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Alleluia Story: All Saints Community Service and Development Corporation

Chianti speaking at the All Saints CSDC Annual Gala last year.
Jessica Accurso Salguero

All Saints’ Parish in Hoboken created the All Saints Community Service and Development Corporation in 1995 to help meet the social and economic needs of children and families. Our mission is to equip children and families with the tools not only to survive, but also to overcome the many barriers they face. We believe that all people deserve a fair chance at creating a fulfilling life based on self-esteem, self-reliance, personal accountability and respect for others.

In 2002, we secured financing for, built, and opened the Jubilee Center, a welcoming community center that has allowed us to expand our programming and increase operating hours to provide a year-round safe haven for young people. Those we serve are among the most needy and impoverished in our community.

The Jubilee Center’s Teen College Readiness and Life Skills Program introduces high school students to opportunities that will encourage positive and productive outcomes after graduation. We guide our teens through a variety of educational and social building programs with the goal of preparing them for higher education, direct employment, or technical training following high school graduation. We relay the message that accountability and responsibility are tools that will lead each individual to their own success.

Six of our eight high school seniors have been accepted to four-year universities.

The student leader of the Teen Program is Chianti. Chianti grew up and still lives with his Mom in Hoboken’s Public Housing Authority, aka “The Projects.”

As an elementary student Chianti spent years at the Jubilee Center afterschool and summer camp programs. He joined the Teen Program as a high school sophomore and has been involved at the Jubilee ever since as a student leader, volunteer, and now as a staff counselor working with younger children.

According to Chianti, the Jubilee Center program has had a dramatic impact on his life. “Without the program I’d be going in a different direction and I wouldn’t be ready for the college world the way I am now.”

Chianti says there have always been many challenges and distractions growing up where he has. “The peer pressure to do drugs, join gangs, and commit crimes has always been intense.”

Many of Chianti’s peers have since dropped out of school and are involved in illicit activities.

Chianti has chosen a different path for himself. In addition to his leadership role in the program, he served as key note speaker at the All Saints CSDC Annual Gala last year and has been accepted to Montclair State University where he will begin this summer, 2015.

Chianti has blossomed into a fine young man and we are deeply proud of him.

Alleluia Stories have become part of our diocese's celebration of the Easter season and are a testament to the difference our Episcopal charity can make. They focus on an individual - a client, volunteer, staff member - whose life has been transformed by the work of an Alleluia Fund grant recipient. The Jubilee Center of Hoboken received an Alleluia Fund grant in December 2014.