Immaculate Conception High School students lend a hand to Community FoodBank

HILLSIDE — Immaculate Conception High School students Ashley Medina of Newark and Joshua Okaro of Irvington joined their Student/Partner Alliance mentors for a morning of community service at the Community FoodBank of New Jersey in Hillside recently.

Of the ninety students that attended, eight were students from Immaculate Conception High School, located in Montclair. Along with students, thirty partners and mentors and fifteen family members attended the event.

The annual event is the largest and most anticipated gathering organized by S/PA as an opportunity for students and their sponsors/mentors to spend time together while “giving back” to their community. It is also an opportunity for scholarship recipients and their families from the various S/PA schools to meet each other and work side-by-side.

Jo Ann Degnan, principal of Immaculate Conception High School said, “ICHS stresses compassion for others. It is through efforts like these that students put compassion into action.”

Many families in the Greater Newark area have been hit hard in the recent months and weeks between storms and the economy. The Community FoodBank of NJ has had a higher than normal rate of requests for assistance from families and individuals in the area, and expects the usual holiday needs to be even greater than usual this year.

Student/Partner Alliance provides scholarship tuition assistance and mentoring to high school students in the Greater Newark area so that they can attend private schools in their neighborhoods.

All the schools that S/PA is affiliated with are strong academic, college preparatory high schools, with upwards of 98% of their graduates continuing their education beyond high school.

Additionally, these values-based schools are uniformly concerned with instilling a sense of community awareness and giving back through service to their neighbors. S/PA currently supports twenty-four ICHS students. For more information about S/PA visit or contact ICHS at

ICHS, located at 33 Cottage Place in Montclair, strives, within the context of family, to develop the whole person: morally, intellectually, socially, and physically. Visit their website at for more information.