Events & News


Epilepsy Star: Andrea Racioppi, Associate Director of the EFNJ

Andrea Racioppi is the Associate Director of the Epilepsy Foundation of New Jersey, an active and vibrant foundation that spends the whole year planning activities and supporting its members through a multitude of services. We sat down with her to hear about how she came to work in epilepsy and what her plans are for the future.

Tell us a little about yourself?  Your education, your work experience?

I received a B.A. from The College of New Jersey in Psychology.  Upon graduating I worked as a recreation coordinator for a nonprofit organization that serves people with developmental disabilities.  It was here where I realized my passion for helping others.  I went on to receive my Master’s degree in elementary education from Monmouth University.  After my student teaching, I decided to return to the nonprofit world to continue my work in helping others.  

How did you come to work at the EFNJ?  Was there a connection to epilepsy that drew you to this work?

I started working at the Epilepsy Foundation of New Jersey in September 2005.  I was very interested in raising awareness and educating people about epilepsy.  I also have a personal experience as I had a seizure when I was a teenager, and I felt I had a connection and could relate to those with epilepsy.  

Tell us about the work you do as the Associate Director of the EFNJ?  What is a typical week like?  Are there times that are busier than others?

In my role at the Foundation, I oversee the programs and services for people with epilepsy and their families in New Jersey.  A typical week includes speaking with people with epilepsy and their families and helping them overcome any challenges they may have, working on federal grants, and raising awareness about epilepsy through advocacy, events, and education.

Currently we are working on a federal grant from the Health and Services Administration (HRSA). The goal of the project is to improve access to resources for children and youth with epilepsy.  In New Jersey we have partnered with the Epilepsy Foundation of Connecticut and the Epilepsy Foundation of Northeastern New York.  Each of our affiliates will be working with seven pediatric practices in their territories.  With the help of local epileptologists and parents of children with epilepsy, we will be educating and providing resources to these practices.

What projects have you worked on that were especially close to your heart?

One event that is especially close to my heart is our Paint the Pony Purple concert.  This year we will celebrate our fourth year.  On March 22, 2015, people with epilepsy, their families, and friends will take part in an event at the world famous Stone Pony music venue in Asbury Park, NJ.  Here they will raise awareness of epilepsy while listening to great music, eating purple desserts, and participating in  live and silent auctions.  We are excited to announce that the Sleepy Man Banjo Boys will be performing this year!  They have appeared on numerous day and nighttime talk shows and will be at the National Walk for Epilepsy in April.  Also performing will be THE  ROCKNROLL CHORUS, Sofia Nicole, and Dr. B and the Interns.  For more information and tickets, visit

What plans do you have for epilepsy over the next year?

Over the next year we will focus our efforts on training NJ teens with epilepsy on how to advocate.  We are planning a Day at the State House when the teens can voice their concerns and ideas to their representatives.  

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