About Us

About Us

“A child’s course in life should be determined not by the zip code she’s born in, but by the strength of her work ethic and the scope of her dreams.” – Barak Obama

Welcome to the Passaic Optimist Club, where since 1949 optimism as a philosophy of life has positively impacted the lives of countless youth, those who support them and the community we share. More than 70 years later our commitment remains true to its mission of providing scholarships and mentoring opportunities to deserving the youth of the City of Passaic.

The Passaic Optimist Club is a community-based nonprofit organization which, through its 501c(3) registered charity, the Passaic Optimist Friend of Youth Foundation, supports the youth of Passaic through scholarships, the power of recognition and personal mentoring. We also support other youth-oriented organizations through financial assistance. Our activities and events raise funds for our ongoing mission of bringing out the best in the youth of Passaic.

And we are committed to supporting the community as a whole, helping to build a brighter future for all of us.

Members have strong ties to Passaic, either through residence or work career, or both. Members volunteer their time to achieve the club’s goals and many remain active long after having moved out of Passaic. Our commitment to improving the lives of Passaic youth and building a brighter future for the community is founded in our belief that there is a little Passaic in everyone. Please join us.

The Foundation’s and Club’s annual tax returns are on file with the Internal Revenue Service.  You may request a copy of the tax filings by sending a message through the “Contact” tab above.

Corporate Officers

Daniel Sheridan, President

Germaine Gibson, 1st Vice President

Jason Scotti, 2nd Vice President

John Ciuppa, Treasurer

Jerry Gallagher, Corresponding Secretary

Esmeralda Cabrera, Recording Secretary

Kim Ackerson, Sgt.-At-Arms

James Kiami, Sgt.-At-Arms

Board of Trustees

Carlist Creech

John I. Ciuppa

Jerry Gallagher

Jim Malisse

Juan Izaguirre

Dan Sheridan

Our Mission

To provide hope and positive vision. Through scholarships, grants, mentorship, educational guidance and the values instilled through community service, to bring out the best in Passaic students and help them realize their dreams and ambitions

The Optimist Creed

Promise yourself…

To be so strong that nothing can disturb your peace of mind.
To talk health, happiness, and prosperity to every person you meet.
To make all your friends feel that there is something in them.
To look at the sunny side of everything and make your optimism come true.
To think only of the best, to work only for the best, and to expect only the best.
To be just as enthusiastic about the success of others as you are about your own.
To forget the mistakes of the past and press on to the greater achievements of the future.
To wear a cheerful countenance at all times and give every living creature you meet a smile.
To give so much time to the improvement of yourself that you have no time to criticize others.
To be too large for worry, too noble for anger, too strong for fear, and too happy to permit the presence of trouble.