Vals New Headshot

Valerie Merritt

New York City

Executive Assistant to the CEO

Valerie Merritt is a Newark, New Jersey native currently residing in the township of Irvington, New Jersey. She received her early education in the Newark Public Schools and went on to graduate from Clifford J. Scott High School in East Orange. She earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration and a Master’s degree in Organizational Management—both from Centenary University in Parsippany.

Valerie is also a graduate of Leadership Newark, a two-year public policy fellowship program that selects emerging leaders and professionals committed to the improvement of the greater Newark community.

Valerie developed a love of communications, public relations and community engagement work early in her career while with New Jersey Transit, the nation’s third largest transportation agency. After 14 years with the agency, she went on to spend eight years with the Newark Public Schools District where she served on leadership teams for four different Superintendents. As the director of communications, Valerie provided strategic counsel to leadership during a significant period of change.  She also was instrumental in the District’s efforts to build public confidence, communicate and promote educational reforms, policies, and initiatives—all to support local public schools, district offices, and the Newark community at-large.

Valerie is a woman of character and substance. One of her career accomplishments that she is most proud of is creating the tagline “Changing Hearts and Minds to Value Education” in 2009 for the Newark Public Schools. The tagline resonated throughout the District and the community, resulting in it being trademarked and now owned by the Newark Public Schools—a first for New Jersey’s largest public-school district.

Valerie also highlight's one of her career accomplishments as having the ability to connect people and cultivate relationships that support and strengthen communities. These skills resulted in her being elected president of her condo association and serving in this capacity for the past twelve years.

Most recently, Valerie lent her skills and talents to advance communications, public relations and media strategies for non-profit organizations like Nassan’s Place, The Dressing Room, and the Lincoln Park Coast Cultural District.

Currently, Valerie serves as the executive assistant to the CEO for the Campaign for Black Male Achievement, a national membership organization with a mission to provide tangible support and resources to organizations and leaders who are directly addressing the black male achievement gap.  CBMA also serve as a guide for national organizations in the boys and men of color space.

Valerie is a proud member of the National Black MBA Association and serves on the board of the International Girls Academy.  She lives by one core creed -- “service above self” -- and she always aims to leave an environment, no matter how challenging, better than she found it.

Valerie enjoys traveling, interior design, working out, and spending time with family and friends whenever possible.

by Valerie

blog Mission Fuel
02.18.2020
Valerie Merritt

Reflections: Start Where You Are

In this blog post, CBMA team member Valerie Merritt extolls the importance of starting where you are in order to reach where you need to go.
blog
12.02.2019
Valerie Merritt

REFLECTIONS: You’re Never Too Old to Start Over

In this new post, Campaign for Black Male Achievement staff member Valerie Merritt reflects on her personal and professional journey that brought her to become part of CBMA and the broader Black Male Achievement movement.
blog
12.05.2018
Valerie Merritt

30 Days and Counting

How do you know when you've made a good decision? CBMA's newest team member Valerie Merritt reflect on her first 30-days working at CBMA. Read her reflections here!