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The Need

About 22% 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. With its accessible and individualized approach, All The Way Up seeks to challenge the obstacles our students have faced in conventional educational paths as members of under-resourced communities, immigrant communities, and communities of color. Together with other community partners, we can 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 GED Test Preparation, Adult Basic Education (ABE), 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 parishes as a part of the Episcopal Diocese of Newark, called Newark Shared Ministries. However, since formalizing as a 501(c)(3) in 2018, we have operated as an independent secular nonprofit. We two dozen wonderful, volunteer tutors, two staff, three GED instructors, and several consultants who come from a variety of backgrounds: retired educators, students at NJIT, Rutgers-Newark Business School and Medical School, working professionals, and others who want to give back to the community.

Our Team

Staff and Leadership at All The Way Up

Our Board

Joe LaVela, President; Dan Orchant, Treasurer; Christie Zipfel, Secretary

Charlotte Chappel, Sandonna Jones, John Sogliuzzo, Juli Towell, Iris Schwartz, Yaisha Thompson

Founding Partners

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

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