The New York City Mission Society’s ability to evolve while staying true to our mission sustains our centuries-long legacy of service. While education has always been our cornerstone, we recently yielded some exciting results from our investment in education as the key to breaking the cycle of poverty.
Our Power Academy students explore the engineering-design process with fun challenges, such as, “build a suspension bridge that can hold the weight of 10 pennies.” In addition to strengthening STEM skills, these projects cultivate teamwork, critical inquiry, and a lifelong love of learning. Younger students build literacy skills by creating and performing their own plays, based on the study of folktales from around the world.
Our Learning to Work program focuses on increasing college access and college success for young people earning degrees at transfer high schools. Students visit college campuses, and participate in comprehensive financial aid workshops that prepare them to apply to, attend, and graduate from college with a degree that can change their lives. Recently, all LTW program sites toured the campuses of SUNY Binghamton and SUNY Broome, and upcoming tours include Lincoln University and Stockton University. February’s first annual Alumni Dinner brought together LTW’s most recent graduates to discuss their first year of college, cultivate peer support networks, and celebrate accomplishments. At the dinner, 50 alumni received scholarships for books.
And in our GRIOT program, middle-school students not only learn to read music, engineer an instrument, and perform in an ensemble, but they produce their own songs using digital-music software. And just this week they visited a studio to record their music! This program – a partnership with the Afro-Latin Jazz Alliance – has been generating significant media attention, and I invite you to watch the NBC and PIX 11 segments so you can see how our students are thriving.
These three programs speak volumes about the Mission Society’s commitment to education to change the lives of the children, youth, and families we serve. I invite you to read our latest Annual Report, which further details how our program participants are succeeding in school, in the workplace, and in their lives.
This April 5, we will celebrate these achievements at our annual Champions for Children Gala in Manhattan. Chaired by staunch Mission Society supporters Jean Shafiroff and Katrina Peebles, this event will recognize the achievements of legendary actress, singer and humanitarian Diahann Carroll and entrepreneur, real estate developer, and author Don Peebles, as well as honor lifetime members of our Board of Directors Dina Merrill Hartley, Lloyd W. Brown, II, and LTC Francis W. Kairson, Jr.
Rest assured that while our programmatic portfolio may appear more streamlined, we actually are opening up more horizons than ever before by empowering our young people with academic knowledge and the deeper knowledge of the many ways that they can achieve their dreams,
True change takes time and commitment. As always, we will continue to make a difference with the support of friends like you.
Elsie McCabe Thompson