NJSACC's Chief Operating Officer Adam Cruz Shares His Afterschool Story!

Did you attend an afterschool program in your youth? Tell us what you did after school usually.

  • I was born in NYC but grew up in Paterson, NJ until I was 10 years old. Going to School #20 meant that most of us with parents who were at work during the day would go home after school. I don’t recall whether an afterschool program at our school operated or not. I was the typical “latch key” kid. I was raised by my mom, and she happened to work next door to our apartment building. After school, my sister and I would walk to my mom’s job and was given the ‘once over’ and then sent home to help with chores, eat a snack and do our homework. When my mom re-married and we moved to Dumont, I was introduced to afterschool by way of day camps and arts programs that operated before and after school throughout our town. Those introductions to music changed my life and profoundly impacted my youth development.

How were you introduced to NJSACC?

  • I was introduced to NJSACC by my spouse who began her own work in the afterschool and OST field, managing programs and working with youth. She later began working with NJSACC in various roles.

When did you start working at NJSACC?

  • 1/7/2013

Your title when you started?

  • Communications Coordinator

Your title now?

  • Chief Operating Officer (COO)

In your view, why is afterschool important?

  • Afterschool and out-of-school time programs are vital to young people’s successful development. Professionals in our field work with youth every day to help them problem-solve, build confidence, explore career paths, and learn essential social-emotional skills. NJSACC provides the necessary support and advocacy to OST professionals and expands access to quality afterschool and out-of-school time programs.

In your view, why is NJSACC important?

  • NJSACC is an essential resource and advocate for afterschool and Out-of-School Time professionals across New Jersey. By providing informative professional development opportunities, thoughtful guidance, and important news that its professionals want, this network has long remained the pulse of New Jersey’s afterschool and Out-of-School Time communities.
More about Adam Cruz, Chief Operating Officer


Adam Cruz is NJSACC’s Chief Operating Officer. He is a certified Adobe Captivate Specialist, a published author and a digital technology guru. For many creative professionals around the world, Adam has become their “go to” guy, building social media awareness for 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 creativity.


In 2018, he published a music business-related book, entitled “Free the Music Business: Tips & Tales from an Indie Music Nerd,” about his experience running a disco label at the turn of the millennium.


In 2019, the Newark Arts council selected Adam as one of their ArtStart 2019 grantees, issuing a mini-grant to adapt his book into a one-day music business conference for artists and creatives to network and engage in such topics as: artist health & wellness, financial literacy, current music business matters and more.


The Mixtape Sessions Music Conference was held at the Newark Public Library on Thursday, August 1, 2019.  Evaluation and assessment tools were provided by NJSACC.

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.