Allison K. James-Frison

Allison K. James-Frison<br />
Board Member<br />
<br /><br />
Allison K. James-Frison
Board Member

Allison is a product of the Newark Board of Education and a proud valedictorian parent of a future graduate of the Newark Board of Education.

She brings a professional perspective to the board through her calling as a social worker. Her years of experience and training in building and restoring families and neighborhoods has proven invaluable. She is a champion for youth with a proven track record of helping individuals reach their highest potential. As Founder of Girls; Live, Love, Laugh, Inc. (GLLL), she has helped empower over 1,200 young women in the City of Newark.

Her journey reflects the true persevering spirit of lifelong Newarkers. She was not a child born of means, privilege, or access. She was raised in Newark subsidized housing, an environment that presented a unique set of life challenges. She lost both of her parents and has survived domestic, violence, sexual abuse, and homelessness. And while she survived an incident of gun violence, she would later lose her fiancée tragically to that same fate.

Despite life’s hard knocks, she used these adversities as fuel for fire to be and do more! Each traumatic experience served as a unique catalyst for her aspiration to create something larger than herself. During her childhood she was deprived of opportunities to live, love, and laugh, so she vowed to one day create an organization that would fill the void for girls in the community who may have had similar experiences.

As a woman of action and true to her word, in 2009, she founded GLLL, a 501c(3) nonprofit organization focused on scholars living with limited resources in the inner City of Newark. The organization builds a safe passage for building leadership skills, developing self-esteem, fostering entrepreneurship, acquiring college readiness skills, learning the fundamentals of savings, and teaching the importance of civic engagement in the community. GLLL implements a variety of programs that focus on tackling many of the pressing issues girls face today. GLLL is building a culture of girls who live, love, and laugh while in pursuit of excellence.

She has received many community, city, and state acknowledgements, which consist of resolutions and proclamations as well as community service, leadership, and humanitarian awards. She and GLLL have received the esteemed recognition of a Proclamation from the City of Newark and Mayor Ras. J. Baraka declaring September 14th “Allison James Day” and September 15th “Girls: Live, Love, Laugh, Inc. Day.” However, she is most proud of obtaining an associate degree from Essex County College, making her a first-generation graduate out of nine siblings. She earned a Bachelor of Arts in Social Work from Rutgers University-Newark at the age of 49.

She currently works for the Department of Child Protection and Permanency as an investigator and certified social worker, and is an active member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Incorporated. She has served as a Commissioner for the City of Newark’s Commission on the Status of Women. In addition to being a community servant, she is a foster parent turned adoptive parent, is happily married for 10 years, and is a homeowner in the West Ward and investor in the City of Newark.