Growing up in Newark, New Jersey as the grandson of Italian immigrants, Nicholas R. Scalera '63 had all the family support he needed from his hardworking and attentive parents. Scalera knew the support of a family was a privilege that not many had, but all deserve. That feeling of social responsibility opened a path for him in the social work profession and has led him to make a significant impact on the lives of many who were not awarded the privilege of a stable family.
Scalera attended Seton Hall University where he graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Social Studies in 1963. During his time at Seton Hall, he became an active participant in the school's extracurricular opportunities, including the University's newspaper, The Setonian and getting involved in Greek life. However, it was his election as class representative in his junior year that introduced him to the concept of government and further developed his interest in social work. For Scalera, representing colleagues was a gratifying moment that inspired him to do more as the voice of his group.
Through his involvement in The Setonian, Scalera began his journalism journey, developing his writing skills by highlighting local events, students, and professors for the paper. The Pirate's preeminent writing and commitment to the newspaper led him to become Editor-in-Chief and inspired him to continue pursuing journalism at Columbia University where he obtained his Master of Science "Cum Laude" degree. Shortly after graduating, he lent his talents to the Newark Evening News, the biggest daily newspaper in the state at the time. His final years as a journalist were spent as a reporter/writer for the Associated Press in Philadelphia, where he realized that he wanted to make a change in the world and not just write about what other people were doing.
After obtaining high results on a civic service exam, he began his career in public service. Scalera has since acquired more than 40 years of experience in the public service sector. Today, he remains dedicated to helping vulnerable families; particularly, at-risk children and youth. He founded Scalera Consulting Services in 1995 through which he continues to assist governmental and private nonprofit agencies in providing services to at-risk children.
On his experience at Seton Hall, he said, "I was exposed to different social and ethnic backgrounds that allowed me to understand other cultures," thanking his alma mater for providing him the necessary education in and out of the classroom. Enthusiastically, the alumnus added that through his life journey, he learned that, "success is not just measured by material possessions, but rather, by helping the less fortunate while asking nothing in return."
Scalera lives by that definition of success. When he is not helping in-need youth through his job, he is mentoring students at Seton Hall Prep, the State Division of Youth and Family Service and of course, Seton Hall. "You cannot save every child in need, but your actions can and often do make a difference," said Scalera, as he elaborated on his extensive volunteering experience and the big impact a small action can have in someone's life.
Recently, the Pirate published the booklet entitled, How Megan's Law Affects Juveniles in New Jersey, providing useful information to further understand the law's provision for youth convicted of a sex offense when younger than 18 years old.
Scalera advises all Pirates to become active alumni and to volunteer their time and talent to agencies that help vulnerable populations. "Recognizing that some individuals do not have all the resources they need to survive is a key factor in bringing about a positive change in other people's lives," the Pirate conveyed, while reminding students to be thankful for their God-given gifts and to show compassion for those in need.
Scalera's constant desire to give back led the alumnus back to his alma mater to create The Nicholas R. Scalera '63 Scholarship Fund in 2007. This fund assists students who are residents of Essex County and qualify for the University's Educational Opportunity Progam with substantial financial and social support. Since its inception in 2010, forty Scalera scholarships totaling over $82,000 have been awarded to 24 students. The scholarship fund continues to grow with contributions from Nick and numerous friends, colleagues and other Pirates. Please visit this site for more information on how to apply or contribute to this fund.
Nick Scalera truly exemplifies servant leadership. He is one of 100 alumni profiles Seton Hall Alumni Relations will feature this year in celebration of reaching an alumni network of 100,000. To read more about what great minds can do at Seton Hall, visit here.
For a free electronic copy of Nick Scalera's booklet, you can contact him directly at email@example.com.