Attitudes In Reverse® (AIR™), a Princeton-based nonprofit organization, will honor Julie Schick, K-8 Physical Education and Health Supervisor and Assistant Athletic Director at Piscataway Township Schools, with the Partner in Hope award during its third annual Taste of Hope fundraising event on October 30, 2018 from 6:00 to 10:00 p.m. at the Princeton Marriott at Forrestal, 100 College Road East, Princeton, NJ. In addition to honoring Schick for her integral role in helping AIR launch its successful educational program, the affair is designed to build awareness of AIR and support its mission of saving lives through mental-health and suicide prevention education.
“Julie is the first person to bring AIR into schools. If it weren’t for her we wouldn’t be doing what we’re doing,” said Tricia and Kurt Baker, Co-Founders of AIR. Tricia met Julie in a dog-training class. She shared her experience of losing her son Kenny to suicide and her family’s mission to eliminate stigma and encouraging people to speak up and seek help when needed.
“At the time, AIR was created and no schools were letting them in, even though the state mandated mental health education. I was a supervisor for grades 9 through 12 in Piscataway at the time and I brought AIR in to present to all of our Juniors,” Schick said. “The large lecture hall was filled and some students sat on the steps. When Tricia talked about Kenny, you could hear a pin drop. The presentation opened the door to discussion about mental health in our health classes. Students began to seek help with our counselors, who are always at AIR’s presentations.”
"My main reason for wanting to work in physical education and health was to help kids learn the strategies to maintain overall physical and emotional wellness. I used to coach and teach, and I would see students struggling with issues at home and outside of school. They need to know it's okay to talk about what is going on in their lives and seek help," Schick said. "My personal belief is that athletics can save kids sometimes. It can help them remain focused and on track while developing the skills needed to succeed. Also, being involved in athletics is good for their overall physical and mental health.”
Schick is very passionate about the importance of overall fitness and wellness. She believes students need to be active and stay involved in extracurricular activities. Her passion for athletics stems from her personal athletic experiences at both the high school and collegiate levels. Julie attended Rutgers University on an athletic scholarship as a cross country and track and field athlete. From Rutgers, she
received her Bachelor of Science degree in Exercise Science & Sports Studies. While in graduate school at Temple University, she served as the Associate Head Coach of cross country and track and field at Widener University. From Temple, she received her Master of Education degree in Sports & Recreation Administration. She started her career working as the managing director for USA Track & Field – NJ Association. Under her leadership, the organization earned gold medal status for being an Outstanding USA Track & Field Association. She then turned her interests back to her passion of working with students. She became a Health and Physical Education teacher, cross country and track and field coach and department chairperson at Franklin High School. From there, she became the Assistant Athletic Director at Piscataway Township Schools. Her position was rift, due to budgetary cuts, and she became the Director of Athletics, Health & Physical Education & Nurses at Perth Amboy. In 2013, she returned to Piscataway Schools as the Supervisor of K-8 Physical Education & Health and Assistant Athletic Director.
“It’s amazing how much AIR has grown in a short time. Now, they’re in eight states. It started as a mom, dad and daughter organization and now they’re national. I can see them going international. Their potential is unlimited,” Schick said. “I feel like I should be giving them an award. It was my job to find a resource to help students and I owe them a thank you. I am beyond honored because they deserve an award.”
The Taste of Hope event is sponsored by AIR Sponsor: Stark & Stark; Faith Sponsors: Robert Bratman, Esq., Fly High Colby, Jude Bratman, Eric Poe from NJ PURE and Princeton Brain & Spine; Dignity Sponsors: Leary Bride Mergner and Bongiovanni, P.A. and Szaferman Lakind; Love Sponsors: Beato Chiropractic, Anna Bittner, Cynthia Bratman, Carrier Clinic, Creative Capital, Hinkle Fingles & Prior, Gary Hofing, Merlin Industries, New Jersey Association of Mental Health and Addiction Agencies, Provident Bank, Albert Stark, Esq. and US-1 Courier Services.
The following businesses are participating in this event: Restaurants: Antimo’s Italian Kitchen, Bahama Breeze Island Grille, Bonefish Grill, Crown of India, De Lorenzo’s Pizza, P.F. Chang’s, Outback Steakhouse, Princeton Marriott (Iron & Ivy), Ruth Chris Steakhouse and Texas Roadhouse; Desserts: Carella’s Chocolates, Classic Dezerts, Khalila’s CornCrush, McCaffrey’s Bake Shop, Season’s 52 and Starbucks; and Wine/Beer/Spirits: CATB Liquor Import, M & D Liquors, River Horse Brewing Company, Señor Sangria and Sourland Mountain Spirits.
To register to attend the October 30th Taste of Hope event, please visit www.airtoh.org. For more information about this event, please contact Dennis Dias, Antares Event Planning & Consulting, LLC, at 908-208-2696 or firstname.lastname@example.org.