Irene deGrandpre – Roots & Wings - 9/19/13

Posted on September 19, 2013

Today I had the opportunity to meet Irene deGrandpre, founder of the non-profit organization Roots & Wings in Denville.  As a former Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) volunteer, Irene saw a needs of young people aging out of the foster care system.  Sadly, she watched many of them fall through the cracks due to lack of funds, a place to live, and a job.  So in 1999, with the help of friends and family, she started Roots & Wings.  This non-profit foundation addresses the needs of these at-risk youth and gives them a chance at a self-sufficient life.  In addition to meeting Irene, I had the chance to sit down with a current client, his mentor, and a graduate of the program.  It was truly incredible to hear first hand about how Roots & Wings greatly changed their life and how far they have come today.  Each client receives a personalized plan that is tailored to their needs and goals, which is why their success rate is so high.  100% of their graduates leave the program with a safe place to live and a GED or high school diploma.  86% are employed.  It’s amazing to see what the Roots & Wings staff has been able to accomplish with this group of young people.  Congratulations to Irene for being named a NJ Hero!  She is truly an inspiration to me and many others.  And thank you to Roots & Wings for the incredible work they are doing.  For more information on Roots & Wings, please visit their website:

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