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EAC Network: The History of an Influential Long Island Charity

EAC Network

EAC Network was founded 50 years ago in 1969. The human service agency was formed at a time when our nation was putting forth a major effort to battle poverty, crime, drugs, and racism. Four volunteers, Diana Freed, Joan Boden, Barbara Gross, and Nadine Heyman, joined together to help young people take advantage of vocational and educational opportunities. The founders of the EAC Network were a unique group of people who were creative, committed, and energetic in the pursuit of ways to enhance our society.

The Education Assistance Corporation, Founded in 1969

First known as the Education Assistance Corporation, EAC Network has always operated with a strong commitment and mission: to Empower, Assist, and Care for people in need.

From 1969 to 1979, EAC was housed by the Port Washington Community Action Council along with several other social service agencies, such as Visiting Nurses, North Shore Child Guidance Center, North Shore University Hospital Day Clinic, and the Family Service Association of Nassau County.

Together, they addressed the community’s unmet needs in:

  • Housing
  • Transportation
  • Family services
  • Job training
  • Employment for low-income individuals

EAC’s programs were aimed to stimulate, encourage, and support the occupational and educational goals of those who were facing obstacles to obtaining higher education.

An early EAC Network press conferenceThe Early Years (1972 to 1980)

In the 1970s, the foundation for today’s EAC Network was solidified.

In 1972, it became an independent, private not-for-profit 501(c)3 agency with the mission to:

“disseminate information about schools, colleges, vocational training, vocational education, and financial assistance; to provide general counseling services and vocational counseling services; to administer and supervise governmental programs; to conduct research projects; and to do any other act or thing incidental to or connected with the forgoing purposes … ”

Two years later, EAC’s first official Board of Directors was selected.

The EAC TASC Program in Nassau County, which was funded by the Federal government and the Department of Justice, was launched in 1977. This initiative was a part of the roots of EAC Network’s extensive addiction and criminal justice services programs.

In 1980, the growing human services agency was organized into three program divisions: Criminal Justice, Development Learning, and Alternative Education and Vocation. In total, EAC had eleven programs, thirteen funding sources, twenty-one employees, and 291 clients.

The 1980s and 90s

EAC continued to grow in the 1980s and ‘90s, officially changing its name to the Education & Assistance Corporation in 1989 . During these years, many new programs were launched, several of them still in existence today.

An EAC Network graduationThe 2000s and Beyond

EAC stepped into the new millennium with fresh ideas to Empower, Assist and Care for people in need. The social services agency’s name was changed to EAC Network in 2013 to reflect a dedication to reaching its goal through a network of 70+ diverse programs.

EAC Network’s Mission

EAC Network’s mission has expanded to meet the growing needs of underserved populations within Nassau, Suffolk, and the five boroughs of New York City. With the help of many, EAC Network responds to human needs with programs and services that protect children, promote healthy families and communities, help seniors, and empower individuals to take control of their lives.

Over 100 Programs Today

With over 100 wide-ranging programs and services, EAC Network’s objective is to reach individuals within our communities through innovative programs that improve quality of life. A wide spectrum of programs and services work to:

  • Help protect at-risk children
  • Support senior citizens
  • Provide treatment for people with mental health and substance abuse problems
  • Educate people seeking financial independence
  • Assist individuals who are under or unemployed
  • Mediate disputes
  • And work with families and individuals who are in crisis

50 Years of Empowering, Assisting and Caring

This year, EAC Network is celebrating its 50th anniversary. From infant children, to at-risk youth, to seniors and the incapacitated, the not-for-profit organization is more committed than ever to helping the needs of the most underserved populations. Last year alone, its professional staff and dedicated volunteers Empowered, Assisted and Cared for more than 82,000 individuals, a number expected to continue to increase in 2019.

Join EAC Network in celebrating 50 years of service to the community at the Golden Anniversary Gala on November 20, 2019 at The Fox Hollow in Woodbury.

Nominate EAC Network - Best of LI 2020

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