North Star Academy

North Star Academy was founded in 1997 by James Verrilli and Norman Atkins. According to 2003 U.S. Census data, Newark ranks as the second poorest city in the country, with almost half of its children living at income levels of less than $18,660 for a family of four. The New Jersey City Kids Count 2003 data paints a similarly grim picture: Newark children are less healthy, less likely to finish high school, and less likely to reach adulthood than other children around the state.

When students enter North Star they are often significantly behind their state peers. In fact, their test scores are often below the Newark District average, which is one of the lowest performing districts in the state. Chosen from among Newark residents by random lottery, nearly all North Star students are students of color. Eighty percent qualify for free/reduced price lunch. Ninety percent of their parents never graduated from college.

Director, Alumni Support