Scrapbook

Grantee Partner:

June 9, 2017:  Attended a training for Early Childhood instructors in the Bronx, as part of CMOM’s “All the Way to K and Beyond” program we support.  Museum educators modeled simple arts and movement exercises that these teachers – and their students’ caregivers – can use to promote early literacy development in everyday activities.  

Grantee Partner:

June 7, 2017:  The annual Spring Arts Showcase highlighted the incredibly talented dancers, musicians, singers, and visual artists who participate in SASF’s many after school programs.  The smile on the boy in this dance troupe from P.S. 189 in the Bronx say it all!

Organization:
Meringoff Family Foundation

June 6, 2017:  Here is the 2017 cohort of nine Meringoff Victory Prize winners of $2,500 scholarships.  It was great to finally meet this group of high school seniors, after getting to know them so well through the essays they submitted about their experiences with our grantee partners.  This competition rewards outstanding NYC teens while tangibly demonstrating that great nonprofits can truly change lives.

Grantee Partner:

June 2, 2017:  At Eagle’s Extended Day Showcase, we saw student demonstrations of the many after school activities our funding supports.  During this fun event, Stuart couldn’t help himself and bought a handmade bracelet.

Grantee Partner:

May 19, 2017:  Executive Director Aaron Zimmerman welcomes guests to the NYWC 15th anniversary celebration.  The Foundation was proud to support this event and the dozens of creative writing workshop groups made possible by its proceeds.

Grantee Partner:

May 18, 2018:  Stephen was particularly pleased to attend BMCC's spring gala, because his old friend and highly esteemed real estate colleague, Jeffrey Gural (left), was the evening’s honoree.

Grantee Partner:

May 18, 2017:  It was a real honor to meet Officers Dan Sendrowski and John Campanella at the Police Foundation’s annual fundraising gala.  They were the first NYPD on the scene after last fall’s terrorist bombing in Chelsea and are truly New York’s finest!

Organization:
Animal Haven

May 16, 2017:  This fluff ball is actually a week-old kitten Sophie and Stuart got to meet at Animal Haven’s state of the shelter lower Manhattan.  This beautiful facility is home to 35 cats and 35 dogs, all adorable and all eminently adoptable.  

Grantee Partner:

May 9, 2017: Thrilling to see how quickly RTB Board President Carla Murphy used our $10,000 challenge to raise an additional $19,000 in college scholarship support for this year’s graduating seniors at the annual Whitehall Awards fundraiser at the New York Yacht Club.

Grantee Partner:

May 9, 2017: Thanks to our friends at Catalog for Giving, Stuart was a judge at Generation Citizen’s annual Civics Day, where teams of middle and high school students  select a pressing challenge in their community and research a viable local response.  These young people from IS 230 in Jackson Heights presented a thoughtful plan for making public transportation more affordable for low income New Yorkers.  

Grantee Partner:

May 2, 2017:  At Adaptive’s Warriors in Motion Master Chef Celebration, Stuart was interviewed by Carla Hall of ABC’s The Chew about the importance of supporting the organization’s sports programs for disabled veterans.  It was a thrill to meet Carla, and yes, she’s just as warm and friendly in person as on TV!

Grantee Partner:

May 1, 2017: The Foundation provided financial support for today’s symposium on “Designing Experiences for People with Autism.” The Transit Museum’s Access Coordinator Meredith Gregory gave a terrific presentation at the day’s closing panel on special needs programs in action, which also featured representatives from MoMA and Lincoln Center.  Our first grant to the Transit Museum in 2014 supported Meredith’s hire; we are enormously proud of all that she and her colleagues have accomplished there, as well as in the larger field.

Grantee Partner:

April 27, 2017:  Communications consultant Marti Fischer leads a workshop for youth serving nonprofits on perfecting their elevator pitches; Meringoff funding supports the Catalog’s work of building the capacity of its cohort members.  Marti’s presentation was absolutely top notch, and as were the workshop participants.  The Catalog’s cohort members are an impressive group!

Grantee Partner:

April 22, 2017:  Attended joint workshops, one for parents, the other for eighth graders, designed to prepared GO students and families for the realities of high school. GO worked extensively with these families on navigating the complicated public high school application process.  With school selections now finalized, these complementary programs will help ensure a smooth transition from middle to high school.

Grantee Partner:

April 19, 2017:  Stephen and Stuart attended the ribbon cutting ceremony for NYCF’s new headquarters, which combines gleaming, state of the art labs with great public spaces to allow researchers to interact with the general public.  We’re particularly proud of the above named space, which provides a calming respite for NYSCF’s incredibly hard working staff.

Grantee Partner:

April 17, 2017:  Dennis, Jonathan, and Pei Yi, PENCIL Fellows alumni, talked about their internship experiences from last summer to help prepare an incoming crop of over 600 Fellows, by far the largest-ever Fellows cohort.  Jessica Bynoe, PENCIL’s new Director of Programs, did a great moderating this lively, and very honest, conversation.  The incoming Fellows weren’t shy, and peppered these three with lots of questions.

Grantee Partner:

April 16, 2017: Congratulations to Gallop rider Leah Kest, who took home the title of Reserve Champion at the Long Island Horse Show Series for Riders with Disabilities!

Grantee Partner:

March 27, 2017: Enjoyed meeting program participants (L-R) Tatiana, Violet, and Christina at LIFT’s Parenting Workshop for Young Parents in the Morrisania section of the Bronx; this excellent session was led by Noemi (far right).  Last fall, Meringoff Gen 2 support piloted this new program, which addresses young parents’ unique needs.  It’s great to see that a fully developed workshop is now up and running.

Grantee Partner:

March 27, 2017: Jim Wallert leads 9th grade English students at the Chelsea Career and Technical HS in a dialogue writing workshop.  Through Epic’s 20-session residency, these students are adapting Antigone to 1990 NYC, where Creon is now the visiting Pope who has banned dancing; his niece, the Mayor’s daughter, defies the edict by dancing with her boyfriend on Fifth Ave…  Drama indeed! 

Grantee Partner:

March 23, 2017: Eagle high school students demonstrating their new-found cooking skills at an Extended Day open house.  Meringoff funding supports 18 after school activities at Eagle, including photography, web design, barbering, drama, anime, and cooking.  BTW, the sautéed kale was delicious!

Grantee Partner:

March 16, 2017:  Dr. Karin Alnervik, a professor of early childhood studies from Jonkoping University in Sweden, gave a lecture at Brooklyn College to local graduate students and early childhood teachers.  During her talk, she walked us through the design and layout of a model Swedish early childhood center, a welcoming environment that encourages maximum exploration and play -- key factors to developing children who are competent are open to learning.  Gen 2 funding supports an ongoing exchange where early childhood educators from Sweden and Brooklyn share their best practices. 

Grantee Partner:

March 13, 2017: Had a wonderful time at NYWC’s new “Writing Aloud” series at a café in downtown Brooklyn.  Poet Sam Sax kicked off the evening with an incredibly engaging reading of several of his short works.  He then gave the assembled audience a writing prompt (“Write an invented origin story for something you love.  A song, a food, god, your city -- anything you absolutely love.  Begin your piece with the phrase ‘In The Beginning.’”).  We had 15 minutes to write, then the evening transformed into an open mic.  This exciting evening wonderfully blurred the lines between artist and audience.

Grantee Partner:

March 13, 2017: Attended the final show of Epic’s “Romeo and Juliet Remix”, performed and co-written by students at Urban Assembly School for the Performing Arts in Harlem.  In her introduction, Epic artistic director Melissa Friedman (above), explained how the students transferred the play from Verona to East Harlem, with Shakespeare’s rival families now cast as warring gangs.  The students’ take on R&J was riveting, and several of their performances outstanding.

 

Grantee Partner:

March 11, 2017:  For the first-time ever, there was a tie in SASF’s annual Step Dance competition.  Nineteen of the organization’s afterschool sites entered a team, but the judges couldn’t decide between Brownsville’s P.S./I.S. 66 Diamond Steppers and Sunset Park’s M.S. 663K Diversity, as both of their sets were off the charts.  After much deliberation, two winners were declared.  Full disclosure: Stuart was one of the ten judges.

Grantee Partner:

March 11, 2017: At TKU Fake News Hackathon, a panel of reporters and editors (L-R, Amanda Holpuch of The Guardian, Jeff Mays of News One, and Ken Brown of The Wall Street Journal with moderator Justin Hendrix of NYC Media Lab) talked to TKU teens about the difference between real and fake news and how to critically look at news sources.  The teens then went on to create real and fake news GIFs and memes.

Organization:
Katie Piper Foundation

March 2, 2017:  The Foundation’s first international site visit!  Katie (center) and Stuart had an inspiring visit with Katie Piper (right) and Carla Cornwell (left) at the London-based Katie Piper Foundation.  After she was severely burned in an acid attack nine years ago, Katie P. founded this organization to provide services to other burns survivors.  We discussed a potentially far reaching grant, where the Meringoff Foundation would support KPF’s work to get the UK’s National Health Insurance to cover increased services to burns survivors.   

Grantee Partner:

February 24, 2017: Tech Kid Collins, above, works on the logo design for a new website commissioned by the Doug Flutie Jr. Foundation for Autism. The Flutie Foundation, which promotes employment opportunities for adults with Autism, contacted TKU to create an online marketplace for products produced by workers on the Autism spectrum.  Over four days, twelve members of the T3 (Tech Teen Team) Digital Agency – which received start-up funding from the Meringoff Foundation – got to work.  Charlotte and Stuart attended the Team’s final client presentation, where team members walked us through the completed site (which looks great!).  ShopTheSpectrum.org should be live in three weeks.

Grantee Partner:

Feb 21, 2017: Had a great meeting with Weill Cornell’s Dr. Grace Sun, who just returned from a week in Dodoma, Tanzania (above).  Her team, with colleagues from the Moran Eye Center in Salt Lake City, screened over 2,000 patients and performed 440 cataract surgeries.  While on these semi-annual visits, the NY and Utah doctors also provide ongoing training to several Tanzanian ophthalmologists, which has greatly increased local surgical capacity.   

Grantee Partner:

Feb 21, 2017: Sat in on health care consultant Sahar Zodeh's presentation to a group of high school seniors from the YW Lead program, which received seed funding from the Meringoff Foundation.  Sahar (far right) talked about her college experiences and career path, and fielded lots of informed questions.  After the formal program, we got to chat with the young women, and were excited to learn that they were all applying to at least eight colleges.  This wide net is a direct result of YW Lead’s work to expand their educational horizons. 

Grantee Partner:

January 21, 2017: It was great to meet Whitney, seated at desk.  She’s the part-time Academy Program Administrator whose salary is being underwritten by the Meringoff Foundation.  She’s also an Academy alum who went on to earn a BA and Masters in Economics at NYU.  Whitney and longtime program volunteer Jumanah (who just earned her Masters in Music from Columbia) are getting ready to teach an Algebra Regents Exam prep class.  (Stuart discovered that he’s forgotten nearly all of the Algebra he learned 40 years ago!)

Grantee Partner:

January 5, 2017:  About 30 members of Breakthrough’s college cohort attended a panel discussion with eight young professionals, representing a variety of fields, who discussed their wending paths from college major to current career.  Meringoff funding allows Breakthrough to ensure that the high school students it helped get into competitive colleges continue to thrive while there.

Grantee Partner:

January 5, 2017:  Darren, Irie, and Kenneth pose with some of the professional-grade video equipment purchased through our Gen 2 grant; they’re currently “test driving” the cameras with the music video they’re working on.  This equipment will officially debut next month as MiB’s launches video workshops for local youth.  Best of all, these workshops, and all of MiB’s programs which engage young Brownsville residents in the creative economy, will take place in its newly acquired storefront home. 

Grantee Partner:

December 19, 2016:  Thank you, Dr. Violaine Harris, for being such a wonderful tour guide at today’s visit to the Tisch MS Research Center.  It was particularly exciting to hear about the incredibly promising results of its Phase-1 stem cell treatment trials.  We’re so proud to support this life-changing work! 

Grantee Partner:

December 17, 2016:  It’s always a treat to attend UW’s annual NYC Youth Poet Laureate competition, the finals of which were held at the NY Public Library main branch.  Winner Sharon Lin, pictured above with Urban Word Executive Director Michael Cirelli, will spend her year-long reign working to engage local youth in the electoral process.  And as Youth Poet Laureate, she’ll see a volume of her poetry published by an independent publishing house.

Grantee Partner:

December 16, 2016:  While visiting KAVI’s violence prevention programming on the Wingate High School campus in Crown Heights, Brooklyn, we met workshop peer leaders Kerrel and Joseph (pictured alongside staffers Jacquel and Abena).  Meringoff funding not only supports the salaries of these young men, but it has doubled the number of KAVI workshops at Wingate!

Grantee Partner:

December 2, 2016:  Stephen greets the Directors of AileyCamp's nine national sites (Atlanta, Baltimore, Berkeley, Chicaco, Kansas City, Miami, New York, Newark, and Seattle), who met in NYC for advanced training and to share their best practices in youth development.  The Meringoff Foundation supports this annual convening. 

Grantee Partner:

November 30, 2016:  Stephen and Kim with Artistic Director Robert Battle at this year's Ailey Gala.  A thrilling performance to launch the company's annual City Center season, followed by an incredible dance party at the Hilton.  A memorable night on the town! 

Grantee Partner:

November 29, 2016:  So much to see during our visit to the Eagle Academy Extended Day for middle school students: classes in fitness, martial arts, music production, forensics, step dancing, drumming, and barbering.  Stuart needed a trim, but someone was already in the barber's chair!

Grantee Partner:

November 21, 2016:  Attended a rehearsal of Cora’s Youth Company in Red Hook.  Their evident talent was expected, but it was a pleasant surprise to see such incredible cohesion and tight interpersonal bonds between the dancers.  Turns out, most of these young dancers have been coming to Cora since they were five or six years old!

Grantee Partner:

November 14, 2016:  Traveled up to the Bronx High School for Business to check in on the Young Men’s Initiative we helped to launch there.  These young men, many of them English Language Learners, are being kept on track through CHCF’s effective and practical infusion of work, life, and academic skills instruction.

Grantee Partner:

November 13, 2016:  Sat in on a dance/choreography workshop for AileyCamp alumni.  Once again, was struck by their talent, poise, and maturity.

Grantee Partner:

November 3, 2016:  At a cultivation event in Dumbo, Brooklyn, Charlotte announces our three-year challenge grant to support Extreme Kids’ expansion to additional schools. Her steadfast support has been key to the careful growth of this outstanding organization. 

Grantee Partner:

October 28, 2016:  Just received this photo from TKU’s first-ever Halloween Teen Social at NYU Tandon School of Engineering.  Sorry to have missed this fun night.

Grantee Partner:

 October 25, 2016:  We had the great pleasure of getting a first-hand account of Weill Cornell's on-the-ground work of improving eye care in Tanzania from Dr. Frank Sandi.  An ophthalmologist based in Dodoma, Tanzania, Dr. Sandi has received extensive mentoring and advanced training from his colleagues at Weill Cornell.  The Meringoff Foundation supports this international exchange.  Pictured above are, L to R, Dr. Grace Sun (Weill Cornell), Stephen Meringoff, Dr. Sandi, and Dr. Donald D'Amico (Weill Cornell).

Grantee Partner:

October 24, 2016: Epic sent us this photo of a recent college trip for its high school seniors to SUNY-Binghampton, part of an Upstate swing that also included Ithaca, Hobart and William Smith, and Hamilton Colleges.  Other colleges visited this fall are SUNY-Potsdam, St. Lawrence University, SUNY-Albany, Marist, Allegheny, SUNY-Buffalo State, and Niagara University.  To quote Epic’s Executive Director Ron Russell, “Whew!  LOTS of driving!”

Grantee Partner:

October 20, 2016:  Stephen (right) talks with fellow engineer Paul McCoy (center) at the annual NYSCF gala.  This unique event gives guests an opportunity to meet the men and women on the frontlines of stem cell research.  Mr. McCoy, NYSCF’s Principal Automation Engineer, is designing the machinery used by stem cell researchers to develop individualized treatment options for colon cancer patients.

Grantee Partner:

October 18, 2016:  BMCC President Antonio Perez addresses this semester’s incoming “Out In Two” cohort, all recipients of full academic scholarships.  Thanks to Meringoff Foundation support, this program, which ensures that high achieving students earn their Associates degree in two years and go on to four-year colleges, now serves twice as many BMCC students.

Grantee Partner:

October 13, 2016:  At NYWC’s poetry salon, writing workshop leaders and participants read their work alongside poetry VIPs Carl Hancock Rux, NYC First Lady Chirlane McCray, and Pulitzer Prize winner Vijay Seshadri (above).

September 29, 2016:  Samuel White, great-grandson of famed architect Stanford White, and Stephen near the top of the rotunda at Gould Memorial Library on the campus of Bronx Community College.  The Meringoff Foundation provided seed funding to conduct a full-scale planning study to inform the restoration of this White-designed landmark and architectural masterpiece.

Grantee Partner:

September 27, 2016: At PENCIL’s annual gala, Fox-5 newscaster Rosanna Scotto interviewed several students, who provided disarmingly unscripted observations about their real world experiences with local corporations through the PENCIL Partners program.  

Grantee Partner:

September 22, 2016: Student talkback following the debut performance at Columbia Teachers College of “Laundry City”.  During Epic’s summer intensive, these five high school students interviewed 30 educators and administrators on the topic of school segregation in NYC.  The result: a fast, funny play exploring the tensions between school desegregation and separate but equal.  Eight civic and educational organizations have already booked performances; in addition to their gigs throughout NY City and State, the Epic teens are slated to perform in Sante Fe and DC.

Grantee Partner:

September 22, 2016:  During Katie and Stuart's visit to Manhattan Family Court, we were thrilled to see LIFT staffers assist parents without legal representation in navigating the complexities of family law and the Family Court system. 

Grantee Partner:

September 20, 2016:  Ailey II dancers welcome guests to its "roof raising" ceremony by performinng an except from Reveleations in the lobby of Joan Weill Center for Dance.  Ailey is about to construct three additional floors atop the roof of its current Midtown home, creating significantly more space for dance studios and classrooms. 

Grantee Partner:

August 18, 2016: At the culminating event for PENCIL Fellows, we met many impressive young leaders including Abdoulaye, Sabina, and Kalen. Over the summer, they respectively interned at Theaterworks USA, Brooklyn Public Library, and Golden Touch. Stephen Meringoff delivered the evening’s keynote address and the Foundation once again underwrote the cash awards for the annual PENCIL Fellows scholarship competition.

Grantee Partner:

August 15, 2016:  At the Epic Next summer intensive at City College, the collected group – Epic’s most advanced students – offered supportive critiques to a group of rising 10th graders on their dramatic monologues.  Over the next two years, their monologues, which will continue to develop, will be a key component of their application to college drama programs.

Grantee Partner:

August 15, 2016:  At the Epic Next summer intensive at City College, the collected group – Epic’s most advanced students – offered supportive critiques to a group of rising 10th graders on their dramatic monologues.  Over the next two years, their monologues, which will continue to develop, will be a key as they apply to college drama programs.

Grantee Partner:

August 11, 2016:  AileyCamp instructors take a bow at the close of this summer’s culminating performance at Hostos Community College.  As always, the young dancers dazzled, but as this group shot demonstrates, it takes a village of caring and committed adults to facilitate the exciting growth the AileyCampers experienced.

Grantee Partner:

August 11, 2016:  At RTB’s first-ever awards ceremony for its college-bound graduating seniors, Stephen Meringoff looks on as Executive Director Adam Green presents a scholarship check to Kevin F., who is heading to SUNY New Paltz.  All of the seniors wrote essays about their experiences at RTB.  Kevin’s piece was particularly eloquent: “Watching a wooden boat form from a single piece of wood to a full sized 25-foot steamboat is humbling.  As I helped build he boat, I slowly built my character.  Having dedication and passion for creating something larger than I had ever imagined is my greatest achievement so far….Seeing that boat develop made me realize I too could develop and become something.”  The Meringoff Foundation contributed to the scholarship fund that directly supports young leaders like Kevin.

Grantee Partner:

August 11, 2016: This summer, Extreme Kids hosted its first-ever summer camp program, with three themed two-week sessions: Arts, Sports, and Animals.  Charlotte and Stuart visited during Animals, where campers spent several days horseback riding with Gallop NYC in Prospect Park.  We were thrilled to meet Assistant Teacher Jay, who was a semi-finalist in our MVP competition; through Extreme Kids, Jay has found his calling, and is off to college this fall as a Special Education major!

Grantee Partner:

August 10, 2016: At TKU’s summer camp program at NYU Poly in downtown Brooklyn, students learn “Scratch” coding to facilitate digital storytelling.  Each week of this eight-week program covers different topics, including video editing, 3-D printing, and creating customized tech tools for actual clients like the NY Transit Museum and Pace University.

Grantee Partner:

August 8, 2016: Charlotte and Stuart visited NYSCF’s future home on the far west side of Manhattan, where Development Director Christine Lin walked us through the architectural plans for transforming this vast, raw industrial space into a world-class, state-of-the-art stem cell research facility.

Grantee Partner:

August 8, 2016: At KAVI’s summer program on the campus of Wingate High School in Crown Heights, high school students spent their first four weeks in intensive leadership and workshop facilitation trainings.  For the last two weeks (when we visited), they demonstrated their new-found skills by running all aspects of an abbreviated camp program for younger kids.  As part of their overall theme of the intersections between fashion, social media, and marketing, guest speaker and community entrepreneur Phillip Shung talked to the students about being socially responsible consumers.

Grantee Partner:

July 30, 2016:  Sat in on the Ft. Greene Park Summer Youth Writing Workshop, a free six-week series for young writers of all ages.  This group of 11-13 year olds wrote pieces about students with super hero powers.  Many of these writers have literally grown up in NYWC, attending this program over several summers.

Grantee Partner:

July 29, 2016:  Imagine our pleasant surprise when we saw that Lara, one of our MVP scholarship winners, was the emcee for GEMS’ Educational Initiative awards ceremony.  As a highlight of the event, several GEMS girls spoke movingly about the many obstacles they overcame to pursue higher education.  Very inspiring!

Grantee Partner:

July 27, 2016: Though our support of the FDNY Foundation, we had access to a private fire boat tour of New York Harbor.  Who better to share this incredible opportunity than a group of rising 7th and 8th graders from Eagle Academy?!?

July 26, 2016:  The Meringoff Foundation invited its grantee partners working in the college access sphere to an informal gathering to discuss unaddressed mental health issues facing first generation college students.  Lots of excitement, and a great sense of common purpose.  Looking forward to seeing how this conversation continues in the coming months.

Grantee Partner:

July 22, 2016:  Using “Google Cardboard”, Stuart checks out the 360-degree “virtual reality” subway etiquette PSAs Tech Kids created for the Transit Museum during a week-long residency.  These terrific pieces will soon be on the Museum’s website.

Grantee Partner:

July 22, 2016:  During the week, these students at Urban Dove’s Brooklyn high school are sports counselors for younger kids.  Fridays are reserved for college prep.  Through this spirited round of “two truths and a lie”, the teens – who without Urban Dove in their court, wouldn’t view college as a realistic possibility – start thinking about what to highlight on their college application personal statement.

Grantee Partner:

July 20, 2016:  At AileyCamp’s open house, it was great to see that tap has been added to the dance mix, along with modern, jazz, and ballet.  After only two weeks of Camp, this routine looked incredibly polished, synchronized, and fun!

Grantee Partner:

July 19, 2016: It was a real treat for Sophie and Stuart to take a boat tour of Jamaica Bay to inspect the many accomplishments of the summer youth Restoration Corps.  We saw verdant wetlands, wooden platforms for osprey nests, and spotless shorelines.  Above, corps members “seine” the shore, i.e. sweep a large net and inspect the catch.  The number, size, and diversity of the catch – which is quickly released back to the water – offer important clues about the local ecosystem's health.

Grantee Partner:

July 14, 2016: Go hosted a high school selection workshop for its families.  Our main takeaway: the DOE application process is incredibly complex, and there’s no “one size fits all” approach.  Fortunately, this program was simply an introductory overview.  Moving forward, Go will work individually with each of its families to develop a 90-day work plan for researching and applying to the schools that best meet their child’s specific needs.

Grantee Partner:

July 14, 2016: At Visitor’s Day for the Brooklyn summer program, we met an impressive trio: Vivek, a rising 8th grader who wants to attend Bard HS, and Clio and Fatoumata, rising 9th graders off, respectively, to Phillips Academy and Thatcher.  While the program’s focus is intensive academic prep, the vibe is distinctly summer camp fun!

Grantee Partner:

July 13, 2016:  Stuart was one of about 40 volunteers conducting mock interviews with rising 8th graders as they prepare for the demanding high school application process.  A few days later, this thank you note arrived, a great reminder of time well-spent.

Grantee Partner:

July 13, 2016:  Trayvon, a recent NYU Tisch graduate, leads students through some simple breathing exercises to manage stress.  A new Mindfulness track – deploying yoga and meditation techniques – is an important addition to the Summer College Prep Academy’s solid academics.  

Grantee Partner:

July 12, 2016:  Percussion class at Eagle’s summer program.  During the visit, we were thrilled to learn that through our support, the 2015-16 Extended Day programming was the strongest ever, with 94% of students participating in chess, forensics, barbering, culinary arts, debate, and Regents prep classes.

Grantee Partner:

July 6, 2016: Stephen Meringoff offered his advice to this year’s PENCIL Fellows before the start of their six-week internships. His four points, in brief: find a mentor, read everything, become indispensable, and reflect on what you’ve learned.  This summer, PENCIL is placing a record 400-plus high school juniors and seniors in summer positions at NYC’s leading employers, including Estee Lauder, JPMorgan, Deloitte, NYC Department of Education, Columbia University, and American Airlines.

Grantee Partner:

July 5, 2016: Just received this photo from Tanzania, where local ophthalmologist Dr. Frank Sandi (left) performs a procedure alongside Dr. Grace Sun from Weill Cornell.  The Meringoff Foundation supports Weill Cornell’s work to greatly expand the number of locally trained eye surgeons working in Tanzania.  We look forward to meeting Dr. Sandi in the fall, when he is scheduled to travel to NYC to receive additional training at Weill Cornell.

Grantee Partner:

June 28, 2016: At today’s graduation ceremony, many stirring speakers – students and faculty alike – stressed Eagle’s values of brotherhood and mutual responsibility.  We also got to meet Jahrell Joseph, a winner of our Meringoff Victory Prize.  Jahrell was unable to attend the June 7th awards ceremony because he was at a Morehouse College orientation; he’ll be a freshman there this fall!  

Grantee Partner:

June 19, 2016: For the first time ever, Gallop hosted its annual horse show in Central Park, which provided a spectacular backdrop for riders to demonstrate their horsemanship (and receive blue ribbons!).

Grantee Partner:

June 8, 2016:  Wow...AileyCampers are center stage at Lincoln Center's David Koch Theater, performing at Ailey’s Spirit Gala!

Grantee Partner:

June 8, 2016:  This is the “after” picture, now that the sensory play space at P.S. 71 is fully outfitted.  Scroll down to January 21 to see “before”.  So proud to support this incredible transformation!

June 7, 2016:  The family celebrates the achievements of our inaugural group of Meringoff Victory Prize winners; each "MVP" received a $2,500 scholarship.  From left to right, Asher from Epic Theatre Ensemble, Atira from NY Writers Coalition, Darniece from Go Project, Tai-yan from Hemophilia Association of NY, David from Committee for Hispanic Children and Families, Lara from GEMS, and Hannah from Rocking the Boat; Jahrell from Eagle Academy was unable to attend.  For more details on this essay competition for college-bound high school seniors, see our website's "News" tab.   

Grantee Partner:

June 6, 2016:  Claudia (at podium), Alex and Shannon, 2016 graduates of BMCC, were the standout stars at this year’s gala fundraiser.  Their remarks were alternately funny, inspiring, and wrenching accounts of persistence, smarts, and lots of hard work leading to triumph over daunting challenges.

Grantee Partner:

May 27, 2016:  Ran into Sarah and Georgia on the way to visit a friend at Cobble Hill Health Center. On the elevator ride, learned that Georgia, a Dachshund Pekingese mix, is very affectionate.

Grantee Partner:

May 26, 2016:  Just received this wonderful photo from Breakthrough.  Congratulations to this year’s high graduates, who are off to a pretty terrific array of colleges!

Grantee Partner:

May 17, 2016: Great to re-visit CMOM’s Shelter Program which we fund; it facilitates weekly visits to the Museum by moms and kids from a local homeless shelter.  It was wonderful to be re-reminded that a dedicated social worker participates in these visits, and that the breakout sessions for moms lead to therapeutic breakthroughs that resonate far beyond the walls of the museum.

Grantee Partner:

May 3, 2016:  Stuart joined Ailey Trustees for a visit to P169 on the Upper East Side, one of five NYC District 75 public schools where Ailey is piloting dance residencies for special needs students.  Rehearsal is in progress for the end-of-year culminating performance.

Grantee Partner:

April 29, 2016  We joined 12 young men from the Bronx H.S. for Business for a full afternoon of mentorship at Chase's world headquarters on Park Avenue.   Chase team members conducted workshops on networking, resume writing, and business etiquette; we also toured the trading floor and saw highlights of Chase's impressive corporate art collection (which includes the pistols Hamilton and Burr used in their infamous duel!).

Grantee Partner:

April 18, 2018:  At the WITS annual fundraiser, these esteemed judges -- all students affiliated with the organization -- judged four celebrity chefs' versions of a school cafeteria lunch.  Each chef used standard-issue NYC DOE ingredients, but prepared their lunches in a decidedly gourmet manner!

Grantee Partner:

April 16, 2016:  This is the view from the upper balcony of the famed Apollo Theater in Harlem as Urban Word teen poets competed in the 16th annual Teen Poetry Slam Grand Slam Final.  17 of Urban Word's most talented poets performed, demonstrating their incredible passion, smarts, and verbal dexterity.  Six of these spoken word artists will go on to the national finals this summer in Washington DC.  (Note that poets shared the stage with the Apollo's famed "Tree of Hope" stump, which generations of aspiring amateurs have rubbed for good luck.)

Grantee Partner:

April 9, 2016:  During a day-long orientation session, returning Pencil Fellow Tariq answers questions from incoming Fellows about what to expect at their upcoming summer corporate internships.  (BTW, Tariq was awarded a full, four-year Posse scholarship to Wheaton College!)

Grantee Partner:

April 8, 2016:  Every few months, each WITS school hosts a Cafe Day with its restaurant partner.  At PS 705 in Prospect Heights, Aneesha Hargarave, the R&D Chef at Chop't, describes the healthy treat students are about to receive: curried sweet potato salad with Granny Smith apples and celery.  Delicious!  

Grantee Partner:

April 5, 2016:  Randy Ramphal, the former president of BMCC's Out in Two club and now a junior at St. John's University, was elected president of St. John's National Leadership Honor Society.  So exciting to see Out in Two alumni thrive as they go on to four-year colleges.

Grantee Partner:

April 3, 2016:  Alicia Kershaw, Gallop's Director, toured Stephen around Lynne's Riding Center in Forest Hills, Queens, one of several sites where Gallop conducts therapeutic horseback riding lessons for special needs youth.

Grantee Partner:

March 20, 2016:  Nilaja Sun and Cynthia Nixon hosted Epic's annual fundraiser, which featured a performance of "10467", a student-created exploration of educational equity in NYC's public schools.  In the summer, the cast will travel to Scotland to present this powerful piece at a youth theater festival.

Grantee Partner:

March 17, 2016:  Finally made it over to see Cora's new space on the formerly unused second floor of a Red Hook storefront church.  After a successful Kickstarter campaign -- and lots of sweat equity! -- dance students young and old can enjoy a light-filled studio.  Best of all, this studio (which doubles as a church reception hall on Sunday afternoons) is the same size as Cora's previous rehearsal space just around the corner but is FAR more affordable.  Congratulations!

Grantee Partner:

February 24, 2016: This is what a healthy school lunch looks like – chicken with broccoli, lo mein, hummus with celery sticks, and fresh slaw.  Oh…and it really delicious – 10 minutes later, Stuart was a proud member of the clean plate club!

Grantee Partner:

February 24, 2016:  We sat in on a workshop, part of multi-session series, where New Leaders prepares its aspiring school principal trainees for the job interview process.  These aspiring principals went through a series of exercises to help them identify their strengths as school leaders, and articulate those strengths, as well as their specific plans for impacting student achievement, in a series of mock interviews.

February 17, 2016:  The Memory Café at the New York Memory Center (a day program for people with dementia) started out sedately enough: a musical performance punctuated with interludes of poetry creation and recitation.  But things got wonderfully out of hand pretty quickly with spontaneous vocal accompaniment from an audience member that turned into a tour de force performance, outbreaks of dancing from many other audience members, and a wave of kisses spreading through the function room. In brief, it was a joyous, moving celebration of the Valentine season.

Grantee Partner:

February 9, 2016:  Stephen and Stuart had a great visit at the Urban Dove Team Charter School in Bed Stuy, Brooklyn, which represents an exciting new model for the organization.  As an extension of their school day, Charter School students – all transferred into the school severely under-credited and not on track to graduate high school – serve as after-school tutors and sports coaches for local elementary school students.  This innovative approach has led to dramatically increased graduation rates.

Grantee Partner:

January 30, 2016:  25 AlieyCamp young alumni traveled to Wagon Wheel Camp in Chappaqua for a weekend retreat of dance and personal development workshops.  In one of many highlights, Gregg Betheil from PENCIL conducted a resume writing session. Meringoff Foundation support makes AileyCamp alumni programming possible.

Grantee Partner:

January 26, 2016:  Ellen Rubin, a museum access consultant who is also blind, conducted a training session for Transit Museum employees on how to welcome blind and low vision visitors.  Lots of practical information was covered, all of which will also be helpful beyond the walls of the museum.  This is one in a series of access trainings at the Transit Museum that Meringoff Foundation support is making possible. 

Grantee Partner:

January 21, 2016:  This empty classroom at PS 71 in Ridgewood, Queens will soon be transformed -- thanks to our lead funding -- into a sensory play/therapy space for special needs students.  Charlotte Merinogff is standing in the far corner, obscured by the school's principal and occupational therapist, who spoke with great passion and excitement about their new collaboration with Extreme Kids.  Once the classroom is fully outfitted in February, we'll post the "after" photo...stay tuned!

Grantee Partner:

January 9, 2016:  Nearly 40 Metro Center alumni, now college students, offered the current crop of high school seniors advice on campus life.  The main take-away, repeated in many forms: time management!!

Grantee Partner:

January 2, 2016:  The Meringoff Foundation arranged for Cora families to attend a matinee performance of Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater.  As a special treat, the group got a backstage tour, where they met several of the Ailey dancers.

Grantee Partner:

December 22, 2015:  Stephen met with Ron Russell, Epic's Executive Director, and several of his current high school students and recent alums, who are now in college.  All of these young people discussed how Epic, in addition to deepening their love of theater, provided in depth, one-on-one guidance to help them through the college search, application, and selection proecess.

Grantee Partner:

December 12, 2015:  Campers reunite for pizza and an Ailey matinee performance at City Center.  Although AileyCamp is primarily a summer program, many campers stay engaged over the course of the school year through ongoing workshops and alumni programs.

Grantee Partner:

December 9, 2015:  Stuart attended the Parenting Workshop graduation ceremony in Long Island City, where participating moms spoke movingly about how this program helped them better care for their children, and themselves. 

Grantee Partner:

December 9, 2015:  Sat in on two interviews for incoming PENCIL Fellows with Program Director Gregg Betheil, who is completing his score sheets and notes.  PENCIL takes the review process incredibly seriously to ensure a 200-plus cohort of high school juniors and seniors looking to get the most out of their summer internships with leading NYC businesses.  By the way, the two students we met were outstanding candidates and will make great Fellows. 

Grantee Partner:

December 5, 2015:  Out in Two scholars on a whirlwind, three-day visit to Boston to explore several four-year colleges where they might like to apply.  Our funding made this trip -- which looks pretty fun -- possible.    

Grantee Partner:

December 5, 2015:  Gallop hosted a Community Open House for its friends, neighbors, and supporters, who enjoyed glorious late fall weather for a ride in Prospect Park.  Stuart wanted to ride, but didn't want to be the only equestrian over four feet tall (!).

Grantee Partner:

December 4, 2015:  Stephen and Stuart sat in on the most recent gathering of AileyCamp's directors from its eight national sites.  Our support makes these convenings possible, and they're wonderful opportunities for far-flung peers to share best practices and ensure a uniform camp experience, regardless of locale.

Grantee Partner:

December 3, 2015:  Cora held a "friendraiser" in Red Hook, which featured pop up performances by its youth company.  These young dancers demonstrated great talent, commitment, and maturity, and completely wowed their audience.  

Grantee Partner:

November 15, 2015:  Attended the opening night performance of Epic's Off-Broadway production of Nilaja Sun's one-woman show, "Pike Street".  Sun gave a memorably virtuosic performance in this work, where she created an array of vivid characters -- yound, old, male, female, Latino, Chinese, Arab, Jewish -- in and around a Lower East Side tenement before the onset of a major hurricane.  

Grantee Partner:

November 12, 2015: At Eagle's Senior Convocation, senior Jonathan Hernandez delivered stirring remarks that wonderfully encapsulated the school's mission.  An excerpt: "Thanks to Eagle, I have had three jobs, traveled to over 6 states, 2 countries, actively participated in over 10 programs and attained a 92% GPA.  Ladies and gentlemen, this is MY school, these guys are MY brothers, and EAGLE is MY family."

Grantee Partner:

November 11, 2015:  Was visiting a friend at Cobble Hill Health Center as Micah and his poodle Maurice were leaving after their regular visit with residents.  Always terrific to stumble across the great work Good Dog's volunteer teams do in area health care facilities. 

Grantee Partner:

October 22, 2015:  Stephen Meringoff spoke at the Out in Two Induction Ceremony, and joins inductees for a group photo.  This semester's cohort, at 44 students, is significantly larger than prior semesters, thanks to our mulityear funding.

Grantee Partner:

October 21, 2015:  Stephen and Stuart lucked out weather-wise on a glorious late Indian Summer afternoon visit to RTB.  After touring the boat building shop, Executive Director and Founder Adam Green got us onto the Bronx River, where we saw students in the sailing (above) and environmental tracks. Of course, their beautifully sturdy longboats were built by teen peers in the boat building track!

Grantee Partner:

October 21, 2015:  Here's the agenda for today's session in a 12-week parenting workshop for formerly incarcerated moms in Queens, led by (very impressive!) LIFT social worker Shamika Vargas.  So much great information in just one session.

Grantee Partner:

October 20, 2015:  The family attended NYSCF's annual gala fundraiser which provides a unique opportunity to meet stem cell researchers and learn about their progress in developing stem cell therapies to treat a variety of common but deadly diseases.

Grantee Partner:

October 14, 2015:  At the book launch of "Hope Came Here", featuring poems and stories written by mothers living in family shelters who participate in family literacy programming at the Museum, Tawana and Mia flank NYC First Lady Chirlane McCray, who wrote the book's introduction.  Tawana and Mia participated in CMOM's first collaboration with a family shelter 21 years ago, and they spoke movingly of the power of self expression during times of crisis, and how CMOM, in creating a safe, nuturing, and sharing space for children and their mothers, also helped to forge life-long friendships. 

Grantee Partner:

October 13, 2015:  It was a great privilege to participate in “Commanding Officer for an Evening”.  Stuart shadowed Deputy Inspector Maximo Tolentino, the Commanding Officer of the 83rd Precinct in Bushwick, Brooklyn.  In addition to exploring this rapidly changing neighborhood (which has NYC’s highest burglary rate), we accompanied CO Tolentino to the Brooklyn District Attorney’s National Hispanic Heritage Month Celebration, where he was one of the evening’s honorees.

Grantee Partner:

9/26/15:  Cora dancers took over Red Hook with Common Dances, an afternoon of short, site-specfic dance pieces scattered around the neighborhood's churches, bars, front stoops, living rooms, street corners, public housing hallways, etc...  Great dance, and a wonderful demonstration of Cora's deep community roots!   

Grantee Partner:

8/18/15:  Charlotte and Stuart visited Gallop’s summer camp, a pilot program with Extreme Kids & Crew. During the morning, Gallop teaches Extreme Kids’ kids to ride and groom horses.  In the afternoon, Extreme Kids takes over, with therapeutic play (see July 14th post for more details).  Really exciting to see our Special Needs grantee partners working together so effectively!

Grantee Partner:

8/13/15:  Stephen Meringoff meets with PENCIL Fellows and staff at the culminating event for this year's Fellows.  As a highlight of the celebration, Mr. Meringoff presented $6,000 in scholarship awards to the five winning entrants in the annual competion where Fellows design multimedia presentations exploring ways to improve a discrete operational aspect at their summer host companies.

Grantee Partner:

8/13/2015:  After AileyCamp NYC's amazing culminating performance at Hostos Community College, Stephen Meringoff and the family went backstage to meet the Directors of the 8 other AileyCamp sites nationwide.  Our support has created opportunities for the national directors to work together more closely – and come to NYC to see how AileyCamp New York puts on a show!

Grantee Partner:

8/13/2015:  Teens in Epic’s summer intensive are working on mock interviews with the Center for Educational Equity, as they develop monologues on educational inequity in New York State.  Next week, they will interview over a dozen teachers, school administrators, and educational policy analysts as part of their research.  The teens will then perform their finished monologues in several locations throughout NY State as part of the Center’s ongoing advocacy efforts.  

Grantee Partner:

8/10/2015: Ben Dolnick is a successful writer (www.bendolnick.com); he also leads a drop-in creative writing workshop for adults at the Main branch of the Brooklyn Public Library, which we attended.  It was incredibly exciting to be part of such a talented, diverse, and interesting group of writers.  In the above photo, Ben poses with the prompts for one of our writing exercises.

Grantee Partner:

8/3/15:  Professional dog trainer Claire works with several human handler/therapy dog teams, all trainees who will soon be volunteering in a variety of health care settings. During this session -- the 10th of 11 -- Claire led the trainees through several role-plays of tricky scenarios that they might encounter in pediatric, rehab, and dementia units. 

Grantee Partner:

7/31/15: Speed networking! PENCIL Fellows at a breakfast workshop practicing what they learned about the art and science of networking from a group of corporate mentors who work at LinkedIn.

Grantee Partner:

7/28/15: At CMOM's "hub" at a Harlem family shelter, Museum educators talked about healthy eating with a hungry group of kids (with a few parents in tow).  With the "Go, Slow, Whoa" curriculum, we sadly discovered that our favorite fried foods are all "Whoa".  Fortunately, the yogurt, blueberry, granola parfaits the kids made were all "Go", and quite delicious!

Grantee Partner:

7/28/15: Whenever we visit AileyCamp, it's a given we'll be carried away by the campers' energy and talent as they work on their ballet, jazz, modern, and West African dance moves.  But we also loved their Creative Communications project:  life-sized figures -- inspired by sculptor/performance artist Nick Cave -- of campers striking a pose from Revelations, Alvin Ailey's signature dance.

7/27/15: The summer pilot of  Go Project's Kindergarten Institute, which hopes to get struggling Kindergartners on track before they enter first grade, is showing great promise.  This intensive, small-group literacy work takes many forms, including multi-sensory education, i.e. having fun by writing your name in shaving cream or sand!   

Grantee Partner:

7/24/15: Today's financial literacy workshop for CHCF high school and college summer interns explored tax returns and went deep, going into lots of detail about 990s, W4s, ITINS, 1098s, 1099s, Education Credits, and more.  And these young people -- some of whom are their families' primary financial support -- couldn't get enough, as they peppered the outstanding presenters from H&R Block with dozens of questions.

Grantee Partner:

7/23/15: Our visit to BTNY's summer intensive at the Town School was a pure delight.  James (left),  a rising 9th grader, is off to his top-choice high school in the fall; Mehedi (right), a rising eight grader, still has a year to decide.  Amanda (next to James), a BTNY alum, is back this summer, teaching these guys math.   She's also a rising sophomore at Lafayette College and participating in BTNY's new college persistence program.  Amanda's BTNY adviser was a big help during her freshmen year, helping sort out some seemingly intractable course registration snafus.  And Rhea, BTNY's wonderful Executive Director, keeps everything running smoothly! 

Grantee Partner:

7/23/15: Visited New Leaders’ rigorous training intensive for 2015-2016 Emerging Leaders Program (ELP) cohort, which prepares these NYC and Newark public school teachers to go back into their schools in September to coach 3-5 fellow teachers toward stronger student outcomes.  This was a truly impressive group of committed and talented educators.

Grantee Partner:

7/14/15: Really enjoyed visiting Urban Dove's summer camp in East Harlem.  During this six-week, full-day, M-F, free (FREE!) camp, 120 8-13 year olds engage in sports, games, and field trips designed for maximum fun, in addition to daily academics to stave off summer learning loss.  The camp is essentially run by an army of 60 high school-aged youth staff, with whom Urban Dove works intensively throughout the school year.  The counsellors we met were poised, mature, and great role models for the younger kids.  Oh...and at the end of the summer, campers and youth staff go up to the Berkshires for a week-long overnight camp!

Grantee Partner:

7/14/14: We visited some Extreme Kids, who were attending one of the week-long summer camp sessions at Speak, Learn, & Play in Park Slope, Brooklyn.  SLP uses a holistic therapeutic approach to working with children with special needs, and it was a great chance for Extreme Kids & Crew and SLP staffers to share best practices.  Plus, lots of fun for the kids!

7/9/15: Attended a wonderful program on "Aging 101".  A Heights and Hills volunteer met with a group of 8 to 10 year-old summer campers to discuss – and demonstrate – the challenges the elders in their lives face.  The kids donned drug store glasses smeared with Vaseline and had their fingers lightly bound together with masking tape; they then tried to read directions, fill a pill box, and handle coins from a change purse.  Turns out, it wasn’t so easy, and the young people got a much better sense of life with low vision and arthritis.

Grantee Partner:

7/08/15:  NY Writer’s Coalition, which has hosted a PENCIL Fellows intern for the last two summers, just got a note from last summer’s intern, Michelle:

“I have decided to attend Hunter College… and will be admitted this August as a sophomore…I was also accepted into the "Sing for Hope" chorus program where we've performed in several galas, concerts, benefit events, and lately TIMES SQUARE! Lastly, I created an A Capella group in my school, received the Chancellor's Honor Roll Award for the Arts, and recently graduated [high school] with 33 college credits.  I would like to thank you for the wonderful opportunity you gave me last summer to be part of the NYWC team!  From working in the office to lending a hand in the writing workshops, I considered every single moment a great learning experience and will be forever grateful to you.” 

Clearly, PENCIL and its internship hosts are shaping tomorrow’s leaders.

Grantee Partner:

6/30/15:  Stephen Meringoff and colleagues from Meringoff Properties participated in “Boss for a Day” by introducing a group of PENCIL Fellows to the company’s operations.  As a highlight of the day, the teens toured two Meringoff buildings in Manhattan’s Flatiron District, where they learned about commercial real estate management from several members of the firm’s senior management.

Grantee Partner:

6/29/15:  Stephen Meringoff welcomed this year’s class of PENCIL Fellows at their day-long orientation session at NYU.  This year’s class of Fellows is 200-strong, and by far the largest in the program’s history; all will go on to paid internships in a variety of exciting fields including advertising, banking, real estate, and municipal government.

Grantee Partner:

6/25/15:  A client of Birch Family Services participating in a two-part travel training workshop, where the Transit Museum – located in a decommissioned subway stop – is a living classroom for subway navigation independence.

Grantee Partner:

6/12/15: Kindergarten through third graders at P.S. 36 rehearsing the poetry recitation for their upcoming spring commencement, the culmination of a year of intensive after school literacy training to get them reading at grade level and poised for academic success. 

Grantee Partner:

6/10/15: The family attended the incredible opening night performance of Ailey's annual spring season at Lincoln Center.  It was particularly exciting for us to see the Ailey Campers dancing alongside members of the Ailey School, Ailey II and the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater; the Ailey Campers more than held their own!!   

Grantee Partner:

5/29/15:  Stephen Meringoff addressed BMCC's graduates and their families after receiving the Presidential Medal during this year's commencement ceremony at Madison Square Garden.  "I believe strongly that BMCC is truly a place where many doors are opened," said Mr. Meringoff in his acceptance speech, "and I feel fortunate to have opened a few of them myself.  I am truly inspired by so many of the students I have met here." 

Grantee Partner:

5/20/15: The family attended the spring gala, an incredibly fun party rich in thought-provoking content. As the event's centerpiece, MC Katharine Heller interviewed comedian and actress Maysoon Zayid (www.maysoon.com). With humor and honesty, Maysoon talked about her career as a performer with cerebral palsy. She challenged the entertainment industry's treatment of people with disabilities, and in doing so, made all of us reevaluate our own attitudes and beliefs.

Grantee Partner:

4/28/15:  We took advantage of a very rare opporutnity to attend an event on Rikers Island.  For the last several years, NYWC has held weekly creative writing workshops for incarcerated women on Rikers, and recently published These Are Hard Times For Dreamers, an anthology of their work.  To mark this publication, NYWC invited a small group of volunteers and supporters to attend a public reading at the correctional facility's Rose M. Singer Center.  As with any NYWC gathering, the writers moved and inspired their audience, once again demonstrating the written word's power to break down perceived barriers.  

Grantee Partner:

4/27/15:  In Brownsville, Brooklyn, we were honored to meet Principal Rashad Meade (center), who went through New Leaders' rigorous Aspiring Principals training program.  Using New Leader's approach of heightened expectations combined with lots of support for teaching staff, Mr. Meade took over a failing school that is now thriving.  Our visit was nothing short of inspirational.  

Grantee Partner:

4/23/15:  We visited Morgan Stanley's corporate headquarters in Times Square to observe employees there mentoring a group of  seniors from the Business of Sports School (BOSS), a small public high school in Chelsea.  PENCIL facilitates an intensive two-year partnership where corporate volunteers, working one-on-one with BOSS juniors and seniors, explore all aspects of the college prep, search, application, and selection process.  As a result, participating BOSS students are getting into an impressive range of colleges, and creating a culture of higher education attainment within their larger school community. 

Grantee Partner:

4/15/15:  Visited Epic's Ron Russell as he led a playwrighting workshop at the Bronx HS of Communications and Writing. Very rare to see an outside arts provider that is so integral to its host school's daily life -- graduating students there selected Ron to be this year's Commencement speaker!

Grantee Partner:

4/11/15:  Stuart spent a hectic but incredibly rewarding morning interviewing sixth graders, and their guardians, for spots in the upcoming summer program for rising seventh graders, the start of a 10-year journey to attend a top college prep high school, then a competitive college, then graduating from college to a great job.  Amazing to see such focus and determination in 10 and 11 year olds!

Grantee Partner:

4/10/15: Attended the pilot of a new earned-income initiative where Gallop will conduct team building workshops for corporate groups.  Great way to introduce Gallop's work to new audiences.  

Grantee Partner:

3/11/15: Workshop on the Common Application form, to assist Out In Two scholars as they transfer to four-year schools.

Grantee Partner:

3/9/15: The family at the I Am Epic Gala, which really drove home how Epic is using theater to completely transform the lives of NYC high school students.

Grantee Partner:

2/8/15:  Stuart, Tory, Katie, and Charlotte all attended Special Day for Special Kids, a weekend open house for special needs families.  Incredibly well attended, with varied and fun family activities.  This popular event was co-sponsored by another Gen 2 grant recipient, Extreme Kids & Crew.