CCF Success Stories!
Over the past three years, CCF grantees have touched – and moved forward – the lives of nearly 10,000 New Yorkers living in poverty. Through their innovative and persistent efforts – Cypress Hills Local Development Corporation, Fifth Avenue Committee/ Stronger Together, New Settlement Apartments, and St. Nicks Alliance – children and adults have improved their prospects.
CCF has supported grantees’ efforts to use data to tell their stories; here are a few of the people behind their impressive numbers:
Beating the Odds: How One Student Went From a Poor-Performing School to a Top Accounting Firm
Students at the Brooklyn Lab School face some tough odds: about 60 percent of students graduate within 4 years, compared with 73 percent of students city-wide, and the percentage considered “college-ready” is half the city average. Fortunately, Cypress Hills Local Development Corporation’s Student Success Center is there for Brooklyn Lab students, including Jessenia.
Thanks to the Student Success Center, Jessenia graduated from Brooklyn Lab High School in 2013 and enrolled at SUNY Albany. She proved her academic mastery as an accounting major, earned Dean’s List recognitions on numerous occasions, and secured an internship with one of the largest accounting firms in the US: PricewaterhouseCoopers (PWC). This spring, she graduated and was accepted to SUNY Albany’s graduate school where she will pursue a master’s degree in taxation. PWC also asked her to return to intern again this summer.
Jessenia has lots of company. Thanks to the Student Success Center, 154 students earned bachelor’s and associate’s degrees last spring.
Holding His Own: How One Homeless Kid Went from Lugging Water to Building a Fitness Business
Antwone Stanleygrew up homeless. His family lived in abandoned buildings
and one of his jobs was carrying his own water back to where they were staying. He had to be strong.
Today, he lives in the Red Hook Homes and is taking control of his life. He started his own athletic training business, but found that the gaps in his education were a barrier to his business success. Last year, thanks to the Stronger Together partnership, he enrolled in Fifth Avenue Committee’s High School Equivalency (HSE) class offered at FAC Stronger Together partner, Red Hook Initiative. It wasn’t easy, but he stuck with it, making tutoring appointments at odd hours and taking the test four times before passing. He says nothing can stop him now. He just enrolled in a nutrition and personal training certificate program to advance his success.
“Antwone’s story shows how long it can take to accomplish a goal like HSE. Making sure that a program is there when the student needs it, can be the difference between success and failure for participants like Antwone,” said Brian Mendes, Associate Director of Education at FAC.
Growing by Leaps and Bounds: How a Struggling Student got Coached
A third-grader at PS 218 with Autism Spectrum Disorder and Anxiety Disorder was struggling academically and behaviorally. Luckily, St. Nicks NABE 3.0 Transformational Coach, Jessica Kormanik, supports struggling students and their families at the school and was able to help.
Coach Jessica worked closely with counselors and therapists to develop an approach that would give the boy the guidance he needed. When Coach Jessica discovered his love of superheroes, she guided him to identify his “superhero strengths”, which helped build his confidence. In one short school year, he became better able to manage his emotions, formed the ability to create and maintain friendships, and made academic leaps. His reading alone moved up four levels.
Coach Jessica also engaged his mom and discovered her wish to earn a High School Equivalency Diploma. She is now working with St. Nicks to achieve this goal.
The innovative NABE 3.0 model has helped many kids. The data speaks for itself. The driving force behind the improvement: St. Nicks Alliance’s transformational change practices, the mid-school year launch of its intensive literacy immersion program and investment in an outcomes data system.
Fight for Your (Housing) Right: How New Settlement Apartments Won New Yorkers a Right to Counsel
This summer, NYC became the first city in the country to guarantee legal representation for tenants in Housing Court. It’s a huge victory for tenants and has the potential to transform housing court, preserve affordable housing units on a broad scale, recalibrate the balance of power between tenants and landlords, and help preserve low-income communities from gentrification and displacement.
Getting the Right to Counsel bill passed required a tough fight; New Settlement Apartments’ CASA was there to lead it.
CASA formed the Right to Counsel Coalition in 2014, eventually building the group to include 100 organizations and members. The Coalition, under CASA’s leadership, presented to thousands of tenants, policymakers and advocates across the city, rallied, organized and earned the support of influential City Council Members Vanessa Gibson and Mark Levine, who introduced the Right to Counsel bill.
On August 11, 2017 Mayor de Blasio came to the New Settlement Community School to sign the bill into law. Soon, all CASA members and tenants just like them across the city will have access to an attorney in housing court.
New York Community Trust, New York Foundation and others are ‘launching’ a 2020 Census Funders Work Group under the auspices of Philanthropy NY. The group Census Funders Work Group will meet to consider what philanthropy’s role should be in ensuring that the 2020 Census is adequately resourced and equitably deployed. The Work Group will meet on Thursday October 12th, 3:30 to 5:00 pm, at Philanthropy New York at 1500 Broadway (43rd Street). Please RSVP here: https://philanthropynewyork.org/events
LISC NY recently launched the first cohort of the New York Land Opportunity Program (NYLOP), which was covered by The Wall Street Journal, NY1,CityLand and others. A NY Daily News editorial called NYLOP a “groundbreaking idea” and stated, “Kudos to a new city partnership to help build affordable housing on religious institutions’ property.”
Enterprise partnered with Red Hook Initiative, an organization that engages youth in public housing, to create a video about the Rental Assistance Demonstration program, a federal program to fund repairs in public housing. The video, made by residents, for residents, shows how those living in public housing can take an active role in the process, and how they can better advocate for themselves and their homes.