InsiderNJ names 6 Rider alumni on most influential millennials list

The 2019 Insider 100: Millennials publication measures NJ political influence
Adam Grybowski

InsiderNJ, which covers New Jersey political news, named six Rider alumni to its list of most influential millennials in New Jersey politics.

Fatima Heyward '15 and Missy Rebovich '12 cracked the top 40, with Joe Forte '13 landing at No. 84. Meanwhile, Jonathan Chebra ’09, Lee Clark ’14, ’18 and Christopher Scales '18 were named to the list of "millennials to watch."

"This a conveyance of gathering strength; a harbinger of worlds to come," wrote InsiderNJ's editor, Max Pizarro, in a message introducing the 2019 Insider 100: Millennials publication.

Fatima Heyward, who was listed at No. 34, is the communications coordinator at Planned Parenthood Action Fund of New Jersey and Planned Parenthood of Northern, Central and Southern New Jersey. In July, she was elected state president of the New Jersey Young Democrats, making her the first African African woman to ever hold that position. Heyward is also the co-founder and president of the South Jersey Young Democrats Black Caucus. At Rider, she majored in digital media: film, TV and radio.

Missy Rebovich was listed at No. 37. She is the director of government and public affairs of New Jersey Future, a nonprofit that promotes investment in the redevelopment and infrastructure of towns and cities. Rebovich manages the organization’s government and public affairs work and oversees communications and research to promote and implement the organization’s smart-growth policy agenda.

Rebovich, who received a bachelor's in psychology from Rider, is the daughter of the late Dr. David Rebovich, the founder and namesake of the Rebovich Institute for New Jersey Politics at Rider University.

Joe Forte, who majored in global studies and is No. 84 on the list, is the former chief of staff to Assemblyman Andrew Zwicker. He works for the Civil Service Commission and is the vice chair of the NJLGBT Democratic Caucus.

The three alumni who made "millennials to watch" list each have meaningful experience in state politics.

Jonathan Chebra is the senior director of Federal Affairs at New Jersey Hospital Association. He previously served as chief of staff for Assemblyman Herb Conway. He received a bachelor's in political science from Rider.

Lee Clark recently filled a seat on the town council of Phillipsburg, N.J., that was left vacant following the resignation of Joshua Davis. He works for the New Jersey League of Conservation Voters and received a bachelor's in political science and a master's in business communication from Rider.

Christopher Scales, who majored in political science at Rider, is currently an aid to Gov. Murphy in the Governor's Office. He made news when he was elected to the Hamilton school board in New Jersey at 18 after graduating from Steinert High School. He served for one term but did not seek reelection, choosing instead to focus on his studies at Rider.

All six of the individuals recognized are graduates of Rider's College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, which is committed to the transformation and enrichment of student lives through education and engagement in the classroom and community.

"We're dedicated to providing experiential learning opportunities at Rider that allow students to develop a commitment to community service and civic engagement," says Dr. Kelly Bidle, dean of the College. "We're very proud to see our young alumni named as influential millennials in state politics. To see each of them carry a continued spirit of serving others into their careers is admirable."

Each of the alumni was also affiliated with the Rebovich Institute as undergraduates. The Institute is dedicated to public service and scholarly analysis of government, public policy, campaigns and elections in New Jersey. It actively facilitates political internships for students, and each summer it hosts a statewide conference for interns from all schools working in state politics, government or public advocacy.

"Internships are a fantastic way for young people to experience the political process firsthand and develop the talent and wisdom we are going to need to confront the major challenges facing the state," says Micah Rasmussen, the director of the Rebovich Institute. "This group of alumni continues to show great potential in shaping a positive future for New Jersey."