What is Cornerstone Montclair?
Cornerstone Montclair’s mission is to foster a vibrant community hub that rests on three pillars:
- Providing opportunities for meaningful work for people of all abilities.
- Providing opportunities for social engagement.
- Providing opportunities for active lifestyles.
This mission comes to life in a beautifully restored 3,000 square-foot building located at 198 Bellevue Avenue in Upper Montclair, New Jersey.
By offering highly desirable, yet affordable workspace, we’ve strategically partnered with top-notch Businesses, Educators and Service Providers. These “Mission Partners” share in our passion for inclusion, and will be instrumental in bringing our vision to life through employment opportunities, professional services, and educational/recreational activities.
We are excited to welcome the community at large to Cornerstone Montclair and hope you visit us soon!
The inspiration for cornerstone montclair
The Lacey’s have four beautiful children, including their fifteen-year old daughter Evelyn, who has Down syndrome. Watching Evelyn grow into a lovely, complicated young woman prompted her family to consider what will factor into her leading a fulfilling and happy life in Montclair.
Evelyn has been in an inclusive educational setting since she was a baby, learning to model behaviors and skills from her peers. What happens when she ages out of the school system? What will her life, and the life of her friends, look like in their community?
It is in this spirit that Wendy Lacey set out to create a vehicle for enabling more community engagement for people of all abilities, and developing a stronger sense of connection, contribution and belonging.
Between the lines of the mission of Cornerstone Montclair is the message that people with disabilities aren’t satisfied sitting on the sidelines. They find fulfillment in the same things their non-disabled peers do: they want to be contributors, they want to work, they want to be healthy and have fun. Perhaps most importantly, they want to have friends and feel comfortable and welcome where they live.
About the founder and executive director
Wendy is married to Andrew Lacey and lives with her family in Montclair, New Jersey. They have four young children and a crazy dog. The family is very active in the Montclair community, particularly in the area of Special Education. The Laceys are strong advocates for inclusive education for children with special needs.
Wendy started her career in investment banking and after receiving a Masters in Public Administration from New York University, transitioned into the non-profit sector, focusing on education and mentoring.
Wendy serves on several boards, including the New Jersey Coalition for Inclusive Education, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Essex, Hudson and Union Counties, and the Advisory Board at Montclair State University’s College of Education and Human Services.. For over 15 years she has actively worked with and supported the mission of Link Community School in Newark, including serving as Chairperson of the Board of Trustees. She sits on Montclair Township’s People with Disabilities Committee.