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Montclair resident Bruce Reitz is a quiet hero to many youth of the area. He has been involved with Student/Partner Alliance (S/PA) since he heard about it 16 years ago. In that time, he has personally had a hand in the private school education and mentoring of more than 25 underserved youth from the Greater Newark area.
On June 9th, Bruce was honored with a prestigious NJ State Governor’s Jefferson Awards for Public Service, in recognition for all he has done for NJ inner city youth, by giving them academic leg up, in the form of tuition assistance and mentoring. Bruce hosts two sporting events each year, which produce tens of thousands of dollars annually, 100% going toward student tuitions. Bruce Reitz regularly meets with the two students that he mentors today; and continues to attract friends to assist in the mentoring of additional S/PA students who are being funded through Reitz Events. It is well documented how important mentoring is to the personal and academic success of youth. High school drop out rates are significantly lower for at-risk teens that have been mentored. The benefit to the community cannot be underestimated when these youth are educated to the extent that they continue their education to become successful contributors in their own communities.
15 Essex County inner-city high school students received a S/PA-Reitz scholarship and a mentor for the 2013-2014 school year. Courtesy of Millburn-Short Hills Patch June 16th 2014.