Akbar Cook Principal

New Jersey Principal Akbar Cook Continues to Set the Bar High for His Students

Akbar Cook continues to exemplify leadership by example as the principal of West Side High School in Newark, New Jersey.

The beloved administrator launched “The Lights On” program four years ago. The program is an intentional effort to protect students in his community. On Friday nights from 6-11 p.m., Principal Cook opens the school so teens can have a safe place to enjoy themselves. The school is also opened three nights out of the week during the summer.

During the summer, the program supports 2,000 kids.

Related Story: New Jersey Principal’s Purchase of Washers and Dryers for His Bullied Students is an Act of Love

“I haven’t lost any more kids to gun violence since the start of the school year,” he proudly mentioned.

“Lights On” has definitely been a joint endeavor by the people in the district as funding for the program comes from the community and former students.

Even his students are speaking about the impact the event has had in their lives.

“Anything that keeps me off the streets I’ll do,” one student said. “Selling drugs and stuff, I’m not into that.”

Another student explained why he came with one word, “Security.”

The goal, again, is to have a good time. Students play pool, basketball, video games or practice their dances. There’s even a recording studio inside the school so the teens can explore their musical talents. Meals are also provided to the students.

“It’s fun, safe too. It’s better than being out on the streets,” one student said.

Nadia Camacho, an alumna of West Side High School who graduated in 2008, wonders what life would have been like for if the program existed while she was in school.

“If it was around back then, I think that we wouldn’t have lost so many of my classmates. If we had a class reunion right now a lot of my classmates wouldn’t be here due to gun violence,” she said.

What a heartbreaking sentiment! But with Akbar Cook’s ongoing efforts to make his students’ world a better, safer place — hopefully things will continue to change for the better.

Latest News

Dow Collaborates with Multiple Partners to Develop and Donate Level 2 Medical Isolation Gowns

Originally posted on Dow.com Collaboration included Magna International, Inc., 3M, Cadillac Products Packaging Company, DuPont, Fitesa, Landaal Packaging Systems, Plastixx FFS Technologies, Shurtape and Volkswagen 100,000 isolation gowns to be donated to healthcare professionals For healthcare professionals battling the COVID-19 pandemic, isolation gowns are among the most used and needed…

Hershey Stockholders Elect Victor L. Crawford To Company Board

Originally published on thehersheycompany.com. HERSHEY, Pa., May 18, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — The Hershey Company (NYSE: HSY) today announced the election of Victor L. Crawford to its board of directors. Crawford is the newest Hershey board member and was elected at the company’s recent Annual Stockholder’s Meeting. Victor L. Crawford Crawford brings deep executive and leadership experience to…

Novartis Discusses Navigating Cancer During COVID-19

Originally published on LinkedIn. Watch the recent discussion between Susanne Schaffert, PhD and President of Novartis Oncology and Pat Garcia-Gonzalez, Founder and CEO of The Max Foundation, a patient advocacy group, to learn how they are helping people living with CML stay safe and get the support and treatment they need.

Nielsen Publishes Asian American Consumer Report for Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month

Originally published on nielsen.com. REPRESENTATION MATTERS Asian Americans are a driving force in the U.S., both as cultural influencers and powerful consumers. Your representation within the products and media you love begins with data. At Nielsen, we provide a cultural narrative for diverse communities through our research. Below you will…