This article originally appeared on opportunitynation.org.
Too many children, youth, and families in the South Bronx are caught in a cycle of poverty—out of school, out of work and without the resources they need to establish long-term self-sufficiency. Many people live in neighborhoods where deep-rooted economic and educational challenges limit stability and growth – as the Opportunity Index results for the Bronx demonstrate.
Phipps Neighborhoods, a New York City social service organization, helps children, youth, and families in low-income communities rise above poverty. We work in South Bronx neighborhoods where we can address the greatest barriers to lasting success through education and career programs, and access to community resources. The risk factors that hold people in poverty—no access to support systems, barriers to education, and un- or underemployment—are intrinsically connected, so we’re dedicated to addressing not just one but all of them. We help whole communities fight poverty from all sides
Our collective impact initiative, South Bronx Rising Together, is a new community partnership to strengthen the cradle to college and career continuum so all of our young people reach their potential. Along with our partners in this initiative, we aim to knock down the barriers to educational and economic success through a series of programs beginning at birth and carrying through early adulthood. It is a great example of partners coming together, establishing shared goals and reviewing data frequently, with a vision of a better Index grade for the Bronx in the coming years.
Our shared vision is that: The South Bronx is a vibrant community of infinite opportunity where people aspire to live, work and raise families.
South Bronx Rising Together will work towards the following for all our kids:
- All children are healthy
- They enter kindergarten excited and ready to learn
- Parents and members of the community contribute to youth success
- Students succeed at every level and graduate from high school prepared for college
- They graduate from college and start careers
Established in 1971, Phipps Neighborhoods has been dedicated to our neighborhoods for the long term – but we’re also a dynamic, data-driven organization that aims to achieve significant impact and work with residents to change the trajectory of the community. Today, a lot of that work is shaped around supporting the rising generation to reach their potential.
In response to the needs in our South Bronx community, where more than a third of 16-24 year olds are out of school and out of work, we have significantly expanded our work to reduce youth disconnection. In particular, we’ve launched a new partnership with a local community college and major academic medical center (which is the largest employer in the community) for a career exploration and placement program in the health care sector. Phipps Neighborhoods Career Network: Healthcare is a contextualized work readiness program that helps young adults build the skills necessary to acquire and retain employment in the healthcare field. Additionally, our Justice Corps program continues to positively impact the lives of the court-involved young adults it serves. Through meaningful community service, internships, and job and educational opportunities, NYC Justice Corps members gain practical skills, confidence, and leadership abilities.
By: Dianne Morales, Executive Director and CEO, and Elizabeth Clay Roy, Chief Strategy Officer, Phipps Neighborhoods