Meet the Staff
Diane Genco, Executive Director
Diane has led numerous programs for families for over 40 years, from summer programs for migrant farm workers to day care programs for senior citizens (now she is one!). Diane is also an associate for the National Institute on Out-of-School Time at Wellesley College, where she has trained school administrators and afterschool professionals in 42 states. She currently serves on the Policy Board of the NJ Professional Development Center for Early Care and Education.
Before her move to New Jersey, Diane was the Executive Director of the Lawrence Extended Day Program (LEDP) in Brookline, Massachusetts, for ten years. This program is a parent controlled program and provides afterschool child care and enrichment classes in a public school. 1n 1979 LEDP was selected as an International Model of the United Nations for the International Year of the Child.
A native of Buffalo, New York, she received a BS in Human Development, Family and Community Relations from the State University College at Buffalo and a MS in Education and Child Care Administration from Lesley University in Cambridge, Massachusetts.
|2013||NJ's Annual Aletha R. Wright Award for Excellence in Early Care & Education|
|2009||NJ Audubon's Patricia F. Kane Excellence in Environmental Education|
|1998||Plainfield, NJ YMCA / Outstanding Service Award|
|1992||Dr. John E. Radig Memorial Award/ NJ State-wide Achievement Award for Afterschool Leadership|
Jessica Heiberg, Director of Program Services
Jessica organizes trainings, provides technical assistance to afterschool programs throughout the state, and coordinates NJSACC’s annual afterschool conference. She has spent her career working with children. Prior to joining NJSACC Jessica worked in a child care center before becoming a site coordinator for an afterschool program and a summer camp. A native of Westfield, New Jersey, she earned her BA in Women's Studies from Douglass College at Rutgers University. She lives in Fanwood with her husband and three children.
Lee McDermott Schaefer, Policy Director
Lee coordinates NJSACC's efforts to build public, private and political support for afterschool. Previously, she served as the Operations Director of the League of Young Voters, a national youth civic engagement organization, where she was responsible for the organization's finances, human resources, and organizational development. She also worked for the Open Society Institute’s Youth Initiatives program, where she managed grants in the areas of youth media, urban debate and school reform. She studied Economics at New York University and Nonprofit Management at the New School. After several years in Brooklyn, she once again lives in her hometown of Westfield with her husband and three beautiful children and is a proud Girl Scout troop leader.
Adam Cruz, Digital Technology Director
Adam Cruz is NJSACC's Digital Technology Director and a social networking/digital badges guru. For many creative professionals around the world, Adam has become their "go to" guy, building social media awareness to small business owners, artists, and educators. In addition, Adam has facilitated various career and music related workshops to school age children throughout the state, teaching the importance of literacy, passion and drive. Adam earned his BA in Creative Arts & Technology (specializing in Music Technology) from Bloomfield College. He currently resides in Bloomfield, NJ with his wife and their three beautiful children.
Ebony D. Grace, Director of Expanded Learning Opportunities
Prior to joining NJSACC, since 2004, Ebony worked for the New Jersey Department of Education responsible for providing programmatic and budgetary oversight and technical assistance for 21st Century Community Learning Centers and Even Start Family Literacy program grants, helping to implement quality out-of-school time programs for New Jersey residents ages birth through adulthood. For over ten years, Ebony worked at various colleges and universities in Philadelphia, PA and New Jersey for the Upward Bound program assisting first-generation students in their goals to graduate high school and obtain post-secondary education. Ebony graduated with a Bachelor's of Arts degree in psychology from Temple University and a Master's degree in Family Therapy from MCP Hahnemann/Drexel University. She also has experience as a practicing family therapist providing therapeutic services to individuals, families, couples and adolescents. In June of 2015, Ebony completed a 1-year fellowship program with the White-Riley-Peterson Policy Fellowship sponsored by the Charles S. Mott Foundation and The Riley Institute at Furman University.
Ebony also has a diploma in Baking and Pastry from the Art Institute of Philadelphia. She and her husband live in southern New Jersey with their two dogs and two tortoises.
Fred Wasiak, 21st CCLC Training and Technical Assistance Consultant
Fred C. Wasiak, background includes 30 years of leadership and executive management experiences in all aspects of nonprofit operations, program development, education, training, consulting, and coaching. Fred spent a combined 28 years with the two largest nonprofit organizations in the country, the YMCA and Goodwill Industries.
Fred has served on numerous boards of directors for nonprofit organizations. Fred has a B.S. in Physical Education from Niagara University and M.S. in Human Services with a concentration in Organizational Management/Leadership from Springfield College. Fred is a Certified Professional Coach. Fred is a husband of 30 years (and growing); father of three; a passionate cause driven leader; committed Rotarian; and an outdoor enthusiast.
AmeriCorps VISTA Members
Through our partnership with the Afterschool Alliance, NJSACC currently sponsors two AmeriCorps VISTA members.
Jaimie Held, Child Nutrition Outreach Coordinator
Jaimie is a newly appointed AmeriCorps VISTA, currently working with the Newark Public Schools Office of Expanded Learning Time to increase participation in afterschool and summer meals programs in Newark and statewide. Jaimie graduated from Montclair State University with a Bachelor’s of science degree in Applied Nutrition and a minor in Public Health. Previously, Jaimie had the opportunity to work for Rutgers Cooperative Extension SNAP-Ed program providing nutrition education and outreach in the community. During her time as an educator she realized her passion was more directed toward food access, policy, and sustainability. Jaimie decided to join the AmeriCorps program and was selected to work with Afterschool Alliance on their Sustainable National and Afterschool Program and Network Project. She will be working in conjunction with Newark Public School, Office of Expanded learning Time and NJSACC as the New-Jersey Summer and Afterschool Meal expansion VISTA. Jaimie’s year of service will be dedicated to developing systems to promote and support the provision of afterschool meals and snacks and summer learning programs connected to summer meal programs and increase participation among low-income children and families. Jaimie’s ultimate goals are to obtain her Master’s degree in Public Health/Public policy and continue to pursue her passion working in the field.
Ross Wright, Project Coordinator, My Brother's Keeper initiative
Ross is a newly appointed AmeriCorps Vista, currently working under the Afterschool Alliance and My Brother’s Keeper Initiative with the Newark Mentoring Movement (Newark, NJ). Ross is a recent graduate from Kean University (Union,NJ) with a BA in Criminal Justice. As a native of Newark, Ross looks to bring his personal insight and compassion for the city to improve the quantity and quality of mentoring and college readiness in OST programs for boys and young men of color. Ross’ previous work with/for youth includes interning with the Center for Court Innovation’s Youth Court program within the Municipal Court system of the city.