Northern NJ Community Foundation's Jannie Smith Legacy Fund Presents Scholarships to Students of Color Impacted by Family Member Battling Cancer

(Bergen County, New Jersey; July 19, 2022) -- The Northern New Jersey Community Foundation's The Jannie Smith Legacy Fund awards its 2022 scholarships for $1,000 each to twins Kassidy Frempong and Kaydence Frempong of Teaneck, New Jersey, who will attend Hampton University in the fall. 

The fund specifically supports annual scholarships for students of color graduating from Teaneck High School, who have been impacted by a family member's battle with cancer.  The Northern New Jersey Community Foundation (NNJCF), a not-for-profit 501(c)(3) organization based in Hackensack, New Jersey, concentrates on the arts, civic engagement, education, the environment, philanthropy, and public health.

            Throughout high school, Kassidy undertook a rigorous academic program and was active in sports and service projects.  She earned a cumulative 4.4 grade point and was ranked in the top sixteenth percentile of her class.  Among her activities, Kassidy participated on the Teaneck High School Track Team, cheerleading and gymnastics, and she was involved in several school clubs such as the Black Youth Organization, the Interact Club, and the Self-Care Club.  This active teenager also found time to provide community service volunteering in the Extended School Year program with middle school youngsters helping them to catch up academically.  With her church, she participated in a food bank to help feed the homeless.

            Kaydence achieved academically garnering a 4.3 cumulative grade point average, and she was ranked in the top twentieth percentile in her class in a rigorous academic program taking 15 honors courses and three Advanced Placement classes.  During high school, she was active in Studio 2b, the Black Youth Organization, and the Interact Club.  With the Self Care Club, she participated in a number of community service projects, ranging from Alzheimer's walkathons to writing holiday cards for nursing home elders to assisting in a summer school program for young children, among others.

Jannie Smith Remembered
            The fund honors the memory of its namesake Jannie Smith, who passed away on August 3, 2020.  Smith, who lived in Teaneck and grew up in Newark, New Jersey, was passionate about education.  For 37 years, she worked with the Newark Public Schools, as a teacher and substance abuse coordinator.  Smith, who graduated from West Side High School in Newark, received a bachelor of arts in elementary education and a master of arts in urban education from William Paterson University.  She also earned two certifications, as an educational supervisor and a student awareness coordinator.  In college, she was a charter and founding member of Alpha Rho Zeta, the first African American Sorority at the university.        

            "Our mother first became stricken with cancer when we were in our early teens.  Mom was a fighter, who was determined to win against this disease, but she wanted us to be fighters, too.  Therefore, she pushed us to excel in school and go to college despite her illness, because our mother believed education was one of the best tools to fight the challenges of life.  As we reflected on her legacy, we quickly realized that one of the best ways of honoring her memory was to help other students of color, whose families are in this fight against cancer but still trying to pursue their educational dreams," said her sons Jonah and Sheldon Smith.

Remember Jannie Smith
            The public may continue Jannie Smith's legacy with a donation in her memory.  Donations are tax-deductible, as permitted by law, and may be made online at  Contributions may also be sent by check made out to 'The Northern N.J. Community Foundation' with 'The Jannie Smith Legacy Fund' entered in the memo line. 
Send checks to the Northern New Jersey Community Foundation, 1 University Plaza, Suite 128, Hackensack, New Jersey 07601.   

About Northern New Jersey Community Foundation
            Founded in 1998, the Northern New Jersey Community Foundation (NNJCF), a not-for-profit 501(c)(3) organization based in Hackensack, New Jersey, focuses primarily on the arts, civic engagement, education, the environment, philanthropy, and public health.  The NNJCF works with local governments, school districts, businesses, non-profit organizations, and citizen groups in Northern New Jersey to improve community life.  The Foundation's partners identify and resolve regional problems and opportunities by talking and learning from each other and sharing ideas, best practices, services, and resources. 
            For more information, visit, send an email to, or call (201) 568-5608.  Follow the NNJCF on Facebook at Northern NJ Community Foundation/ArtsBergen, Instagram at nnjcf_artsbergen, LinkedIn, Twitter @NNJCF and YouTube.


Photo caption: Kaydence Frempong received a Northern New Jersey Community Foundation-The Jannie Smith Legacy Fund's scholarship. 

Photo credit: TSS Photography



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