New York City Mission Society’s Minisink Townhouse Presents “Jazz Up Your Health” Harlem Family Health Fair
New York (September 25, 2013) – New York City Mission Society, a multi-service community based organization that takes a comprehensive approach to helping New York City’s children, youth, and families break the cycle of poverty, is excited to announce its Harlem Family Health Fair. The two day health fair, themed Jazz Up Your Health, is in honor of legendary jazz trumpeter Donald Byrd and Harlem basketball champion Tyrone “Alimoe” Evans, who both lost their lives struggling with diabetes. The fair will kick off with the Alimoe basketball classic tribute on Friday, October 4 from 4:00-8:00PM at the Minisink Townhouse, 646 Malcolm X Boulevard and will continue on Saturday, October 5 from 10:00AM-5:00PM with a tribute jazz concert to legendary jazz trumpeter Donald Byrd starting at 2:00PM.
The Jazz Up Your Health–Harlem Family Health Fair will provide the Harlem community with much needed health resources including glucose, hypertension, HIV, and other medical screenings; fitness and nutrition demonstrations; as well as musical performances by jazz pianist Alex Bugnon, Onaje Allan Gumbs, Jimmy Owens, Dr. Larry Ridley, Antoinette Montegue, Charisa, the Violin Diva, Ebony JoAnn, Omar Conry, and Impact Repertory Theatre.
Since its inception in 2003, New York City Mission Society’s Harlem Family Health Fair, has become a staple event in the Central Harlem community, serving as a way to connect members of the community with the available health related services, programs and providers in the surrounding neighborhoods.
New York City Mission Society (NYCMS) offers a multitude of out of school programs in some of New York City’s most underserved communities. These programs are dedicated to providing children and youth opportunities to becoming their best selves. These programs include SYEP, Power Academy, Teen Action, Power Academy Summer Camp, Club Real Deal and more. In 1999, Allan Cepeda and his parents realized the opportunity for success which these programs offered and decided to take advantage of them. Now a college graduate, Allan speaks to NYCMS about his experience.
When asked, Allan reflects back to his time spent in the Summer Youth Employment Program (SYEP) as his most memorable experience with NYCMS. Through SYEP, Allan had an opportunity to work in the administrative office at NYCMS. Though he was only 14 years old at the time he still remembers his two mentors, Chief Financial Officer, Sharada Singh and current Interim Executive Director, Mara Orengo. “These women have seen me grow up into the man I am today. It is crazy to say this, but they have now known me for half my life. I don’t know where I would be without those two.” Working with these two amazing women taught Allan how to prepare and be ready to tackle any assignment and problems that may arise in his life.
Allan participated in NYCMS Career Readiness and Education Workshop (CREW), an afterschool program that helped him during his high school years. Coupled with his experience in SYEP, Allan learned the importance of academic readiness and that success with preparation was attainable. Although he did not graduate high school with the highest of honors, Allan was still able to look forward with determination. “Honestly, I knew how many people were rooting for me, and they let me know that I had a clean slate after graduating high school with a 69 average. They still believed in me and gave me a second chance to achieve my dreams.” According to him, its been 10 years, and he has both a Bachelor’s in International Business from St. Peter’s College and a Masters in Sport Management from Barry University.
Through his perseverance Allan took advantage of many of the other opportunities that were available to him through NYCMS. In 2005, Allan received the NYCMS College Financial Assistance Award. The award came at a crucial time for him and his family as it was his freshman year in college and his family like many families in the community, were in a financial bind and the prospect of the added expense of college fees were daunting.
The opportunities given to Cepeda through NYCMS from the programs to the College Financial Assistance Awards were extremely critical for his current success. NYCMS has helped Allan graduate with both a bachelor’s and master’s degree and now he will be following his dreams with immediate plans to start an internship at Roger Dean Stadium, broadcasting the St. Louis Cardinals and Miami Marlins Minor League Games. When asked what would he tell himself if he went back in time 10 years ago? He said that his advice to himself would be “be more patient, plan a little better.”