NJSACC's Technical Assistance Specialist Patricia Pugliese Shares Her Afterschool Story!
Did you attend an afterschool program in your youth? Tell us what you did after school usually.
- I attended afterschool programs both in middle and high school. In HS, I attended the school’s gymnastics club twice a week. Not a great gymnast, but I did enjoy it very much and also learned how to “spot”. This lead me to start working in an after school program for a CBO at an elementary school. When I got to college, I was working steadily as a gymnastics instructor at a number of afterschool programs!
How were you introduced to NJSACC?
- I’ve been following NJSACC for years. Having worked OST in NYC, I wanted to start to learn about the field in my new home state of NJ.
When did you start working at NJSACC?
Your title when you started?
- Technical Assistance Specialist
Your title now?
- Technical Assistance Specialist
In your view, why is afterschool important?
- There are tons of reasons why afterschool is important! Afterschool provides young people with a safe space to learn, socialize, or work on homework, just to name a few. New opportunities are also a plus–some kids get to experience sports, arts, science through afterschool programs that they might not have had the chance to experience otherwise. Like myself, afterschool can provide young people with a skill that can lead to employment!
In your view, why is NJSACC important?
- The field of afterschool and out of school time programming will only continue to grow. Families need to work and their children need a place to go. NJSACC can help ensure that staff are equipped with the knowledge and skills needed to provide young people with a positive experience via professional development. NJSACC also connects providers to grant opportunities, help with advocacy efforts, and technical assistance. NJSACC has also helped build community amongst various providers within the state of NJ.
Patricia Pugliese is a Technical Assistance Specialist for the Quality Coaching Team at NJSACC. Patricia began her career in out-of-school time (OST) programming while still in high school, working in an after school program as an activity specialist. A child of immigrants and native New Yorker, Patricia has worked in all five boroughs with vulnerable youth and their families. With over 20 years of experience in the field of OST programming and youth development, Patricia is passionate about opportunities and services being equitable for and accessible to all. Patricia has held a variety of positions including program director (21 st CCLC elementary school age program), program officer, multi-site supervisor and senior director of youth and community programs. Her love for professional development led Patricia to co-chair the Training and Development Committee while working with the Police Athletic League. As a seasoned trainer and facilitator, Patricia enjoys sharing her knowledge and passion for the field.
Bilingual in Italian, Patricia had the opportunity to complete some of her early education in Italy. Patricia earned a BA in Sociology with minors in Children’s Studies and Physical Education from Brooklyn College. Patricia completed the Leadership Caucus and the High Performing Managers Institute with Community Resource Exchange as well as the Partnership for After School Education’s, Landit Women’s Leadership Program. Patricia is the proud mom of four: two boys and twin girls who keep her very busy!