Project Manager & Trainer
Justine was born and raised in Staten Island, New York, but has spent the last 5 years making New Jersey her home. She graduated from Fairleigh Dickinson University with a BA in Theatre Arts Directing and minor in Technical Theatre, followed by earning her M.S.Ed. in Educational Theatre from the City College of New York in 2019. Her passion for both the arts and educational advocacy has brought her to a career that has spanned from the classroom to the board room and all spaces in between where she puts DEI in the forefront of all of her work.
Justine comes to Garden State Equality with extensive experience in curriculum writing and development, building youth and teen educational programs, and creating and expanding multiple summer camps in the non-profit sector. As a teaching artist, her concentration is on building sustainable arts programs in communities, cultural organizations and non-profits though artistry, pedagogy and advocacy. Her graduate research led her to study the works of Augusto Boal and Theatre of the Oppressed to heavily incorporate using her artistry to help provoke and shape social change, and to amplify LGBTQ, BIPOC, and female voices. She is proud to have studied with Amanda Gronich of Tectonic Theater Project on a year-long immersive class studying Ethnodrama and creating and performing in an original piece entitled #MeToo.
As an educator and youth program developer, Justine has worked in the Maplewood and South Orange communities as a Program Administrator with the South Mountain YMCA to provide before and aftercare programs in the SOMa school district, implementing SEL curriculum and restorative justice practices with both students and staff. Justine also developed the Teen Theatre Program, devising workshops, performance opportunities and Shakespeare playwriting seminars for students in grades 6 through 12. As a camp professional, she has served as a director and leader of multiple summer camps in the last 5 years where she has used her position to expand on inclusive practices in the traditional day camp setting, provide safe and nurturing spaces for campers during the height of the pandemic, and create engaging, exciting, and unique curriculum that allowed for her camps to see exponential growth in her time serving as director. Justine is dedicated to creating an inclusive and empowering camp environment and camp culture that thrives on all individuals feeling seen, feeling heard, and feeling valued for exactly who they are.