12 Days of Giving – Day 5: Team Walker
Team Walker is applauded in Day 5 of Wiss’ #12DaysofGiving Celebration. We feel so privileged to have the relationship we do with Jerry Walker and his selfless and passionate TW team who works to provide positive influences in the lives of Jersey City children.
Team Walker (TW) is an organization whose mission is to provide safe and constructive alternatives to the harmful influences that plague inner city youth, specifically in Jersey City, NJ. Through a structured academic and recreational environment, the children learn how to focus on teamwork, responsibility, persistence and unity. Having this program which focuses on academic and recreational activities gives these children a better chance to stay free from negative influences that may surround them at home or in their neighborhoods.
Team Walker was founded in 1996 by Jersey City natives, Jerry and Jasper Walker, who aspired to give Jersey City children the same after school programs they enjoyed while growing up. They knew these programs helped them mature academically and athletically and pointed them in a positive direction for future successes. Now, Team Walker offers the same for the JC youth. TW also believes in giving back to the overall community by offering family programming that can improve the overall quality of life for Team Walker families.
Team Walker is near and dear to Wiss’ hearts. We enjoy participating in their events and it feels amazing, even for just a few hours, to be around these children and support them as positive role models in their lives. We have joined Team Walker in various events and especially love the Holiday Party, but this past summer’s volunteer initiative we feel was most invaluable to a Team Walker child and even to our own staff.
We brought in a Team Walker student – a young woman who had grown up under the TW mission, and provided her the opportunity to intern at our firm. Having a high-school aged summer intern brought a fantastic dynamic to our team and allowed her an experience beyond what is found in the classroom. Operations Director, Kim Bustamante recalls, “Wiss’ goal was to introduce the student to activities such as overcoming the nervousness of starting an internship, having to learn new skills outside an academic setting while working in a team environment, networking with a variety of people in various positions within the firm, seeing first-hand how assigned tasks relate to the functioning of the firm – all of these not only build self-confidence but inspire the exploration of new avenues and opportunities which the student may not have thought were possible.”