Founded in 1981 by students and faculty of Princeton University, Isles is an award-winning community development and environmental nonprofit organization. Isles’ mission is to foster self-reliant families in healthy, sustainable communities.
Isles is known for its comprehensive approach to complex community challenges, offering services such as:
Green job training
Green real estate development
Foreclosure prevention counseling
Youth training and education
Environmental education and remediation
To broaden its impact, Isles develops easily replicable approaches to community development. Isles works with hundreds of public, private, and academic partners to achieve innovative, cost-effective ways to accomplish its mission. In addition to community-based development services, Isles works to change regional and statewide policies that concentrate poverty, undermine schools, promote sprawl, and foster racial segregation.
Geographic areas served: Trenton, NJ
Isles’ Center for Energy and Environmental Training collaborates with private industry, labor, state and local government, higher education, and community-based organizations to train New Jersey residents for green jobs that improve the environment and stimulate the economy. Training is available for community members seeking entry-level positions in green careers, workers wishing to advance their skills and certifications, and employers seeking customized training for their employees.
I've known about, watched and participated with Isles over decades and remain deeply impressed by the organization. Isles empowers families in this city through many different programs and in many ways. A single mother of four I worked with became a first-time homeowner through Isles, changing her life and that of her children. I've seen kids who never succeeded at much of anything graduate from YouthBuild with purpose and new confidence. I've visited gardens created out of abandoned stretches and seen what a difference they make to those who farm them. Isles has been a champion of fostering self-reliance in an urban environment where nurturing isn't the norm. Bless them.