“Wherever you turn, you can find someone who needs you. Even if it is a little thing, do something for which there is no pay but the privilege of doing it. Remember, you don’t live in the world all of your own.”
Natalia (Natasha) Ioffe was born in Kyiv, Ukraine and immigrated to U.S. with her family in 1992, when she was 11. She has been living in Jersey City for 13 years, together with her husband and two children.
Natalia graduated from George Washington High School in Philadelphia, and received her BBA In International Management from Pace University. While pursuing her degree she worked as a Mortgage Processor at the United Nations Federal Credit Union, providing loan assistance to UN employees and their families stationed in US and overseas.
A major part of Natalia’s life has always been devoted to volunteering. From 2001-2007 she served as a translator at “Beth Shalom Center” a non-denominational multicultural ministry in Brooklyn, NY. Natalia’s work there included translation, senior citizen assistance, Legal Aid, youth mentoring, leading discussion groups and workshops for pre-teens and young adults, tutoring and helping with college applications and resumes.
During that time Natalia was also a part of a mentoring project called “Chumz” at the “Baccalaureate School of Global Education” in Astoria, NY, where her team worked with students in building peer mentoring relationships between 10th and 7th graders, through workshops and projects.
For the past five years Natalia has been serving on the Parent Council of Cornelia F. Bradford School (P.S.#16) in Jersey City where her children are enrolled. The Parent Council of PS16 operates as a non-profit corporation called “Concerned Parents Association” (CPA of PS16) and their mission is to support and serve the students, parents and staff of the school. Natalia served a complete 2-year term as President and 2-year term as 1st Vice President. She continues to serve on parent council as a Committee Director in charge of training new parent leaders and public relations. Natalia developed a series of training workshops, which she hosts for new parents who wish to get involved in school volunteering and authored a Parent Handbook as an in-depth introduction to the day-to-day parent council operations.
Under Natalia’s leadership, in the course of 5 years the parent-run non-profit organization has increased its annual revenues from $15,000/year to over $150,000/year. These revenues are used to supplement the education of children in a public school No. #16 (Cornelia F. Bradford School). For a school that receives no Title 1 state aid, it is a significant supplement generated entirely by parent efforts.
In addition to her volunteer work at P.S.#16 Natalia serves as Secretary on the executive board of Greenville Neighborhood Alliance (GNA), a non-profit group that helps residents organize into block associations and work to improve quality of life issues in Wards A & F in Jersey City. GNA also organizes bi-annual college tours for urban youth from local public schools to out of state HBCU universities.
Natalia formed “Center St. Block Association”, where she serves as President and together with her neighbors takes care of her neighborhood, which includes Block Watch, working with JCPD to keep the community safe, street clean-ups and other infrastructural issues.
Om September 22, 2017 Natalia received Citations from Assemblywoman Angela McKnight and Ward F Councilman Jermaine Robinson for her work with the Concerned Parents Association of PS16, Greenville Neighborhood Alliance, and Center St. Block Association.
Natalia is also a proud member of the writing team at Urban Times News, highlighting positive things in our urban communities, and a guest contributor to the Jersey Journal and Hudson County View, writing about local history and public education.