Rep. Leonard Lance (R-seventh District) attended a particular showcase Monday highlighting beneficiaries of NEA funds on the Tony Award-winning paper Mill Playhouse in Millburn. Theater for Everyone, held as soon as every week on Fridays, is designed particularly for youngsters with autism and developmental disabilities and consists of their households within the weekly periods. The intergenerational class — free for the households — is funded by a direct grant from the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA).

James Rosa has all the time been attuned to the wants of others. Diagnosed with excessive-functioning autism with Asperger’s at age 7, Rosa, now 15, has been learning cosmetology since sixth grade at an area therapeutic behavioral faculty.

His mom, Amanda Rosa, stated he has all the time put others’ wants earlier than his personal. For his 13th birthday, Rosa and his household took a visit to New York, the place as a part of the journey, he made and distributed lunches to homeless women and men.

So after Rosa had accomplished 4 years of research at CPC Behavioral Health Care Adolescent School in Morganville, he was able to implement his cosmetology expertise. It was no shock that he selected to take action on the Catholic Charities’ Ozanam Inn, a shelter for homeless males in New Brunswick. 

Rosa gave haircuts to the lads who stay there. Eight residents signed as much as get a haircut throughout his first go to on July 10 — one had even waited seven months to get a haircut earlier than Rosa’s go to.

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The Ozanam Inn Men’s Shelter offers short-term and emergency lodging, meals, bodily and psychological well being assessments, disaster counseling, help with housing and employment, case administration and referrals to homeless males.

Rosa’s faculty provides college students entry to counselors, group periods, medicine and lots of different particular providers geared to these with diagnoses like his. Special choices of the varsity embrace culinary courses, woodworking, images and cosmetology.

Catholic Charities Resident Attendant Supervisor Cynthia Bagner, a good friend of Rosa’s mom, informed them of the necessity for the service that he offered.

“I was very happy to have this opportunity brought to my attention by my mother’s friend, Cynthia,” Rosa said. “It made me feel great about myself knowing I am able to provide my services to the people who need it the most. It was amazing to be able to do it.”

James and the shelter hope to make this a month-to-month occasion for the residents.

Rosa will attend a vocational faculty half time throughout his junior and senior years and can earn his cosmetology license along with his diploma. He may have a chair ready for him at his native barber and can proceed to advocate for the homeless and lift consciousness about autism.

For extra details about Catholic Charities, Diocese of Metuchen and how one can assist these in want, go to

Staff Writer Cheryl Makin: 732-565-7256;

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