Nonprofit Profile: Student/Partner Alliance provides tuition assistance and mentoring in urban areas


In the late 1980s, Tom Cash informally started what would become called Student/Partner Alliance by providing 10 students in Jersey City with tuition assistance at St. Mary’s High School. Cash recognized that students attending top-quality, college preparatory high schools in their neighborhoods were more prepared to qualify for college admission and scholarships. Student/Partner Alliance was formally incorporated in 1993 and, since that time, has provided scholarship and mentoring support to more than 2,100 students from low-income areas.


The mission of Student/Partner Alliance is to support motivated high school students at private high schools in New Jersey’s urban areas of Essex, Hudson and Union counties with tuition assistance and mentoring to increase their chances for college admission and scholarships, and ultimately to lead successful and productive lives.


We accepted 55 students for next year’s class and we will provide them with a scholarship and mentor for four years. We will be supporting almost 200 students in grades 9-12 for the 2019-2020 school year.


S/PA is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) charity unique among scholarship organizations in northern New Jersey because we provide both scholarship and mentoring support. This combination is key to S/PA’s 100% high school graduation and college enrollment rate for our students over the past five academic years. Mentors motivate students to succeed not only in academics, but also personally by encouraging them to reach for higher goals and achieve their potential.


We have awarded over 2,100 scholarships since our founding in 1993. In the past six years, all of our students have gone on to college.


We raise money through individuals, foundations and corporate support. A “Partner” agrees to provide tuition support of $2,000 per year for his/her student for four years of high school. We also receive tuition support from foundations and corporations and two annual fundraising events — a fun run in December and golf outing in June.


  • The Achelis & Bodman Foundation
  • American Express Foundation
  • Anonymous
  • Boffa & Co.
  • Marilyn S. Broad Foundation
  • Celgene
  • Community Congregational Church (Short Hills)
  • Christ Church (Summit)
  • The Della Rosa Family Foundation
  • Robert and Joan Dircks Foundation
  • Mary A. & Thomas F. Grasselli Endowment Foundation
  • E.J. Grassmann Trust
  • Hyde & Watson Foundation
  • Investors Foundation
  • Peter R. & Cynthia K. Kellogg Foundation
  • Legacy Care Wealth LLC
  • Liberal Finance Service
  • Link Family Foundation
  • Edmond & Virginia Moriarty Foundation
  • Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corp.
  • PSEG Foundation
  • Louis J. & Fannie Roncoli Foundation
  • Fred C. Rummel Foundation
  • William E. Simon Foundation
  • Sobel & Co. LLC
  • Mary Reinhart Stackhouse Foundation
  • Sweetie Pig Foundation
  • Turrell Fund
  • US Bank
  • Victoria Foundation
  • George A. Ohl Jr. Trust of Wells Fargo
  • WithumSmith+Brown P.C.


A quote from a mentor and former mentee, Todd: 

“Being a student that comes from a foreign background, my parents weren’t too knowledgeable of the schooling system. Bruce provided me with guidance. Bruce was a true mentor; an experienced and trusted adviser. As I have finished my undergrad about three years ago, it is no secret that Bruce played a major role in my success. He provided me with a friend that can share wisdom, knowledge and advise on any questions I may have had at the high school level. So, now, when people ask me, “Why did you become a mentor?” my answer is pretty simple. I want to impact a kid’s life the same way Bruce impacted mine.”

In brief

  • Location: 561 Springfield Ave., Summit
  • Key members: Margaret Momber, executive director; Stephanie Ramos, director of development; Ann Kent, director of marketing and communications.

Conversation Starter

For more information about becoming a mentor, contact