Home Events + News Hoboken Will Be Lit Up for Stevens + JED Neon Nights

Hoboken Will Be Lit Up for Stevens + JED Neon Nights

by Stephanie Spear
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On March 30th, the campus of Stevens Institute will be aglow. The campus, located at 1 Castle Point Terrace, is the site of the inaugural Neon Nights celebration, an event aimed at bringing awareness of mental health to the forefront of campus conversations. The event is hosted in partnership with the JED Foundation, an organization committed to protecting emotional health and preventing suicide for teens and young adults. Read on to learn more about this special event and how to get involved.

About the JED Foundation

The Jed Foundation was founded in 2000 by Donna and Phil Satow, whose son Jed died by suicide in 1998. They wanted to create a resource for communities to support young adults and their mental health. Now, JED provides resources and training to high schools, colleges, and communities across the country.


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A post shared by The Jed Foundation (@jedfoundation)

In the U.S., suicide is the third leading cause of death among people aged 10 to 24 statewide but jumps to second among 10- to 34-year-olds nationwide. A new higher education survey of students, faculty, and staff revealed a further decline in mental health on campus. Additional research shows three out of every four college students experience moderate to severe psychological distress, with more than half reporting feelings of loneliness and 13% having serious suicidal thoughts.

In New Jersey, 70% of college students reported having a higher level of anxiety than a year ago. Stevens student Jenna Giesecke, wanted to share her experience with mental health so that her peers could feel more confident sharing their struggles. Jenna initially got involved with JED through her role as a disability advocate on Stevens’  diversity and inclusion committee. “Mental illness/mental health issues can lead to accessibility issues,” she said. “As I learned more about the issue, I got more personally involved.”

See more: Meet the Directors of Tri-Meta Counseling + Associates in Montclair

Jenna said that anytime she has shared her own struggles, it has been a positive experience despite her own discomfort.  “I was mildly uncomfortable with being vulnerable but the reaction has been so rewarding,” she said. Jenna hopes that other students are inspired to speak up about their challenges and to seek help.

Stevens is a JED Campus Alumni, which means that the JED Foundation has n has provided the campus with support, evidence-based practices, and data-driven guidance to protect the mental health of the student population and prevent suicide.

About the Event

This event will serve as the launch of JED’s Neon Nights initiative that will occur on college campuses across the U.S. The event will be a fun, exciting, and colorful nighttime campus-wide parade. ‘Glow Zones’ will be set up along the route to keep everyone motivated with free giveaways of neon-colored glow swag until they arrive at the main event for a one-of-a-kind glow dance party, which will be held in the Babbio Auditorium.


“The last few years have been especially hard on college students who lost integral moments in their young lives,” said Dr. Thea Zunick, JED’s Senior Manager of Community Engagement. “Neon Nights is a carefree, fun night for students to come together as a community and share perspectives and support with one another as a reminder that no one is alone.”

Leading up to this inaugural event, Stevens students will engage in a peer-to-peer fundraising competition for mental health and suicide prevention education and interventions.

Read more: How Toxic Positivity Can Harm Mental Health, From a Local Therapist

There will be student speakers sharing their experiences with mental health as well as remarks from campus leadership. Adelle Caballero, Traffic Anchor for NBC 4 New York’s “Today in New York,” will give opening remarks, talking about her personal experience with mental health.

Funds raised will help JED continue to equip more young people to help themselves, support one another, and overcome mental health challenges.

Get Involved

Hoboken businesses and neighbors are invited to support the event through donations and sponsorship. While the on-campus event is only open to students, faculty, and staff at Stevens, community support is essential to its success.

” The city of Hoboken has been a HUGE support in the efforts here. One of the more visible ways they are supporting is by lighting up city hall and the PSE&G substation green to support the event and an overall message that Hoboken supports mental health,” Dr. Zunick said. “As a longtime Hoboken resident, the City’s recent hiring of social workers is just another example of the City’s commitment to resident mental health.”
Glow Green_Stevens

The PSEG substation in Hoboken will be lit up in green, as will Hoboken City Hall. A rendering of the substation is above. Sponsorships are still available for interested businesses, and donations will be accepted up until the event. Local supporters can request flyers and stickers to show their support by contacting Dr. Zunick via email.

Visit neonnights.org and follow us on social media @NeonNights_LetsGlow, @jedfoundation, and @neonnights_stevens.

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