Educator and Mentor
Altarik White is a Newark native and former educator in the Newark Public School System. His current passion is serving as founder and executive director of Leaders for Life, Inc. — a nonprofit focused on improving the quality of life and access to opportunities for disenfranchised youths by providing training support, and resources that increase literacy, life-skills, and employment opportunities. Leaders for Life is comprised of an Alternative High School: Leaders for Life Academy, Mentoring Program, After-School and Summer Enrichment Programs; and in partnership with Mayor Ras Baraka and the city council serves as the South Ward Center of Hope. Leaders for Life’s programs serve approximately 55-75 youth and residents daily and remains a vital community resource despite the pandemic.
Altarik is a pillar in the community, known for telling it like it is, embracing Newark’s youth with both encouragement and discipline, and truly living up to his commonly echoed phrase “Coach White loves the kids.” He has achieved personal and professional success on and off the field— first as an elite football athlete and coach who set records for his excellence and achievements ultimately signing a free agent contract with the NFL, and second as a leader who returned to his hometown as an entrepreneur. The guiding hand he provides his own children mirrors his approach of engaging the youth whose lives he seeks to change— giving them 100% of what they need, and 50% of what they want. The spectrum of how he leads is all encompassing, it’s being a role model helping youth on their educational path, ensuring a meal is available and facilities to address seemingly basic laundering needs, providing toys or turkeys for the holidays, running workshops for parents struggling to keep their kids focused in a virtual environment or grappling with making their children feel safe in a highly charged racial and socioeconomic environment, and being a connector with local government and other organizations to bring hope and connection to a community and its residents who often feel left behind.