2016 Heroes Update: Erin Sweeney MPP '07 & Antonio Valla MUP '08

We caught up with the 2016 Harvardwood Heroes and are excited to bring you their program updates throughout April!

First in the spotlight are Erin Sweeney MPP '07 & Antonio Valla MUP '08 of GlassRoots (Newark, NJ), a nonprofit glass art studio that works with Newark's inner-city youth.

"With the generous Harvardwood Grant, we were able to offer our acclaimed Volcano Project to Science Park High School on March 30, 2017. The program cost is $872; with the generosity of the Harvardwood Grant, we were able to offer the program to SPHS for $350.... The knowledge gained in this program goes beyond casual intrigue or passing high school science; we believe a solid grounding in earth science will prepare students to understand and act on pressing societal issues such as climate change, oil exploration, pollution and species threatened with extinction, and hope to instill a desire in our inner-youth to stay in science classes in school, and to pursue science studies in higher education. We are so grateful to Harvardwood Heroes for making this program possible!"

Erin Sweeney and Antonio Valla each came to Newark over five years ago, Erin to return to the urban nonprofit sector after a stint in the Foreign Service, and Antonio to continue his dream work as an urban planner; each fell quickly and deeply in love with Newark. Antonio was first to connect with GlassRoots, an incredible nonprofit glass art studio that uses the power of fire and glass to transform lives, especially those of Newark youth. A year after joining the Board, Antonio introduced Erin to the organization and they have each been devoted volunteers and supporters of GlassRoots ever since.

We are now accepting applications for 2017 Harvardwood Heroes grants! Apply by April 22nd. 

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