The NJ PBS digital documentary series “21” examines a simple question: Does where you live in the state affect your life? The series follows one person in each of New Jersey’s 21 counties and examines the social determinants that affect that person’s life.

In this special edition, NJ Spotlight News shares inspiring stories from Cape May, Bergen, Sussex and Burlington counties with Brianna Vanozzi.

Johnnie Walker is a veteran and lifelong activist who spends his days helping other veterans in need in Cape May County. Whether it was providing housing for the homeless, helping navigate the VA health care system, shopping for food or building ramps for a fellow vet with disabilities, Walker became a beloved person to all who served.

Rona Vega, a single mother from Bergen County, strives to create equal opportunities for her children and others in her community through her organization, Parent Matterz, a resource that supports the dreams and ambitions of all students and helps parents prepare their children for college with tutors, enrichment programs, tutors and more.

Jay Fisher of Sussex County knows you can’t beat Mother Nature and says, “We have to understand that this is our only planet.” Fisher focuses on the science behind naturally recycling food waste and diverting it from landfills. An avid composter, he built the business with his community in mind—employing only local residents, providing workforce training and volunteer opportunities for those in need, including local high school students with disabilities.

In “Camp No Worries”, the familiar hum of cicadas and singing are the sounds of summer. Casey Massa of Burlington County, a cancer survivor herself, is using what she learned during her diagnosis and recovery to give back to families in the community by providing a safe space where children with cancer and their siblings can come and just to be children.

See more episodes here.

If you have someone to nominate for the ’21’ series from your constituency, email us at

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