019 at The Park Savoy Estate in Florham Park, New Jersey. Enjoy...
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2
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1:00 pm Collingswood Food Tour @ Collingswood, NJ
Collingswood Food Tour @ Collingswood, NJ
Nov 2 @ 1:00 pm – 4:00 pm
Collingswood Food Tour @ Collingswood, NJ
We invite you to take a tour of this wonderful town while sampling global flavors along the way. Prepare your palate for delicious traditional and modern Indian Cuisine. You’ll also have an opportunity to sample...
Nov
3
Sun
11:00 am Short Hills Street Fair and Craf... @ Downtown
Short Hills Street Fair and Craf... @ Downtown
Nov 3 @ 11:00 am – 5:00 pm
Short Hills Street Fair and Craft Show @ Downtown
Short Hills Street Fair and Craft Shows – the absolute best way to sell your goods and services. There will be artists, crafters, vendors, food, rides, live music, and more. Free admission for spectators. Average...
Nov
9
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8:00 pm Catholic Charities of the Archdi... @ Union County Performing Arts Center
Catholic Charities of the Archdi... @ Union County Performing Arts Center
Nov 9 @ 8:00 pm
Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Newark 2nd Annual Homeless Benefit Concert featuring The Midtown Men @ Union County Performing Arts Center
Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Newark will host its 2nd Annual Homeless Benefit Concert featuring The Midtown Men. All proceeds from this evening of great music will provide critical operations and program support, food,...
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21
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6:00 pm IEP Youth Services Presents “Lad... @ Battleground Country Club
IEP Youth Services Presents “Lad... @ Battleground Country Club
Nov 21 @ 6:00 pm – 10:00 pm
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1:00 pm Bordentown Food Tours @ Boredentown, NJ
Bordentown Food Tours @ Boredentown, NJ
Dec 1 @ 1:00 pm – 4:00 pm
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Jan
18
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8:00 pm Stephanie Mills with The Whispers @ NJPAC Prudential Hall
Stephanie Mills with The Whispers @ NJPAC Prudential Hall
Jan 18 @ 8:00 pm
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The awe-inspiring Stephanie Mills (original star of The Wiz) performs R&B hits from an illustrious 35-year career in a soul-stirring evening with The Whispers. Part of NJPAC’s annual celebration of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther...
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8:00 pm Johnny Mathis The Voice of Roman... @ NJPAC Prudential Hall
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8:00 pm Portugal’s Mariza Celebrates 20 ... @ NJPAC Prudential Hall
Portugal’s Mariza Celebrates 20 ... @ NJPAC Prudential Hall
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GRAMMY nominee Mariza (“Minh’ Alma”), the modern voice of Portuguese fado, brings 20 years of song to NJPAC’s Prudential Hall! “(Mariza) remakes fado’s ancient sadness into a majestic modern sound” (Rolling Stone magazine). With her...

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