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The Need

About 23% of Newark’s nearly 200,000 residents over 25 have not achieved a high school diploma—a rate two times the national average. All The Way Up is reversing this trend by empowering adult learners in Newark and Greater Essex County to achieve their High School Equivalency Certification. We provide small-group tutoring with volunteer tutors to better meet the unique needs of each student. This individualized support results in a higher student retention rate than in most traditional, large-scale group GED educational models.

For many of our students, education truly has transformative potential. A better education leads to higher-paying jobs and long-term financial stability for our students' families. Our accessible and personalized approach to education helps students overcome the obstacles they face in conventional educational paths as members of under-resourced communities, immigrant communities, and communities of color. Through the collective efforts of our volunteers, teachers, and staff, our dedicated community partners, and the generous support of our donors, we continue to empower adults to create a more equitable and prosperous Newark.

Our Mission

All The Way Up Adult Education Center empowers adult learners in Newark, NJ and greater Essex County through individualized training in High School Equivalency/GED Test Preparation, Adult Basic Education (ABE), English as a Second Language (ESL) and Job Readiness Skills. We partner with community organizations, granters, and individual donors to directly improve the educational outcomes of our students throughout Essex County.

Our Vision

All The Way Up envisions a world where people come together to inspire and teach each other, co-creating a community where each person is living and working to their full potential.  We see a future where all individuals have access to high quality, personalized educational attention, regardless of their identity, financial means and geographic location. 


Our History

All The Way Up was founded by a think-tank of community and faith-based organizations and churches as a part of the Episcopal Diocese of Newark, called Newark Shared Ministries. We became our own independent 501(c)(3) nonprofit in 2018. Our class offerings have expanded to include GED, ESL, and Job Readiness Skills. Our initial founders saw that education and health access were a growing need in Newark’s Central Ward, our first location in Newark. Though there are quite a few youth and young-adult-oriented programs in the area, All The Way Up was created specifically to provide tutoring and classes to adults of all ages. 

Our Team

Staff and Leadership at All The Way Up

Our Board

Joe LaVela, President; John Sogliuzzo, Vice President, Dan Orchant, Treasurer; Christie Zipfel, Secretary

SanDonna Jones, David Palumbo, John Sogliuzzo, Juli Towell, Iris Schwartz, Susan FitzGibbon

Founding Partners

Chris Whitaker, Startup Manager & Founding Executive Director; Newark Shared Ministries: The Rev. Dr. Timothy Mulder, Mary Davis, Charotte Chappel, Rosalia Clegg, Juli Towell, Joe LaVela, The Rev. David L. Jones, The Right Rev. Mark Beckwith

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