Yolanda Gadson, Executive Director

BSW - SUNY Buffalo State College

MPA - Bellevue University


Yolanda Gadson has over 25 years of experience working with non-profit organizations committed to empowering youth and families. Ms. Gadson has a Bachelor’s degree in Social Work from SUNY Buffalo State College and a Master’s degree in Public Administration from Bellevue University in Nebraska. The Newark cohort is Ms. Gadson's second "I Have a Dream" cohort. She served as the Program Director for the Colgate Palmolive IHAD Program sponsored by Ruben and Arlene Mark in the mid 80’s.

Throughout her professional career, Ms. Gadson has worked diligently in underserved and under-resourced communities, to educate, inspire and empower youth and families to achieve their dream of higher learning. She has left an imprint of her work, as Director of the Abyssinian Development Corporation Expanded Learning Time Program, Program Manager for Say Yes to Education/Bilingual Bicultural Mini-School, Program Director of Sponsors to Education College Program and Director of Manhattan Valley Drop-out Prevention Program.

Elizabeth Weisholtz, Program Coordinator

BA Political Theory - Wesleyan University


Elizabeth Weisholtz began employment with IHDFNJ in 2019, but she had partnered very closely with the organization for the previous five years while serving as the Executive Director of Newark Mentoring Movement (NMM), a network of mentoring programs serving youth in Newark. 

Prior to working with NMM, Ms. Weisholtz obtained a Masters of Public Health from UMDNJ/Rutgers, while working for the NJ Afterschool Network (NJSACC) and volunteering and conducting field work at the Academy Street Firehouse afterschool program in Newark.  Between obtaining her BA in Political Theory from Wesleyan University and attending graduate school, Ms. Weisholtz worked for five years as a parent and community organizer in urban school districts across NJ with the Statewide Education Organizing Committee (SEOC), focusing on campaigns in Jersey City, Newark, and Asbury Park.  

Board Of Directors

Donald Ostrow

Anthony Santiago

Eugene Thomas, Board Secretary

Bernard Robinson, Board Member Emeritus

Jerome Robinson, Board Member Emeritus

Samuel Schwartz, Board Member Emeritus

Steven Lerner, President

Doug Evans

Yolanda Gadson, Executive Director/Board Member

Diane Hill, Ph.D.

Jim Hudgins, Treasurer

Lisa Hudgins, MD