An Opportunity to Serve Year After Year

It all began in 1970, when our founders, Manuel Pérez, Felicita Pérez, Ines Caneda, Luis Matos, Carlos Leon, Philip Garcia, and Jose Rodriguez, among others, decided to incorporate the Puerto Rican Organization for Community Education and Economic Development—better known now as PROCEED, Inc. It was originally staffed by fewer than five people working in three rented offices on Broad Street in Elizabeth, New Jersey. As a small nonprofit corporation, PROCEED had modest goals: to establish an orientation center, carry out educational activities, and promote the general welfare of Puerto Ricans in the Elizabeth area.

During the past 50 years, the City of Elizabeth has continued to evolve, and PROCEED has grown alongside it. PROCEED has established itself as a comprehensive, premier service organization in the Union County Area and nationally, including Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands, through our training and technical assistance programs, and PROCEED now serves all who seek and qualify for services regardless of race, nationality, ethnicity, religion, disability, or sexual orientation.

While there have been physical and programmatic changes for the organization, what has not changed in the past 50 years is PROCEED’s unfaltering commitment to helping those who need it most and to doing so with integrity, passion, and optimism. We care deeply about personal relationships, community building, and empowering people to become leaders and self-starters. The consumer—whether an individual, a family, or another organization—is always the main priority. To this end, PROCEED works to help the individual as a whole rather than simply fix his or her isolated problems, and it does so by continuing its tradition of empathetic care and individualized attention.

Since its founding, PROCEED has welcomed tens of thousands of individuals to its many homes and offered each of them access to extensive, personalized services and to a reliable network of community partners. PROCEED’s consistent and effective presence in the community has allowed it to endure, not only as an active and progressive non-profit organization, but also as a neighborhood landmark and as a witness to the change, development, and tradition of the greater Elizabeth and Union County area.

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