Public Info

Union County Announces Winner of UC STEP Civic Engagement Challenge


Group Lavender and the Union County Board of Chosen Freeholders at the 157th Union County Reorganization

Group Lavender (Left to Right): Alyson Liu, Kalilah Underwood, Kristen Nugent, Thomas Little, Johann Ernest, Shazuil Bennett, Jalyse LeeUnion County Board of Chosen Freeholders (Left to Right): Freeholder Bruce Bergen, Freeholder Chairman Christopher Hudak, Freeholder Linda Carter, Freeholder Vernell Wright, Freeholder Alexander Mirabella, Freeholder Angel G. Estrada, Freeholder Sergio Granados, Freeholder Vice Chairman Mohamed S. Jalloh

Union County – The winner of the UC STEP Civic Engagement challenge was recently announced by Union County Freeholder Chairman Christopher Hudak at Union County’s 157th reorganization meeting. Group Lavender won the challenge with over 1800 votes from students, teachers, parents and community members with their “Support 4 Soldiers” campaign.

“Over 4600 votes came in county-wide for the various projects,” Hudak said, “The Freeholder Board is proud, not only that our local student came up with such thoughtful and inspiring ideas, but more that the members of our community came together to show them such great support.”

The headline event of Union County’s very first UC STEP program, the Civic Engagement Challenge brought students together to brainstorm and create a county-wide community service campaign which will be enacted through the Freeholder Board in connection with Union County students.

“Support 4 Soldiers” will include a coordinated drive to collect items to be used in care packages for active military troops. Collection sites will be located in local schools, movie theaters, and libraries.

UC STEP, promotes positive youth development through focusing on topics like leadership, personal growth, and more importantly, civic engagement.

This year’s event, hosted by Kean University, brought together 192 high school sophomores and juniors from 26 high schools across the County, and featured discussion sessions, including “You Be the Judge,” which focused on crafting an effective elevator speech, and “How to be an Effective Leader,” which focused on identifying the diversity, concerns, and values of individuals.

For more information about UC STEP or the Support 4 Soldiers campaign, please visit