‘Dream bigger’

Higher Up launches new, local non-profit to help current and graduated students of Hightstown High School


Higher Up launched its new, local non-profit at a kick-off breakfast on Oct. 4.

The organization will serve current and graduated students of Hightstown High School, including those who are underrepresented and underprivileged, by curating and coordinating meaningful summer jobs and career-essential internships. An on-point readiness program incorporating resume building, interview coaching, and business etiquette will complement paid placement opportunities provided by local business and skilled trade groups, according to a press release.

Participants will also engage with motivational speakers, affinity groups, and mentors.

“We believe that Higher Up students will feel confident in their honed skills, experientially on-par with their peers, and excited about reaching towards their future achievements,” Co-Founder Wendy McDade said. “In turn, our hometown businesses and skilled tradespeople will feel proud and socially responsible as they commit to the growth and development of local students — and come to share in their success.”

Higher Up will also work to remove barriers to summer job placements and internships such as transportation and attire. The organization looks to offset transportation expenses via stipends for gas, taxi service or local buses, and will work to ensure that each student is able to report to their placement opportunity with slacks and jackets or boots and work gloves: whatever is needed to enable students to professionally and personally thrive.

Higher Up is currently looking for business partners, volunteers, donors and sponsors who are ready to engage with and inspire local students to fly higher.

“When you invest in Higher Up, you’re enabling local students to dream bigger and work to acquire the skills and experiences necessary to achieve their career and life goals,” Co-Founder Rosa Prada Rodriguez said. “We believe that as your human investment grows, so will your sense of community, connectedness and pride.”

Additional information can be found at higherupnj.org. Interest in supporting a local student can be emailed to [email protected].