This week's Behind the Board feature is our Board member Joshua Grunin, who is a student at Rutgers University-New Brunswick. Thank you to Joshua for sitting down with us to talk!

1. What made you want to serve on the Grunin Foundation board?
About 2 years ago, my father (Jeremy) asked me to start thinking about joining the Grunin Foundation board. I knew it would not only be a great opportunity for me to expand my network and broaden my experiences, but also good for the team to have different generations to provide ideas and input. There are many prominent nonprofit and community leaders on the Foundation board, so it helps me to learn about the current issues and how I can play a part in making an impact. It’s a great feeling for me to serve the community while getting into the philanthropic field early. I am grateful for the opportunity to get a better feel for whole community and to see where I can make a difference.

2. The Grunin Foundation’s mission is to improve the quality of life for all members of our community by using philanthropy to drive economic excellence at the Central Jersey Shore. What does economic excellence mean to you?
To me, economic excellence means everyone is presented with the opportunity to increase their quality of life on an even playing field.

3. Of our grantmaking pillars (arts, education, healthcare) which are you most passionate about and why?
All of the grantmaking pillars are very important to me but healthcare really hits home. Having many family members who work in the field really opened my eyes to the inequities in healthcare. When people are living alone, it’s hard for them to continue with the healthcare they require after leaving the hospital. People need advocates, especially in times of sickness when they can’t necessarily speak for themselves. Making sure people have equitable access to the healthcare they need is a passion of mine.

4. We strive to ensure that all our partners are committed to advancing equity. How do you (or how does your organization) work to advance equity in the community?
While I have not started my career yet, I have been very involved at Rutgers in multiple programs that help advance equity, inclusion and belonging. One program is Rutgers Unified Sports, which brings together Rutgers students and Special Olympics New Jersey athletes creating inclusion and acceptance through sport. It’s so rewarding to practice with the athletes and watch their confidence grow as they compete. I also participate in the annual Scarlet Day of Service and help give back to the communities in New Jersey.

5. What is your favorite part of the Central Jersey Shore and why?
From a service perspective, there are so many great nonprofit organizations to volunteer with, offering a lot of ways to give back to the community. From a personal perspective, there is something for everyone when it comes to entertainment and fun. From beaches and boardwalks to nature trails and even a bug museum, there is such a wide variety of options. Everyone can find their own niche at the Central Jersey Shore!