Steve Adubato has dedicated his entire career in front of the camera to showing the issues that affect the people of New Jersey. With each turn in his career—Emmy Award-winning anchor of public broadcasting, CEO of the nonprofit television production company, Caucus Educational Corporation, author of four success-building books, or adjunct professor teaching the bright minds at New York University—his multifaceted business in the limelight has contributed to the ultimate goal of giving back. And he doesn’t stop there. As he begins writing his fifth book, Adubato continues to expand his nonprofit leadership program Stand & Deliver: Communication Tools for Tomorrow’s Leaders, which he and his team developed 15 years ago to apply many of Adubato’s own motivational philosophies to young adults. We spoke with the Jersey native to discuss the impact of Stand & Deliver, what it means to be Italian-American and how his whirlwind of success helps bring those same opportunities to others.
Q: Why is it important to incorporate your career as a broadcast journalist to giving back to the community?
A: Anything we do professionally has to make a contribution to others. I am confident that together with our great partners at WNET and NJTV, work as a broadcaster, author and motivational speaker makes a difference in the lives of others. I am so fortunate in this way to be able to do what I love and hopefully help others in the process.
Q: What was your goal when starting Stand & Deliver?
A: The overall goal is to teach our young adults, particularly those from our inner cities, how to communicate and lead with passion, preparing them for their future and giving them the tools necessary to succeed. We have received overwhelmingly positive feedback from participants in Stand & Deliver on the impact the program has had on their ability to communicate more effectively. Many Stand & Deliver graduates have returned to serve as workshop leaders.
Q: In 2012 you wrote in your NJ Monthly column, “Growing up Italian-American in New Jersey helped toughen me for the times ahead.” Can you give us some examples?
A: Growing up in a largely Italian-American neighborhood in Newark taught me how to deal with difficult and challenging situations. We were forced to grow up quickly because we were exposed to many situations with people who might not have had the best intentions. It was a great neighborhood, but it was rough, and some of the characters in it didn’t always play by the same rules that my parents taught me.
Q: What do you do in your spare time to relax?
A: Working out is a major part of my life. I start every morning in the gym and have recently gotten into stretching and yoga. I also love to play golf with friends.
Q: Define luxury.
A: Luxury to me is the fact that my family is building a house on the beach at the Jersey Shore. In the near future, I will be able to wake up and walk on the boardwalk or have a cup of coffee while listening to the ocean or reading a book. Growing up, I never thought this would be possible.
Q: What’s been the most rewarding experience in your career?
A: It’s being a part of a team that has helped young adults gain the tools to become confident public communicators. The work Stand & Deliver does has the potential to change lives of these young people, which in turn can make a huge difference in the urban communities in which they live. There is no greater gift than being a part of such an effort.