Phipps Neighborhoods and The State of NYC Renewal Schools in Year 3 Panel

Phipps Neighborhoods took part in a panel discussion titled, ‘The State of NYC Renewal Schools in Year 3′. Public Advocate Letitia James moderated the panel which consisted of Ernest Logan, President of the Council of Supervisors and Administrators, David Kirkland, Director of the NYU Metro Center for Urban Education, Dianne Morales, Executive Director of Phipps Neighborhoods, Alonta Wrighton, NYC Department of Education Office of Renewal Schools, Janella Hinds, Vice President of High Schools, United Federation of Teachers, and Shalana Rodriguez, Parent at MS 50, a Renewal School in Brooklyn.

image1_croppedPhipps Neighborhoods believe that the Renewal Schools framework is on the right track – they are intended to bring our most vulnerable children in our poorest schools an equity of resources so they can have a fairer chance to succeed.

However, as Dianne Morales, Executive Director and CEO of Phipps Neighborhoods, said on the panel, “Our schools did not begin to fail overnight, and likewise school improvement takes time, and partnership. Renewal schools need adequate time, and invested principal and CBO (Community-Based Organization) partners, over a longer period of time, in order to sustain student success.”

The NYC Department of Education describes the Renewal School Programs “a new strategy to turn around New York City’s most challenged schools.” They do this by providing an extra hour of instruction each day in addition to offering after-school and summer learning programs for students. Schools in the program receive additional resources for academic intervention and professional development.

Phipps Neighborhoods looks forward to being a part of and bring about that continuing improvement in our communities Renewal Schools.

Build a Brighter Future for #GivingTuesday

Phipps Neighborhoods Building A Brighter Future

Friends,

On this #GivingTuesday, I am so Phipps Neighborhoods #GivingTuesdayproud of our many programs that work together in harmony, building upon each other to provide our clients with a brighter future.

With your continued support, we’re amplifying our impact for 2017. For example, we’ve renewed our commitment to our youth by expanding our College Access programing which will not only help young people get into college but also thrive there.

While there may be setbacks from time to time, we will be right there in the heart of the Bronx, creating a more resilient future for families. To us, the future is building towards something much brighter but we can only get there by standing together.

Won’t you be a ray of brightness and make a donation to Phipps Neighborhoods? Thank you so much for your generosity.

Sincerely,

Dianne Morales
Executive Director and CEO
Phipps Neighborhoods

P.S. A donation of any amount will mean so much to our work in this vibrant community.

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Phipps Neighborhoods SMART Goals for Fiscal Year 2017

Phipps Neighborhoods is constantly measuring, reflecting on, and tweaking our programs to better support our communities in New York City through S.M.A.R.T. Goals. Many nonprofits can do good, but we want to be great! S.M.A.R.T. Goals are Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, and Time-based goals that reflect the organization-wide and division priorities that we want to hold ourselves accountable to during the fiscal year. These are Phipps Neighborhoods SMART Goals for Fiscal Year 2017.

Phipps Neighborhoods SMART Goals

Phipps Neighborhoods Amplifying Impact SMART Goals

Schools and Community Education

1. Universal Pre-K: 80% of our prekindergarten students will increase their Cognitive skills as measured by the Teaching Strategies Gold assessment.

2. K-8 After-School Programming: 50% of our 4th and 8th grade Afterschool participant’s will improve their ELA and Math proficiency as measured by the state common core exams.

3. MS-HS Community Center Programming: 90% of 8th grade students who participate at a Phipps Neighborhoods community center will display increased knowledge about higher education access and opportunities, as measured by a pre and post assessment survey.

4. Community School Programming: At least 25% of all community school students will have a parent or family member attend a community school event AND be referred to an internal or external program, as measured by Salesforce referrals.

Learning and Career Development

5. Learning and Career Development: 80% of the following LCD program participants in Arches, Justice Corps, Opportunity Youth, Young Adult Literacy Program and 65% in Adult Literacy (Pre-HSE), ESOL and Technology (Community Class) will have a resume and cover letter upcoming program completion including completing an “Education and Vocational Assessment.”

Community Resources

6. Community Resources: 80% of program participants in the Community Resources Division will create, understand, and utilize the budget tool.

 

Phipps Neighborhoods’ SMART Goals Glossary of Terms

SMART Goals Glossary You may know that Phipps Neighborhoods provides preschool, works with local Community Schools, and trains unemployed youth for career’s in Healthcare, but did you know that we are constantly hitting the books ourselves? Phipps Neighborhoods sets SMART goals so we can expand the impact and increase the efficiency of our already effective programs. Check out our “SMART Goals Glossary of Terms” and see how we’re improving everyday!

SMART Goals Glossary of Terms

Achieving Success Meetings: Quarterly meetings where program performance is internally assessed using a rubric that looks at four aspects of program health:

    1. Program quality/meeting the funder’s goals
    2. Collaboration/Integration
    3. Evaluation/data entry
    4. Fiscal Management

Community Impact Model: This model has four key characteristics: targeted program areas (see ‘Theory of Change’ below), an integrated services approach, a continuous improvement strategy, and a geographic focus. The Community Impact Model is designed to maximize our ability to provide communities with the resources they need to increase opportunities, strengthen neighborhoods, and transcend poverty.

Dashboard: Visual depiction of divisions and organization wide progress on SMART goals. The dashboard is updated quarterly and shared with all staff as well as the Phipps Neighborhoods Board of Trustees.

Education and Vocational Assessment: Assessment used by the Learning and Career Development division to assess education, employment and vocational training needs.

Phipps Neighborhoods Budget Tool: Used by the Community Resources Division to help participants track monthly income and expenses for more accurate fiscal management.

Salesforce: Internal database system that Phipps Neighborhoods uses to track multiple data points across all programs. This database captures demographics information entered on the Universal Intake form; outcomes such as Service plans, Universal Pre-K assessments, report cards; referrals made to internal and external partners; track attendance in groups/classes; upload documents to save to participants’ electronic record. By tracking who our clients are and how they use our programs, we can refer them to new programs to give them increased support.

SMART Goals: Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, Time-based goals that reflect organization-wide and division priorities that we want to hold ourselves accountable to during the fiscal year. Many nonprofits can do good, but we want to be great! These goals will help us get there. Here are the Amplifying Impact SMART Goals for 2017.

Theory Of Change: Phipps Neighborhoods aims to maximize our ability to provide communities with the resources needed to increase opportunities, strengthen neighborhoods and transcend poverty. Key to our theory are three core areas that we have identified as the greatest levers to help our communities break the cycle of poverty:

    1. Educational Achievement
    2. Career ReadinessStudy hard for SMART Goals Glossary
    3. Community Resources

Teaching Strategy Gold Assessment: Assessment used by the Universal Pre-K staff to
assess children on 6 different developmental categories (or domains)-Social/Emotional, Physical, Language, Cognitive, Literacy, and Mathematics.

Universal Intake Form: Form used to collect demographics data on all program participants across Phipps Neighborhoods.

 

Career Network: Healthcare Graduation – 09.30.16

We are so proud of our newest class, seen here, at the 9th Career Network: Healthcare Graduation. 26 members of the Bronx community completed our 13 week course. They are now eager to launch their careers with our partners Montefiore Health System and Hostos Community College. Check out our pictures from the event below!

What is Career Network: Healthcare?

Phipps Neighborhoods Career Network: Healthcare is a career development program that helps young adults secure healthcare-related employment and/or education credentials. Phipps Neighborhoods has partnered with Montefiore Health System and Hostos Community College to provide career exploration and experiential instruction focused on the participants’ interests. The goal of the Career Network: Healthcare program is to place participants in career-oriented jobs and education programs that yield portable credentials and that lead to long-term self-sufficiency. 

Read Phipps Neighborhoods 2015 Annual Report

phipps logo

2015 was a landmark year for Phipps Neighborhoods. We dramatically expanded the impact of our organization reaching 10,000 children, teens and adults in targeted New York City neighborhoods.

Our Executive Director and CEO, Dianne Morales, noted that she is “happy to report that optimism is alive and well in the South Bronx! Collective efficacy has taken root throughout our neighborhoods and will continue to increase as we move forward with proven initiatives in Education Achievement, Career Readiness and Community Resources. In addition to the four fantastic programs outlined in this report, we also serve others through Summer Youth Employment, Senior Services and many other initiatives.”

Find out more about our work and impact in our 2015 Annual Report below!

 

Phipps Neighborhoods 2015 Annual Report

Download (PDF, Unknown)

About Phipps Neighborhoods

Phipps Neighborhoods works toward a New York City in which no one is caught in the cycle of poverty. We provide children, youth and families in low-income neighborhoods the opportunities they need to thrive through comprehensive education and career programs, and access to community services.

We’re dedicatedto ourneighborhoodsforthelong term,supporting individualsandfamiliesastheyestablishself-sufficiency. Our servicescreate opportunitiesfor people tothrive in everyaspect oftheir lives.Ourcomprehensive networkofprogramsservesnearly 10,000children, teensand adultseach yearin targetedcommunities.These programsinclude:earlychildhood education,after-school,summer camp,literacyandEnglishfor speakers ofother languages, pre-highschool equivalency,collegeprep,career readiness, residentsupport, financial counselingand adult/familyprograms.

We provide services in three key areas. Phipps Neighborhoods has identified three areas as the best ways to systematically address the risk factors associated with poverty. Our education programs include early childhood education, after-school programs and summer camps for school age children. To help older youth begin careers, we offer high school equivalency preparation, English for speakers of other languages, college prep and work readiness services. And, to help our community members address the barriers that limit their success, we offer community resources including resident support, financial counseling, free tax prep, assistance accessing benefits and more.

Our integrated approach makes us different. Because lasting change most often requires more than one service, we focus on connecting our participants to the full scope of services they need. These services are provided in a comprehensive, integrated manner – streamlining the participants’ experience to minimize bureaucracy. We connect participants to these services through our own programs or through community partnerships. This integration helps us respond to our participants’ needs in a holistic way.

We understand that it is all about impact, and we are committed to ensuring our programs have real results. Measuring outcomes is a fundamental part of how we work. Through our centralized database, we track individual participants across multiple programs, ensuring they have all the resources they need to be self-sufficient. At the same time, we analyze our program management and our impact on participants so we can make adjustments and optimize in real time.

We work in the South Bronx communities that face enormous need. The high poverty rates in these neighborhoods leads to almost insurmountable disadvantages, from dramatically high numbers of youth who are disconnected from work and school to parents who don’t have the resources they need to keep their young children healthy and safe.

Ordonez-Jenkins Honored by NYC Health & Hospitals

Rosemary Jenkins

Rosemary Ordonez-Jenkins, Phipps Neighborhoods’ Senior Director of Community Resources, Honoree at the 2016 Hispanic Heritage Celebration

Tonight, on September 30, 2016, Rosemary Ordonez-Jenkins, Senior Director of Community Resources at Phipps Neighborhoods, will be honored at NYC Health & Hospitals’ 2016 Hispanic Heritage Celebration. Held at Lincoln Medical Center in the South Bronx, Ordonez-Jenkins will be celebrated as one who has “had a profound and positive influence” through her many years of leadership in healthcare and in the public service. Members of the Hispanic Heritage Committee noted that Ordonez-Jenkins’ passionate commitment to the Bronx, highlighted through her personal and official endeavors, made her a natural choice for an awardee.

“During her 20 year tenure at Phipps Neighborhoods, Rosemary has be an invaluable member of our team,” said Dianne Morales Executive Director and CEO at Phipps Neighborhoods. “The passion she has for our community and the people within it is obvious to everyone she has ever worked with.”   

Rosemary Ordonez-Jenkins will be honored alongside NYS Assemblywomen Carmen Arroyo, Vice Chairman of the MTA Fernando Ferrer, and President and CEO of Legal  Momentum and The Women’s Legal Defense and Education Fund Carol Robles Román.

Phipps Neighborhoods Summer Camp At A Glance

For years, Phipps Neighborhoods has had the reputation of providing quality, enriching summer programming for its youngest community members. While the day to day activities are fun, the long- term outcomes include enhanced social skills and self-confidence, increased comprehensive academic abilities and broaden interest in community engagement and service.

We have 9 programs located in varies neighborhoods in the South Bronx. For seven weeks, our dedicated staff works hard to ensure that each participant is engaged, safe and supervised.

Please support Phipps Neighborhoods 2016 summer programs, by clicking here to contribute to the amazing memories of summer for our youth!

Check out some of the awesome activities happening at P.S. 68!

Summer Camp Blog Post

Jumpstart for a Day

IMG_3607Crotona Park West families enjoyed a day where literacy and fun came to life!

In celebration of families and reading, Phipps Neighborhoods, in partnership with Jumpstart held its first Jumpstart for a Day event on Saturday, April 16, 2016. Approximately 90 families from the community participated in the event.

The Crotona Park West Community has less than one in five 3rd graders reading at grade level. Events like Jumpstart for a Day encourages parents and caretakers to make reading fun through literacy rich activities that can be done at home to help young readers read at grade level. In hopes of bringing literacy awareness to our neighborhoods, and encouraging children to develop a love for language and reading, Jumpstart organized a variety of fun educational activities for families and children all ages.

Each table at the event engaged children in activities that strengthened literacy using popular children’s books such as Rainbow Fish, Rabbits and Raindrops, Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus, If You Give a Mouse a Cookie, The Snowy Day and more. These activities included matching uppercase letters with lowercase letters, matching the same letters, and counting numbers.

The Jumpstart for a Day event also included family fun such as face painting, games, raffles, free books and giveaways, snacks, gluing colorful designs on pictures, and making silly rabbit hats. In addition, all children received a book-bag filled with books to bring home.

Phipps Neighborhoods recognizes Jumpstart for their hard work and dedication in organizing and bringing an amazing literacy event such as Jumpstart for a Day to the Crotona Park West Community. Parents are encouraged to continue these kinds of engagements at home. One fun activity for parents and children to do at home is to take turns reading story books to each other. Bedtime is an especially great time for reading together and cuddling!

For more information on Jumpstart and upcoming events, please visit https://www.jstart.org.

 

Phipps Neighborhoods’ First Annual Day of Service

IMG_6711In honor of Martin Luther King Jr. Day, Phipps Neighborhoods held its first annual Day of Service on January 18th in the South Bronx. Over 150 volunteers and staff were able to complete dozens of projects that will have a lasting impact on the neighborhoods where we work.

Projects included painting murals at our Justice Corp site, reading to children at the Crotona Park Reading Room with guest author Denise Lewis Patrick, and creating care packages of necessities such as shower curtains and dinner plates for families moving out of a shelter. Each project directly impacted one of our key program areas — education, career readiness, and community resources.

“My colleagues and I were so happy to have the opportunity to volunteer at Phipps Neighborhoods’ Day of Service,” said volunteer Marion Jones, who was joined by a team from Ackman Ziff. “It was great to get a chance to read with the children and spend time with them learning more about the life of Dr. King.”

Save the date for next year’s Day of Service event…January 16, 2017!

Meet Our Team: Jonathan Ortiz, Financial Counselor

jonathan

What I do

My name is Jonathan Ortiz, and I am a Financial Counselor at Phipps Neighborhoods Financial Empowerment Center. For over six years, I have helped New York City residents rise above poverty by empowering them with information that impacts the way they manage their finances. Our goal is to break the cycle of poverty that 95% of our Financial Empowerment Center clients face.

As a Financial Counselor, I support my clients in reviewing their credit to help them work towards attaining an apartment, and I work with them to create a budget so they are able to buy food and pay bills.

Why I work at Phipps Neighborhoods 

Helping others has always been an integral part of who I am. It is something that I love to do and embrace on a daily basis. The financial counseling we provide helps our clients get ahead in life. At Phipps Neighborhoods, we are crisis managers and social workers, who are furthering the mission of helping our communities rise above poverty. Who wouldn’t want to be part of an organization that values your time and commitment to the bigger picture?  I am glad to be a part of this great team.

Success Story

Over the last year, I have had the opportunity to represent Phipps Neighborhoods and the Financial Empowerment Center several times on Telemunodo New York. By sharing my opinion as an expert on subjects ranging from identity theft to helping New Yorkers with New Year’s resolutions, we have been able to reach more members of our community and provide them with the resources they need to improve their lives.

About the Financial Empowerment Center 

Phipps Neighborhoods’ Financial Empowerment Center provides confidential, one-on-one counseling for individuals who need tools and support to better manage their finances. Trained counselors help clients identify their financial challenges and guide them in addressing bad credit, paying down debt, and improving financial habits.

Please Join Phipps Neighborhoods for a Day of Service on MLK Day!

day-of-service

Please join Phipps Neighborhoods for our first annual Day of Service on MLK Day, (Monday, January 18, 2016). We will be host multiple volunteer projects in the South Bronx, including painting, beautification, reading with children, and more.

MLK Day is nationally recognized as a day of service. The holiday was signed into law in 1984 to honor Dr. King for all he did for the Civil Rights Movement. In keeping with the idea of bettering our community, Phipps Neighborhoods is hosting our first Day of Service to allow people the chance to give back.

We hope you will consider joining us! For more information about the event and to sign up, please visit phippsny.org/service

 

Success Story: Dana Wright, Career Network: Healthcare Graduate, Awarded Outstanding Student Award

dana wright

Phipps Neighborhoods is proud to congratulate Dana Wright for winning the Outstanding Student Award from the Continuing Education Association of New York.

Dana graduated from Career Network: Healthcare, a career development program run by Phipps Neighborhoods in partnership with Hostos Community College and Montefiore Health System. The program helps young adults secure career track healthcare employment and/or education credentials. Before completing Career Network: Healthcare, Dana lived in a housing shelter with her two children. Following the program, she earned her Patient Care Technician certificate at Hostos, which helped her secure employment as a Patient Escort at a nursing home in the Bronx. This income helped Dana and her children successfully transition from the shelter to permanent housing.

Recently, Dana started a position as a Patient Transporter at Montefiore Health System. In addition to working full time, she continues to volunteer with Phipps Neighborhoods, helping recruit young people for Career Network: Healthcare and representing the program during events. She plans to move up within Montefiore and apply to school to become a Registered Nurse. Dana exudes warmth, compassion and professionalism and is a great asset to the healthcare field in the Bronx and a strong role model for her children.

 

South Bronx Rising Together Receives Portion of Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s Culture of Health Prize for the Bronx

The Bronx is one of eight winners of the 2015 RWJF Culture of Health Prize awarded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. The Prize celebrates the strides communities have made to ensure good health flourishes for all.

The Bronx is being recognized for leveraging its unique strengths and rallying community partners around a shared vision of health, including:

  • The work of South Bronx Rising Together partners through the All Are Healthy Collaborative Action Network, focused on reducing child asthma-related ER visits and hospitalizations. The cross-sector group brings health care, community, government and educational leaders together to reduce child asthma triggers, beginning with a pilot approach to use Integrated Pest Management and resident education in targeted buildings.
  • The Borough president’s #Not62 campaign. Bronx County is ranked in last place (62 out of 62) in the County Health Ranking & Roadmaps Report which measures important aspects of population health and the critical role that non-health related factors play in health and life expectancy. The goal of #Not62 is to bring together major stakeholders across multiple sectors to address the determinants of health, improve the health outcomes of Bronx residents, and have the Bronx move up in the county health ranking in 3-5 years.
  • The New York Restoration Project which is dedicated to transforming open space in under-resourced communities to create a greener, more sustainable New York City. They bring private resources to spaces that lack adequate municipal support, fortifying the City’s aging infrastructure and creating a healthier environment for those who live in the most densely populated and least green neighborhoods.

For more details on the award, watch a short video which includes an interview with Elizabeth Clay Roy, Chief Strategy Officer for Phipps Neighborhoods and Co-Director of South Bronx Rising Together.

The Bronx was selected from more than 340 applications across the country. The other seven winning communities are Bridgeport, CT; Everett, MA; Kansas City, MO; Lawrence, MA; Menominee Nation, WI; Spartanburg County, SC, and Waaswaaganing Anishinaabeg (Lac du Flambeau Tribe),WI.

The Bronx will receive $25,000 in recognition of its commitment to building a Culture of Health and South Bronx Rising Together will receive a portion of that prize. It will be used to continue the pilot to identify asthma hotspots and support holistic, evidence-based interventions to reduce child asthma. Schools, Community Based Organizations, the Department of Health and community leaders have been involved – alongside health care institutions Urban Health Plan, Montefiore Health System, Bronx-Lebanon Hospital Center and Mt. Sinai Hospital.

 

About South Bronx Rising Together

Phipps Neighborhoods, in partnership with The Children’s Aid Society, launched South Bronx Rising Together, a collective impact effort in the South Bronx focused on the creation of a cradle to career pipeline for all children and youth in the community. After bringing together over 300 community stakeholders, including providers, elected officials and residents, South Bronx Rising Together has identified seven specific goals that they are working to achieve to bring about educational and economic success in the South Bronx Community District 3. The goals are:

  • All children are healthy
  • All enter kindergarten excited and ready to learn
  • All succeed in school
  • All contribute positively to the community
  • All graduate from high school, college and career-ready
  • All attain post-secondary degree or credential
  • All begin a career

Learn more at risingtogether.org.

Phipps Neighborhoods’ Beacon Programs Selected as PASE Bronx Explorers!

IMG_8046-X2Congratulations to Phipps Neighborhoods’ Beacon programs at Wings Academy and Piagentini and Jones Campus for being selected to participate in the PASE Explorers program for the 2016-2017 cycle as Bronx Explorers sites! The PASE Explorers Program, funded by The Pinkerton Foundation, is designed to provide young people in 4th through 6th grades with S.A.F.E. (Sequenced, Active, Focused, and Explicit) after school activities in which they experience global learning through local exploration. The Explorers program engages students in discovering the strengths of their own neighborhood and gives them the opportunity to explore and learn about the strengths of another neighborhood. Through community exploration, children are able to see the larger context of the world in which they live.

Throughout the course of this program, participating sites complete a variety of activities outlined in the PASE Explorers Curriculum including: a neighborhood walk, cross-site visits, trips to a cultural institution, the creation of a neighborhood website, and an Explorers culminating event. The curriculum is aligned with Common Core and global learning competencies.

About Phipps Neighborhoods’ Beacon Programs

Phipps Neighborhoods’ Beacons programs, in partnership with the Department of Youth and Community Development, are school-based community centers serving children age 6 and older and adults. Beacons operate in the afternoons and evenings, on weekends, during school holidays and vacation periods, including the summer. Beacon youth programs are designed to help participants acquire the skills and attitudes they need to graduate from high school, succeed in their chosen career, and give back to the community. Adult programs are designed to enhance skills and promote social interaction, community engagement, and physical activity. Learn more.

Meet Our Team: Cid Rivera Jr., Education Specialist

cidWhat I Do

As a member of the Education and Learning Initiative, I’m responsible for guiding the design and implementation of instructional programming at Phipps Neighborhoods. The specific programs I work with are Career Network: Healthcare, English for Speakers of Other Languages, Pre-High School Equivalency (HSE) and HSE prep, and Justice Corps. These are all programs that provide an opportunity for adults of all ages to achieve their educational goals, as well as their personal potential. On any given day, I facilitate the development and execution of academic interventions and learning strategies to support the individual learning strengths of our diverse population of learners. I also provide the very best instructional support and training for staff, and I’m involved in building and refining curricula and assessment instruments.

Why I work at Phipps Neighborhoods

I fully embrace our mission to provide children and their families with the tools they need to break the cycle of poverty. There is no doubt in my mind that the best tool to break the cycle of poverty is an education.

Success Story

In 2014, our team spent countless hours developing a curriculum for Career Network: Healthcare. If you’ve ever worked on a curriculum you’d know it is tedious work. You have to spend time researching, proof-reading and amassing huge binders filled with lessons and notes. I felt extremely accomplished when I finished and the final product was approved. However, the real moment of accomplishment for me was when the first class of Career Network: Healthcare graduated, using the new curriculum. It was as if my efforts developing the curriculum were morphed into a young person’s future success.

About the Education and Learning Initiative

Phipps Neighborhoods launched the Education and Learning Initiative (ELI) in order to create educational standards, facilitate the development of a progressive curriculum pipeline, and evaluate outcomes to ensure quality and continuous improvement of Phipps Neighborhoods’ education programming. ELI focuses on increasing the quality of services by building staff capacity to meet high-quality education standards of practice. ELI provides professional development, training, mentoring, coaching, evaluation, and feedback to staff at all levels of education programming. Program evaluation and curriculum planning tools have been created to clarify expectations and streamline staff efforts toward improving educational practices, with ELI staff providing ongoing support in order to successfully implement these tools.

Phipps Neighborhoods Organizes Peace March in Soundview

peace marchThis summer, young people involved in Phipps Neighborhoods’ summer programs at the Cornerstone Centers at Sotomayor and Soundview engaged in a dialogue about social justice. Sadly, this conversation became very real to the youth in July, when Christian Garcia, their 20-year-old neighbor, was shot and killed. Many of the young people we serve knew Christian personally, and they were all deeply affected by his death so close to home.

This tragic event made the conversation about social justice all too real for these children and teens, and led to an increasingly empowering discussion. At the end of the summer, the young people decided to do something proactive to keep the conversation going – and planned a Peace March for Friday, September 25th (Antiviolence Day). The march began at the Cornerstone Community Center at Soundview Houses and included a walk to the playground where Christian was killed where they placed flowers as a symbol of peace and were joined by Christian’s family. The march concluded at the Cornerstone Community Center at Sotomayor Houses, where there was a program for community members featuring community leaders and motivational speakers. The formal program was followed by an interactive discussion designed to help the youth offer positive solutions to the challenges in the community.

Meet Our Team: Shawnica Phillips, Healthy Families Case Manager

shawnicaWhat I do

As a case manager for the Healthy Families program, I support families using a strength-based, case management approach. I work with families to assess their needs related to issues such as domestic violence, substance abuse, HIV/AIDS, health and nutrition. I also provide advocacy and assistance in obtaining government benefits, housing, education, employment, and other social services and resources. I collaborate with my clients to develop an individualized strategy to meet their short and long-term goals.

Why I work at Phipps Neighborhoods

At Phipps Neighborhoods, I am constantly encouraged to continue to help uplift our community. I have a natural gift for finding resources and making connections, and I’m able to thrive here. My job is more than important, it’s crucial. I help people connect to resources they never knew existed. I help my clients regain hope that their lives can change for the better, that they can do better and be better for themselves and their families. It is extremely gratifying knowing that I helped someone get a job, find an apartment, get the benefits they need to better support their family, or understand it’s never too late for an education.

Success story

Last year I gave a Healthy Families presentation during a REES (NYCHA Resident Economic and Empowerment Sustainability) information session. After the session, Renee Lindquist, Bronx Community Coordinator for REES, introduced me to a man who she said needed help. He had been to other agencies and fatherhood programs, but she thought he needed a program like Healthy Families. He is an unemployed single parent with two children, and suffering from depression.

Since I started working with him, he has committed to his job search, quit smoking, started to socialize more, and dresses more professionally. I am currently counseling him on how to strengthen his communication with his daughter, working with him on his emotional health, and helping him commit to maintaining his substance rehabilitation. He recently told me that, “If it wasn’t for Phipps Neighborhoods, I don’t know what I would do.”

About Healthy Families

Phipps Neighborhoods works with clients to identify specific financial, housing, health or emotional needs, and to provide necessary support and referrals. Residential support services, and youth and adult education programs are provide by Phipps Neighborhoods. Phipps Neighborhoods also helps low-income families and individuals determine public assistance needs, which programs they qualify for, and how to apply for benefits. Learn more. 

 

Phipps Neighborhoods Opens at Crotona Park Family Reading Room

reading room cpw

To help improve early literacy skills and increase access to books for local children in the Crotona Park West community of the South Bronx, Phipps Neighborhoods has developed an Early Childhood Family Literacy Initiative. Kicking off this initiative, we recently opened the new Reading Room at Phipps Houses’ Lynda Simmons Homes in Crotona Park West!

The Reading Room is open to all community members, including neighboring schools where Phipps Neighborhoods runs after-school programs, a Universal Pre-K program at Roscoe C. Brown Apartments, and a nearby family shelter.

To increase community involvement, Phipps Neighborhoods is organizing weekly literacy activities, including a story time series, make-a-book activities, parenting workshops, author readings, and seasonal community events. Families are also invited to use the space independently for reading activities with their children.

The Crotona Park West community, where Phipps Neighborhoods is a lead partner in South Bronx Rising Together, has fewer than one in five 3rd graders reading at grade level and only about 50 percent of three and four year olds enrolled in an early education program. To help improve these statistics, the reading room will serve as a community resource to promote early literacy.

The Reading Room opened on Saturday, June 20th, but we still need help collecting books to stock the reading room! If you have new or gently used books (especially books for early readers) that you would like to donate, please contact Luz Cano at 718.716.1128 or Lcano@phippsny.org.

Visit the Phipps Neighborhoods’ Crotona Park West Reading Room at 1591 Fulton Avenue in the Bronx.

Summer Learning Camp 2015: Building Global Citizens

Kids24Countdown to Camp: Phipps Neighborhoods’ Summer Learning Camp starts on July 6th!

This year, our Summer Learning Camps will serve 1,000 children – the most ever at Phipps Neighborhoods – with the theme of “Building Global Citizens: Past, Present, and Future.” Each camp site will research a different international city to serve as the foundation for a summer of experiential learning. Phipps Neighborhoods’ Summer Learning Camp will reduce summer learning loss through structured programming that will enhance and support academic achievement, strengthen 21st century skills, and build a foundation for children to become future leaders and global citizens.

Our Summer Learning Camp will be built on project based learning, with campers choosing the subject matter and demonstrating their new understandings through a variety of projects or presentations about their chosen topic, developed in alignment with the Common Core.  These activities will all be integrated with traditional arts and recreation activities that help to define the summer camp experience.

Are you the parent of a child interested in attending Phipps Neighborhoods’ Summer Learning Camp? Sign up for camp today.

Would you like to help us close the achievement gap for 1,000 children in the South Bronx this summer? Learn more about how you can support our work.

High School Students Tour Colleges with Phipps Neighborhoods

college tourA group of high school juniors from the South Bronx recently had the opportunity to participate in a Phipps Neighborhoods sponsored college tour through Georgia, South Carolina, and North Carolina. Our high school students toured campuses, learned about the schools, and were given a chance to apply with the application fee waived.

Jarissa Cepeda is a high school junior who joined us for in this years’ tour.

“Before going on the tour, I was focused on colleges located in New York. I wanted to stay close to home. But after traveling far from home and visiting campuses with different styles, I was reminded that these experiences in life are what make or break you. The tour helped me get an idea of what colleges look for in students, and helped me start the college search early. Not only did we gain knowledge of the campuses we visited, we also made connections with each other. On the tour, we felt like we could accomplish things people in our neighborhood tell us we can’t. We feel motivated to try our best. It was a great experience and I can’t wait to go next year.”

The group visited Morehouse College, Johnson C. Smith University, South Carolina State University, Georgia State University, Winston Salem State University, Morris Brown University, and Spelman College. For more information on how to get involved with our teen programs, visit www.phippsny.org/programs/teen-programs.

Success Story: Financial Empowerment Center

IMG_8170-X2Phipps Neighborhoods’ Financial Empowerment Center provides confidential, one-on-one counseling for individuals who need tools and support to better manage their finances. Trained counselors help clients identify their financial challenges and guide them in addressing bad credit, paying down debt, and improving financial habits.

Recently we received testimonial from one of our Financial Empowerment Center participants, Omari, who worked with Financial Counselor Derison Puntier to improve her credit and get out of debt. Read more of Omari’s success story and her words of gratitude for Derison.

Good day,

I am writing to express my gratitude and to compliment your employee, Derison Puntier.

First, I must tell you that I’ve had bad credit for years! I was tired of being denied credit and I knew I had to do something. I remember reading the advertisements on the train, and thinking to myself how good it must feel to have good credit. One day, I just grabbed the phone, called 311, and made the first move towards financial freedom. It was one of my best decisions ever.

Derison Puntier has helped me in so many ways. When I met him, my credit was in bad shape. He reviewed my information and told me as long as I allowed him to; he would help me fix my credit.

Together we began to contact the creditors; we disputed items on my credit reports, and paid off old debts. In less than 5 months, my credit score has increased, I have ZERO collections on my credit reports, and I was approved for my very first credit card in years.  I have learned so much through this whole experience. I now know that my credit does not control me, I control my credit! I do have a ways to go, but as long as I utilize the tools Derison has presented to me there’s no way I can lose.

Please let Derison know that I see a nice BIG house in my future because of him!

All the best,
Omari

Phipps Neighborhoods at the White House Commission on Education for Hispanics

white housePhipps Neighborhoods was invited to provide testimony on April 14th to the White House Commission on Education for Hispanics on the importance of community based organizations and our work in college access, after-school programs, and other wrap around services.

This invitation follows several years of transition and growth in our education programs, including significant progress resulting from our Education and Learning Initiative. We are proud to have been invited to add our voice to this important conversation!

Read a copy of the testimony below:

Phipps Neighborhoods is a nonprofit that helps children and families in the South Bronx overcome poverty. Each year, we provide close to 10,000 children, youth and families the opportunities they need to thrive through comprehensive education and career programs and access to community resources, focusing on neighborhoods where we can support the whole community.

Our community is overwhelmingly minority, with 63 percent Latino and 30 percent African American residents. It is also among the nation’s most economically challenged communities, as indicated by a high poverty rate of 38.9 percent, 15.8 percent unemployment, and a median household income of just $25,801. Educational attainment is low in the district, with just 28.8 percent of residents above age 25 having achieved a high school diploma and 13.1 percent holding a bachelor’s degree or higher.

Phipps Neighborhoods’ educational programming helps young people develop the skills they need to succeed in school, earn higher incomes and establish self-sufficiency. A comparative study conducted by a third party evaluator across the entire Phipps Neighborhoods education portfolio found that young people who participate in these programs perform better in class and on state wide exams than their peers who do not participate.

At Phipps Neighborhoods, we recognize that accessing higher education is a critical step to obtaining a career and ensuring self-sufficiency for our young people. 74 percent of the 78 high school seniors participating in our college access programs in the 2013-14 school year are currently enrolled in college.

Through more than four decades of serving the South Bronx, we have also learned that students in underserved communities need more than just academic support in order to succeed. There are obstacles to learning that transcend the classroom, which schools are too often not equipped to address. Community based organizations – whether through traditional after school programs, community centers, or community school partnerships – can help students and their families identify and address the issues that get in the way of education, while also providing education-focused programs that connect the school-day learning to the after-school hours. When offered in an integrated, coordinated manner, educational programming and social supports provide the key to unlocking our students’ potential – and their ability to succeed academically and beyond.

Social Work Spotlight: Sandy Leiva, Resident Services Coordinator at Plaza South and Boston Road Apartments

sandy1March is National Social Work Month, and Phipps Neighborhoods is spotlighting our amazing social workers helping our communities rise above poverty. This week, we introduce you to Sandy Leiva, Resident Services Coordinator for Plaza South and Boston Road Apartments which provides case management, crisis intervention, referrals, screenings, and advocacy to residents of Phipps Houses properties.

“As a social worker I want to inspire others to achieve their goals. I understand the circumstances of my clients and inspire them to achieve their goals.”

As Resident Services Coordinator, Sandy assists residents of Phipps Houses’ Plaza South and Boston Road Apartments with social services and benefit referrals, provides case management, advocates on behalf of the residents, and provides referrals for services from Phipps Neighborhoods programs and partner organizations. Her main goal is to guide residents to self-sufficiency.

“There is a great need for social workers in the communities we serve. My goal is to empower residents to become self-sufficient. I want to show them that they can make impactful changes to their lives and that they are valuable. ”

Social Work Spotlight: Aquina Valentin, Case Manager at Courtlandt Community

aquinaMarch is National Social Work Month, and Phipps Neighborhoods is spotlighting our amazing social workers helping our communities rise above poverty. This week, we introduce you to Aquina Valentin, Case Manager for Courtlandt Community Supportive Housing program which serves mentally ill and formerly homeless individuals through a referral program with the NYC Department of Homeless Services.

“I love listening and getting to know each of my clients. They all have a story to tell. Being a social worker has made me realize the importance of support and resources for my clients, and the significant impact I can have on someone’s life.”

As Case Manager, Aquina provides support and training to address the mental health, education, and employment needs of supportive housing residents at Courtlandt Community. Aquina and her clients focus on life skills, financial management, medication compliance, and organized recreation. Her main goal is for her clients to become self-sufficient individuals in the community.

“I believe social work is a passion, it has to be in your heart and you must be able to feel it. Social work is not about making money or being praised. It’s more about making a difference in the lives of individuals and their communities.”

Phipps Neighborhoods’ volunteer aspires to give every girl her dream prom night

Sixteen-year-old Sarah Richman has collected over 400 prom dresses to donate to Phipps Neighborhoods participants with an upcoming prom or graduation celebration. Sarah and volunteers from her high school will be hosting events at two Phipps Neighborhoods locations in the South Bronx, where girls will have a chance to get a free prom dress, accessories, and a hair and makeup tutorial for their prom. Each girl will be paired up with a volunteer “personal shopper” to make the experience even more special.

Many of the girls who attend high schools in the neighborhoods we serve do not have the resources to buy a dress for their prom. Sarah began Project Princess with the belief that every young woman deserves the opportunity to celebrate graduation and to feel like a princess at prom. She understands that many of these girls have overcome significant obstacles to be able to graduate and that’s even more reason for them to celebrate their achievements in style.

The dress collection is currently going on in Rockville Center, NY where Sarah is storing the dresses in her home until the events. The events will be held on April 25th at Phipps Neighborhoods’ Cornerstone Center at Sotomayor Houses, and on May 9th at East Bronx Academy for the Future.

To donate dresses to Project Princess contact amarino@phippsny.org.

Social Work Spotlight: Alondra Marryshow, Career Coach for Career Network: Healthcare

alondraMarch is National Social Work Month, and Phipps Neighborhoods is spotlighting our amazing social workers helping our communities rise above poverty. This week, we introduce you to Alondra Marryshow, Career Coach for Career Network: Healthcare, an employer driven career exploration and training program with the goal of helping young adults secure employment within the healthcare field. In addition to training and career exploration, participants in this program receive extensive life and career coaching as well as case management services to help them begin their career.

As the Career Coach for Career Network: Healthcare, Alondra provides participants with case management services, helps them set and achieve career goals and facilitates life skills workshops. She has established strong relationships with the participants and has built tools and systems to help our participants overcome barriers. She sees firsthand the many obstacles our young people face each day in the communities we serve, including lack of education, unemployment, and homelessness.

“As a social worker, I educate, empower, and advocate for individual’s needs and rights. Social workers are not only the voice in our communities – we are the heartbeat. My goal is to help people move ahead, and fulfill both their personal needs and future goals by ensuring individuals receive appropriate services and resources.”

Alondra goes above and beyond her duties to ensure the success of Career Network: Healthcare participants. Her door is always open and her phone is always on, including after work hours. She is a strong advocate for our participants and accompanies them to medical, legal and housing appointments if they need the support. She works tirelessly to establish relationships with participants’ families to help build a network of support that will foster their ongoing success.

“I enjoy helping others and making a difference in people’s lives. I am very passionate about educating, advocating, and empowering others. I love being a social worker because it gives me the opportunity to listen to people’s personal stories, challenges, and experiences and also provide guidance and support.”

Career Network: Healthcare Moves to New Heights – Graduate Earning $40,000

dianne and immaculada

Immaculada Moronta with Dianne Morales

The mission of Phipps Neighborhoods includes working toward a New York City in which no one is caught in the cycle of poverty. There is nothing more rewarding than knowing that our efforts are doing exactly that!

Immaculada Moronta, a recent Career Network: Healthcare graduate, began working as the Administrative Assistant for the Institute for Family Health – with a starting salary of $40,000!

Immaculada grew up and was educated in the Dominican Republic. Unfortunately, she had a hard time finding employment when she moved to the Bronx because her education credentials weren’t recognized. Unable to find a job, she was forced to bounce around between family members’ homes until Career Network: Healthcare helped her overcome this difficult reality.

She successfully completed the 13-week training program which includes job shadowing and externship experience. With support from the Phipps Neighborhoods team, she successfully secured employment in the healthcare field.

We congratulate Immaculada and wish her luck as she begins her career. Special thanks to the Career Network: Healthcare team, including Shakeisha Ravenell, Jenine Cruz, Jennifer Tausig and Monique De La Oz for their dedication to this program, the participants, and the graduates. We are confident that all of our Career Network: Healthcare graduates will obtain job placement directly related to the healthcare field.

Social Work Spotlight: Joseph Washington, Program Director at Honeywell Supportive Housing

jwMarch is National Social Work Month and Phipps Neighborhoods would like to spotlight some of the fantastic social workers helping our communities rise above poverty. This week, we introduce you to Joseph Washington, Program Director at Honeywell Supportive Housing, which serves mentally ill and formerly homeless men.

“I have the fortunate opportunity to work in the same neighborhood that I grew up and went to school in. As a youth, it was not always easy to stay away from negative influences. There were gangs, drugs, and other vices to corrupt young folks. I was introduced to trouble as a teen, and after getting into a couple of situations with the authorities, I was assigned a social worker by the name of Mr. Al Martin. He turned my life around. With his help I enrolled at Bronx Community College and received a certificate in carpentry and a GED.”

Joseph switched careers from construction to human services in 1990 when he started working as an outreach worker for mentally ill homeless adults, the population he still serves today, and found what he truly was meant to do with his life. During his social work career, Joseph has worked as a counselor for substance abusers, homeless individuals, families suffering from domestic abuse, senior citizens, and veterans.

“I believe to be an effective social worker you have to be multi-cultural, non-judgmental, practice value suspension and be empathetic to those we serve. The populations we work with have many issues with multiple causes, and to best serve them we need to think outside of the box and draw from a diverse reservoir of experiences. Social workers are a lifeline to services and resources. We are liaisons to external and internal resources, educators, and agents of social justice.”

Meet our team: Joel Sanchez, Program Director at Phipps Neighborhoods Cornerstone Center at Soundview Houses

joel and cornerstone participants

Joel Sanchez (top row, center) with participants and staff

What I do

I direct the Phipps Neighborhoods Cornerstone Center at Soundview Houses. We host educational, recreational and life empowering programs for children ages 5-12, teenagers, and adults. These programs include homework help, Project Based Learning activities, organized sports, gender based activities, internships, career workshops, a food pantry and many other services needed in the community we serve.

Why I work at Phipps Neighborhoods

Phipps Neighborhoods has provided an endless amount of opportunities over the years that have allowed me to grow personally and professionally. The organization offers a large variety of positions which come with many different challenges. There is never a dull moment working at this organization, which is probably what I love the most about working here.

Success story

Just recently, one of our teens graduated from high school and is now attending Clinton University. This participant has been with us since Phipps Neighborhoods took over running the Soundview Cornerstone in 2009. He participated in our after school program, teen Young Men’s Initiative, Ladders of Leadership internship program, Youth Council, a 2013 basketball initiative, and Summer Youth Employment Program. Now that he’s in college he continues to volunteer at our program on weekends and holidays. With the exception of our adult program, this participant has been through all of our progressive stages and continues to be the example of what we want all of our participants to become.

About Phipps Neighborhoods Cornerstone at Soundview 

Our Cornerstone centers serve youth, teens, young adults, adults and seniors through a variety of educational, recreational, and cultural activities and community events. Learn more.

Chancellor Carmen Fariña Visits Phipps Neighborhoods Pre-K

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New York City Schools Chancellor Carmen Fariña recently visited Phipps Neighborhoods Pre-K program at Daly Avenue. She observed a classroom and interacted with teachers and students.

A note from the Chancellor following her visit:

Phipps Neighborhoods has been helping families living in the Phipps Houses and surrounding South Bronx community rise above poverty through education and career programs since 1972. The students in its Daly Avenue pre-kindergarten program were enthusiastic and engaged. I was impressed to see the children’s artwork on display, as art is a vehicle for self-expression, learning, and imaginative play. Under Jeremy Kaplan’s direction, Phipps also makes many home-to-school connections to help parents better support their children’s learning. I am also thrilled that Phipps Neighborhoods is participating in our Community Schools Initiative.

Thank you to Chancellor Fariña for visiting and for supporting all of our education programs!

For more information on our Pre-K programs, and how to enroll your child for the coming school year please visit here.

Phipps Neighborhoods Participant Awarded Posse Scholarship

Tristan photoTristan Pesco, a senior at the Urban Assembly School for Wildlife Conservation, was recently granted a Posse Scholarship and will receive a full ride to Franklin and Marshall College. Tristan worked with a Phipps Neighborhoods College Advisor, who supported him on college applications, essays, financial aid, and scholarship applications – including his application for the Posse Scholarship. Tristan started the process one of roughly 15,000 nominees, and is now one of ten young people going to Franklin and Marshall College on a full scholarship.

Tristan is a highly accomplished and hardworking student, who is very dedicated to his studies and contributes a great deal of energy, passion, and charisma to the school community. He is also the proud founder of the mixed martial arts club at his school. Recently, Tristan was afforded the opportunity to be mentored by a Harvard University lecturer and human evolutionary biologist, and helped perform research on genetics in chimps.

We congratulate Tristan on this prestigious honor and wish him luck as he pursues an academic career in science. A special thank you to the Phipps Neighborhoods team especially Katelyn Miller, Reina Abreu, and Adrianna Gentile, for their efforts in providing a program that encourages academic achievement and supports students like Tristan to dream big.

Rosemary Ordonez-Jenkins, Receives Mid-Career Exemplary Social Work Leader Award from the National Association of Social Workers

roseOn December 4, 2014, Senior Director for Community Resources, Rosemary Ordonez-Jenkins received an Mid-Career Exemplary Social Work Leader Award from the National Association of Social Workers for recognition of her visionary and exemplary work.

A lifelong resident of the Bronx, Rose has committed both her personal and professional life to serving others in the community in which she lives. She genuinely believes in giving her time, her talents, her vast experience, and her committed compassion to those who need it most.

Generations of Bronx residents credit Rose with being a primary person who helped make their lives better – whether it was her message to stay in school and study, her commitment to help them find a job to support their family, or her tenacity in helping to connect them to the resources they needed, Rose was there for them.

As the Senior Director for Community Resources at Phipps Neighborhoods, Rose is an expert in overseeing the portfolio of transitional & supportive housing, as well as services for seniors and families living in affordable housing. In this role, Rose administers Phipps Neighborhoods’ social services programs for adults and families of economically-challenged communities in the Bronx and Manhattan to increase literacy, financial stability, access to necessary support services, and community involvement.

Congratulations to Rose, and thank you for everything you do for Phipps Neighborhoods and the Bronx community.

21st Annual Phipps Community Builder Awards a Great Success

gala 2014 photoMonday night’s 21st annual Phipps Community Builder Awards gala raised close to $900,000 to help Phipps Neighborhoods further the ongoing development of innovative solutions to the challenges that plague impoverished communities. The event was held at Cipriani 42nd Street and honored JPMorgan Chase Foundation for its ground-breaking vision and philanthropic work.

The evening highlighted the importance of education achievement, career readiness and community resources in rising above poverty and featured a video with stories from several program participants.

Shantel Burris, 24, participated in the Career Network: Healthcare program and shared her own personal story of going from unemployed to making twice the New York minimum wage as a dietary worker at Montefiore. “My life has changed since I got involved with the Career Network as far as me being able to be on my own, and me being able to provide for my family,” said Shantel. “I just feel like if I didn’t do it, where would I be right now?”

Thanking JPMorgan Chase Foundation for their financial support and partnership, Dianne Morales, Executive Director and CEO of Phipps Neighborhoods, discussed the importance of leadership and out of the box solutions:

We’re not doing this work to our communities or for our communities. We’re doing it WITH our communities. With the triple threat of high poverty, low academic achievement and high unemployment that continue to plague our communities, the times demand that we develop innovative strategies and solutions to address these issues. Funding that allows us to apply what we’ve learned, and provides room for advancing ideas, is critical to our ability to do that.

View photos from the event here.

Watch the video Phipps Neighborhoods from the gala.

 

 

Phipps Neighborhoods’ Seniors Celebrate National Hispanic Heritage Month

photo 1On Monday September 29th, our NORC seniors at Kips Bay Court celebrated National Hispanic Heritage month with dancing, singing, poetry and a sampling of food from all over Latin America. Each year, Americans observe National Hispanic Heritage Month from September 15th to October 15th, by celebrating the history and culture of Spain and Latin America.

During the celebration our NORC residents performed dances including La Punta, Merengue, Zapateo, and La Danza “Sara.” Cecilia Cerda, our 102-year-old resident, recited one of her own poems, “Mi Madre Quisquella.” Another resident, Virginia Rivera, recited the poem “Valle de Collores,” considered by many to be the national poem of Puerto Rico.

A special thanks to Councilwoman Rosie Mendez who sponsored the event!

Learn more about Senior Services at Phipps Neighborhoods.

Meet our team: Michael Pierce, Phipps Neighborhoods Cornerstone at Soundview

michael pierceWhat I do

I am transitioning from being a group leader to the Teen Coordinator at Phipps Neighborhoods Cornerstone at Soundview. I help at the community center and keep things organized. I am also the supervisor for the evening programs.

Why I work at Phipps Neighborhoods

Speaking as a member of the community I work in, I know what it is like to hang out on the corner and not have anywhere else to go. At first, working at Phipps Neighborhoods was just to get a paycheck, but after being part of an organization where I have grown and gained experience, I now know what makes me come to work every day – I have the opportunity to change lives in my community. The children I teach look at me as a father figure or big brother and I cannot let them down. I love the position I’m in at this point of my life.

Success story

I am also the dance teacher at Phipps Neighborhoods Cornerstone at Soundview. This past summer was tough for our dance class because a lot of our dancers struggled with a lack of confidence.  Some dancers were nervous performing in front of crowds or wanted to give up when they couldn’t get a certain dance move correct. It took some time, but I am proud to say we broke through these barriers with our dancers. Our dancers are stepping up and developing their dance skills to a new level – some of our dancers are even choreographing now. Watching them dance makes me proud because I was a part of it. I have seen them at their worst and now I get the chance to see them at their best.

About Phipps Neighborhoods Cornerstone at Soundview 

Our Cornerstone centers serve youth, teens, young adults, adults and seniors through a variety of educational, recreational, and cultural activities and community events. Learn more.

Meet our team: Derison Puntier, Financial Empowerment Center

IMG_8170-X2What I do

I do one-on-one financial counseling for low to middle income individuals and families. I help my clients take control of their finances, deal with debt collectors, improve their credit, create a budget, open a bank account, create an emergency fund, and save and plan for their future. All in all, I help my clients wrap their arms around their finances.

Why I work at Phipps Neighborhoods

I love the vision of Phipps Neighborhoods. I’m proud to work for such a great company and be part of our mission to help low-income communities rise above poverty. I also love the culture and our great CEO.

Success story

One of my clients attempted to buy a house but was denied because of bad credit. I helped him repair and establish his credit and in little over a year he was able to purchase a house in the Bronx. As soon as he found out, he came to visit me with his wife to share the great news with me.

About the Financial Empowerment Center 

The Phipps Neighborhoods Financial Empowerment Center provides confidential, one-on-one counseling for individuals who need tools and support to better manage their finances. Trained counselors help clients identify their financial challenges and guide them in addressing bad credit, paying down debt, and improving financial habits. Learn more.

All Camps Day 2014: Celebrating College Bound and Beyond

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On Friday, August 8, close to 900 Phipps Neighborhoods summer campers got together at Crotona Park in the Bronx to celebrate our annual All Camps Day.

This year’s event focused on the College Bound and Beyond theme. Our young campers began the discussion of college education, and older campers explored various college campuses. Campers shared the history of the college, areas of study, college life and more. This year our camp sites represented Brown University, Temple University, Fisk University, Binghamton University, Arizona State University, Auburn University and Stanford University.

The day-long event included a banner parade showcasing each camp’s college, a cafeteria challenge, a knowledge bowl where campers went head-to-head in an academic competition, and a half time performance competition. At the end of the day, awards were presented in various categories.

Another focus of this year’s summer camp was literacy. As of All Camps Day, our campers had read over 2,700 books and counting!

Learn more about summer camp at Phipps Neighborhoods.

Literacy Connection Graduation

YALP Graduation

 

 

On June 25th, the spring class of Literacy Connection graduated 22 participants. Literacy Connection, a program operated in partnership with the New York Public Library, helps young adults attain literacy and numeracy skills, take steps toward acquiring a diploma, and improve their employment prospects. An intensive program of classroom instruction helps participants qualify for a High School Equivalency preparation program, while work-readiness training prepares them for future employment.

Below is a note from Shadelle Murray, a Literacy Connection graduate:

The day of my graduation was scary and amazing. Before graduation I had a lot of emotions running around in my head. I felt scared because I didn’t know if I had passed or not, happy because it was the end of semester, and anxious to find out if I had graduated. I was mainly happy because my parents came to the ceremony, and I could show them how I had pushed myself to greatness.

When I realized that I had passed, I felt relieved. My hard work had paid off! When my name was called all I could think was, “Yes, one step closer to my dream of being a wedding planner.”

My favorite part of the graduation ceremony was the video Mr. Dwight (Dwight Curwen, Supervisor of Young Adult Education) created for us with pictures I didn’t know he had taken and clips from the poetry jam. That was amazing.

Learn more about our Career Readiness programs.

Phipps Neighborhoods: Supporting a Rising Generation

SouthBronxRisingTogether_LogoThis article originally appeared on opportunitynation.org.

Too many children, youth, and families in the South Bronx are caught in a cycle of poverty—out of school, out of work and without the resources they need to establish long-term self-sufficiency. Many people live in neighborhoods where deep-rooted economic and educational challenges limit stability and growth – as the Opportunity Index results for the Bronx demonstrate.

Phipps Neighborhoods, a New York City social service organization, helps children, youth, and families in low-income communities rise above poverty. We work in South Bronx neighborhoods where we can address the greatest barriers to lasting success through education and career programs, and access to community resources. The risk factors that hold people in poverty—no access to support systems, barriers to education, and un- or underemployment—are intrinsically connected, so we’re dedicated to addressing not just one but all of them. We help whole communities fight poverty from all sides

Our collective impact initiative, South Bronx Rising Together, is a new community partnership to strengthen the cradle to college and career continuum so all of our young people reach their potential. Along with our partners in this initiative, we aim to knock down the barriers to educational and economic success through a series of programs beginning at birth and carrying through early adulthood. It is a great example of partners coming together, establishing shared goals and reviewing data frequently, with a vision of a better Index grade for the Bronx in the coming years.

Our shared vision is that: The South Bronx is a vibrant community of infinite opportunity where people aspire to live, work and raise families.

South Bronx Rising Together will work towards the following for all our kids:

  • All children are healthy
  • They enter kindergarten excited and ready to learn
  • Parents and members of the community contribute to youth success
  • Students succeed at every level and graduate from high school prepared for college
  • They graduate from college and start careers

Established in 1971, Phipps Neighborhoods has been dedicated to our neighborhoods for the long term – but we’re also a dynamic, data-driven organization that aims to achieve significant impact and work with residents to change the trajectory of the community. Today, a lot of that work is shaped around supporting the rising generation to reach their potential.

In response to the needs in our South Bronx community, where more than a third of 16-24 year olds are out of school and out of work, we have significantly expanded our work to reduce youth disconnection. In particular, we’ve launched a new partnership with a local community college and major academic medical center (which is the largest employer in the community) for a career exploration and placement program in the health care sector. Phipps Neighborhoods Career Network: Healthcare is a contextualized work readiness program that helps young adults build the skills necessary to acquire and retain employment in the healthcare field. Additionally, our Justice Corps program continues to positively impact the lives of the court-involved young adults it serves. Through meaningful community service, internships, and job and educational opportunities, NYC Justice Corps members gain practical skills, confidence, and leadership abilities.

By: Dianne Morales, Executive Director and CEO, and Elizabeth Clay Roy, Chief Strategy Officer, Phipps Neighborhoods

Pre-K is Coming to Roscoe Brown Apartments

prek blog picWe are happy to announce that Pre-K is coming to Roscoe Brown Apartments at 3968 Third Avenue in the Bronx this September – enroll your child today!

Early education and enrichment set the stage for academic achievement and social development. Pre-K provides children with learning opportunities and environments that put them on the path to future learning and growth. Our programs share the same goal: to partner with parents to provide well-rounded, child-centered, and experiential early learning.

Learn how Phipps Neighborhoods will help prepare your child for a successful transition to school.

2014-2015 Features:

-       Monday-Friday, 8:30 AM to 3:30 PM

-       Free to all NYC Families

-       Small class sizes

-       Extensive curriculum

-       Bi-lingual teachers

-       Two meals and a snack per day

Apply online today!
Enter Phipps Neighborhoods-Roscoe Brown in the Parent Choice section of the application.

 

Other Phipps Neighborhoods Pre-K Locations:

Lambert Houses
1005 East 179th Street
Bronx, NY 10460

Daly Avenue Apartments
921 East 180th Street
Bronx, NY 10460

For more information about Universal Pre-Kindergarten, please attend one of our open houses in July, August and September, or contact Candice Crawford at 646-388-8292 or ccrawford@phippsny.org.

Learn more about Early Childhood Education at Phipps Neighborhoods.

Summer Hours at Cornerstone at Soundview and Cornerstone at Sotomayor

deblasioImage courtesy of nyc.gov.

As part of Mayor Bill de Blasio’s plan to make New York City neighborhoods safer and reduce violent crime, the city is investing $16.5 million to expand key programs to help build stronger communities, including expanding summer hours at 107 community centers.

Two of the Phipps Neighborhoods community centers, Cornerstone at Soundview and Cornerstone at Sotomayor, will remain open until 11:00pm during the summer. Phipps Neighborhoods’ Cornerstone community centers serve youth, teens, young adults, adults and seniors through a variety of educational, recreational, and cultural activities and community events.

Summer hours: 8am-11pm Monday-Thursday, 8am-12:30am Friday, & 3pm-12:30am Saturday & Sunday.

Locations:
Soundview Houses
1680 Seward Avenue
Bronx, NY 10473

Sotomayor Houses Community Center
1000 Rosedale Avenue
Bronx, NY 10472

Find out more information on programs offered at these locations.

Summer Camp 2014: College Bound and Beyond

campIt’s that time of year again! Summer is officially here and it’s time for camp!

This year our summer camps will serve nearly 900 children (the most ever at Phipps Neighborhoods) with the theme of College Bound and Beyond. With a strong emphasis on age appropriate reading and literacy, our programs will begin the discussion of college education with young children, and older campers will explore various college campuses.  Independent reading, group discussions and writing opportunities will develop critical thinking skills and strengthen academic performance. We will also give children experiences that incorporate time management and project planning exercises, as well as leadership development.

Our summer camp programs will also incorporate project based learning, with campers choosing the subject matter and demonstrating their new understandings through a variety of projects or presentations about their chosen topic, developed in alignment with the Common Core.

These activities will all be integrated with traditional arts and recreation activities that help to define the summer camp experience.

Learn more about summer camp at Phipps Neighborhoods.

Celebrating our Career Network: Healthcare Graduates

cnh graduationOn Wednesday, June 25, Phipps Neighborhoods celebrated the first graduation of Career Network: Healthcare. The 19 graduates went through an 11-week exploration and training program with support from Montefiore Health System and Hostos Community College. Over the course of the program they attended training activities and interned at Montefiore.

Welcoming remarks by Gloria Kenny and a speech by Evelyn Fernandez-Ketchum were followed by an inspirational keynote address delivered by Dianne Morales, Executive Director and CEO of Phipps Neighborhoods. Graduates were then invited to walk across the stage and receive a certificate of achievement as program staff, instructors, friends and family applauded them for their accomplishments.

Two of the graduates delivered speeches, including Cassandra DeBurst, who talked about how challenging and rewarding the program was for her.

“Everyone in this class had a change for the better because we were willing to change, to learn and to grow,” Cassandra said in her speech. “A lot of us have children, and we all know we want them to have a better life than what we have experienced thus far. Others just knew the life you were living wasn’t getting you anywhere or anything you wanted or needed. I think we all needed a new challenge. And right now we have won this challenge and are now moving on to new, bigger, and better challenges.”

Thanks to our partners JP Morgan Chase, Montefiore Health System and Hostos Community College for their support in continuing to address poverty, high unemployment and low academic achievement in the South Bronx.

Finally, congratulations to the Career Network: Healthcare graduates. Their achievement and growth has impressed us all and we wish them the best of luck.

Are you a young adult interested in a career in healthcare? Learn more on how to become a part of Career Network: Healthcare today.

Announcing New Phipps Neighborhoods After-School Programs

after schoolMayor Bill de Blasio recently announced the expansion of after-school programs to 85 percent of middle schools in New York City. Phipps Neighborhoods was selected as one of the providers, and we will be starting two new after-school programs this fall at Accion Academy and PS/MS 4.

“Phipps Neighborhoods applauds Mayor de Blasio’s prioritization and expansion of middle school programs, while leveraging existing space and community partners,” said Dianne Morales, Executive Director and CEO of Phipps Neighborhoods. “After-school programs during this critical developmental stage support youth in exploring their identity and interests in a safe, nurturing environment, while promoting the skills necessary for success in school and life.”

Our after-school programs provide children and teens with a safe, structured environment where they can do homework, participate in activities that enrich learning, and enjoy a fun, social experience outside of school hours. Our programs supplement the school curriculum and encourage creativity, confidence, teamwork, and communication skills.

Learn more about after school programs at Phipps Neighborhoods.

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