Phipps Neighborhoods 2023 Annual Report

Phipps Neighborhoods’ 2023 Annual Report is now available! We are celebrating a year of progress, impact, and empowerment. With our focus on education, career success, and comprehensive resident services, we remain steadfast in our commitment to helping communities thrive. Thank you for supporting our work in 2023 and providing opportunities for Bronx families to succeed!
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Sign up for our 2021 Summer Virtual Job Fair!

This summer, you can give back to your community, make an impact in a young person’s life, and have fun while earning a paycheck! Phipps Neighborhoods is hiring over 90 Summer Group Leaders and Summer Trip Leaders to be responsible for elementary or middle school students enrolled in our Summer Rising/ Summer Camp program.

All positions will be filled through a Virtual Job Fair held on May 19th and May 20th through Zoom. To receive an invitation and link to the interview, please complete your application for Summer Group Leader or Summer Trip Leader as soon as possible. Apply now!

Dates for a second Virtual Career Fair will follow soon. Don’t miss out on a great Summer opportunity! If you do not have access to the technology required for a video conference interview, please contact our HR team and please indicate that on your application. Someone from the HR team will contact you.

Summer Group Leaders are responsible for working closely with a small group of elementary or middle school students, helping them grow academically and personally. Summer Group Leaders develop, implement, and participate in a range of activities geared towards decreasing summer learning loss, highlighting the power students have to impact their community and helping them learn more about the world and their place within it. Summer Group Leaders will act as a mentor and caretaker for young people.

Summer Trip Leaders assist Summer Group Leaders in escorting small groups of elementary or middle school students enrolled in our summer camp programs on trips and activities outside the main camp facility. These staff members assist in engaging students in a wide range of learning activities on trip days and help create a comfortable learning environment through clear and consistent age-appropriate expectations and rules for campers.


NYC is Ready to Hire Youth for 2021 Summer Jobs

Phipps Neighborhoods Summer Youth Employment Program is now recruiting for summer 2021! Youth ages 16-21 can apply now (and select Phipps Neighborhoods as your provider) and earn a paycheck while building the skills and experience for a brighter future! See the below flyer for further information about enrollment. Don’t miss your chance to get real workplace skills, build self-confidence, and much more!

Have a question? Email Luis Arstud or call him at (929) 215-4419 today!

Download (PDF, 105KB)

Hope: Still We Rise – Phipps Neighborhoods 2020 Annual Report

Phipps Neighborhoods Releases Fiscal Year ’20 Annual Report

2020 was a year of challenge and change for Phipps Neighborhoods. In our Annual Report, we spotlight how we adapted to better serve New Yorkers, the arrival and new vision of our Executive Director and CEO Andre White, and the hard work our staff and clients have accomplished to meet the moment. The pandemic amplified the economic and racial inequities in our city. Still, Phipps Neighborhoods continues to rise with hope and unwavering commitment to our community.

Read our 2020 Annual Report and find out how our programs adapted, the impact of our services, and how our work is evolving in 2021.




Statement of Solidarity from Phipps Leadership

To our residents, clients, employees, partners, and friends,

We have witnessed first-hand how Black and Brown communities in New York City have suffered disproportionately at the hands the COVID-19 pandemic.  And we are now bearing witness to the justifiable outrage over the killing of George Floyd – and many others – as our city, our nation, and the world has risen up in protest over the injustices that people of color have faced for centuries.  We share this outrage over the scourge of police brutality and stand united with those raising their voices for real engagement, at long last, on issues of bias and race, and the end of systemic racism in our country.

The frustration, pain, and sadness that we are seeing in the protests and in the conversations that are being had is real.  It is a raw emotional pain that comes from experiencing these injustices time and again, year after year, and having them diminished or dismissed without any hope of change.  If we are going to honor George Floyd and the countless others from the Black community who have lost their lives, we must have an open and honest dialogue about the realities of the world we live in, the work we do, and how we can all do our part to change in the pursuit of justice and equality.

Phipps Houses and Phipps Neighborhoods were founded on the principle that marginalized people and the communities they live in deserve better.  They deserve equal access to high-quality housing, jobs, education, and health care. We are all worthy of opportunity and security, not a life of constant fear, economic instability, discrimination, and getting by with less.  Our work is informed by these values, and we believe that our work has helped create stronger, more just communities.  And yet, if we’re really honest with ourselves, we have to admit we have a long way to go before we can truly say that we’re satisfied with where things are.

Merely saying these words aloud isn’t enough.  As we look inside ourselves to confront inherent bias and systemic racism, we are judged by our actions and by our deeds, as well as our words.  And so we ask ourselves: what more can we do to help create more equitable communities?  A more just society?  For certain, we don’t have all the answers, and know that Phipps alone cannot solve these problems.  But what is certain is that Phipps is up to the challenge, and willing to partner with you, with all our capacities, to help bring about change.


Andre, Adam, and the entire Phipps Family

Executive Director & CEO, Phipps Neighborhoods
Board Chairman, Phipps Neighborhoods
President and CEO, Phipps Houses


Statement: COVID-19 & Phipps Neighborhoods Programs

March 17, 2020

To: Our beloved community of resilient New Yorkers,

The health and well-being of our entire community, including each of you, is always at the forefront of our thinking, but especially now in the current COVID-19 environment. Our entire team is working daily to assess and reassess the situation on the ground and be responsive to ensure our communities’ needs are met to the maximal extent during this crisis, while also ensuring the health and well-being of our staff. We are writing to share important information about steps we are taking to meet the challenge of COVID-19.

The largest change is that our school and center-based services have been suspended at the direction of public health officials to reduce congregation of population and potential spread of the virus. We are adjusting plans for service delivery and will advise you how we will provide available services in new ways over the coming days and weeks. So please stay tuned to our social media and posts.

The following actions are effective immediately:

  • We are pausing in-person programming, including school and center-based programs. Individual Program Managers and staff will be contacting current clients with updates.
  • We are working to adjust and scale up virtual and remote methods for our community to connect and get support. If you have a question about how to access necessary service please email
  • Case management will happen by phone with all clients to replace in person meetings.
  • Our transitional shelter and supportive housing remain in operation.
  • Additional cleanings and sanitization measures are required at all sites in operation. Staff members on site are required to keep a safe social distance between all people on site.
  • Phipps Neighborhoods staff will be working remotely where possible, and staggering on-site work schedules where needed. We are deeply grateful to the members of our staff who are continuing to do their jobs on site to ensure the safety of residents and clients at our operational facilities.

If you have not already done so, please refer to the website for the latest guidance on how to protect yourself or respond if you think you are sick. If you need help getting medical care, call 311. For real-time local updates, text “COVID” to 692-692. Message and data rates may apply.

It is a challenge for an organization, that has at its core the mission of bringing people together to bring about positive change, to now encourage us to keep our distance. But that is where we are. We will continue to find ways to be nimble in supplying vital services remotely and virtually. We will continue to update you about how our Phipps Neighborhoods community is rising to this incredible challenge. If you are able, please consider supporting us as we work to meet the increasing needs of our most at-risk community members.

Personally, I wish you and your family health and togetherness (whether virtual or within your household) during this time. Take care of yourself and each other. We are taking drastic, difficult, measures today in order to protect each other and for that I am very proud of you, of Phipps’ staff, and of our City and State.

Bronx Made: Phipps Neighborhoods 2019 Annual Report

Phipps Neighborhoods’ 2019 Annual Report is out and ready for your review! Phipps Neighborhoods is Bronx Made. The success we see every day is a direct result of the students, young adults and families that we serve. Thank you for supporting our work in 2019 and providing the opportunities Bronx families need to succeed!

Find out more about our Bronx Made programs that are training youth for careers in Healthcare, preparing them for college enrollment, and to succeed in their lives. Here is just one person whose hard work we celebrated.

Shareem Lloyd, Career Network: Healthcare Pic Shareem Lloyd, right, pictured during a Career Network: Healthcare class.

Shareem Lloyd means business. She enrolled in our Career Network: Healthcare program in 2017, determined to secure a future in the medical field. Shareem completed our 13 weeks of job readiness training, including classes at Hostos Community College and an internship at Montefiore Health System, while balancing her time as mother of three daughters at home. In April 2018, she was hired by New York Presbyterian (NYP) as a Radiology Aide earning $19 an hour. This year, Shareem was promoted to become a Patient Assistant, earning $24 an hour. And she’s ready to achieve more.
“She quickly acclimated to a fast-paced job working with patients,” remembers Monique Daniels, Recruiter at NYP. “New in her role, she relied on her learnings from Phipps Neighborhoods.”

“I’m planning on starting nursing school this January,” said Shareem. “More reasons to smile and dream bigger.”

Explore more about Phipps Neighborhoods in our 2019 Annual Report!


Building Stability and Creating Vision at the 2019 Phipps Community Builder Awards – Video

Check out our latest video from the 2019 Phipps Community Builder Awards.

Watch our newest video and find out about just one of Phipps Neighborhoods programs, Lee Goodwin Residence which supports formerly homeless foster youth as they find stability and success in their lives. Phipps Houses shares their vision for their new Far Rockaway Village project, offering 1,700 units of affordable housing and 100,000 square feet of commercial space.

Santander’s Scott E. Powell, Housing Industry Leaders Raise $1.7 Million for Critical Services



Annual event provides meaningful support to
College Access, South Bronx programs.

June 2019 (New York, NY) – Guests of Phipps Houses and Phipps Neighborhoods raised over $1.7 million at the Phipps Community Builder Awards Dinner held on May 29th, 2019. This year’s annual fundraising gala honored Scott E. Powell, Chief Executive Officer of Santander US and Santander Consumer USA, and Hirschen Singer & Epstein LLP for their leadership and commitment to community building in low-income neighborhoods. All proceeds from the event benefit Phipps Neighborhoods’ programs which provide quality education, career readiness training and connections to critical resources to communities in the South Bronx.

The 2019 Community Builder Awards were presented to Scott E. Powell and the law firm of Hirschen Singer and Epstein LLP.  Mr. Powell’s award underscores his leadership of Santander US, his bank’s commitment to greater involvement in low-income communities, and for his continued guidance as a member of Phipps Houses Board of Trustees. Hirschen Singer & Epstein LLP’s recognition as a Phipps Community Builder stems from the firm’s commitment for over 50 years as a mission-driven real estate law firm, including substantial work with Phipps Houses.

“I’m delighted to be honored and to be recognized personally and on behalf of Santander,” said Scott E. Powell. “When you look at the track record of Phipps, it’s really very impressive.

Phipps Houses affordable housing is one part of the puzzle to combat poverty, but providing Phipps Neighborhoods’ programs and services really allows people the opportunity to succeed.”

“Hirschen Singer & Epstein is proud to be a part of Phipps’ creation of affordable housing and the New York City skyline. The breadth and scope of projects that our teams have completed over the past 50 years are a testament to our successful partnership,” said Oliver Chase and Russ Kivler, Partners at Hirschen Singer & Epstein LLP.

“We are thrilled to recognize our friends Scott Powell and Hirschen Singer & Epstein for their contributions to affordable housing and communities we serve,” said Phipps Houses President and CEO Adam Weinstein. “Both are leaders in their respective fields and have given back generously to help individuals and community rise out of poverty and thrive.”

“Scott Powell and Santander have continued to provide meaningful support to our College Access and youth programming,” said Dianne Morales, Executive Director and CEO of Phipps Neighborhoods. “Creating exposure to, and demystifying, the college access and application process is critical to creating meaningful change in the lives of our young people.”


Phipps Houses is the nation’s oldest and largest not-for-profit developer and long-term operator of affordable housing in New York City. It builds and maintains high-quality developments throughout New York City, with a concentration on neighborhoods that have not seen their fair share of investment and opportunity. Phipps Houses and its affiliates currently oversee over 8,500 affordable apartments with another 6,400 units in our construction and development pipeline.


Phipps Neighborhoods is a nonprofit that works toward a New York City in which no one is caught in the cycle of poverty. We provide 12,000 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.

For more information, visit


MEDIA CONTACT: Thomas Brande
(646) 388-8231


In Grateful Appreciation to Our Sponsors

The 2019 Phipps Community Builder Awards Dinner is a celebration of the leadership and contributions of whose who help strengthen communities in New York City. The generous sponsors listed here are building a city where no family is caught in the cycle of poverty.

Join our proud sponsors. Secure your table and tickets or make a contribution today.

Proceeds from this event provide meaningful support to help grow, innovate, and sustain the service and programs of Phipps Neighborhoods.

Below is a list of our Community Builder Sponsors
In Formation as of 05.17.19

Century Builder



Capstone Benefactor


Keystone Benefactor

Bank of America
Citi Community Capital
City Center Real Estate, Inc.
Boris and Natalie Gutin
JPMorgan Chase & Co.
Kramer Levin Naftalis & Frankel LLP
Heidi and Scott E. Powell

Cornerstone Benefactor

Atlantic Development Group LLC
Dattner Architects with Rodney D. Gibble Consulting Engineers,
Skyline Engineering and Starr Whitehouse Landscape Architects
Joy Construction Corp.
Ronay and Richard Menschel
Montefiore Health System
Rosenberg & Estis, P.C.

Foundation Benefactor

AKRF, Inc.
The Arker Companies
Azimuth Development Group LLC
Bruno Frustaci Contracting
Canido Basonas Construction Services, LLC
Clifton Budd & DeMaria, LLP
George Comfort & Sons, Inc.
First Data
Hines Interests Limited Partnership
Holland & Knight LLP
Jason Boroff & Associates PLLC
Koeppel Rosen
KONE, Inc.
Korn Ferry
Manhattan Parking Group
Marvel Architects
MHG Architects, PC
Oliver Wyman
PMI Family Limited Partnership
Santander Bank
Sherman & Gordon, P.C.
Sidley Austin LLP
Visa, Inc.

Phipps Neighborhoods 2018 Annual Report – Connections Make the Community

This year’s Annual Report highlights the connections that are at the foundation of our work and community. Phipps Neighborhoods understands that our clients and their families can best rise above poverty when they access high-quality education, networks of career services, and community resource support. It’s rare that only one hurdle blocks a person from success. By strengthening the ties and relationships between our programs, other organizations, and our clients in the neighborhood, we can strengthen our work while create lasting change alongside our community.

Review Phipps Neighborhoods 2018 Annual Report and see how our College Access, Financial Services, and other initiatives are integrating and building stronger bonds to amplify our impact!

Download (PDF, 3.98MB)

Phipps Neighborhoods 2017 Annual Report

phipps logo

In 2017, we celebrated the 45th anniversary of our commitment to combating poverty in the South Bronx. We celebrated our past, while looking towards our future and that of the Bronx. Our Executive Director and CEO Dianne Morales had this to say:

“Since 1972, our team has grown, our program and methods have matured with experience, but our mission has never wavered. I am fortunate enough to say after accomplishing so much in 2017 and over the past half-century, Phipps Neighborhoods’ staff continue to draw on our collective knowledge to find new, innovate ways to serve our community”

Find out more about our work and impact in our 2016-2017 Annual Report below!

 Annual Report 2017

Download (PDF, 5.93MB)

 Annual Report 2017

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 dedicated to our neighborhoods for the long term,supporting individuals and families as they establish self-sufficiency. Our services create opportunities for people to thrive in every aspect of their lives.Our comprehensive network of programs serves nearly 12,000 children, teens and adults each year in targeted communities.These programs include:early childhood education,after-school,summer camp,literacy and English for speakers of other languages, pre-highschool equivalency,college prep,career readiness, resident support, financial counseling and adult/family programs.

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.

 Annual Report 2017

2017 NYC Election Panels, Debates

November 7th is nearly here and we don’t want you to miss any of the upcoming debates in New York City. Who’s running, what do they stand for, and who should you vote for? Watch the debates listed below and find out!

Not sure where you should vote on November 7th in NYC? Find out here!

Event Name Location Date Time
General Election: Mayor First Debate NY1, NY1 Noticias (Spanish) @ Symphony Space 10-Oct-17 7:00PM
General Election: Public Advocate First Debate NY1, NY1 Noticias (Spanish) @ The Greene Space 16-Oct-17 7:00PM
General Election: Comptroller First Debate NY1, NY1 Noticias (Spanish) @ The Greene Space 17-Oct-17 7:00PM
Constitutional Convention Forum Cardinal Spellman Community Center, 137 E. 2nd Street, New York, NY 10009 18-Oct-17 6:30-8:00pm
Leading Contenders Debate (Public Advocate) WLNY-TV 10/55 (Spanish) WCBS @ CBS Studio 21-Oct-17 9:00AM
Leading Contenders Debate (Comptroller) WLNY-TV 10/55 (Spanish) WCBS @ CBS Studio 22-Oct-17 8:00AM
Leading Contenders Debate (Mayor) WLNY-TV 10/55 (Spanish) WCBS @ CUNY Graduate Center Studio 1-Nov-17 7:00PM

Phipps Neighborhoods Celebrates Phippstoberfest!


Phippstoberfest-flyerThroughout 2017, Phipps Neighborhoods celebrated its 45th Anniversary with a year’s worth of events. They were designed to underscore our organization’s long standing commitment to low income families and show the impact of our work through the decades. On Tuesday, September 12, 2017, Phipps Neighborhoods presented PhippsToberfest; an Oktoberfest-theme party to continue this year-long celebration.

Sponsors and supporters of Phipps Neighborhoods gathered at Hofbräu Bierhaus NYC on 3rd Avenue. Guest enjoyed live band, beer, Bavarian pretzels, and a photo booth all while raising funds for our programs in New York City.

Visit our Facebook page to view amazing memorable photos from this event.

Thank you to our sponsors Santander, Ackman ǀ Ziff, MEGA Contracting Group, Chicago Title Insurance Co, School Professionals, a division of the TemPositions Group of Companies and everyone who made this night such a fantastic success. Your support allows us to empower New Yorkers to rise above poverty!


Broadway In The Bronx Comes To PN’s All Camps Day

Phipps Neighborhoods Summer Camp 2017

Each summer, we provides Summer Learning Camp programming to over 1,000 students providing them with opportunities to read, learn about the wider world, and have fun. As this year’s Phipps Neighborhoods Summer Camp came to an end, students from 10 camp sites came together to showcase their experiences of what they learned throughout the summer. The theme of our 2017 summer camp was “Broadway in the Bronx,” meaning each site chose a Broadway show to learn about through theater, dance, script writing, and art. After watching and exploring each musical’s material, students collaborated to adapt the show to their lives and perform it at All Camps Day.

On August 10th and 17th, elementary and middle school campers gathered at Phipps Neighborhoods’ Justice Sotomayor Community Center. With hundreds of students in attendance, groups rotated between educational games like ‘Human Scrabble,’ acting activities, and arts & crafts. The Sotomayor Community Drum Line and a photo booth also gave campers exciting moments to remember the day by.

All Camps Day concluded with performances by each of the Campsites. Campers danced, sang, rapped, and acted out their adapted scenes from musicals such as Aladdin, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, and West Side Story. You can find photos from the day’s events on our Facebook page. Congratulations to our campers on your performances and summer of hard work.

See you all next summer!

Annual Builder Awards Dinner a Success

Phipps Gala 2017

Ronay Menschel, Awardees Carl Weisbrod and Peter S. Duncan, Dianne Morales, and Adam Weinstein at the Phipps Community Builder Awards Dinner 2017

On Thursday June 15th, 2017, the “Phipps Community Builder Award Dinner” was held at Ciprani 42nd street. Over 400 guests attended to help us celebrate two honorees, Peter S. Duncan and Carl Weisbrod for their commitment to New York communities and to Phipps Neighborhoods.

The event was a landmark success, raising over a million dollars that would benefit Phipps Neighborhoods programs. The evening stated the great importance of career readiness, academic achievement, and resources we provide helping others to rise above poverty in the South Bronx. Bloomberg Philanthropies helped us create a video highlighting Phipps Houses ongoing revitalization of Lambert Houses and Phipps Neighborhoods’ 45 years of commitment to the West Farms community.

Thank you to our table sponsors and guests for supporting our work to provide integrated and strategic services to empower our community.

You can view the 2017 Phipps Community Builder Awards Dinner Video here and additional photos from the event on Phipps Neighborhoods’ Facebook page.



Join us for the 2017 Phipps Community Builder Awards Dinner

2017 Phipps Community Builder Awards Dinner INVITATION FINAL

Table sponsors and guests support our work to provide integrated, strategic services to empower our community.
Reserve your table today!

2017 Phipps Community Builder Awards Photo Collage_2016

2017 Phipps Community Builder Awards Dinner INVITATION FINALINVITATION page 2-

Table sponsors and guests support our work to provide integrated, strategic
services to empower our community.
Reserve your table today!
Unable to attend the Phipps Community Builder Awards?
Support our mission by making a donation!

FEC Helps Woman Get From In-Debt to Debt-Free with ‘Outstanding’ FICO Score

Although Samantha De La Rosa is just 21, she has already experienced some of the financial problems so many adults struggle with. When she walked into Financial Empowerment Center at 3125 3rd Ave in the Bronx, Samantha had no available credit, bad credit, and no credit score. Additionally, she owed $522 to a cell phone company with her account in collections.

But Samantha was determined to get her finances in order so she could move forward in life. Here at Phipps Neighborhoods’ Financial Empowerment Center (FEC) we help clients take control of their debt while building credit, open bank accounts, and much more. Samantha came to the right place!

Here at Phipps Neighborhoods’ Financial Empowerment Center (FEC) we help clients take control of their debt while building credit, open bank accounts, and much more.

We started by setting her up with a credit building loan from Spring Bank. We also worked with the collection company to remove the debt. As it turned out, they could not prove the debt belonged to Samantha.

With Spring Bank’s Credit Building Loans, clients build savings and credit at the same time. The loan is securely deposited in the client’s savings account. The balance is frozen until the client pays off the loan. Each time a payment is made, it is reported to the credit bureaus to quickly build credit or improve an existing credit score.Phipps Neighborhoods FEC Financial Empowerment Center

Today Samantha has an outstanding FICO Score of 680. Her Credit Builder Loan was for $1,000 and she has already paid off half. Samantha’s cell phone bill was dismissed, saving her a big $522 plus she no longer gets collection calls or letters.

Samantha is typical of the improvement clients see after working with Phipps Neighborhoods’ FEC. If you have financial problems and poor or no credit, we can help you achieve the financial success you want.

If you or someone you know is interested in scheduling an appointment or finding out more information about Phipps Neighborhoods’ FECs, contact:

Phipps Neighborhoods Opportunity Center in Melrose
3125 Third Avenue
Bronx, NY 10451

Phipps Neighborhoods Center at 178th Street
1030 East 178th Street
Bronx, NY 10460


NYU Journal Publishes PN Student Essay

We are proud to announce that Natasha Torres, a student in our NDA Adult Literacy program, was selected to have her essay, ‘Myself’, featured in ‘NYU’s Literacy Review‘ for 2017. The Literacy Review gathered over 400 submissions from adult literacy programs throughout New York City and chose 77 pieces to print. Natasha will be one of 22 readers who will be presenting her submission at the annual launch party on May 11th, 2017. Here is her essay. 


by Natasha Torres

Have you ever seen that girl who sits in front of the classroom and always raises her hand even before the teacher can finish the question? Phipps Neighborhoods YALP Student, Natasha Torres Picture,It almost seems as if that student and teacher are on the same page and have the same understanding of the educational material. Well, unfortunately that was never my style. I was the student who was discouraged by the surroundings and environment since it did absolutely nothing to motivate me. It only made me slack off. Some say we are a product of our environment. I feel that is true in most cases, but it is possible to raise above certain conditions and that has become my goal for the future.

I have thought out my time in high school, and there were many occasions when I did not understand the class work or the reason it was being given to me. I was too shy to raise my hand and ask for help when I needed it because I didn’t want to feel inferior and feared I would be judged. I now realize that my behavior was not wise since everyone at some point in their life needs a helping hand.

The past years in high school, I spent wasting time, cutting classes, and hanging out with the wrong people, people who I once called friends. In short, I gave into peer pressure by taking the easy way out, and sought their approval, never taking class or my education seriously. I feel like I never paid mind to my homework, books, or assignments. As a result, I feel like I have nothing to show for the past years in high school.

“I realize time waits for nobody, and I should be focusing my efforts on improving myself and becoming someone who my family and I can be proud of…”

I can honestly say that is not what I want for my future. I realize time waits for nobody, and I should be focusing my efforts on improving myself and becoming someone who my family and I can be proud of so I can be an example for my younger siblings. I realize when someone works hard to get what they want there will be times there are bumps in the road and obstacles to overcome. During these times, many people will want to give up or take the easy way out as  I have done in the past. That is why its important to keep my eyes on the prize, literally. I know that I have not lived up to my potential, but to do that I need to do better, create my goals, and have a sense of accomplishment as I make progress. I know that I need a solid foundation in order to grow and meet the challenges ahead. I am proud of myself for getting this far.

Natasha Torres, age 24, was born and raised in Bronx, New York. She is a student at Phipps Neighborhoods. Gale Shangold Honts, her teacher in Phipps Neighborhoods’ NDA Adult Literacy program, inspired her to “become better and successful in achieving my goals”.

Upcoming Volunteer Opportunities with Phipps Neighborhoods

Phipps Neighborhoods staff offers a wide range of programming, resources, and skills to our over 10,000 clients each year. While our team is able to provide much, our neighbors can often benefit from the talent, time, and assistance of volunteers. Below, you will find a living list of upcoming volunteer opportunities that you can participate in. Not sure if you can make it to one of these events but want to volunteer in the future? Then sign up for our Volunteer Mailing List and get the most up-to-date info straight to your inbox! Have questions about an event? Email Thomas Brande at



Upcoming Volunteer Opportunities with Phipps Neighborhoods

  • Saturday, March 25, 2017 – Career Day/ Job Fair –  12:00pm – 4:00pm at the Sotomayor Community Center located at 1000 Rosedale Avenue. RSVP here.
  • Saturday, June 24, 2017 – Family Day –  12:00pm – 3:00pm at 173rd St and Fulton Avenue in the park.
  • Thursday, August 24, 2017 – All Camps Day -Time, TBD at Wings Academy, 1122 East 180 Street Bronx, NY 10460

New Strategies to Recruit Students, ‘Emerging Leaders’

It’s one thing to create an after-school program and another to continuously strive to improve it. Phipps Neighborhoods’ collaborates with dozens of public schools in the Bronx to provide their students with high quality after-school programming. While attendance was never a problem, our program leaders knew they could do better. Thanks to the effort of our staff, Phipps Neighborhoods now has a new recruitment strategy to reach new clients.

“Staff recognized the need to change the culture but we had to put our heads together to do that,” said Michael Gianakos, Director of Special Projects at Phipps Neighborhoods. “It started with a simple thought about shared value. If we truly feel our program service has significant value, then why are we handing out flyers to everyone who walks by, begging them to take advantage? That recruitment strategy presents the program as ordinary and conventional. The program should be shown for what it really is; a unique and exclusive opportunity.”


Through this line of thought, the Emerging Leaders program was created in 2014. Gianakos noted, “The entire formula needed to change. It was more than changing the name on a label. We needed a culture shift amongst our scholars that encourages them to value their program because we value them from the first day they are recruited.”

Immediately staff noticed an increased sense of pride among the students and, of course, higher enrollment and more consistent attendance. But the benefits of this new strategy didn’t stop there.

In 2015, Phipps Neighborhoods received a DYCD NDA contract to provide academic assistance to failing students. The program’s Counselor Advocates, Nicole Rodriguez and Jillian Rice, had to recruit 55 young people who were endangered of being under credited by senior year. The NDA program presented the opportune time to utilize the more personal recruitment strategy.

Instead of tabling and handing flyers out, Phipps Neighborhoods’ staff met with teachers and counselors to learn about every student. From there, each potential Emerging Leader was issued a personalized letter congratulating them on their nomination, hand delivered. Parents were called and congratulated as well. The strategy paid off as the program was over-enrolled on day one.

In addition to meeting its enrollment targets and outcomes, the program achieved something it hadn’t even planned for. In 2016, Phipps Neighborhoods administered a social and emotional survey for several of our programs as part of partnership with the Student Success Network. The baseline survey showed that the students in the NDA program felt a greater sense of belonging and were more optimistic about their academic capacity than their peers.

PN After-school Student positive feelings, emerging leaders chart_03.07.17

“Phipps staff felt encouraged after seeing the high percent positive score in the belonging competency at Site 1 and Site 6, where they had implemented the recruitment strategy for their emerging leaders program.”

“It was surprising when we saw the data. At first we thought it was a glitch. Every program scored around 45%, but the NDA program scored above 75% in positive responses. It proved to us that this idea of shared value does a lot more than help recruitment. Nicole and Jillian have taken the model to the next level. These young people are not only making academic gains, but also moving forward in life with a greater sense confidence and self-worth which is critical to their academic career and just life in general.”

To spread their success, Nicole and Jillian’s strategies will be replicated across our future student intervention programs. This is just one way that Phipps Neighborhoods is continuing to finding new, more effective ways that increase our impact and serve the children, youth, and families in our communities.

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


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.


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.

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, 3.33MB)

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


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


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!


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


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

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

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

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,

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

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



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, 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 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

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

Learn more about Early Childhood Education at Phipps Neighborhoods.

Summer Hours at Cornerstone at Soundview and Cornerstone at Sotomayor

deblasioImage courtesy of

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.

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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