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Groundbreaking ceremony for nonprofit organization Homeworks Trenton in New Jersey is imminent, founder receives “Woman of Excellence” award

Construction on a new facility for Homeworks Trenton, the free, community-based after-school program for underserved girls, will begin this summer in Trenton, New Jersey. National architecture and interior design firm Joshua Zinder Architecture + Design (JZA+D) will design the new residence, which will more than triple the capacity of the current facility and include key amenities.

Natalie Tung, co-founder and executive director of the nonprofit, worked with managing partner and architect Joshua Zinder and the team at JZA+D to find a suitable site for the transformation. They chose 1212 Edgewood Avenue, a building with a similar history that could be repurposed for Homeworks Trenton. For nearly a century, the building served as a mission house that provided support and opportunities for at-risk and disadvantaged young women, and for over 20 years as a Juvenile Justice Commission facility. The site is near two Trenton public schools.

Zinder's design increases the usable space by about two-thirds and continues the building's residential-sized profile. The design includes dormitories for 40 students and five apartments for live-in staff. There are also work and study areas, a full kitchen, and an elevator to ensure accessibility for residents and comply with ADA regulations.

JZA+D will also recognize the achievement of Tung, who will be honored as one of three “Women of Achievement” by the Princeton Mercer Regional Chamber of Commerce on June 26. Zinder nominated her for the honor based on her commitment to taking action to provide stability, structure and support to young girls in Trenton public schools.

“Natalie and her team at Homeworks are making a direct, positive and lasting impact on the lives of young women every day, benefiting them and their families and positively impacting their broader community,” said Zinder. “When I started JZA+D, my goal was to build a company that could support people and organizations trying to make a positive impact locally, and I don't know anyone who works as hard and achieves as much for other people as Natalie Tung.”

Tung holds a bachelor's degree in English and a teaching certificate from Princeton University. She attributes her success, confidence, and ability to empathize to her experiences at boarding school, where she lived with 40 other young women. She founded Homeworks Trenton to provide similar experiences to students whose home environments present barriers to positive educational experiences. After successfully building a dormitory for 12-15 students, Tung's commitment to her mission and her talents for networking and fundraising enabled Homeworks to establish a new base that allows for greater capacity and serves the two public schools.

The Women of Achievement Breakfast will be held on Wednesday, June 26 at 8:30 a.m. at Princeton Golf Club TPC Jasna Polana.

Anna Harden

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