Sauls Sets Standards for Student Success
October 15, 2012Irvington High School
By: Chelsie Riche
Mrs. Catherine V. Sauls is a mentor to young people with a diverse background. She first attended Essex County College, both the Newark and West Caldwell Campuses. There, at Essex County College, she majored in Business. She also received three certifications in Information Technology (IT), Word Processing, and Accounting.
After attending Essex County College, Mrs. Sauls took her educational endeavors to the next level by attending Seton Hall University and Stillman School of Business of South Orange, New Jersey. There, her educational interests finally focused on Business Management.
That was not, however, Mrs. Sauls’ original plan. “I wanted to major in Marketing at Seton Hall University,” said Ms. Sauls, “but switched my major to Management because, at that time, there were not many courses offered at night in the Marketing curriculum.”
Instead of giving up on college completely, because she had to switch her major, Mrs. Sauls made the choice to work during the day while still attending college at night. Her full-time day job offered an educational reimbursement plan that helped pay for quite a bit of her college tuition.
Mrs. Sauls’ first job out of high school was to work as a secretary/word processor in an Archeological Firm, in East Orange, New Jersey. I also worked at Booz, Allen Hamilton, a Strategy and Technology Consulting Firm, Florham Park, New Jersey,” said Ms. Sauls.
To pursue her career as a businesswoman, Mrs. Sauls obtained a job and moved up the ranks in the Human Resources Department at a large Pharmaceutical Company.
After that, I moved on to Wall Street and worked for several Fortune 500 Companies, as well as on the Trading Floor in New York City,” said Ms. Sauls. She later transitioned into the Legal/Law Division at an Investment Firm located in Weehawken, New Jersey.
After years of working for other people, getting married, and starting a family, Mrs. Sauls made a life changing decision to become an Entrepreneur and start her own Staffing and Consulting Agency.
“I am a God Fearing Woman who stays true to who I am. I am a very independent woman who does not rely on other people, including a man to make me happy and I usually get along with all groups, cultures and ethnicities of people.”
“ I always carry myself with a sense of pride and dignity. Your reputation is all that you have and thus I consciously try to project a professional image wherever I go and rise above other people’s nonsense,” stated Mrs. Sauls.
As a young woman, Mrs. Sauls had always had a passion to help and give back to the community. Her vision was always to mentor young urban girls in a small group setting since she herself grew up in an urban area. Fortunately, everything was able to work out well for Mrs. Sauls’ vision. She was able to bring to fruition her lifelong goal of giving back.
She expanded her vision to not only work with young adult girls, but young adult boys as well. She started a nonprofit organization called CVA (Career Vision Ambassadors, Inc.) in 2003 with her headquarters being located in the Township of Irvington.
Since Mrs. Sauls was determined and motivated to start and create a successful and long term organization in Irvington, she partnered with the Mayor’s Office and formed alliances with the Board of Education, The School District, School Administrators, and Several Community Businesses and Leaders.
Mrs. Sauls, during her interview, gave a crash course in non-profit organizations 101.
“A few points to consider about non-profits,” pointed out Ms. Sauls, “include how to obtain the paperwork, file the paperwork, obtain the content needed in order to file it successfully, how to structure the board and obtain credible sponsors for the organization’s mission.”
Ms. Sauls also shared how she found a way to “give back” to the community through her various programs (Ambassadors, Scholars, Diplomats, Leading Ladies, Alumni Elite and Communications Academy).
“I have sponsors that back up the organization mission wholeheartedly,” shared Ms. Sauls. “They are investing in young future global youth leaders.”
Ms. Sauls formed a group of networks between the people that she knew she could trust to help carry out the visions of the programs. Within the group of network volunteers, titles were given to each individual volunteer person. Such titles were known as “Director of Programs”, “Coordinator”, “Fellow”, etc.
Organizational perks were given in the form of professional reference letters, enrollment in select training and development seminars and courses, as well as community service credit hours needed to support submittal of scholarship applications.
“When I thought about creating the Career Vision Ambassadors program, I was thinking of what was not offered to me as a young lady in high school. The core purpose of starting CVA was to address the needs of underserved youth in the areas of Career Mentorship, Global Leadership and Community Engagement Development,” said Mrs. Sauls about her program.
Mrs. Sauls initially started CVA with her own, out-of-pocket, money. This is how she was able to step into her role as a Philanthropist.
After starting CVA, she gathered supporting statistical data that proved what she had already identified as her core reason for starting this type of non-profit organization. “I was able to prove that the underserved youth in the community responded to and excelled with mentorship, leadership and developmental workshops,” stated Ms. Sauls.
CVA boasts over a 95% graduation rate with Scholarship recipients of all calibers that include a Bill and Melinda Gates Scholar!
Some of CVA’s students have gone on to attend prestigious Universities such as Harvard, Columbia, Steven’s Institute, NJIT, Seton Hall, Drew, Temple, Clafkin, Howard, Rutgers, Montclair State, Fairleigh Dickinson and Kean to name a few. Some have gone on to obtain their Masters Degree and Ph.D.
Others took the 2-yr County College Scholarship route (STARS Program). Some explored the route of the Navy, Marines and US Army, entering above the rank of Pvt. These core standards and values would go on to eventually support what will be continued as the core standards in CVA and what CVA will continue to be measured by in the future.
“Having known Mrs. Sauls for two years, I can honestly say that she is one of my biggest inspirations. She has taught me so much in the past two years, that I cannot even begin to express how grateful I am,” remarked Dunique Charles, a former Ambassador of the Career Vision Ambassadors Program.
Above all, Mrs. Sauls is one who is honest and who is truly courageous when it comes to what she firmly believes in and chooses to set the example of what her young mentees are to aspire to.
Because of Mrs. Sauls’ outstanding achievements throughout her life, what she personally has achieved, and her constant giving back to the community, she has impacted numerous lives throughout our community.
Learn more about Catherine Sauls and her programs by CLICKING HERE