Author Archives: Andrew Dauphinee

About Andrew Dauphinee

Education and learning are passions of mine. Lifelong learning is a core part of who I am and I strive to pass that desire for information on to everyone I meet. As the Instruction and Outreach Librarian, it is my goal to provide quality, informative, and relevant programming to meet the diverse needs of our patrons. Please contact me regarding programming at adauphinee@njstatelib.org.

Diving Deeper into Genetic Genealogy Program Recap

A big thanks to professional genealogist Melissa Johnson for unraveling some of the mysteries surrounding genetic genealogy.  Using genetics as a tool for genealogical research is an ever-expanding field and Melissa did a wonderful job of explaining the many facets of the field for amateur and professional genealogists alike.  One of the most common questions is determining which DNA test will yield the best information and as with many answers, the simple answer is “it depends”.  Let’s cover the 3 types of DNA testing:

  • Y-Chromosome Testing
    • Tests the Y-chromosome that is only passed down through the male line
    • Mutations can occur which can help identify how closely related 2 Y-chromosome DNA matches are likely to be
    • Only shows that there is a male relation, but will not pinpoint which male it is (ex. brothers)
    • SNP Test (single nucleotide polymorphism)
      • designed to help identify deep ancestry and haplogroup
    • STR Test (short tandem repeat)
      • examines a specific number of markers (11, 37, 67, or 111)
      • Testing 37 or more markers is best for genealogical research
      • Family Tree DNA’s test shows non-matching STR markers, known as the “genetic distance”
        • Genetic distance of 2 or more may indicate common ancestor for 2 people is much farther back, outside of a genealogical time frame
    • Designed to answer a specific question, such as “Are Person A and Person B brothers”, rather than “fishing” for potential DNA matches
  • Mitochondrial Testing
    • We all have DNA from the mother’s side and this test looks at that DNA; however, this DNA can only be passed on by female children
    • As with the Y-chromosome testing, results will only show a female relation, but will not pinpoint which female it is (ex. sisters)
    • mt Full Sequence test is best for genealogy, while mtDNA Plus only tests 2 regions and is best for determining a haplogroup
    • Designed to answer a specific questions, such as “Are Person A and Person B sisters”, rather than “fishing” for potential DNA matches
  • Autosomal Testing
    • Most common type of test that looks at 22 of 23 chromosome pairs (excluding gender)
    • Shows patterns in our DNA that we have inherited from our ancestors, usually within the past 6 generations
      • A 50/50 split of DNA from mother and father rarely occurs
    • The test measures the amount of centimorgans that we have in common with other people, which will roughly determine their potential relation to us
    • This type of test is best if we are just trying to “fish” to see who we might be related to

With many DNA tests come a breakdown of our ethnicity.  These breakdowns will vary for each testing company, based on the sample DNA from populations determined to be native to different areas of the world.  These tests have little impact on actual genealogy and should not be used to focus your genealogical research or serve as the main answer to any genealogical question.

Genetic testing, even for genealogy purposes, poses some ethical questions to consider.  Some tests will also look for potential health-related risks that may make some people uneasy.  Additionally, testing other’s DNA may lead to hidden truths about their parents or ancestry that might pose a challenge, such as learning a parent had an affair.  Determining what people are willing to test for and what they want to know is important to consider when venturing into genetic testing.  Additionally, if you are going to be uploading results or posting information based off of someone else’s DNA results, please get their consent to do so.

If you have questions about DNA tests, genetic genealogy, or general genealogy, please contact Melissa Johnson at mjohnson@johnsongenealogyservices.com.  You can download a copy of the handout at Diving Deeper into Genetic Genealogy Handout.  Also, please visit our Genealogy Research Guide for many helpful tips and resources!

Career Connections Presents – Top Notch Resumes 2 Program Recap

Thank you to all of the participants who joined us for Career Connections Presents – Top Notch Resumes 2.  Your resume is your opportunity to make a statement and lasting impression on the person or committee hiring for a specific position.  Here are some tips to help ensure your resume highlights your qualifications and skills:

  1.  While a chronological resume is the most widely recognized format since it emphasizes work history, a functional resume is great for recent graduates or career changes since it focuses on your skills and overall achievements rather than work history.
  2. Read through the job description and take note of all of the keywords.  Include as many of these keywords in your resume to show that meet or exceed the requirements of the job.  Also, many job applications are online and therefore first screened by a computer; including keywords from the job description will help ensure that computer does not dismiss your application.
  3. Make sure that a majority of our skills, relevant work experience, and keywords are within the first three-quarters of the first page of your resume.  You want to grab the attention of the person reading the resume right away since hiring managers tend to spend very little scanning each resume at the beginning of the process.

Top Notch Resumes 2 also touched on cover letters and references, which can be equally as important as your resume.  Follow this tips to maximize your impact on the person reading your credentials:

  1. Make sure your heading on all of your application materials is consistent.  If you papers get lost or mixed with others’ applications, it will be easily identifiable.  Also, this demonstrates your attention to detail and that you are organized.
  2. Your cover letter should not be a copy of your resume.  Refer to the job title in your cover letter and express interest in the position.  Demonstrate your ability to do the job in a few sentences, focusing on achievements and skills while also including those keywords from the job description.
  3. A cover letter should never be more than 1 page.
  4. Always provide professional references when asked, unless specifically instructed to provide personal references.

For more information on resume building as well as interview skills, finding the right career, and more, visit New Jersey Career Connections powered by the NJ Department of Labor and Workforce Development.

Living with Alzheimer’s for Caregivers – Late Stage Program Recap

Alzheimer’s Disease is the most common form of dementia and can slowly strip away a person’s independence and place a significant strain on loved ones, especially those who are responsible for that person’s care.  Often the most difficult time is during the late stage of the disease, which can incapacitate a person, forcing them to rely on 24-hour care.  Nicolette Vasco, from the Alzheimer’s Association Greater New Jersey Chapter, shared some powerful information to help caregivers as they try to navigate the difficult course that is Alzheimer’s during the late stage.

Symptoms of late stage Alzheimer’s include:

  • an increase in memory impairment
  • experiencing the world through the senses
  • language becomes more basic
  • incontinence
  • increased dependence on caregivers
  • diminishing physical abilities

Care during the late stage should be all-encompassing and incorporate physical, emotional, and spiritual aspects of care.  This will often depend on the person’s individual needs as well as identifying the positive and negative triggers for that person.  Additionally, greater stress can be placed on the caregiver due to greater dependence or responsibility for making medical decisions so it is imperative that the caregiver makes time for his/herself to ensure that they remain healthy and able to give the best care possible.

Communication generally becomes more difficult, including more non-verbal cues such as facial expressions and body language.  It is important for caregivers to start to recognize these changes and be aware of how their non-verbal communications may be impacting their loved one.  For example, folding your arms may communicate that you are angry or upset with your loved one, even though that is not your intention.  Additionally, touching often becomes the most intimate way to communicate and can serve as a way to uplift the spirits of your loved one.  Meaningful activities like being outdoors or listening to their favorite music may be great ways to reach your loved one and demonstrate you care, even if you are unable to verbally communicate.

There are many other issues that caregivers will have to address during the late stage, including eating, moving, and using the bathroom.  Eating can become more difficult or the person may loose the ability to taste certain foods, making them less likely to eat.  It is recommended to work with a nutritionist to ensure your loved one is getting the proper nutrients in the forms that may be easiest to ingest.  Moving, including sitting and standing, may require more attention on the caregivers part to escort a loved one around, or they may need to start using a walker or wheelchair, significantly limiting their mobility.

There are many other medical symptoms that may become more pronounced during the late state, especially if someone is moving less.  Bed sores or pressure sores may start to develop because a person’s nerves are not communicating a need to change position or the person may be physically unable to move.  Additionally, the disease may start to cause hallucinations or delusions, requiring more monitoring by a caregiver.  As a result, it is important to consistently monitor the person’s care, especially as it relates to pain management, breathing, and changes in sleep patterns.

With all of the changes that may happen during the late stage, it may be necessary to shift the burden of care from a family member or friend to a professional, in the form of a home health aid or a 24/7 care facility.  If a move is necessary, it is important to involve other people close to the loved one to determine which option is best.  Visiting multiple facilities and dropping by for walk-in tours will help get a better understanding of the options that work best for your individual situation.  Additionally, decorating a room to make it seem more like home may help them adjust to their new environment quicker and with less anger or resentment.

For more information about Alzheimer’s Disease, including tips and resources, please visit www.alz.org or call their 24/7 Helpline at 1-800-272-3900.  You can find a copy of Part 1 of the presentation at https://www.njstatelib.org/assets/AlzheimersCaregiversLateStagePart1.pdf and Part 2 at https://www.njstatelib.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/04/Alzheimers-Caregivers-Late-Stage-Part-2.pdf.

Grow Your Own Veggies Program Recap

Thank you to Mike Gliddon from the Rutgers Master Gardeners of Mercer County for passing along his vegetable gardening knowledge.  Mike has been a Master Gardener for 10 years, but has been growing vegetables for over 40 years, both in the United States and England.  There are many factors to take into consideration when deciding what and where to plant.  Follow these tips to ensure a healthy plants and a bountiful harvest:

  • Where to plant
    • Fruiting vegetables need a minimum of 8 hours of sun per day
    • Root vegetables need a minimum of 6 hours of sun per day
    • Leafy vegetables need a minimum of 4 hours of sun per day
    • Make sure there is a water source nearby and no competition for sun or water from trees or shrubs
    • Make sure the ground is level, there is good drainage, and the soil is fertile
    • Beneficial to create a layout of your garden during the winter months to ensure you have enough space and are able to conserve space and grow everything you want
      • make sure to include space between and within rows as well as the planting dates, as recommended on seed packets or plant labels
  • What to plant
    • Plant what you like to eat and in the quantity you will eat
    • Go for high producers such as tomatoes, lettuce, squash
    • Difference between cold season (peas, kale) and warm season (peppers, tomatoes) vegetables
    • Stage of plant growth
      • seeds grown indoors
        • make sure to acclimate to outdoor temperatures over 2 week period before planting
        • allow for a wide variety not found in stores, but much more work
        • 16 hours of artificial light = 8 hours of sunlight
      • purchased transplants
        • have a very limited variety, but are easy
        • plant same depth as in pot, but tomatoes can be planted deeper
        • plant on cloudy day or early/late on sunny day to minimize shock
        • mark planting row with twine to ensure row is straight
      • direct seeding
        • easy to do, but take alot of early care, such as watering
        • Cover with fine soil
        • mark planting row with twine to ensure row is straight
        • label the rows
  • When to plant
    • Frost free date for Mercer County is May 8th
    • 4-6 weeks before May 8th
      • very hardy seeds such as lettuce, onion, peas
      • very hard transplants such as broccoli, cabbage, rhubarb
    • 2-4 weeks before May 8th
      • hard seeds such as beets, carrots, onion sets, radishes
      • hard transplants such as brussels sprouts, collards, horseradish
    • May 8th, weather dependant
      • not cold hardy seeds, such as soybeans, squash, corn
      • not cold hardy transplants such as tomatoes
    • 1 week + after May 8th, weather dependant
      • hot weather seeds such as cucumber, pumpkin, melon
      • hot weather transplants such as peppers, eggplant, tomatoes
    • Late June/Early July
      • seeds such as broccoli, carrots, parsnip
    • Summer
      • seeds such as beans, cabbage, squash
      • transplants such as broccoli, cauliflower
  • Soil Preparation
    • Soil is the basis for successful gardening to maintaining a health soil is important
    • Add organic matter, such as compost, annually to improve the quality, including:
      • compacted clay soil
      • freely draining poor sandy soil
      • heavily cropped soil
    • Test your soil for nutrients and pH
      • pH should be between 6-6.5
    • Green manure is a great, sustainable way to enrich soil
      • For example, plant clover at the end of the season and then till it in early spring
    • Crop rotation is also important to ensure nutrients are not drained from a specific area of your garden
      • You should rotate crops by their type every year in 3 year increments
      • Cruciferous crops = cabbage broccoli, kate
      • Solanaceous crops = pepper, tomato, potato
      • Cucurbits = cucumber, squash
      • Allium = onions
      • Legumes = beans, peas
      • Root = parsnips, carrots
      • Zea = corn
  • Maintenance
    • Mulching is valuable as it helps conserve soil moisture, reduce weed growth, and reduce disease problems
    • Consistently weed, especially for young plants to ensure proper nutrient absorption
    • Thin finely sown seeds with garden scissors or shears
    • Staking and tying taller plants such as tomatoes and beans to ensure healthy growth

For more information on vegetable, general gardening, and upcoming events, please visit the Rutgers Master Gardeners of Mercer County at https://mgofmc.org/ or call their Help Line at 609-989-6853.  To browse the Fact Sheets for a variety of gardening topics, please visit https://njaes.rutgers.edu/pubs/subcategory.php?cat=1001&sub=1001 and scroll down until you get to the sheets starting with “FS”.  For a copy of the presentation, please visit https://www.njstatelib.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/04/Grow-Your-Own-Veggies-Presentation.pdf.

Small Business Administration Resources and Services Program Recap

Thank you to Erika Pearson for a very informational presentation on the mission and resources of the Small Business Administration.  Created to help foster the growth of small businesses, the SBA offers a wide range of services, including indirect funding, Lender Match, counseling and training, and disaster assistance on rare occasions.

The SBA’s Learning Center, https://www.sba.gov/learning-center, offers 64 FREE training programs, including Buying a Business, Finding and Attracting Investors, and Savings Plans for Small Businesses.  You can also find free/low cost training from local partners at https://www.sba.gov/NJ.

The SBA also partners with many local and state organizations to provide a wealth of resources for small businesses and their owners.  Local partners affiliates include Small Business Development Center and Counselors to America’s Small Business (SCORE).

Perhaps the most important aspect of the SBA are their loans.  SBA loans are not direct loans to the recipient, but rather a guarantee for a traditional lender, such as a bank, where the SBA provides the funding to the lender, which is then extended to the borrower. For example, you apply to the lender, the SBA guarantees the lender of repaying the loan, then the lender approves the loan and gives you the money.

SBA loans help reduce the lender’s risk if the borrower has an aspect that is considered too risky, such as:

  • unstable cash flow or fear of repayment issues
  • insufficient collateral
  • seeking non-standard repayment terms
  • startups

Lenders generally look for the 5 “C”s:

  • Character
    • your background, education, and experience
    • Feasible Business Plan is critical
    • credit history, both personal and business
  • Capacity
    • Cash flow/business plan
    • can you repay?
    • will you show a profit?
    • is that profit sustainable?
  • Collateral
    • Tangible assets
    • property
    • equipment
    • Inventory
    • Collateral can be personal or business related
  • Capital
    • personal investment in the business
    • grants or gifts to fund business
    • how you are investing any profits
  • Conditions
    • Purpose of the loan
    • Amount requested
    • Length of loan
      • Working capital = 3 – 5 years
      • Furniture, fixtures, and equipment = useful life of the items
      • real estate = up to 25 years
    • Local economic climate of industry

In order to qualify for an SBA loan,  the borrower must be:

  • for profit
  • independently owned
  • legal resident
  • meet SBA size requirement

Disqualifiers include:

  • ineligible for financing
  • non-profit
  • money used to buy and sell real estate
  • pyramid sales
  • defaulted on federal government debt
  • probation, parole, or pending criminal charges

SBA Loans Programs

  • 7(a)
    • Maximum of $5 million
    • Fixed interest rate, but rate is negotiable
      • Less than 7 years = Prime + 2.25%
      • Greater than or equal to 7 years = Prime + 2.75%
    • Uses include working capital, inventory, line of credit, expansion/renovation, land, equipment/fixtures, or refinance debt for compelling reasons
    • Fees
      • Only on guaranteed portion of loan
      • Less than 1 year = 0.25%
      • Greater than or equal to 1 year
        • up to $150k = 2%
        • $150k – $700k = 3 %
        • $700k – $5m = 3. % + 3.75% per million
      • If in a HUB Zone, less than or equal to $150k = 0.06667%
      • Fees can be rolled into total loan and no prepayment penalty if less than 15 years
  • SBA Express
    • line of credit up to 10 years
    • Up to $350k = 50% guarantee by SBA
    • Rates
      • $50k or less = Prime + 6.5%
      • Greater than $50k = Prime + 4.5%
  • MICRO Loan
    • Maximum of $50k
    • No fees
    • Maximum of 6 year repayment
    • No real estate
    • Mandatory FREE pre and post loan counseling
  •  504 Loan
    • Primarily for real estate
    • Maximum of $5 million
    • Contribution breakdown
      • 50% of loan from the lender
      • 40% sold in secondary market
      • 10% put forward by borrower

If you have any questions about the SBA or any of the available loans, please reach out to Erika Pearson at 973-645-6160 or erika.pearson@sba.gov.  For a copy of the presentation, please visit https://www.njstatelib.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/04/SBA-Resources-and-Services.pdf.

Understanding Social Security Program Recap

A big thanks to Britany Enelow from the Credit Union of New Jersey for a very informative presentation demystifying the basics of Social Security.  There are many different components to Social Security and deciding when to collect and how to file can have a significant impact on amount of money you can receive.  Some of the major topics covered include:

  • Social Security Basics
    • Social Security was created by an act of Congress so there are no guarantees that the problem will last from year to year
    • Social Security is calculated partly off the number of “Credits” you earn
      • 1 credit is equal to 3 months of working
      • In order to be eligible to collect Social Security, you must a minimum of 40 credits, or 10 years of work
      • You stop earning credits at age 70, so if you decide to keep working, you will not be paying anymore into social security and it will not enhance your benefits anymore
    • To receive all of our Social Security benefits, you must wait until your Full Retirement Age, which is based on the year you were born
      • 1943-1954 – age 66
      • 1960 and later – age 70
      • For years in-between, add 2 months to 66 for every year above 1954
      • If you file before your Full Retirement Age, you will receive reduced benefits for the rest of your life
    • Primary Insurance Amount or PIA
      • PIA is your monthly benefit amount at your Full Retirement Age
      • If you file after your Full Retirement Age, you will receive more than your PIA
    • After you file, you have 12 months to make and changes to your filing status
  • Types of Benefits
    • Spousal Benefits
      • You can collect Social Security Benefits for your spouse whether you are still married, widowed, or divorced
      • You can only collect Spousal Benefits if your spouse is retired or deceased
      • If you claim Spousal Benefits, the amount is equal to half the amount of your spouse’s benefit, minus the amount of your benefit
        • For example, if Spouse A receives $2,000 and Spouse B receives $500, the Spousal Benefits for Spouse B would be $500.
      • If you are divorced, you can collect only if:
        • You were married to that spouse for at least 10 years
        • You are unmarried
        • At least age 62
        • Your benefits are less than the spouse
      • If you are widowed:
        • You can collect at your Full Retirement Age, but the amount will depend on whose benefits are higher
        • You can collected a reduced amount starting at age 60
        • You can collect at age 50 if the surviving spouse is disabled or there is a dependent child
          • Once the child is no longer a dependent, the benefits stop until you refile at age 60 or Full Retirement Age
  • Working After Collecting
    • There are no penalties for collecting Social Security and working if you are past the Full Retirement Age
    • From age 62 – year of Full Retirement Age, they will withhold $1 for every $2 you earn, if you earn above $17,640
    • During the year of your Full Retirement Age, they will withhold $` for every $3 you earn, if you earn above $46,920
  • Important Considerations
    • Pension/Government Pension Offset Plan
      • Some pension programs have an Offset Plan, which means that the amount you receive from your pension will reduce the amount you will collect from social security

Please visit the Social Security Administration’s website, https://www.ssa.gov/, to learn more or to sign up for an account to track your Social Security Benefits.  If you have specific questions about Social Security, the presentation, or would like to discuss your personal financial situation, please reach out to Britany Enelow, Financial Advisor, Credit Union of New Jersey, at 609-538-4061 ext. 2056 or benelow@cunj.org.

Money Matters Program Recap

Thank you to everyone who attend our kick-off event for Money Smart Week 2019, entitled Money Matters.  One of the first steps to financial security is planning and following through on a personal spending plan or budget.  Budgeting in about choices; choosing how to make money and choosing how to spend money.  Money Matters, a financial workshop created by the FDIC, teaches how to do just that.

The first step in the planning process is to set financial goals, which include:

  • Identify and write down your financial goals, such as retirement, buying a house, or sending children to college
  • Organize your financial goals based on the time frame you would like to complete them in
    • Short-term (less than 1 year), medium-term (1 – 3 years, and long-term (5 years or more)
  • Educate yourself by talking with a financial representative or by reading books or magazines.  Then you can identify small, measurable steps to achieve your goals.
  • Evaluate your progress monthly, quarterly, or yearly to see if you have met your goals or can identify ways to improve reaching your goals

A great way to help understand your current financial situation and what goals are reasonable, is to create a spending plan.  A spending plan is a step-by-step plan for meeting expenses in a given time period and determining what extra money you have at the end of each month.  A spending plan should include:

  • All sources of income, including the dates income is received
    • income includes wages, social security, retirement, government assistance, and child support
  • All of your expenses including due dates, which generally fall into two categories:
    • Fixed expenses do not change from month to month, such as rent, car loans, student loans, child support payments
    • Flexible expenses can vary from month to month, such as utilities, credit card payments, food, gas, and other personal expenses
  • The total amount of income and expenses subtracted from each other to see how much money is left over, that can be put away in savings account, a rainy day fund, or pay off outstanding debt
  • You can create a spending plan using a spreadsheet software or by listing all of the information on a calendar
  • If the traditional ways of creating a spending plan don’t work for you, you can try these options:
    • Expense Envelop System – useful if you pay bills in cash
      • Make an envelope with for each monthly expense by writing the name of the expense, the amount due, and the due date
      • Pay the bills right away so you are not tempted to spend the money
    • Budget Box System
      • A box or folder with dividers, with one divider for each day of the month
      • Whenever you receive a bill or know of an expense, but the bill or a reminder behind the divider of the due date
      • As you receive income, pay your bills in order as soon as possible to ensure all of your bills are paid

While we would like to always have a surplus of money, that might not always be the case.  Should you run into a situation where your expenses are greater than your income, consider the following:

  • Pay your necessary household expenses first, such as rent, mortgage, food, and utilities
    • Some utility companies have programs to lower your bill if you qualify
  • Prioritize your bills by thinking about the health and safety of your family
  • Seek assistance to help cover other expenses, such as credit counseling, government assistance programs, or loan deferments

For more information about personal finances and goal setting, you can talk to a representative from your bank or credit union, or visit MyMoney.gov.  For a copy of the presentation, CLICK HERE.  You can find a spending plan template HERE.

Career Connections Presents – Top Notch Resumes 1 Program Recap

Resumes and cover letters serve as your introduction to and first impression on potential employers.  As a result, it is critical that your resume and cover letter are polished and effectively communicate your strengths, skills, and accomplishments.  Your resume is essentially Your Brand and represents everything that you are.  Therefore, it is important to make sure your resume, and by extension your cover letter, are tailored specifically to the job you are applying for and complement each other with being exact duplicates of each other.  Here are some important tips to remember when drafting and submitting your resume:

  • A functional resume, while less common, focuses more on your skills, proficiency, and objectives rather than your work history.  This can be a great way to structure your resume if you are changing careers, unemployed or in a single job for a long time, or fresh out of school.
  • A chronological resume is the most common type of resumes and focuses more on your work history to show an upward or lateral progression in a certain career or profession as well as highlight continuous employment.  Always list your current or most recent job first and then work backwards in time.  Listing the last 10 years of employment is generally sufficient if you have held multiple jobs; if you are looking to advance in a particular field or career, it is worthwhile to list more than the last 10 years as long as those jobs relate to the skills or profession you are in.
  • Use bullet-points to list your skills, job duties, and responsibilities rather than paragraphs.  This will make it easier for employers to find the skills they are looking for and it will make your resume easier to read.  In the same vein, when using bullet-points, also list the most important or impactful skills and job duties first, especially those that are related to the job for which you are applying.
  • Be Consistent!  Whether it is punctuating at the end of your bullet-points or choosing the tense of the verbs in your description, always be consistent in both your resume and cover letter.
  • Use ACTION VERBS when describing your skills and job duties and try to link your duties, responsibilities, and accomplishment to certain goals or results, whether they can be measured or not.

For much more information on resumes, please visit the Prepare tab on the Career Connections website available at www.careerconnections.nj.gov.   For more information on careers and occupations, including summaries and required/desired skills, visit CareerOneStop at www.CareerOneStop.org.

Makers Day 2019 Recap

Thank you to everyone who came out on Friday March 22 for our 4th Annual Makers Day!  This year was our biggest one so far!  Please check out some pictures below along with links to some of the projects!

Origami Bookmarks

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BEwl0fvqo18

Spice Rubs

https://www.allrecipes.com/recipe/242012/steak-dry-rub/
https://www.bewell.com/blog/3-simple-dry-rub-spice-recipes/

Seed Bombs

https://www.favecrafts.com/Garden-and-Outdoor/Simple-DIY-Seed-Bombs

 

Button Making

 

 

Popsicle Stick Shelf

https://makeanddocrew.com/diy-wall-art-popsicle-stick-hexagon-shelf-part-i/

 

Mini Donuts

Nestle Crunch Donut Maker

Virtual Reality – Beat Saber

 

Career Connections Presents – Path to Employment Program Recap

Finding a job after years of unemployment or trying to change careers can be a daunting task  Oftentimes, looking for a job can be a full-time job in itself and it may take some time to see the fruits of your hard work.  However, all the effort will be worth it and there are many tools available to help you in your job search.

First and foremost, having a positive outlook and attitude can go a long way, especially in terms of having the motivation to do the hard work looking and applying for jobs.  If you are having trouble keeping a positive frame of mind, try one or more of the following:

  • Practice positive self talk
  • Exercise regularly to form a sense of accomplishment
  • Read motivational books
  • Join a club or group, such as a volunteer organization

At the outset of your job hunt, it can be very beneficial to figure out your career goals.  Having a clear vision of where you want to be in 1, 5, or 10 years can be effective as you determine what you want to do and the jobs that can get you there.  When setting your career goals, consider the following:

  • Write it down – once you write it on paper, it becomes concert and brings your goals closer to reality
  • Be specific – you won’t accomplish your goals if they are vague or unclear
  • Be realistic – understanding your own skills as well as the labor market will help you set goals that are achievable
  • Collaborate – surround yourself with others than can provide critical feedback and positive support
  • Focus – you must make your goals a high priority to succeed; people often fail to achieve their goals because of a lack of drive and commitment

Searching for a job can be very tedious, but luckily, there are many ways you can find jobs.  Online job boards and postings on company websites are the most common ways to find a job, but do not forget about job fairs and networking.  Many times its who you know, not what you know.

It may also be beneficial to create a job-search plan.  Create a calendar for each week, dedicating time to searching, applying, volunteering, and taking care of yourself.  By organizing your activities, it provides a visual roadmap of your work and also holds you accountable for your own success.  In addition to a plan, keep a log of all the jobs you applied for and are interested in.  Be sure to identify the job title, date of application, any contact information, and the result.  You may be surprised to see patterns in the types of jobs you are getting interviews for.

Lastly, there are many online resources to help you along the way.  New Jersey Career Connections, created by the Department of Labor and Workforce Development, has tools and resources for all aspects of your career, from identify your strengths, to writing powerful resumes, to honing your interview skills, to advancing your current career.  At the personal level, there are 23 Jersey Job Club locations across the state that provide you hands on experience writing resumes, practicing your interview skills, and networking.

Last Seen: Finding Family After Slavery Program Recap

Thank you to Margaret Jerrido and Dr. Judith Giesberg for showcasing their collaborate project Last Seen: Finding Family After Slavery.  Several years in the making, Last Seen is a searchable database of “Wanted” ads from nineteenth and early twentieth century newspapers, focusing on slaves and former slaves.  These documents contain wonderful nuggets of information for anyone conducting genealogical research with slave ancestry as well as highlight the importance of reuniting families for African Americans in the decades after Emancipation.

For example, here is an ad from the Philadelphia Times from July 8, 1889 for woman from Red Bank, NJ looking for her son:

One of the great aspects of Last Seen is that is a free database; no payments or subscription fees required.  As such, the team behind Last Seen relies on the help of thousands of people who volunteer their time to transcribe the ever-growing collection of records.  If you would like to sign-up to be a transcriber, please visit http://informationwanted.org/sign-up.

Another great feature of Last Seen is the geographical overlay of all of the records.  Here is a screenshot of the Eastern Seaboard, showcasing many records and their corresponding locations:

If you have any questions about the project, records, or any other aspect of Last Seen, please complete the form at http://www.informationwanted.org/contact.

Forging Effective Public / Private Partnerships through Corporate Day-of-Service Projects Program Recap

Thank you to Leontyne Anglin from Staging Executives for her exciting and interactive presentation highlighting corporate day of service events for non-profits.  Grants are a major source of funding for non-profits, but it is becoming more and more difficult to secure grant money and that money can take months to come in.  There is an untapped source of funding available through corporate entities.  By building strong partnerships with businesses, non-profits can enhance their funding while also promoting their mission and gaining new and enthusiastic volunteers and donors.

There are 5 simple and manageable steps when trying to develop a relationship with a corporate sponsor through a day-of-service project:

  1. Determine your project scope
    • Start with 2 basic questions – Do we want to raise awareness of a local issue; Is there a larger problem we want to help tackle
    • Set aside at least 6 months to plan
    • Start with a manageable and simple project, such as a food drive or holiday gift drive, that can be completed in no more than 1 day
    • Determine responsibilities for the project before approaching a potential sponsor, such as what items or activities is the non-profit and corporate entity responsible for
    • Have a timeline for the project, including meetings and any preparatory work involved
    • Consider investing in a photographer to capture all aspects of the day-of-service, including a list of shots you would like before, during, and after the event
  2. Conduct your research
    • Make sure to research which businesses best match the mission of your non-profit or the type of service project you wish to undertake
    • Look at company websites, especially their “Recent News/Events” or “Community/Giving/Volunteering” pages to get an exact sense of whether that company is a right fit for your organization – you are trying to identify a potential mutual benefit between your respective organizations to encourage a long-term partnership, including funding
    • Attempt to locate the contact person for that business, which may be listed on press releases
  3. Assemble your team
    • Divide your team, if possible, into 1st sale and 2nd sale groups
      • 1st sale should make the pitch and meet with corporate decision makers
        • Include executive directors, visionaries, and strong communicators
        • Be upbeat and positive
      • 2nd sale should lead the implementation
        • Include project managers and board volunteers
        • Be detail oriented, have strong project management skills, and be relationship builders
  4. Implement your project
    • Pitch the project in a concise email (1st team) and then set up conference call to go over more details (2nd team); attempt to secure a site visit
    • In subsequent meetings (have a standing meeting date/time), provide an overview of the project, including individual project teams and clearly review all roles and responsibilities
    • Day of the event
      • arrive 90 minutes early to make sure things are set up and your people are comfortable in their roles
      • Start on time and with a motivational welcome speech
      • Take pictures of the group early on or at lunch to ensure you get the most people possible
      • Grab video testimonials before people leave to share via social media or at an event with your organization – make sure to invite the corporate sponsor to the event!
  5. Post-event follow up
    • Send thank you message within 24-48 hours
    • Invite the volunteers to future events without asking them for anything, including money

You can download a copy of the presentation at https://www.njstatelib.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/02/Corporate-Day-of-Service.pdf.  For more information on this as well as other topics related to non-profits, please contact Leontyne Anglin at stagingexecs@gmail.com or 856-449-7763.