Following a year of extraordinary challenges to the Red Bank Regional community, Suzanne Keller of The SOURCE at RBR has been honored for her exemplary coordination of the school-based program. (Click to enlarge)
By MARIANNE KLIGMAN
RBR Community Information Officer
Suzanne Keller of Red Bank Regional (RBR) was recently honored by the non-profit Community Affairs and Resource Center (CARC) with its Partner in Youth Development Award, for her work as the high school’s SOURCE coordinator. The SOURCE is RBR’s School Based Youth Services Program, which provides students with a range of services from quality mental health counseling to learning support initiatives. CARC, formerly the Hispanic Affairs & Resource Center, is a social services organization operating in Asbury Park, Freehold and Red Bank.
The Manalapan resident joined The SOURCE in 2006 as a clinician upon obtaining her masters in social work, following a successful career in marketing. She was promoted to Coordinator of The SOURCE in 2010, in which post she is responsible for maintaining state grants and overseeing all special programs. She also maintains relationships with the community, including government agencies and area churches where she helps coordinate other programs such as SAT prep and student college visitations. She has expanded RBR’s reach in the community by organizing a Community Advisory Board, which includes over 40 different agencies and community businesses. Her continued community outreach has introduced new programs to the school, such as TOP (Teen Outreach Program,) a character building program in affiliation with Central Jersey Family Health Consortium.
A major component of her job has been ongoing fundraising for several foundations. Under The SOURCE Foundation, she organizes and runs several signature events. She enables RBR’s Latino students to achieve their dream of college, by administering and fundraising for the Latino Scholarship Foundation. She also sits on a community mentor board to help RBR scholarship students succeed in college.
Suzanne’s fundraising and management expertise was invaluable this year, as RBR experienced unprecedented tragedies with the unrelated sudden deaths of two senior students and the displacement of 70 RBR families and faculty during Superstorm Sandy. Suzanne set up foundations and raised funds to cover the funeral costs for the students’ families, and established ongoing scholarships in the students’ memories. She also continues to raise funds, and maintains a list matching community donations and family needs for those still trying to piece their lives together from the horrific storm damage.
With all her business responsibilities, Suzanne continues her close connection to the students. She maintains her own counseling task load, accompanies students on field trips and sometimes even drives them to school to ensure their attendance. She is guided by the sign above her desk stating, “To the world you might be one person, but to one person you might be the world.”