New Jersey is home to many ambitious and talented women who juggle family, career, and home. A select few of these women are also extremely busy building their own companies to help better manage the balance of work and family. At NJMOM, we want to highlight these extraordinary women who build businesses in New Jersey, and learn the secret to their success.
Founder and CEO of AngelaCARES & NJMOMpreneur:
Angela McKnight is the Founder and CEO of AngelaCARES, a wide network of support systems for senior citizens that also champions youth through volunteer and educational opportunities. Based in Jersey City, her organization has provided an array of services that encourage seniors to seize what life has to offer; from guided walks and face-to-face contact to assistance during emergency situations, Angela’s gentle approaches are inspired by her own experiences when caring for her mother and grandmother. In addition to her roles as activist, advocate, mentor, author, and educator; Angela McKnight became the 1st African American Assemblywoman for the 31st District for the state of New Jersey in 2015, where she sits on the Education Health, and Senior Services and Human Services committees.
NJMOM had the pleasure of speaking with Angela about how she became known as the Carepreneur, the stepping stones she took towards turning her passion into a reality, plus her favorite things to do in New Jersey with her growing family.
NJMOM: What do you offer to your clients and how is it different than other professionals in your field?
Angela: Founded in 2011, the mission of AngelaCARES is to serve as an advocate and support system for senior citizens, a support system for senior caregivers and a mentor to youth by educating and empowering them to volunteer. We are committed to strengthening communities by enhancing the quality of life through empowering our seniors, their caregivers, and the youth. AngelaCARES pursues its mission by assisting clients to live their best life, while building a legacy of empowering communities through projects and programs designed to assist clients facing emergency situations, guide clients along the path that leads to self-empowering self-sufficiency and an improved quality of life. The organization provides a wide variety of service activities, thorough case management, workshops, volunteer activities, agency referrals and extensive follow-up. I provide a holistic approach and touch people in many ways, such as being there to guide and walk my clients through the process, face-to-face contact, advocacy and love, which leaves a lasting impression on my clients.
NJMOM: What inspired you to get into your line of work?
Angela: When I was taking care of my mother and grandmother, I noticed a void of care with our seniors. There are family members who are not bothered and/or live far, and there are professionals who just want to receive a paycheck. I wanted to be part of the village that care for this vulnerable, caring, and loving generation that have paved the way for us. I also wanted to join youth and seniors together as both generations can learn from each other. As a caregiver, I didn’t have an outlet, so I started the program emPOWER Caregivers to provide an outlet and resource for people who takes care of the elderly. I started my consulting business The Carepreneur to help and educate other entrepreneurs to live out their dreams.
NJMOM: What is your favorite part about your business?
Angela: The favorite part of my work is that I get to meet and helps people from all walks of life.
NJMOM: What is your background in your business expertise?
Angela: I attended Rising Tide Capital and for two years, I’ve been an instructor for Rising Tide Capital in which I teach entrepreneurs to grow and start their business. I have worked in the business industry for over 20 years. I am also a Certified Senior Advisor (CSA), self-published author, and the owner of Care About You, LLC. Care About You, LLC provides consultant services for the elderly population.
NJMOM: What are you most proud of in your career?
Angela: I’m most proud of helping seniors to live their lives to the fullest, and inspiring and empowering others!
NJMOM: What is something few people know about you?
Angela: Not many people know that I have a twin sister.
NJMOM: What can we expect from you for the rest of 2017?
Angela: I am proud to say that this coming October, I will be a grandmother to a beautiful baby boy! On a professional level, I’m looking forward to starting an educational series to educate and empower others.
NJMOM: What is a cause that you are passionate about?
Angela: I am most passionate about helping seniors live a healthy and well-being life.
NJMOM: Who is your role model?
Angela: I have a few role models, but I will speak about one – my mother. God, please continue to bless her soul. My mom was the type of person who took the shirt off her back to help someone in need. My mother was the type of person that opened her door to provide a place for people to have a place to sleep and she always did it with a smile on her face. She was so kind to others that when you met my mother, she made you feel warm inside. My mom had a rich heart and it showed in her actions.
NJMOM: What is the best piece of advice your mom ever gave to you?
Angela: My mother told me that if you want to make something happen, then you will do all that you need to do to make it happen.
NJMOM: Do you have a favorite quote you live by?
Never let money be a deterrent.
Angela: This quote is important to me because it reminds me that money should not be the driving force in accomplishing your goals.
NJMOM: What are your favorite things to do in New Jersey with your family?
Angela: I love the summer months because I don’t have to worry about looking for something to wear. I love taking walks in the park and enjoy spending time by the swimming pool with my family!
NJMOM: What is the best part about being a mom for you?
Angela: The best part of being a mom is watching my children grow while learning how to parent during the different stages of their lives. As they grow, I grow as a parent.
NJMOM: What are your favorite businesses in New Jersey?
Angela: Some of my favorites are Wal-Mart, TGI Friday’s, Barnes and Noble, Marshalls, Burlington Coat Factory, and Coloring.
NJMOM: Where do you reside and vacation in New Jersey?
Angela: I was born, raised, and still reside in Jersey City. I love vacationing in Wildwood, New Jersey because of the family-oriented atmosphere they provide.
NJMOM: What advice might you have for a fellow NJMOMpreneur who is just starting out?
Angela: My advice to an NJMOMpreneur who is just starting out would be the following: find something that you are passionate about, become the “Subject Matter Expert” of your passion, and just go for it. You will experience highs and lows; however, every experience is an opportunity for you to learn, so please take advantage and learn all that you can while growing your business.
NJMOM: Anything else you’d like to tell moms in New Jersey?
Angela: To all the NJMOMpreneurs: whatever you do in life, I want you to be proud of yourself and no matter what, you are living your dream. I want you to become a Legacy Maker, so that you can inspire and empower others to live their dreams just like you!