Field Notes

Grantee Partner:

September 10, 2019:  Attended a "sneak peak" breakfast unveiling the main design themes of CMOM's new home on Central Park West in the former Christian Science Church edifice.  When the new site opens in a few years, CMOM will finally have a permanent physical space that fully accommodates its far-reaching vision of what a children's museum should be.  

Grantee Partner:

September 3, 2019:  Just received this photo from our friends at Adaptive.  The rutted obstacle course is gone, soon to be replaced with a properly graded and paved road.  The Meringoff Foundation was proud to provide seed funding for this project, which will make it a whole lot easier for Adaptive’s participants and volunteers to drive up the hill to the base lodge!

Grantee Partner:

August 25, 2019:  Curtain call for Summer Finale Showcase, an artistically adventurous program performed flawlessly by MOVE’s Young Professionals.

Grantee Partner:

August 14, 2019: Read’s high school summer reading tutors enjoyed an extra week on the job with the newly instituted Youth Summit, made possible in part through support from the Meringoff Foundation.  The Summit, focusing entirely on the tutors and not their first and second grade literacy tutees, primarily addressed the college search process.  In the above panel, college administrators Marcia Cantarella and Brigid Young, and program alums Ayanna and Trevor discussed the importance of building and maintaining personal relationships to expand educational and career opportunities.

Grantee Partner:

August 13, 2019: PENCIL summer intern / rising college freshman Wei speaking at the culminating event for interns and their employers.  Wei won a $2,500 scholarship for his beautifully observed essay describing his workplace experiences this summer.  A particularly impressive achievement, given that Wei came to this this country five years ago without knowing a word of English.  The Meringoff Foundation underwrote the $6,000 in scholarships awarded to the four top essay writers in this annual summer competition.

Grantee Partner:

August 13, 2019:  Justin Prescott, who recently appeared in the Broadway production of “Kiss Me Kate”, is one of several dance professionals who serve as adjunct faculty at MOVE’s Summer Intensive.  We were amazed at how in about 10 minutes, his students mastered the steps of a complex piece introduced at the start of class.

Grantee Partner:

August 13, 2019 At Breakthrough’s first-ever College Application Boot Camp, Kirsten, Elijah, and Emmanuel, all rising seniors at Brooklyn Latin High School, work on winnowing their lists of colleges to explore.  To paraphrase Kirsten, “it’s not so much that we’re learning new stuff, because Breakthrough has already taught it to us, but Boot Camp gives us the time and space to actually apply what we’ve learned.”  (Note: two of the above students are identical twins!)

Grantee Partner:

August 8, 2019: Our favorite set in AileyCamp’s culminating performance – African Dance.  Though the spoken word component was a close second!

Grantee Partner:

August 8, 2019:  Got to be a fly on the wall at the first planning meeting of the WHEELS Alumni Council.  Recent college grads Amrika, Chesnivel, Caroline, and Karla are launching their nonprofit careers, yet they all want to give back to the high school that queued them up for success.   An inspiring and impressive group!

Grantee Partner:

August 8, 2019:  Spent a great afternoon at RTB, both on shore and on the Bronx River.  At the start of our visit, we met Angie, who despite having joined the program a mere three months ago, has already broken the RTB speed record for tying the five basic knots that all apprentice sailors must master.  Way to go!

Grantee Partner:

August 7, 2019:  It was a real treat to meet Sabrina, Savannah, and Xiurong at Deloitte, where they are summer tech interns; they received their placements through PENCIL.  This trio of rising college freshmen will respectively be off to Tufts, NYU, and Rochester in the fall.  It was terrific to hear about their individual takeaways from their internship experiences, and to meet their staff supervisors, who raved about their job performance.

Grantee Partner:

August 5, 2019:  Nigel and Rosie (seated at head of table), aged-out foster care youth and members of CASA’s Youth Leadership Council, met with a group of child welfare case workers from Lutheran Social Services to discuss their personal experiences in the foster care system.  The pair, who both overcame daunting obstacles, were eloquent advocates for “trauma-informed” care.  The Meringoff Foundation supports the Youth Leadership Council’s vital outreach work.

Grantee Partner:

August 1, 2019:  “Professor Post” dispenses his transit trivia knowledge as guest lecturer at a TKU summer session on game design. 

Grantee Partner:

August 1, 2019:  Attended a fascinating lecture on the evolving role of community colleges, where (L-R) California Chancellor of Community Colleges Eloy Ortiz Oakley and CUNY Chancellor Felix Matos Rodriguez discussed the link from community college coursework to workplace mobility.  This panel was moderated by Jonathan Bowles from Center for an Urban Future.     

Grantee Partner:

July 31, 2019:  At Epic Next, Executive Director Ron Russell helps student writers/actors block out their newly created play on bullying.  Each summer, Epic Nexters produce two or three issue-oriented plays based on their original research and in-person interviews with affiliated stakeholders.  These plays then tour the region, generating discussion after public performances for educators, students, and community leaders.

Grantee Partner:

July 31, 2019:  At HEAF’s inaugural summer camp in Brooklyn – supported by MFF – even the academic classes are fun.  Note the geometry in the above photo!

Grantee Partner:

July 25, 2019:  We were thrilled to be the only YWCA outsiders invited to the youth-planned dinner launching the YW LEAD Alumni Council.  Very exciting to see how this college access / leadership development program has grown over the last five years.  And so proud that Meringoff has been there since the very beginning!

Grantee Partner:

July 25, 2019:  Over the course of the summer, LO’s rising 10th graders participate in four week-long mini internships that expose them to various aspects of careers in law.  For the culmination of her week at Seyfarth Shaw, Mary Jade presents her arguments in a labor dispute mock trail before a panel of three “judges”, a.k.a. Seyfarth partners.

Grantee Partner:

July 25, 2019:   Our visit to the College Prep Academy coincided with its pre-RN students’ final presentations on an array of health topics, including rising senior Samantha’s PowerPoint on the negative health impacts on teens of vaping. 

Organization:
New York On Technology

July 24, 2019:  At today's site visit to NYOT, we met Jayson, Devin, TeShan, and Steven who are receiving classroom training and internship placements to further their goals of careers in the tech sector.

Grantee Partner:

July 23, 2019:  AileyCampers going through their paces.  This summer was a bit challenging, as the host school’s gym – and primary dance rehearsal space – was out of commission.  The ever-resilient Camp staff made it work, and Campers continue to thrive.

Grantee Partner:

July 18, 2019:  Sat in on summer program instructor Shiloh's session on navigating the DOE's High School Directory, a dense compendium of essential stats on every NYC high school.  The participating students, all rising 8th graders, will need to become fully acquainted with this resource as they'll soon be coming up with their own lists of high schools to apply to.

Grantee Partner:

July 11, 2019:  Although Workshop leader Arva Wing (above) and the writers at Center for Independence for the Disabled have been meeting weekly for years, they couldn’t have been more welcoming.  It was a real treat to join them in today’s session, where we shared our creative written output with each other.

Grantee Partner:

July 11, 2019:  Izzy, a rising senior at Hunter College (and future teacher!) did an outstanding job leading a training on summer communication tips for 25 of his fellow College Bridge counselors, college students working with high school seniors on all aspects of the college application and matriculation process.

Grantee Partner:

July 10, 2019:  Great fun to tag along with these Scholarship Plus college students – most of whom are interning this summer at WYNC – on their tour of the Whitney Biennial.

Grantee Partner:

July 10, 2019:  We sat in on Social Work Fellow YoVanna’s conflict resolution workshop for middle school students enrolled in Row’s summer session; Social Work Director Jorlui is standing to her left.  MFF funding supports the organization’s social work programming.

Grantee Partner:

July 2, 2019:  Our friends at NY Edge sent us this photo of student artwork on display in BankUnited’s Herald Square storefront.  Tom Cornish, the Bank’s COO, was honored at NY Edge’s recent fundraiser and continues to support the organization in generous and creative ways.

Grantee Partner:

June 27, 2019:  At SSN’s annual Expo for its 65 (and growing!) cohort members, we sat in on a panel discussion on Student Agency, where youth providers talked about best practices in helping students create change.  Also on the panel were Rebecca and Carlos (above), participants in a Sunset Park, Brooklyn after school program.  Ensuring that youth voice is respected, heard, and acted upon are key to all aspects of SSN’s work.

Grantee Partner:

June 26, 2019:  Sat in on several College Boot Camp classes, including this one where college counselor Edsel discussed the pros and cons of Early Decision and Early Action with a group of OppNet’s rising high school seniors.

Grantee Partner:

June 25, 2019:  Reel Works Executive Director John Williams describes the MEDIA MKRS program at its public launch at Tweed Courthouse.  Through RW’s major collaboration with CUNY and NYC Media & Entertainment, 150 high school and college students in Year 1 will be trained for and placed in coveted paid internships in NYC’s booming film and television industries.  The Meringoff Foundation supported RW’s development of the training curriculum, which was informed by the real-time needs of media industry leaders.

Grantee Partner:

June 25, 2019: Marine Lance Corporal Kaleb Woodson, Eagle Academy Class of ’18, was a guest speaker at the school’s 8th grade graduation ceremony.  Kaleb spoke about how overcame many academic challenges during his school days thanks to the encouragement of Prinicpal Meade and Eagle’s outstanding  teaching staff.

Grantee Partner:

June 24, 2019:  After meeting with YWCA staffers, we saw this SAT prep class in session; the Meringoff Foundation provided supplementary support to make these classes possible.  It looks like someone’s little brother is getting a jump start on his college readiness…!

Grantee Partner:

June 20, 2019:  At School in the Square's very first graduation ceremony, (L-R) Alyssa, Brnadon, Mya, Daniel, and Ashely at podium spoke about their experiences as the members of the school's inaugural incoming class, with school founder Evan Meyers looking on.  Lots of emotion at this wonderful event, which was entirely translated into Spanish as the vast majority of S2's families are first-gen Americans from the Dominican Republic.

Grantee Partner:

June 14, 2019: So thrilling to see AileyCampers -- taking their bows above on the stage of Lincoln Center’s Koch Theater -- dancing alongside Ailey’s first and second professional companies at the annual Spirit Gala.  Proceeds from this incredible night benefit Ailey’s robust arts in education and community programming.

Organization:
Meringoff Family Foundation

June 12, 2019: So proud of this year’s crop of Meringoff Victory Prize winners, whose essays about their experiences with Meringoff-funded youth organizations moved and inspired us.  Each MVP received a $2,500 scholarship during our fourth-annual awards ceremony at Hill Country BBQ.  Pictured left to right are Naim from Urban Dove, Jacob from Eagle Academy, Lewis from NYSCF, Jensen from Reel Works, Ndeye from Legal Outreach, Stephen Meringoff, Jadelyn from Rocking the Boat, Rupali from NYU Metro Center College Prep Academy, Mian Hua from Breakthrough New York, M.J. from MOVE(NYC), Stuart Post, Joseph from Friends of WHEELS, and Charlotte Meringoff.

Grantee Partner:

June 11, 2019:  Loved taking part in “You’re the Boss”, a fascinating exercise that helps prepare Exalt teens for their upcoming paid internships.  We were given descriptions of the work habits of ten employees and told that we had to lay off five of them, forcing us to zero in on what qualities are most important to employers.  Alex Griffith, Exalt’s Senior Teacher, is second from the right.

Grantee Partner:

June 8, 2019:  MOVE’s sensational benefit concert featured a mix of professional and student performances, though as is always the case with MOVE, it was hard to tell them apart.  At the close of the ceremony, founders Nigel Campbell and Chanel DaSilva paid tribute to the company’s very first graduating class of high school seniors, all of whom are heading off to top college-tier dance conservatory programs.

Grantee Partner:

June 7, 2019:  We really felt the love at CHCF’s closing ceremony for the Opening Doors to the Future college and career prep program at the Bronx H.S. of Business.  Several participants spoke about how ODF got them on track, kept them on track, and greatly expanded their options.  But our favorite remarks, delivered by a senior, were directed solely at the Meringoff Family Foundation: “Keep funding us!”

Organization:
Experience Groove NYC

June 6 2019:  We had a blast at this training session at John Adams H.S. in Ozone Park, where teachers from around NYC learned how to incorporate Experience Groove dance techniques into their classrooms.  

Grantee Partner:

June 3, 2019:  The annual Awards Nights celebrated the incoming cohort of 13 high school seniors who will receive extensive financial, career, and social supports throughout their college careers.  Each recipient spoke about a teacher who inspired them, and that teacher, in turn, spoke about the student.  Throughout these remarks, there were frequent tears of joy...and many sniffles from a deeply moved audience of organizational supporters.

Organization:
Hats & Ladders

June 3, 2019:  Sat in on a training sessions for the highly interactive Hats & Ladders app, which guides teens through a range of career options based on personal interests and values.  The Meringoff Foundation is part of a funders consortium supporting the app's imminent rollout for participants in the upcoming Summer Youth Employment Program.   

Grantee Partner:

May 29, 2019:  Got to hang out this afternoon with these third graders at P.S. 189 in the Bronx, partipants in New York Edge's after school robotics program.  An MFF mini-grant will purchase more Lego kits, as well as new tablets so students can remotely program their just-built gadgets.  When we were kids, Legos were much less exciting!   

Grantee Partner:

May 23, 2019:  While attending the Passing the Torch ceremony for this year’s graduating seniors, Stuart was most pleasantly surprised to receive this award in recognition of MFF’s early and ongoing support of YW LEAD.  "Y’s Guy"…!!

Grantee Partner:

May 18, 2019:  KEEN’s kids, families, and volunteers enjoy soccer on a rooftop field above a repurposed parking garage in Astoria, Queens.  MFF Gen 2 funding will support three seasons of play at this new site.

Grantee Partner:

May 17, 2019: Had lots of fun at this morning’s party for the College Prep Academy’s graduating seniors.  Stuart especially enjoyed meeting Meringoff Victory Prize runner up Cassandra (left) and finalist Rupali.  The pennants behind us represent some of the schools CPA grads will attend in September.

Grantee Partner:

May 16, 2019: At BMCC’s annual gala, Stephen Meringoff was very proud to accept the “Out In Two Award of Excellence” in recognition of MFF’s long-time support of BMCC's highly successful persistence program for its highest achieving students.

Grantee Partner:

May 16, 2019: This morning, we met Janelle (left) and Madeline, writers/writing instructors who are spending several weeks at Harlem’s Frederick Douglas Academy helping high school juniors craft personal statements for their upcoming college applications.

Grantee Partner:

May 15, 2019:  Fonzie was one of many four-legged guests at Good Dog’s gala, where MFF’s seed funding of the “Academy for Professional Animal Assisted Therapy” was publicly announced.  Once launched, the Academy will allow Good Dog to train medical and education professionals to incorporate therapy dogs into their professional work.

Grantee Partner:

May 13, 2019:  So pleased to be invited to a dinner hosted by Grantmakers for Thriving Youth – they’re in NYC for an annual conference – that highlighted SSN’s groundbreaking Elevating Student Voice program.  Fatou (left) and Omar were incredibly engaging dinner companions as they told us about their efforts to create programming that addresses unmet needs at SEO, the after-school college prep program where they’re both long-time participants.  The Meringoff Foundation is a proud supporter of Elevating Youth Voice, which gives teens from SSN's 60-plus member organizations the skills to advocate for and implement change.

Grantee Partner:

May 10, 2019: It’s always a treat to check in with the Meringoff Scholars at Flushing High School.  During today’s workshop, they played the “College Admissions Sorting” game and discovered that good grades alone don’t put you in the front of the college acceptance line.  (The above photo was taken at the start of the game; the final line up was very different!)

Grantee Partner:

May 10, 2019:  At a visit to the Ailey arts in ed residency at Dual Language MS 247 on the Upper West Side, we got to see 7th graders putting the finishing touches on the Hand Jive routine from Grease.  (Apparently, tweens still love this movie!)  We were thrilled to learn that about half of the students enrolled in AileyCamp, of which MFF is a long-time supporter, come from in-school programming like this.

Organization:
A Fair Shake for Youth

May 6, 2019:  Collect them all -- A Fair Shake’s support dogs get their own business cards!  Charlotte and Stuart loved seeing these dogs and their terrific human handlers in action at PS 482 in the Bronx, where they work with small groups of students on social and emotional learning.

Grantee Partner:

May 4, 2019:  Not that many high school debaters make it to Broadway, but thanks to the rigorous training that Thursday Williams has received at Legal Outreach, she’s debating constitutional law four times a week at the Helen Hayes Theater in the Tony-nominated “What the Constitution Means to Me.”  Oh…Thursday -- whose Playbill bio is above -- and the show were terrific!

Grantee Partner:

May 3, 2019:  MOVE co-founders Chanel DaSilva (center) and Nigel Campbell (second from right) at a talk-back following a performance at Gibney Dance, where Nigel is artistic director and tapped Chanel to choreograph a wonderful new work.  We’re absolutely convinced that MOVE’s training and mentorship for young dancers is so effective because its leadership and adjunct faculty enjoy active and successful careers in dance.

Grantee Partner:

May 3, 2019: Lehman College senior / BMCC alum Bhawnah discusses “transfer shock” with Out In Two program director Jonathan Matamoros at a workshop for current Out In Two-ers about their impending move to four-year colleges.  Out In Two does a wonderful job making this difficult transition as seamless as possible for its participants.

Grantee Partner:

May 1, 2019:  So exciting to see our Road Challenge prominently featured at Adaptive’s annual fundraiser at the Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum.  So far, this challenge has generated over $60,000 in new funding to support the upcoming repaving of the dangerously rutted roadway leading to Adaptive’s home base.

Grantee Partner:

May 1, 2019:  We visited this CPR class, part of BCC’s CERPA (Certified Recovery Peer Advocate) training program and the college’s first “stackable credit” offering.  With stackable credits, students take a series of classes over a few months and receive a certification that leads to immediate career advancement.  As these classes are fully credited, students can pursue a subsequent academic degree at any time.  While the MFF-funded Youth Associate certification course of study doesn’t launch until the fall, it was great to see the larger program in action.

Grantee Partner:

May 1, 2019:  At New York Edge’s annual fundraising luncheon, Robotics instructor Jonathan Rua (on right) explains the workings of a student-designed electronic arm to Stephen Meringoff.  The Meringoff Foundation recently awarded a supplementary grant to purchase robotics equipment for classroom use.

Grantee Partner:

April 30, 2019:  The NYPD Emerald Society’s Pipes and Drums corps provided a stirring opening to the Police Foundation’s annual gala.  One of the event’s highlight was the presentation of Hemmerdinger Awards to several NYPD officers for truly outstanding service to their communities.

Organization:
New York Landmarks Conservancy

April 23, 2019:  Stephen Meringoff, on behalf of Himmel + Meringoff Properties, accepts a Lucy G. Moses Preservation Award from Landmarks Conservancy President Peg Breen at the 29th annual Moses Awards ceremony at the Plaza Hotel.  H + M Properties received this award for its meticulous restoration of 462 Broadway in the SoHo Cast Iron Historic District.

Grantee Partner:

April 17, 2019: Great, informal vibe at Career Night, where a wide range of professionals, many from and/or working in Washington Heights, mingled with high school seniors at a “mocktail” party.  Alas, we split just before this group photo was taken.

Grantee Partner:

April 13, 2019:  No, this isn’t a student production of A Chorus Line.  It’s one of five audition days in each of the boroughs – today’s session was in Dumbo, Brooklyn – for MOVE(NYC).  Whether these talented young dancers get into this very competitive program or not, the rigorous audition process will prepare them for the daily challenges faced by professional dancers.

Organization:
Made In Brownsville

April 12, 2019:  Great to visit MiB’s new, beautifully renovated storefront space.  While there, this youth photography class striked a pose, with cameras purchased through a recent MFF Gen 2 grant award.

Grantee Partner:

April 11, 2019:  We just received this photo of Scholarship Plus’ incoming cohort of high seniors, each of whom will receive wraparound supports throughout their college careers.  Thanks to supporters like the Meringoff Foundation, the cohort size has grown 30%, from 10 to 13!

Grantee Partner:

April 10, 2019:  At HEAF’s annual Career Day in Harlem, we really got to know members of the senior class, working with them on resume tips, interviewing skills, and general networking. 

Grantee Partner:

April 4, 2019:  As the culmination of Epic’s 20-week residency with a 10th grade English class at the Urban Assembly School of the Performing Arts in Harlem, Artistic Director Melissa Freidman (left foreground) and fellow Epic actors stage dramatic readings of short student-written works about real-life human rights abuses.  One of the young writers said that she “got chills seeing her play being performed”.

Grantee Partner:

April 3, 2019:  Sat in on this day-long workshop for health educators, one of many sexual health topic areas covered by Planned Parenthood’s Training Institute.

Grantee Partner:

March 29, 2019: In the small world department, today we met Jamal Troutman (above right, with Eagle Principal Rashad Meade), a 2016 runner up in our very first MVP essay competition for high school seniors.  He’s now a junior at Morehouse College in Atlanta and visiting his old high school as part of a college recruitment campaign.

Grantee Partner:

March 26, 2019:  What a treat to spend time with Mahogany, a member of CASA’s Youth Leadership Council (above left, with program coordinator Devin Arey).  Through CASA and the YLC, Mahogany has found her voice and become a formidable advocate for older teens like her aging out of the foster care system.

Grantee Partner:

March 25, 2019:  Sat in on a fascinating workshop on Microagressions, an installment in the multi-session Transition to College program, which helps first-gen college students prepare for the non-academic aspects of campus life.  As always, LO’s students impressed us as super smart and super insightful.

Grantee Partner:

March 23, 2019:  The vast majority of School in the Square’s students have volunteered to attend MFF-supported after hours prep sessions for the upcoming State exams.  We were amazed to see so many kids hitting the books on a Saturday morning!

Grantee Partner:

March 22, 2019:  Our friends at Tech Kids sent us this photo of the College Access Program’s visit to the College of Staten Island.  This innovative pilot shows students with a range of abilities that college is a real and viable option.

Grantee Partner:

March 21, 2019:  After a routine check-in meeting at HEAF, we got to spend time with student ambassadors Issa and Pharell.  The duo’s enthusiastic commitment to their multi-year college inquiry process was proof positive that HEAF’s approach is working beautifully.

Grantee Partner:

March 17, 2019:  During his visit to Girls Club, a girls-only playtime in a space where boys usually predominate, Stuart was the very first participant in Extreme Kids’ “I AM” campaign.  Does fame await….?

Grantee Partner:

March 16, 2019:  At the College Prep Academy’s Career Day, there was targeted programming for high school students as well as their parents.  We loved sitting in on a panel for parents led by NYU’s Director of Career Services Paula Lee (L) and CPA’s Marilyn Somer.  Their common-sense guidance about being a “coach” to college-bound teens, rather than a “snowplow parent”, was very well received.

Grantee Partner:

March 15, 2019:  Ailey II’s performance at NYU’s Skirball Center was particularly exciting, as the program’s four pieces were all company premieres.  During intermission, we were introduced to Artistic Director Troy Powell, who explained the genesis of the evening’s selections.  Mr. Powell’s lovely ballet duet, Ebb and Flow, was a particular standout.

Grantee Partner:

March 15, 2019:  Great to see Benj, a former TKU participant we’ve met on previous site visits, as the guest speaker at the College Access Program, which was launched with MFF Gen 2 support.  Now a freshman at Vassar, Benj gave his college-exploring peers the lowdown on campus life.

Grantee Partner:

March 15, 2019:  Prior to being placed in media internships, Reel Works participants take a four-part series of workforce development soft skills trainings.  In today’s workshop on effective collaboration,  teens engaged in a  “Helium Stick” icebreaker.  Turns out, trying to raise and lower a stick with just their index fingers is way harder than it looks!  At the workshop, we were thrilled to meet program alum Keisha Katz, who returned to Reel Works to oversee internship trainings after a several-year career as a TV documentarian.

Grantee Partner:

March 10, 2019:  Cora’s Youth Company in action at the organization’s annual cultivation breakfast.  It was particularly exciting to see the breadth and depth of Red Hook’s support for this much-loved community resource.

Grantee Partner:

March 8, 2019:  We were honored to participate in a day-long symposium for community stakeholders to explore adaptive reuses of the college’s Gould Memorial Library.  The Meringoff Foundation supported a recent study to create an existing conditions report to determine the exact cost of stabilizing and restoring this Stanford White gilded age masterpiece.

Grantee Partner:

March 6, 2019:  This trio from Breakthrough (L-R, Ezria, Kim, and Samia) participated in Shark Tank, the centerpiece of SNN’s annual Youth Voice Summit.  Jst like the TV show, teen participants from several NYC youth development providers presented well thought out and researched ideas for improving programming at their individual organizations.  This Breakthrough student presentation to expand an existing peer mentorship program was particularly compelling.

Grantee Partner:

March 4, 2019:  Epic Next members at the talkback following performances of “Nothing About Us” and “Overdrive.  The high school students created these two plays, respectively addressing school segregation and the pitfalls of standardized testing, through interviews with educators, original research, and lots of creativity.  The Epic Nexters will continue to tour these one-acts throughout New York State and New England, using them as jumping off points to explore educational inequities with their highly engaged audiences.

Grantee Partner:

February 26, 2019: Our friends at Adaptive sent us this great pic -- after its first weekend on display, the traffic cone was filled to the brim with pledges and cash donations from members of the Adaptive community.  They all met the Meringoff challenge to support the repaving of the dangerously rutted road leading to the organization’s mountainside lodge.

Grantee Partner:

February 23, 2019:  Back at MOVE, this time to see the Winter Intensive’s culminating presentation.  As always, we were blown away by these incredible teen dancers.

Organization:
College Access: Research & Action

February 22, 2019:  It was an unexpected thrill to spend time with (L-R) Izzy, Chris, Crystal, Ruth, and Rashira.  Through CARA, these college students all work in their high school alma maters, providing one-on-one guidance to high school seniors and their families on navigating the college application process.  Exciting to see how such an impressively mature and intelligent group is exceeding this rigorous program’s high expectations.

Grantee Partner:

February 21, 2019:  MOVE co-founder Nigel Campbell rehearsing the company’s young professional dancers at the annual Winter Intensive.  The amazing focus and talent these NYC teens displayed is the logical result of an incredibly passionate, demanding, and loving teaching staff.

Grantee Partner:

February 20, 2019: Summer Internship alumni (L-R) Maaz, Tangema, Shadia, and Jennifer discussed their on-the-job experiences and answered many questions posed by prospective interns.  The group of three high school seniors and one college freshman displayed remarkable poise as they gave lots of great and very practical advice.

Grantee Partner:

February 9, 2019: At BTNY’s monthly Super Saturday, where current high school students receive invaluable information about the college application process, we met (left-right) Samira, Mehedi, and Holly.  Although all three are upperclassmen at top ranked college-prep NYC high schools, they turn to BTNY to receive hands-on guidance for navigating the complexities of applying and getting in to their best-fit colleges.

Grantee Partner:

January 23, 2019:  Attended gifts, a site-based work created by Cora founder Shannon Hummel.  Two dancers and an audience limited to 30 were sequestered in a 20 x 30 storage container for a highly intense, provocative, and satisfying hour of dance and enforced confinement.

Grantee Partner:

January 23, 2019: Stephen with NYPD Chief of Patrol Rodney Harrison at the annual State of the NYPD breakfast, where Commission James O’Neill lauded NYC’s historically low crime rate.  The Commissioner’s remarks stressed the importance of neighborhood policing; the Meringoff Foundation just renewed our multi-year support for this important policing initiative, which fosters strong ties between beat cops and the residents of the communities they serve.

Grantee Partner:

January 9, 2019: Tis the season for returning alumni.  Legal Outreach’s recent graduates, now students at top colleges, convened at LO for its annual Fireside Chat.  At this event, the alums met with grade-specific groups of current students to reflect on how they successfully met the challenges of Legal Outreach’s rigorous multiyear curriculum.

Grantee Partner:

January 5, 2019: Metro Center College Prep Academy graduates, all current college students, had great advice for the current crop of college-bound high school seniors at the annual Senior/Alumni Panel.  Sometimes the simplest advice is the best: “be sure to check your email!”

Grantee Partner:

December 21, 2018: Ailey Artistic Director Robert Battle’s great talent and versatility were on full display in this powerful evening devoted exclusively to his choreography.

Grantee Partner:

December 19, 2018:  This morning, we joined 25 hand-picked community policing officers from across NYC for a training session in the OPTIONS youth engagement curriculum.  Through OPTIONS, these officers will work with small groups of teens on conflict de-escalation techniques.  The curriculum’s centerpiece, supported in part by the Meringoff Foundation, features drawn-from-life virtual reality scenarios created by youth in Brownsville, Brooklyn.

Grantee Partner:

December 14, 2018:  The WHEELS College March – where the entire student body lines the streets of Washington Heights as the senior class snakes its way to the neighborhood post office to mail their college applications – is always a joyous and inspiring celebration of grit and academic success.  This year’s installment was extra special for the Meringoff Foundation as we got to publicly announce our $27,500 renewal grant allowing Friends of WHEELS to deepen its vital college persistence work for WHEELS alumni.

Grantee Partner:

December 11, 2018: Always great to visit with the Meringoff Scholars at Flushing High School, engaged above in a workshop exploring the differences between a job and a career.  While at Flushing, we learned that in addition to working with these high performing students on college inquiry and prep, NY Edge is now mentoring the school's most struggling students and becoming ever more essential to its daily operations.

Grantee Partner:

December 5, 2018:  Stephen with young dancer Bryan Hutcheson, the first recipient of a scholarship to the Ailey/Fordham BFA program made possible by a multiyear grant from the Meringoff Foundation.

Grantee Partner:

December 4, 2018: We met so many terrific kids at Opp Net’s Speed Networking event, where 50 volunteer professionals of all ages (including Stuart) introduced 70 high school juniors to the art and fun of networking.  This extremely well-planned event managed to be both structured and spontaneous.

Grantee Partner:

December 4, 2018:  So exciting that Cora is fully settled into its permanent new home in Red Hook, where we observed Charisma Glaspar teaching her Level 2 Modern class of seven and eight year-olds.  The Meringoff Foundation provided multiyear seed funding for the gut renovation of this storefront studio.

Grantee Partner:

December 4, 2018:  Principal Rashad Meade sure knows how to connect to an audience of 8th grade boys!  As part of his weekly Town Hall presentation to students, Mr. Meade used the Friday the 13th movies as an example of how to avoid making bad decisions (i.e. maybe you shouldn’t swim in spooky Camp Crystal Lake at 2am when a killer is on the loose…).  Riveting, fun, and effective.

Grantee Partner:

December 1, 2018:  Noted hip-hop dancer and choreographer Rennie Harris leads a masterclass on the history of street dance for AileyCamp alums.  What a fascinating class to sit in on!

Grantee Partner:

November 28, 2018:  AileyCamp alum / current Ailey School scholarship student Christopher Taylor (left) taking the stage with Artistic Director Robert Battle at Ailey’s 60th anniversary gala.  AileyCamp can be an incredible launch pad!

Grantee Partner:

November 26, 2018:  Opening Doors to the Future, CHCF’s young men’s leadership development program at the Bronx High School of Business, is now co-ed!  During our visit, we were particularly impressed with program directors Onyx (lower left) and Isaac (lower right).

Grantee Partner:

November 19, 2018:  Today at Writopia we met Yainie (on right) and her private writing instructor, Madeleine.  Yainie receives full tuition for group creative writing classes through the Meringoff-supported Write 2 Recognition program, as well as weekly sessions with Madeleine.

Grantee Partner:

November 18, 2018:  We visited three classes at TKU’s twice-monthly Sunday session.  The youngest students were creating desktop-based apps with Java Script, the older teens working on augmented reality slide shows, and the most advanced students pictured above designing a website for a nonprofit client in Arizona.  So much great work taking place!

Grantee Partner:

November 17, 2018:  Our friends at the College Prep Academy sent us this photo of high school seniors and their parents getting hands-on assistance with their financial aid forms.  The Meringoff Foundation is proud to have supplied the laptops that are essential for online college applications.

Grantee Partner:

November 13, 2018:  CASA Executive Director Kerry Moles (far left) with Nigel, Khadijah, Rosie, and Pedro, members of the organization’s Youth Leadership Council.  The Council was formed seven months ago and is comprised of teens in the foster care system, as well as young adults who recently aged out of the system.  Its members planned all aspects of this panel discussion, which offered an unblinking look at life as a foster care youth.  Our main takeaway:  in a world where foster parents and caseworkers can come and go, CASA’s volunteers are unwavering in their unconditional support, advocacy, and friendship.

Grantee Partner:

 

November 13, 2018:  At WHEELS (Washington Heights Expeditionary Learning School), college counselor Rocco helps high school senior Anaira put the finishing touches on the personal statement for her college applications.  Friends of WHEELS creates a college-going culture at this K-12 school and works with alumni to help them persist and thrive throughout college.

Grantee Partner:

November 10, 2018:  Epic sent us several great pix from its fall college trips, which were supported by the Meringoff Foundation.  Epic is particularly adept at matching students to colleges and many of its alums end up attending schools they were introduced to on these trips.  The above photo, taken at Hobart William Smith, was part of an Upstate NY swing that also included Buffalo State and Niagara University.

Grantee Partner:

November 6, 2018:  At SSN’s Youth Voice Summit, high school students and youth development staffers worked together to develop strategies for “first-gen” college students and their families to be fully engaged in the college inquiry and application process.  Meringoff funding supports SSN’s ongoing Elevating Youth Voice programming.

Grantee Partner:

November 5, 2018:  Our favorite of the many fun activities at the Extreme Kids P.S. 15 after school program in Red Hook?  Shaping chocolate chip cookies before putting them in the oven.  (And we will not admit to stealing a bite of raw cookie dough...!)

Organization:
Planned Parenthood of New York City

November 2, 2018: Fascinating visit this morning to the Mexican Consulate in midtown, where Promotore de Salud -- i.e. peer health educator -- Maria (left) works closely with Consul staff health coordinator Jessica to ensure that Consulate visitors learn about the wide range of free and low cost sexual and reproductive health services for women and men at Planned Parenthood of NY.  Gen 2 funding supports the outreach work of PPNY’s Promotores team.

Grantee Partner:

November 1, 2018:  Amanda (left) and Kassandra (right) at the Friends’ annual Founders Breakfast.  Kassandra oversees mental health services for the NYC Nurse-Family Partnership and Amanda was the very first grant recipient, two years ago, of a Friends micro grant.  Amanda used her grant to become a certified substance abuse prevention counselor and has recently joined the NFP staff as an outreach coordinator.

Grantee Partner:

October 30, 2018:  CASA Educational Specialist Santella Baglivo conducts an in-service training for CASA volunteers on early intervention and supplementary educational programming for special needs students.  As over 50% of foster care youth have some form of disability, this training was essential.  The Meringoff Foundation supported the creation of the Educational Specialist staff position and Santella’s subsequent hire.

Grantee Partner:

October 26, 2018:  Brooklyn Youth Part Judge Craig Walker introduces Justin R. at Exalt’s Yale Club cultivation event.  Justin spoke movingly and compellingly about how his experiences at Exalt got him back on track, both personally and educationally.

Grantee Partner:

October 25, 2018:  The highlight of CASA’s annual luncheon fundraiser featured twins Sharonda (left) and Shyanne (right) discussing the tireless work of their volunteer Advocate Wendy (center), who over the course of several years helped them both avoid the foster care system’s pitfalls.  They also discussed how their relationship with Wendy evolved from initial wariness to full embrace.

Grantee Partner:

October 16, 2018:  It was fascinating to chat with staff Senior Scientist Dr. Brigham Hartley during the cocktail hour of NYSCF’s annual science fair/gala.  Hartley, originally from Australia, focuses his research on using stem cells to find a cure for schizophrenia.

Grantee Partner:

October 16, 2108:  Perfect autumn day for a visit to GALLOP’s Sunrise Stables.  While there, we learned about an exciting new program where local seniors (above right) work closely with young riders.  What an inspiring way for the organization to expand its community impact!

Grantee Partner:

October 12, 2018:  Such a treat to meet Carl Jackman, OppNet’s first-ever staff social worker.  Meringoff funding helped facilitate his recent hire.  Lots of luck, Carl, in this important new position!

Grantee Partner:

October 11, 2018:  Charlotte and Stuart really enjoyed hanging out at KEEN’s basketball program, which paired adult volunteers and special needs teens.  During our visit, we learned that KEEN’s junior board successfully met our $7,500 challenge, raising $12,000 (and counting) – way to go!!

Grantee Partner:

October 8, 2018:  We really enjoyed this riveting show and Co-Artistic Director Melissa Friedman’s stand-out performance.  Based on real-life rocket scientist Werner von Braun’s career in Nazi Germany and post-War America, the play raised many uncomfortable truths.  It will also be a great learning tool for the hundreds of high school students who’ll be attending during its month-long run.

Grantee Partner:

October 4, 2018:  Executive Director Caitlin Cassaro (center) gave Charlotte (right) and the Meringoff Foundation great shout outs at Extreme Kids’ annual cultivation cocktail gathering.  Our three-year challenge grant is helping the organization grow its base and expand to other boroughs.  With the Red Hook, Brooklyn and Ridgewood, Queens sites both going strong, it looks like next stop is the Bronx.  We’re staying tuned for details…!

Grantee Partner:

October 4, 2018:  NFP nurse Carol Wei leads the group in fun literacy games and songs at a Mommy and Me Storytime at the Bed-Stuy branch of the Brooklyn Public Library.

Grantee Partner:

October 1, 2018:  These young alums of (left to right) Indiana University, University of Oregon, Tulane, and Cornell, and current NYU sophomore fielded lots of great questions about college life from an inquisitive group of YW Lead high school seniors.  Sydney, the NYU student, is also a YW Lead alum (and very active program volunteer).

Organization:
Foundation Center

September 21, 2018: It was a real honor to be invited by the Foundation Center to speak on a panel about cultivating relationships with family foundations.  Pictured left to right are panel moderator, Tony Matrignetti from the Nonprofit Radio podcast; Foundation Center Senior Librarian Susan Shiroma; past Meringoff grantee partner / newly appointed Executive Director of the Read Alliance Danielle Guindo; and Stuart.  Danielle and Stuart loved sharing tips with grant seekers on how to access the world of family foundations.  Here's the link to the panel:    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l04SFKuFw6M.

 

Grantee Partner:

September 17, 2018:  During SSN’s annual Data Lab presentation, representatives from four nonprofits discussed best practices in Social and Emotional Learning (SEL).  Their programs were designated as SEL “Bright Spots” based on data gleaned from nearly 5000 surveys from students participating in programs across SSN’s cohort of 50 NYC youth-serving organizations.

Organization:
Association for a Better NY

September 14, 2018:  At this morning’s networking breakfast, keynote speaker Chancellor Richard Carranza outlined four simple but compelling goals for the NYC Department of Education: academic excellence, empowering communities, supporting the Department’s 145,000-person workforce, and advancing equity.

Grantee Partner:

September 12, 2018:  We’ve participated in many NYWC creative writing workshops over the years, but this session, hosted at SAGE, was a real standout.  The writers were incredibly talented, mutually supportive, and welcoming; it was a real pleasure to write with them and hear their fascinating stories.  (This is only half of the group - the rest were camera shy!)

Grantee Partner:

August 29, 2018:  On a sweltering August day, what could be more fun than hanging out with  day campers and staff at Extreme Kids’ Ridgwood, Queens site?  Nothing

Grantee Partner:

August 28, 2018:  The founding teaching staff of Team UD Charter School in the Bronx reviews curriculum in advance of its September launch.  Building on UD’s demonstrated success in Brooklyn, this second high school has recruited seriously under-credited 15 and 16 year-olds to  get them academically back on track.

Grantee Partner:

August 16, 2018:  Epic’s College Essay Boot Camp workshop felt a bit like a group therapy session.  Through creating theater together, these rising high school seniors – and their adult mentors not pictured – have developed incredibly tight bonds, and as a group helped each other develop compelling and deeply individual essay topics.

Grantee Partner:

August 15, 2018:  Rachel, Julianna, Johnson, Rawdah, and Salmah are given shout outs by Stephen.  These high school students wrote winning essays about lessons learned during the paid summer internship placements they obtained through PENCIL.  The Meringoff Foundation was proud to underwrite the $6,000 in scholarship prizes.

Grantee Partner:

August 15, 2018:  At MOVE’s summer intensive, we saw discipline, talent, and loving mentorship in abundance.  Through MOVE, these high school teens are training to attend the very best conservatory-level dance programs to pursue their passion and further hone their considerable skills.

Grantee Partner:

August 9, 2018:  One of the many highlights of AileyCamp’s culminating performance at Hostos Community College – these young men could drum and dance (at the same time!) and make a wildly enthusiastic audience even more so!

Grantee Partner:

August 9, 2018:  At RTB's annual scholarship awards dinner, RTB Executive Director Adam Green (right) shows RTB alum Sheronda (left, with her mom at center), now a Junior at Penn State, a snapshot of the completed boat she worked on while still in high school.  Sheronda credits her years as a high school boat builder as key to her decision to pursue an undergraduate degree in Engineering!

Grantee Partner:

July 31, 2018:  ProPublica Senior Editor Tracy Weber discusses her work at a lunchtime session with Scholarship Plus fellows currently interning at WNYC New York Public Radio.  The students took full advantage of their incredible access to Ms. Weber and several of her senior colleagues, peppering them with many thoughtful and informed questions.       

Grantee Partner:

July 31, 2018:  Sat in on an ice breaker exercise with this group of high school and college students with summer internships secured through PENCIL.  Twenty-five PENCIL interns participated in Telling Your Professional Story, a workshop led by Rachel DuBois, Assistant Director of NYU Wagner’s Office of Career Services.  Rachel encouraged the interns to use personal values to inform career exploration and set themselves apart in the job search process.  This is an interesting approach, where job seekers take a much more active role.

Grantee Partner:

July 26, 2018: As part of Go’s work to prepare rising fifth graders -- and their families -- for the transition to middle school, Success Coach Colin led students in a discussion on educational importance of failure and learning from mistakes.  Grit and persistence will greatly assist these kids during their rapidly approaching middle school applications and interviews.

Grantee Partner:

July 25, 2019:  Police Officer Salvatore Tramontana (#10), aka “RoboCop”, keeps up with decades-younger Brownsville, Brooklyn teens on the court.  Meringoff Foundation funding allows the Police Foundation to support NYPD Neighborhood Coordination Officers as they deeply engage and mentor at-risk youth in a variety of community settings.

Grantee Partner:

July 24, 2018:  The hallmark of a successful youth development organization: the college acceptance letter wall!  During today’s visit to Eagle Academy, we also learned that teaching staff forgoes too-quickly-outdated text books in favor of customized, continually updated workbooks for each subject area.  Another terrific example of how Eagle tailors its pedagogy to precisely fit student needs.

Grantee Partner:

July 23, 2018:  We got to sit in on the fourth day of Exalt’s latest career readiness training cohort.    Adjunct instructor Ashley (right) and his teaching assistant (and Exalt alum!) Akim led participants in a discussion of seeing both sides of a controversial issue.  Earlier in the day, the teens’ mock interviews were filmed.  The workshop series gives these young people the skills and confidence to obtain and thrive in competitive internship placements.

Grantee Partner:

July 20, 2018:  At the Metro Center College Prep Academy’s annual CUNY and SUNY College Planning Workshop for rising high school seniors,  Beryl Jeffers of SUNY’s Welcome Center (above) and Charlotte Henson-Butler of the CUNY Rise Higher program gave lots of incredibly useful advice on the college application process.  After these excellent presentations, the teens had lots and lots of questions!

Grantee Partner:

July 19, 2018:  It was a great pleasure to take these young dancers to a powerful and thought provoking performance by the Bastsheva Dance Company.  The Move teens were a rapt audience and once again impressed us with their thoughtful insights as we gathered after the show.

Grantee Partner:

July 19, 2018:  Today’s visit to AileyCamp was extra special as camp has now re-located to the Children’s Aid College Prep Charter School, a spanking-new facility in the Tremont section of the Bronx.  This beautiful new home has many great spaces where the campers can strut their stuff!

Grantee Partner:

July 18, 2018:  During TKU’s Game Design summer course, held in conjunction with the NY Transit Museum, it made perfect sense to invite Stuart, who co-hosts the Museum’s annual Transit Trivia event, to guest lecture.   Teacher had a blast and the students didn’t throw any tomatoes!

Grantee Partner:

July 17, 2018:  College Application Essay Writing 101 with former Hearst editor Jill Herzig (left) and memoirist Liz Welch.  During today’s session, Jill and Liz worked one-on-one with YW Lead’s rising high school seniors to hone in on an essay topic.  Assignment for next week: first drafts.  We can’t wait to see the final essays at the end of the summer!

Grantee Partner:

July 16, 2018:  Mentors were paired with their mentees, and they all took part in a fun series of ice breakers to get to know each other through RTB’s newly-launched college persistence program, supported in part by the Meringoff Foundation.  Mentors are RTB alumni who are college upperclassmen and recent graduates, their mentees RTB’s 2018 high school graduates heading off to college.  It looks like these matches are going to stick!

Grantee Partner:

July 16, 2018:  Stephen and Stuart really enjoyed having lunch with college students Ajay, Chris, and Saliha, participants in the PENCIL Internship Program, which places about 500 high school and college students in paid summer internships in NYC’s business, nonprofit, and government sectors.  These three, who respectively attend Stony Brook, Albany, and John Jay, impressed us with their maturity and professional focus; they’re all actually working at PENCIL this summer in areas that closely align with their college majors and career interests. 

Grantee Partner:

July 13, 2018:  Legal Outreach teens presenting highlights from their week at Stroock and Stroock, a major NYC law firm.  During the summer, each rising 10th grader participates in four mini-internships at various law firms, legal nonprofits, and with individual judges.  The Stroock group told us about working with summer associates and staff lawyers on a mock trial, as well as the great lunches these lawyers hosted for them.   

Grantee Partner:

July 11, 2018:  At OppNet’s Summer College Success series, current college students participate in a warm up exercise for a workshop on effecting social change.  Other topics throughout this summer series include networking, work-life balance, Excel, self-care, budgeting, and connecting personal strengths to a college major.   

Grantee Partner:

July 11, 2018:  BTNY teaching fellows – and current Columbia students – Clare and Anna during their “College Knowledge” presentation at the organization’s Bronx site.  Each day, Breakthrough’s college-level teaching fellows prepare informal talks about the unique advantages of their individual campuses.  College exposure is a central to Breakthrough’s work with rising 7th, 8th, and 9th graders.

Grantee Partner:

June 27, 2018:  SSN’s Expo 2018 featured a particularly high-powered opening with Chalkbeat CEO Elizabeth Green (far left) moderating a panel including, left to right, Diane Morales, CEO of Phipps Houses, Wendy Kopp, CEO of Teach for All and founder of Teach for America, and Bob Hughes, Director of K-12 Education at the Gates Foundation.  They discussed the power of networks to advance student outcomes.

Grantee Partner:

 June 26, 2018:  Eagle’s graduation is always a fun and moving celebration of student achievement.  This year’s ceremony featured two extra-special highlights: a Salutatorian address by Meringoff Victory Prize winner Malachi Wade and a keynote speech by Eagle’s ever-inspiring principal, Rashad Meade.

Grantee Partner:

June 22, 2018:  Sophie Meringoff sent us this pic from Madison, WI, where she assisted in the transfer of 30 rescue dogs just arriving from Alabama.  Gen 2 support from the Meringoff Foundation helps to ensure that these dogs stay healthy and find great, permanent homes.

Grantee Partner:

June 17, 2018: “Honorary Judge” Stuart awarding a ribbon to Gallop rider Emily at the organization’s annual Ride with Pride horseshow on a glorious afternoon in Central Park.  This bucolic event also featured a tribute to Gallop’s tireless volunteers, including Meringoff Victory Prize runner up Katie Mak.

Grantee Partner:

June 16, 2018:  We brought MOVE’s Young Professionals Ensemble to see an Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater performance at Lincoln Center.  After the show, Ailey principal dancer Matthew Rushing took us on an intimate backstage tour of the Koch Theater; we also got to meet most of the Ailey dancers.  It was an evening of many highlights, but we especially loved hearing the talented MOVE teens’ insightful, incisive, and very enthusiastic responses to the Ailey performance.

Grantee Partner:

June 16, 2018:  The Vicious Psi steppers from Forest Hills High School traveled to Atlanta to participate in the national step finals.  While in Atlanta, they toured Spellman College, above.  The Meringoff Foundation provided a mini-grant that made this exciting trip possible.

Organization:
CAMBA

June 15, 2018:  As an ice breaker for the first workshop of the Flagstone Family Shelter’s Parenting Journeys series, participants selected a button and discussed its relevance to their lives.  Each session of this program includes a sit-down meal to encourage parents to use their own family meals as a tool to improve communications and  strengthen family bonds.

Grantee Partner:

June 14, 2018:  On our way to the Ailey performance at Lincoln Center, we were thrilled to see AileyCamp national director Nasha Thomas leading a master class on the public plaza.  From 1986 to 1998, Nasha was an Ailey principal dancer, but she clearly still has all of her moves!

Organization:
Meringoff Family Foundation

June 12, 2018:  The family was so proud to award the annual Meringoff Victory Prize $2,500 scholarships to nine outstanding college-bound high school seniors, whose essays about the Meringoff Foundation-supported nonprofits they’re involved with simply blew us away. Pictured left to right, Malachi Wade from Eagle Academy, Lisary Velez from PENCIL, Sophie Meringoff, Shamiea Thompson from Epic Theatre Ensemble, Charlotte Meringoff, Jailene Peralta from Breakthrough NY, Christye Nunez from Friends of WHEELS, Stephen Meringoff, Yatzary Moratin from the Brooklyn YWCA, Jason Joseph from the NYU Metro Center College Prep Academy, Stuart Post, and Katie Meringoff.

Grantee Partner:

June 11, 2018:  The Scholarship Plus Awards Night was a three-handkerchief affair:  ten rising college freshmen paid tribute to a teacher who helped them get into this highly competitive program, and the teachers in turn spoke of their students’ inspiring successes.  We’re proud to be a new funder to this hands-on organization that provides supplemental financial assistance -- and lots of “plus” -- to ensure successful college careers for its cohort of low-income, first-gen students.

Grantee Partner:

June 11, 2018:  At the closing ceremony for this year’s Opening Doors to the Future program at the Bronx High School of Business, we got a great sense of the tight-knit family CHCF has created among its participants.  ODF taps 20 academically struggling students, many of them English language learners, and places them in after school internships, with lots of academic, social, and professional skills development along the way.  All of the young men are on-track academically, and most of the seniors will be off to college in the fall.

Grantee Partner:

June 10, 2018:  MOVE(NYC)’s Young Professionals Ensemble all dressed up after their stand-out performances at MOVE’s sensational benefit dance concert.  These teen dancers shared the stage with professionals and more than held their own.  MOVE provides free supplemental training that prepares these kids for success at the most competitive college/conservatory-level training programs.

Grantee Partner:

June 7, 2018:  Cora’s end-of-year recital was packed to the rafters and featured performances from the very youngest tots to the pre-professional teens of the Youth Company.  Cora is a welcoming and beloved home to many, many residents of the diverse Red Hook community.

Grantee Partner:

June 7, 2018:  Eagle Brooklyn Principle Rashad Meade kicks off a professional development session for teachers across the Eagle network.  Mr. Meade and his staff took the lead in planning this day, which included the instructional staffs from the Harlem and Jamaica, Queens campuses.

Organization:
Urban Word

June 6, 2018:  This resume writing workshop is part of Word Works, Urban Word’s Meringoff-funded pilot program that introduces the organization’s talented teen writers to opportunities in the creative sector.  Tomorrow, this group will be spending the afternoon at Vibe Magazine.

Grantee Partner:

June 5, 2018:  Alumni Support director Jasmine Daniels led a two-day College Bridge workshop for WHEELS graduates who are rising college freshmen.  This workshop in specific – and so much of Friends of WHEELS’ work in general – is designed to facilitate a smooth transition from high school to college.  Meringoff Foundation funding supports Jasmine’s college persistence work with WHEELS alums.

Grantee Partner:

June 4, 2018:  Great to see Santella Baglivo in action.  Our recent grant helped CASA-NY hire this educational specialist, who trains and advises CASA volunteers in navigating the complexities of the NYC Department of Education, so they can ensure the best possible outcomes for foster care youth.  In the above workshop, Santella provides future Advocates with an excellent overview of Special Education services.

Grantee Partner:

June 2, 2018:  RTB’s spring launch was a great block party, complete with burgers, dogs, and live music.  But the real highlight was the christening of this beauty, a classic Herreshoff design that students spent two years building.  It joins RTB’s Bronx River sailing instruction fleet.

Grantee Partner:

May 30, 2018:  PENCIL Fellows alum Asher Kennedy, now a wealth adviser at Morgan Stanley, discussed his career path during a three-day training workshop for college students about to begin summer internships secured through PENCIL.  The mark of any successful presentation: after the program ends, a long line of audience members looking to speak with the presenter!

Grantee Partner:

May 30, 2018:  While at the Ailey Dance Center, we passed the Judith Jamison Education Suite.  Stephen Meringoff requested that the Foundation’s recent capital campaign gift be recognized as a tribute to Ms. Jamison’s storied artistic career at Ailey.

Grantee Partner:

May 30, 2018:  Stephen and Stuart greatly enjoyed sitting in on an Ailey Dance Kids class for special needs students from the Manhattan School for Career Development.  Ailey instructors Heather and Andrea were wonderfully effective at bringing a renewed love of dance to these teens.

Grantee Partner:

May 23, 2018:  It was terrific to check in with the Meringoff Scholars program at Flushing High School.  During our visit, College Counselor Starr Alexis discussed a range of college prep spring to-dos with this group of high school juniors.  Many of these teens expressed confidence in their ability to navigate the college inquiry and application process through the support they receive from Starr and her colleagues at New York Edge.  After the session, we were thrilled to learn that many of the Scholars’ GPAs have increased 10-20% (!) since joining the program.

Grantee Partner:

May 21, 2018:  In the exciting new program, Spotlight: Next Generation, Epic students write, direct, and perform original, fully staged long-form plays under the tutelage of theater professional mentors.  Olivia Dunbar’s “Knot in My Stomach” was a gripping dramatic piece about a young woman, whose mother and grandmother were both teen moms, grappling with her own pregnancy and educational future.

Grantee Partner:

May 17, 2018:  We wouldn’t have missed this year’s Barn Dance benefit for the world – founding Executive Director Alicia Kershaw, who recently announced her retirement, was the evening’s honoree.  Fortunately, Alicia will transition to the organization’s board of directors, so she won’t be going far!

Grantee Partner:

May 16, 2018:  As part of Epic’s 18-week residency in a 10th grade bi-lingual Global History class at the Urban Assembly School of the Performing Arts in Harlem, professional actors performed run-throughs of student-written short plays exploring a variety of human rights abuses.  The theater company has deep roots in this school, with every student in every grade taking part in at least one Epic residency.

Grantee Partner:

May 12, 2018:  Breakthrough’s College Decision Day was a more intimate affair than the HEAF event on May 10, and we were really wowed by the incredibly sense of camaraderie and mutual support displayed by this crew.  Oh…and they really, really like their BTNY instructors!

Organization:
Harlem Educational Activities Fund (HEAF)

May 10, 2018:  Incredible to witness the stage of the Apollo jammed with college-bound seniors at HEAF’s annual National College Decision Day, where high school seniors from across the city announced their college choices to cheering crowds.

Grantee Partner:

May 8, 2018:  OppNet College Counselor Nancy Corona leads a budgeting session for college-bound high school seniors.  Our main take-away: stay away from daily take-out lattes!  Nancy was great with the teens and she's a terrific addition to the OppNet team; her hire was made possible in part by Meringoff Foundation funding.

Grantee Partner:

May 8, 2018:  PIX-11 sportscaster Andy Adler was Principal for a Day at the Business of Sports High School in midtown Manhattan.  While at the school, Andy had a Q&A session with students, and their questions continued long after the formal session ended.  Meringoff Foundation support was instrumental to PENCIL’s relaunch of the PFAD program.

Organization:
Meringoff Family Foundation

May 6, 2018:  Thanks to a technology assist, the family overcame geographic separation to judge this year’s essay finalists in the Meringoff Victory Prize scholarship competition.   

Grantee Partner:

May 5, 2018:  Thanks to our friends at NYU Metro Center for sending on this great photo from today’s graduation ceremony for the College Prep Academy.

Grantee Partner:

May 3, 2018:  At the annual Felix Awards fundraiser, Carrie Coon and Susan Pourfar performed a scene from playwright Amy Herzog’s award-winning “Mary Jane”, which addresses the challenges faced by the mom of a special needs child.  Herzog, along with her stage director husband Sam Gold, were the evening’s honorees.

Grantee Partner:

May 3, 2018:  New York Edge’s first-ever (and financially quite successful) fundraising luncheon included formal remarks by Samantha and Ameer, participants in the Meringoff Scholars Program at Flushing High School. They are pictured above with Stephen Meringoff.

Grantee Partner:

May 1, 2018:  At today’s fundraising luncheon, Charlotte and Stuart loved hearing Abby Goldstein and several of her nursing colleagues discuss the many ways Friends of the NYC Nurse-Family Partnership allows young mothers to achieve their educational goals.

Organization:
Urban Word

April 28, 2018:  We were quite impressed with the abundant talent on display at Urban Word’s National Youth Poet Laureate Commencement.  Finalists from New York, Los Angeles, Houston, Nashville, and Chicago read from their work, and it was fascinating to see how each reading truly reflected distinct geographies.  Chicago’s Patricia Frazier (above) took top honors.

Organization:
KEEN NY

April 28, 2018:  Charlotte and Stuart had a great introduction to Keen’s swim program at the 92nd Street Y, which pairs community volunteers with special needs kids for a fun afternoon in the pool.

Grantee Partner:

April 27, 2018:  Gallop’s founding Executive Director Alicia Kershaw toured us around the Forest Hills stables, highlighting the many physical upgrades completed in the 18 months since Gallop acquired this site. 

Grantee Partner:

April 25, 2018:  We really enjoyed meeting Naiyiri at BMCC’s Transfer Workshop for current Out In Two students preparing to move on to four-year colleges.  An Out In Two alum and current Junior at Lehman College, Naiyiri talked about the opportunities and pitfalls she's experienced in senior college.  She also reminded workshop attendees that the many student supports at BMCC and Out In Two do not necessarily abound in senior colleges.  Through great mentors and internship opportunities, as well as smarts and grit, Naiyiri is effectively pursuing a career in Marine Biology.

Grantee Partner:

April 23, 2018:  We loved attending the “Getting Out of Your Comfort Zone” workshop for college-bound seniors, led by Legal Outreach’s incredibly dynamic Director of College Access, Bethsheba Cooper.  It was also quite meaningful to see the deep bonds that have clearly developed among these highly engaged teens after four years of intensive college prep. This workshop was part of the College Transitions program, which was reinstated at Legal Outreach through Meringoff Foundation support.

Grantee Partner:

April 20, 2018:  The 6 winners of Legal Debater of the Year display their trophies and cash awards as the volunteer judges, all lawyers in NYC, look on.  During the finals of this annual competition in the august chambers of Federal Court in lower Manhattan, the two top Sophomore, Junior, and Senior debaters gave Supreme Court-style arguments in a case involving freedom of speech.  We were really struck with the students’ display of great research and presentation skills, and impressed with their ability to think on their feet as the judges peppered them with questions.

Grantee Partner:

April 16, 2018:  Our friends at Eagle sent us this picture of a very special breakfast prepared and served by their culinary arts students for newly-appointed DOE Chancellor Richard Carranza’s visit to Eagle’s Ocean Hill campus.

Grantee Partner:

March 23, 2018:  We’re enormously pleased to see the incredible growth of the YW Lead college prep / leadership development program.  The incoming cohort of 40 freshmen and sophomores is a huge increase to last year’s group of 15.  Through YW Lead, these young women will receive great prep for, and assistance with, the daunting college application process. And once they’re in college (in the blink of an eye!), they’ll have the tools to persist and succeed.

Grantee Partner:

March 23, 2018:  Tory and Stuart had a terrific visit with Executive Director Gayle Villani at Go’s Grace Church School site, where teaching staff time and again demonstrated Go's enlightened pedagogy which ensures that academically struggling students get to grade level and beyond.

Grantee Partner:

March 14, 2018:  During a routine meeting, Executive Director Adam Green took us through the boat building workshop, where we saw this irreparably damaged but classic row boat from the 1940s.  As a fee-for-service project, students will literally strip the boat down to determine its design, then rebuild a new version from scratch.  RTB students have built many classic boats before, but always from an existing plan.  This time, they’ll be creating the plan. What an exciting learning opportunity!

Grantee Partner:

March 12, 2018:  Such a treat to attend the latest iteration of Epic’s Shakespeare Remix, a “Measure for Measure” reboot from Urban Assembly School of the Arts high school students.  Their take featured great original music and choreography, and timely plot updates were very much influenced by the #MeToo movement.    

Grantee Partner:

March 12, 2018:  Sat in on a workshop for the young men enrolled in CHCF’s Opening Doors to the Future program at the Bronx High School for Business.  These juniors and seniors, who are all currently placed in afterschool internships, were putting the finishing touches on their applications for summer jobs.  Through this terrific program, the teens are back on track academically and making plans to continue their education after graduation.

Grantee Partner:

March 9, 2018:  It was terrific to sit in on the one-on-one mentor sessions that Writopia offers to all of its Write to Recognition students.  13 year-old Mariema has gotten great tips on how to tighten up her fantasy novel in progress.  The excerpts we heard – about an alternate world where citizens face dramatic health challenges – were gripping and self-assured.  Can’t wait for the final draft!

Grantee Partner:

February 28, 2018:  Extreme Kids’ monthly “Cocktails & Bureaucracy” parent get together addressed a difficult subject: sexuality and adolescence for children with disabilities.  Blogger / autism advocate Kirsten Lindsmith led the conversation and provided parents with a wealth of resources.

Grantee Partner:

February 22, 2018:  Stephen and Stuart were blown away by the talent on display at MOVE/NYC’s winter intensive.  The free pre-professional training these teens receive means that they’ll have a real shot at attending the very best college dance conservatory programs.

Grantee Partner:

February 22, 2018:  At today’s training for the latest crop of PENCIL Fellows summer interns, we got to meet Asher Kennedy, who was in the very first Fellows cohort back in 2009.  Asher’s introduction to Finance through the summer internship he secured through PENCIL was the start of something big – Asher is now working in a wealth management group at Morgan Stanley!

Grantee Partner:

February 16, 2018:  Super fun to tag along with Extreme Kids, who kicked off the start of winter break with an ice skating excursion to Prospect Park.  (But after many turns around the rink, Stuart’s legs ached!)

Grantee Partner:

February 15, 2018:  Members of the Gibney company at the close of “Hands Are For Holding”, a school assembly program that uses dance as a tool for preventing dating violence and promoting healthy relationships.  This highly interactive program, which was a hit with its audience of high school students, was a vivid demonstration of Gibney’s deep engagement with the communities it serves.

Grantee Partner:

February 10, 2018:  Cora’s Student Apprentice Company performs at a cultivation brunch.  The organization is broadening its base of financial supporters in advance of moving to a permanent home.

Organization:
School in the Square

February 8, 2018:  These student Ambassadors gave us a wonderful overview of life at School in the Square, a new charter school serving Manhattan’s Washington Heights.

Grantee Partner:

February 7, 2018:  Thank you, RTB, for sending us this wonderful photo of your teens in front of the newly installed “Meringoff Family Lobby” sign.  So exciting to be a permanent part of this outstanding organization (and its newly-purchased home base)!

Grantee Partner:

February 3, 2018:  Such a treat to see the talented members of MOVE/NYC in action at the Brooklyn Academy of Music Kids Festival. MOVE provides free pre-professional training for promising young NYC dancers and prepares them to attend the most competitive dance conservatories nationwide.

Grantee Partner:

February 2, 2018:  It was our great honor to spend a morning skiing at Windham Mountain with Adaptive volunteer DJ and disabled Iraq war veteran Ryan, whose bi-skis were purchased with support from the Meringoff Foundation.  All the volunteers we met at Adaptive were deeply committed to giving back to the wounded vets who have given so much to our nation.

Organization:
Catalog for Giving

January 30, 2018:  Rhea Wong (formerly Executive Director of Meringoff grantee Breakthrough New York) leads a discussion on successful foundation site visits for the Catalog’s current members.  The Catalog provides three years of financial support, as well as technical assistance, to a cohort of 15 NYC youth-serving nonprofits.

Grantee Partner:

January 24, 2018:  We attended the Police Foundation’s annual “State of the NYPD” breakfast briefing, where Commissioner James O’Neill discussed the City’s historically low crime rates and his department’s embrace of neighborhood policing.

Grantee Partner:

January 11, 2018:  YW LEAD members with NY State Senator Velmanette Montgomery and NYC Public Advocate Letitia James at the Y’s program marking 100 years of US women’s suffrage.  During the program, some of these young women posed a series of questions to a panel of local women politicians.

Grantee Partner:

January 10, 2018:  Stephen and PENCIL Executive Director Gregg Betheil with one of the graphic panels a design firm created to depict the organization’s history for its recent fundraising gala.  Stephen is the dark-haired figure on the right.

Grantee Partner:

January 6, 2018:  Stephen and Stuart attended Metro Center's annual alumni panel.  Despite frigid temperatures, over 30 program alums participated, sharing their hard-earned insights on campus life with the current crop of college-bound seniors.  Interestingly, several panelists noted that good grades alone weren't sufficient to secure coveted internship and employment opportunites; they stressed the importance of gaining "real life" experience via campus and community activities.

Grantee Partner:

December 15, 2017:  WHEELS' annual College March was thrilling.  The school's entire student body -- even the kindergartners -- lined the two-block route from school house to post office, cheering on incredibly spirited college-bound seniors as they mailed off their college applications.   What a simple but powerful way to celebrate achievement while inculcating the expectation of college attendance!

Grantee Partner:

December 12, 2017:  Turns out, building freestanding structures out of dry spaghetti and marshmallows isn't so easy.  This team-building session was part of GO's work -- supported by the Meringoff Foundation -- to help its elementary school students successfully transition to middle school.

Grantee Partner:

November 30, 2017:  We had a blast sitting in on Ailey instructor Jeffrey Bynum's Modern Dance class for site directors and dance instructors from AileyCamp's ten national sites.  Meringoff support allows these far-flung professionals to gather annually in NYC to learn and share best practices.  As demonstrated by the incredible good will and humor among these apt "students", our grant has helped to transform a geographically diverse group into a cohesive, mutually supportive whole.

Grantee Partner:

November 28, 2017:  It was a great pleasure to introduce a newly-formed family foundation to Epic's great work.  Together, we attended Epic Next's performance of "Building Blocks, Colorful Minds,” an original play based on extensive student field research about the lack of STEM education opportunities in urban communities of color.  As expected, the piece was compellingly thought provoking, and it looks like Epic now has a new funder!

Grantee Partner:

November 22, 2017:  Finally made it to the Eagle Bowl.  Each year at Thanksgiving, Eagle's six houses compete in a flag football competition, followed by turkey lunch with all the trimmings prepared and served by an army of volunteer student cooks and servers.  Winning has its privileges: in addition to getting the coveted trophy and bragging rights, the winning house is served first at lunch!

Grantee Partner:

November 15, 2017: Stephen was thrilled to host Danielle (far left) and Sabrina (far right), high school seniors and active members of the YW Lead program, at his table at the Brooklyn Historical Society Fall Gala.  It was a great opportunity for these young women to learn more about BHS’s mission; it was also a fun night out on the town!  Danielle Guindo, the Y’s Program Director, joined us as well.

Grantee Partner:

November 15, 2017:  Stephen (above left) spoke at “The Art of the Contrarian,” a breakfast panel for the NYC real estate community hosted by SASF.  Fellow speakers included esteemed local real estate leaders Charles Bendit of Taconic Investment Partners,  Francis Greenburger of Time Equities, Ron Moelis of L&M Development Partners, and Mickey Rabina of Rabina Properties.

Grantee Partner:

November 6, 2017: Extreme Kids founder and Board Chair Eliza Factor read from her new memoir, “Strange Beauty: A Portrait of My Son,” for an intimate group of the organization’s supporters.   Felix, the book’s subject, was the inspiration for Extreme Kids’ creation. 

Organization:
Urban Word

November 2, 2017:  “Word Works” is up and running, thanks to a seed grant from the Meringoff Foundation.  In this new program, young writers bring their creativity to corporate settings, connecting host companies to target audiences and UW teens to job opportunities in the creative and new media sectors.  Work Works' inaugural cohort (above) is doing project work at Tumblr’s NYC offices.

Grantee Partner:

October 28, 2017:  Brothers Mustafa and Salah are clearly big fans of the ball pit at Extreme Kids and Crew's new family play space at PS 71 in Ridgewood, Queens.  Meringoff Gen 2 support helped to outfit this fun zone, but this was the first time we've seen it in use.  So great to meet many local families, who all gave the space and Extreme Kids' programming there, a big thumbs up!

Grantee Partner:

October 24, 2018: As part of "Commanding Officer for a Day", Inspector John Chell toured Police Foundation supporters through East New York, Brooklyn's 75th Precinct, which has the highest violent crime rates in NYC (albeit, at rates far lower than in past years).  While youth gang activity sadly accounts for much of the community’s crime, it was heartening to learn that robust youth development programming – found in many of the nonprofits we support – is a highly effective alternative.

Grantee Partner:

October 24, 2017: So great to meet Jasmine Daniels, who was hired in August with support from the Meringoff Foundation.  In her new position as Alumni Outreach Coordinator, Jasmine is working with recent graduates of WHEELS (Washington Heights Expeditionary Learning School).  With many of them attending various CUNYs, she is spending considerable time on these local campuses making sure that WHEELS alums are getting what they need to thrive in college.

Grantee Partner:

October 23, 2017:  Epic high school students took three college trips this fall -- all supported by the Meringoff Foundation -- to Connecticut, Upstate New York, and Ohio.  The swing through Connecticut included stops at Trinity (above), Wesleyan, and UConn (Go Huskies!).

Grantee Partner:

October 23, 2017: Attended a "College 201" workshop, where a group of highly-engaged OppNet high school juniors learned about the online search tools to help them launch the beginning stages of an informed college inquiry process.  It was great to see Nancy Corona co-lead this interactive session, as Meringoff support helped to fund her newly-created position.

Grantee Partner:

October 23, 2017: Shannon Hummel at Cora just sent us several pix of her Red Hook after school dancers sporting their new dancewear.  The Meringoff Foundation fronted half the funds for the dancewear with a challenge for Cora's other friends and supporters to join us.  Of course, the Cora community came through with flying colors (and the dancers now look extra-amazing)!

Grantee Partner:

October 19, 2017: The highlight of the wonderful Eagle Convocation ceremony:  the senior class appearing onstage with their spanking new Eagle cardigan sweaters.  This ceremony, where each Eagle senior was urged to "finish the race" and ensure that all of his fellow scholars do so as well, was an inspiring celebration of community responsibility. 

Grantee Partner:

October 18, 2017: Stephen and Stuart were thrilled to attend the ribbon cutting for the Elaine Wynn & Family Education Wing, the culmination of an ambitious capital campaign which included the construction of nine new dance studios and classrooms atop the existing roof of Ailey's home base, the Joan Weill Center for Dance.  Our campaign participation was earmarked toward the growth of the national AileyCamp program.

Grantee Partner:

October 16, 2017:  So great to meet the Meringoff Fellows at Flushing High School.  This cohort of 20 hand-picked juniors will receive two years of intensive, hands-on college prep, inquiry, and application guidance from newly-hired SASF staff based at their school.  Can't wait to see where this group ends up!

Grantee Partner:

September 29, 2017:  Emma and Tanisha, College Prep Academy employees -- and program graduates! -- unpacking two of the forty laptops the Meringoff Foundation purchased for the program.  These computers will greatly assist high school seniors with submitting online college applications, and their families with financial aid applications.  No more frustration with computer crashes from outmoded equipment!  

Grantee Partner:

September 26, 2017:  The Y just forwarded us this terrific photo of participants from the YW Lead program, who took to the streets today to register voters in advance of November's election.

Grantee Partner:

August 17, 2017:  Took part in another community writing workshop, this time at a residential program for formerly homeless young men up in the Bronx.  While NYWC collaborates with an impressive range of host community partners, every workshop series ends on a similar high note: New Yorkers who wouldn’t have necessarily thought of themselves as writers hone their own indelibly unique perspectives on the world around them through the written word.

Grantee Partner:

August 16, 2017: We were thrilled to attend the awards banquet for this year’s crop of college-bound RTBers, each of whom received a $2,500 scholarship award.  The Meringoff Foundation provided a $10,000 challenge for these scholarships, which generated an additional $15,000 from other donors.

Grantee Partner:

August 15, 2017:  Stephen and Executive Director Gregg Betheil flank Shemar, Taylor, Kimberly, and Sarah.  These rising high school seniors submitted winning essays about the personal growth they experienced as corporate interns through the PENCIL Fellows program.  The Meringoff Foundation donated the $6,000 in scholarship prizes they collectively received.  (We are also very proud that the theme PENCIL used in this year’s competition was inspired by the Meringofff Foundation’s MVP awards!)

Grantee Partner:

August 12, 2017:  Epic’s Jim Wallert moderates an audience talkback with the casts of “Building Blocks: Colorful Minds” and “Laundry City” after a double bill performance.  Both works were researched and created by Epic Next students, and reflect various educational inequities they have experienced in their daily lives.  Building Blocks explores the dearth of STEM educational opportunities, and subsequent barriers to employment in STEM-related fields, faced by students of color; Laundry City examines the de facto segregation in NYC’s public schools.  Both of these shows – casts included – will tour in many community settings across NY State.

Grantee Partner:

August 10, 2017:  100-plus AileyCampers just barely fit on stage for the finale of the program’s culminating performance.  Every year, we’re amazed at how much can be accomplished in six short weeks.  These 11-to-14 year-olds, most of them new to dance, wowed us with their talent and commitment.  They put on an amazing show!

Grantee Partner:

 

August 10, 2017:  At Urban Dove’s summer camp in Bed Stuy, teen counselors – all students at the Urban Dove Team Charter School – led what looked like a really fun craft project.  Alas, we were sad to see that no adult-sized t-shirts were on offer…!!  Our visit was also a great opportunity to hear about Urban Dove’s plans to open a second school in the Bronx in 2018 to replicate its successes with struggling high school students in Brooklyn.

Grantee Partner:

August 8, 2017:  So exciting to see all of the physical upgrades to Sunrise Stables in Howard Beach, Queens.  When Gallop acquired the facility last year, it was a neglected mess.  There’s still lots to do, but Sunrise is now a safe, well maintained home to Gallop’s 24 horses.  It’s also a great facility (and location!) from which to provide signifigantly increased numbers of New Yorkers with therapeutic riding lessons.  Meringoff support paid for improved lighting and irrigation at Sunrise.  

Grantee Partner:

August 5, 2017:   Observed a College Boot Camp session for several of Breakthrough’s rising college Freshmen.  BTNY’s director of College and Career Success provided a workshop on the academic, wellness, financial, and career supports available on campus. In the fall, they’ll be off to Lawrence College, Middlebury, SUNY Geneseo, DePaul, Medgar Evers Community College, Babson, NYU, Dickinson, and SUNY Binghampton.  And two of these impressive teens will be getting full-ride Posse scholarships!     

Grantee Partner:

August 4, 2017:  At Langan Engineering in Midtown, we got to sit in on an interview with company V.P. Jared Green conducted by five Epic Nexters.  These high school juniors and seniors are researching an original theater piece about lack of access to STEM education in communities of color.  Jared answered their probing questions about his own lack of high school exposure to engineering, and subsequent educational and career pursuits in the field.  Can’t wait to see the finished play!

Grantee Partner:

August 4, 2017:  Young associates at Morgan Stanley hosted an incredibly informative panel discussion for PENCIL Fellows interested in careers in finance.  Panelists discussed the importance of grit and persistence, suggested “side door” entrances to competitive corporate internships, and stressed that curiosity, attention to detail, and the ability to make genuine human connections are key ingredients to corporate success.

Grantee Partner:

August 2, 2017:  At Summer Bridge, incoming sixth graders spend two weeks learning about the responsibilities of being a member of the Eagle family.   We sat in on several classes, and were incredibly impressed with the young men we met.  Eagle's teachers never fail to inspire!  

Grantee Partner:

July 31, 2017:  Sailing instructor Alyssa, a rising sophomore at the University of Albany (and longtime RTB participant), preps younger students at the start of a four-day sail to Connecticut.  Her impressive leadership skills are a wonderful testament to RTB's unique approach to youth development.

Grantee Partner:

July 25, 2017:  Every time we visit AileyCamp, we learn something new about the program’s incredible impact.  For instance…ballet instructor Winston Brown was an AileyCamper in the 1990s in his native Kansas City (!).  One mark of success in a youth development provider (and we see this in so many of our grantee partners): alumni returning to inspire the next generation.

Grantee Partner:

July 21, 2017:  Back with TKU, this time to see campers’ final presentations for their "client", the NY Transit Museum, of the subway-inspired computer games they designed over the past week.  While Benji’s Subway Turnstile Dodger looks particularly fun, we will continue to use a MetroCard!

Grantee Partner:

July 21, 2017:  It was fascinating to sit in on a planning session for the new “Badging System” that will quantify the media industry standards being taught to Reel Works’ young filmmakers.  The goal: to place even more RW teens in highly coveted “on set” internships.  Meringoff funding supports this in-depth planning process.  

Grantee Partner:

July 21, 2017:  At Extreme Kids’ summer camp in Red Hook, it’s quite clear that the ingredients for incredibly fun and interactive water play are pretty simple: a garden hose and a couple of plastic tubs and buckets.  (It took every ounce of Stuart’s restraint to stay dry.)

Grantee Partner:

July 20, 2017:  Stephen hosted a lunch at his office for this group from the Y’s YW Lead, a college inquiry / leadership development program for which we provided seed funding.  It was a real treat to spend unstructured time with these impressive young women, and incredibly affirming to learn first-hand how YW Lead is helping them hone their individual strengths and prepare for college and beyond.

Grantee Partner:

July 19, 2017:  Interim Director Gayle Villani (R) attracted some seriously exciting guests to a career panel for middle school students enrolled in Go’s summer program.  Executives from a fashion house, a television production company, and a music record label talked about the career paths that led them to their dream jobs, and answered lots and lots of questions from highly engaged Go kids.

Grantee Partner:

July 18, 2018:  Stephen got an opportunity to sail on an FDNY fireboat and invited a group from Rocking the Boat to join him.  While the state-of-the-art “Marine 1” is a bit different than the wooden longboats these students build and sail on the Bronx River, the teens had a great time enjoying the sites during a spectacular loop around lower Manhattan.

Grantee Partner:

July 18, 2017: At the start of TKU’s week-long summer camp session on designing interactive video games for “client” NY Transit Museum, Stuart spoke to campers about his regular gig hosting the Museum’s annual Transit Trivia contest.  Transportation geeks of all ages get really excited about transit-themed games!

Grantee Partner:

July 14, 2017:  College 101 is a two-week intensive on college inquiry for rising juniors who are just entering OppNet’s six-year program of college readiness and persistence.  At the workshop we attended at the close of Week 1, Lead College Advisor Manny conducts a session to help teens be proactive about the college search process, and begin to think about schools that will best fit their individual needs.

Grantee Partner:

June 19, 2017:  With Meringoff Foundation support, a group of Epic students attended a two-day college tour of Upstate New York, with stops at Hamilton College and SUNY Oneonta.  We were excited to learn that several Epic students who attended a round of fall college trips, which the Foundation also supported, will be matriculating at schools they visited then, including Ithaca College, Buffalo State, Saint Lawrence University, Marist College, and SUNY Albany.  

Grantee Partner:

June 15, 2017:  Stephen Meringoff receives his award as the honoree at Ailey’s Spirit Gala from a young dancer, as Ailey Artistic Director Robert Battle looks on.  This award was given in recognition of Stephen’s dedicated board service to the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, as well as his long-time support of its broad range of education programs.  As Honoree, Stephen was an indefatigable advocate for the event, and his many efforts ensured that this was Ailey’s most financially successful and highest attended Spirit Gala ever!

Grantee Partner:

June 9, 2017:  Attended a training for Early Childhood instructors in the Bronx, as part of CMOM’s “All the Way to K and Beyond” program we support.  Museum educators modeled simple arts and movement exercises that these teachers – and their students’ caregivers – can use to promote early literacy development in everyday activities.  

Grantee Partner:

June 7, 2017:  The annual Spring Arts Showcase highlighted the incredibly talented dancers, musicians, singers, and visual artists who participate in SASF’s many after school programs.  The smile on the boy in this dance troupe from P.S. 189 in the Bronx says it all!

Organization:
Meringoff Family Foundation

June 6, 2017:  Here is the 2017 cohort of nine Meringoff Victory Prize winners of $2,500 scholarships.  It was great to finally meet this group of high school seniors, after getting to know them so well through the essays they submitted about their experiences with our grantee partners.  This competition rewards outstanding NYC teens while tangibly demonstrating that great nonprofits can truly change lives.

Grantee Partner:

June 2, 2017:  At Eagle’s Extended Day Showcase, we saw student demonstrations of the many after school activities our funding supports.  During this fun event, Stuart couldn’t help himself and bought a handmade bracelet.

Grantee Partner:

May 19, 2017:  Executive Director Aaron Zimmerman welcomes guests to the NYWC 15th anniversary celebration.  The Foundation was proud to support this event and the dozens of creative writing workshop groups made possible by its proceeds.

Grantee Partner:

May 18, 2018:  Stephen was particularly pleased to attend BMCC's spring gala, because his old friend and highly esteemed real estate colleague, Jeffrey Gural (left), was the evening’s honoree.

Grantee Partner:

May 18, 2017:  It was a real honor to meet Officers Dan Sendrowski and John Campanella at the Police Foundation’s annual fundraising gala.  They were the first NYPD on the scene after last fall’s terrorist bombing in Chelsea and are truly New York’s finest!

Organization:
Animal Haven

May 16, 2017:  This fluff ball is actually a week-old kitten Sophie and Stuart got to meet at Animal Haven’s state of the shelter lower Manhattan.  This beautiful facility is home to 35 cats and 35 dogs, all adorable and all eminently adoptable.  

Grantee Partner:

May 9, 2017: Thrilling to see how quickly RTB Board President Carla Murphy used our $10,000 challenge to raise an additional $19,000 in college scholarship support for this year’s graduating seniors at the annual Whitehall Awards fundraiser at the New York Yacht Club.

Organization:
Catalog for Giving

May 9, 2017: Thanks to our friends at Catalog for Giving, Stuart was a judge at Generation Citizen’s annual Civics Day, where teams of middle and high school students  select a pressing challenge in their community and research a viable local response.  These young people from IS 230 in Jackson Heights presented a thoughtful plan for making public transportation more affordable for low income New Yorkers.  

Grantee Partner:

May 2, 2017:  At Adaptive’s Warriors in Motion Master Chef Celebration, Stuart was interviewed by Carla Hall of ABC’s The Chew about the importance of supporting the organization’s sports programs for disabled veterans.  It was a thrill to meet Carla, and yes, she’s just as warm and friendly in person as on TV!

Organization:
New York Transit Museum

May 1, 2017: The Foundation provided financial support for today’s symposium on “Designing Experiences for People with Autism.” The Transit Museum’s Access Coordinator Meredith Gregory gave a terrific presentation at the day’s closing panel on special needs programs in action, which also featured representatives from MoMA and Lincoln Center.  Our first grant to the Transit Museum in 2014 supported Meredith’s hire; we are enormously proud of all that she and her colleagues have accomplished there, as well as in the larger field.

Organization:
Catalog for Giving

April 27, 2017:  Communications consultant Marti Fischer leads a workshop for youth serving nonprofits on perfecting their elevator pitches; Meringoff funding supports the Catalog’s work of building the capacity of its cohort members.  Marti’s presentation was absolutely top notch, and as were the workshop participants.  The Catalog’s cohort members are an impressive group!

Grantee Partner:

April 22, 2017:  Attended joint workshops, one for parents, the other for eighth graders, designed to prepared GO students and families for the realities of high school. GO worked extensively with these families on navigating the complicated public high school application process.  With school selections now finalized, these complementary programs will help ensure a smooth transition from middle to high school.

Grantee Partner:

April 19, 2017:  Stephen and Stuart attended the ribbon cutting ceremony for NYCF’s new headquarters, which combines gleaming, state of the art labs with great public spaces to allow researchers to interact with the general public.  We’re particularly proud of the above named space, which provides a calming respite for NYSCF’s incredibly hard working staff.

Grantee Partner:

April 17, 2017:  Dennis, Jonathan, and Pei Yi, PENCIL Fellows alumni, talked about their internship experiences from last summer to help prepare an incoming crop of over 600 Fellows, by far the largest-ever Fellows cohort.  Jessica Bynoe, PENCIL’s new Director of Programs, did a great moderating this lively, and very honest, conversation.  The incoming Fellows weren’t shy, and peppered these three with lots of questions.

Grantee Partner:

April 16, 2017: Congratulations to Gallop rider Leah Kest, who took home the title of Reserve Champion at the Long Island Horse Show Series for Riders with Disabilities!

Organization:
LIFT

March 27, 2017: Enjoyed meeting program participants (L-R) Tatiana, Violet, and Christina at LIFT’s Parenting Workshop for Young Parents in the Morrisania section of the Bronx; this excellent session was led by Noemi (far right).  Last fall, Meringoff Gen 2 support piloted this new program, which addresses young parents’ unique needs.  It’s great to see that a fully developed workshop is now up and running.

Grantee Partner:

March 27, 2017: Jim Wallert leads 9th grade English students at the Chelsea Career and Technical HS in a dialogue writing workshop.  Through Epic’s 20-session residency, these students are adapting Antigone to 1990 NYC, where Creon is now the visiting Pope who has banned dancing; his niece, the Mayor’s daughter, defies the edict by dancing with her boyfriend on Fifth Ave…  Drama indeed! 

Grantee Partner:

March 23, 2017: Eagle high school students demonstrating their new-found cooking skills at an Extended Day open house.  Meringoff funding supports 18 after school activities at Eagle, including photography, web design, barbering, drama, anime, and cooking.  BTW, the sautéed kale was delicious!

Grantee Partner:

March 13, 2017: Had a wonderful time at NYWC’s new “Writing Aloud” series at a café in downtown Brooklyn.  Poet Sam Sax kicked off the evening with an incredibly engaging reading of several of his short works.  He then gave the assembled audience a writing prompt (“Write an invented origin story for something you love.  A song, a food, god, your city -- anything you absolutely love.  Begin your piece with the phrase ‘In The Beginning.’”).  We had 15 minutes to write, then the evening transformed into an open mic.  This exciting evening wonderfully blurred the lines between artist and audience.

Grantee Partner:

March 13, 2017: Attended the final show of Epic’s “Romeo and Juliet Remix”, performed and co-written by students at Urban Assembly School for the Performing Arts in Harlem.  In her introduction, Epic artistic director Melissa Friedman (above), explained how the students transferred the play from Verona to East Harlem, with Shakespeare’s rival families now cast as warring gangs.  The students’ take on R&J was riveting, and several of their performances outstanding.

 

Grantee Partner:

March 11, 2017:  For the first-time ever, there was a tie in SASF’s annual Step Dance competition.  Nineteen of the organization’s afterschool sites entered a team, but the judges couldn’t decide between Brownsville’s P.S./I.S. 66 Diamond Steppers and Sunset Park’s M.S. 663K Diversity, as both of their sets were off the charts.  After much deliberation, two winners were declared.  Full disclosure: Stuart was one of the ten judges.

Grantee Partner:

March 11, 2017: At TKU Fake News Hackathon, a panel of reporters and editors (L-R, Amanda Holpuch of The Guardian, Jeff Mays of News One, and Ken Brown of The Wall Street Journal with moderator Justin Hendrix of NYC Media Lab) talked to TKU teens about the difference between real and fake news and how to critically look at news sources.  The teens then went on to create real and fake news GIFs and memes.

Organization:
Katie Piper Foundation

March 2, 2017:  The Foundation’s first international site visit!  Katie (center) and Stuart had an inspiring visit with Katie Piper (right) and Carla Cornwell (left) at the London-based Katie Piper Foundation.  After she was severely burned in an acid attack nine years ago, Katie P. founded this organization to provide services to other burns survivors.  We discussed a potentially far reaching grant, where the Meringoff Foundation would support KPF’s work to get the UK’s National Health Insurance to cover increased services to burns survivors.   

Grantee Partner:

February 24, 2017: Tech Kid Collins, above, works on the logo design for a new website commissioned by the Doug Flutie Jr. Foundation for Autism. The Flutie Foundation, which promotes employment opportunities for adults with Autism, contacted TKU to create an online marketplace for products produced by workers on the Autism spectrum.  Over four days, twelve members of the T3 (Tech Teen Team) Digital Agency – which received start-up funding from the Meringoff Foundation – got to work.  Charlotte and Stuart attended the Team’s final client presentation, where team members walked us through the completed site (which looks great!).  ShopTheSpectrum.org should be live in three weeks.

Grantee Partner:

Feb 21, 2017: Had a great meeting with Weill Cornell’s Dr. Grace Sun, who just returned from a week in Dodoma, Tanzania (above).  Her team, with colleagues from the Moran Eye Center in Salt Lake City, screened over 2,000 patients and performed 440 cataract surgeries.  While on these semi-annual visits, the NY and Utah doctors also provide ongoing training to several Tanzanian ophthalmologists, which has greatly increased local surgical capacity.   

Grantee Partner:

Feb 21, 2017: Sat in on health care consultant Sahar Zodeh's presentation to a group of high school seniors from the YW Lead program, which received seed funding from the Meringoff Foundation.  Sahar (far right) talked about her college experiences and career path, and fielded lots of informed questions.  After the formal program, we got to chat with the young women, and were excited to learn that they were all applying to at least eight colleges.  This wide net is a direct result of YW Lead’s work to expand their educational horizons. 

Grantee Partner:

January 21, 2017: It was great to meet Whitney, seated at desk.  She’s the part-time Academy Program Administrator whose salary is being underwritten by the Meringoff Foundation.  She’s also an Academy alum who went on to earn a BA and Masters in Economics at NYU.  Whitney and longtime program volunteer Jumanah (who just earned her Masters in Music from Columbia) are getting ready to teach an Algebra Regents Exam prep class.  (Stuart discovered that he’s forgotten nearly all of the Algebra he learned 40 years ago!)

Grantee Partner:

January 5, 2017:  About 30 members of Breakthrough’s college cohort attended a panel discussion with eight young professionals, representing a variety of fields, who discussed their wending paths from college major to current career.  Meringoff funding allows Breakthrough to ensure that the high school students it helped get into competitive colleges continue to thrive while there.

Organization:
Made In Brownsville

January 5, 2017:  Darren, Irie, and Kenneth pose with some of the professional-grade video equipment purchased through our Gen 2 grant; they’re currently “test driving” the cameras with the music video they’re working on.  This equipment will officially debut next month as MiB’s launches video workshops for local youth.  Best of all, these workshops, and all of MiB’s programs which engage young Brownsville residents in the creative economy, will take place in its newly acquired storefront home. 

Grantee Partner:

December 19, 2016:  Thank you, Dr. Violaine Harris, for being such a wonderful tour guide at today’s visit to the Tisch MS Research Center.  It was particularly exciting to hear about the incredibly promising results of its Phase-1 stem cell treatment trials.  We’re so proud to support this life-changing work! 

Organization:
Urban Word

December 17, 2016:  It’s always a treat to attend UW’s annual NYC Youth Poet Laureate competition, the finals of which were held at the NY Public Library main branch.  Winner Sharon Lin, pictured above with Urban Word Executive Director Michael Cirelli, will spend her year-long reign working to engage local youth in the electoral process.  And as Youth Poet Laureate, she’ll see a volume of her poetry published by an independent publishing house.

Organization:
KAVI

December 16, 2016:  While visiting KAVI’s violence prevention programming on the Wingate High School campus in Crown Heights, Brooklyn, we met workshop peer leaders Kerrel and Joseph (pictured alongside staffers Jacquel and Abena).  Meringoff funding not only supports the salaries of these young men, but it has doubled the number of KAVI workshops at Wingate!

Grantee Partner:

December 2, 2016:  Stephen greets the Directors of AileyCamp's nine national sites (Atlanta, Baltimore, Berkeley, Chicaco, Kansas City, Miami, New York, Newark, and Seattle), who met in NYC for advanced training and to share their best practices in youth development.  The Meringoff Foundation supports this annual convening. 

Grantee Partner:

November 30, 2016:  Stephen and Kim with Artistic Director Robert Battle at this year's Ailey Gala.  A thrilling performance to launch the company's annual City Center season, followed by an incredible dance party at the Hilton.  A memorable night on the town! 

Grantee Partner:

November 29, 2016:  So much to see during our visit to the Eagle Academy Extended Day for middle school students: classes in fitness, martial arts, music production, forensics, step dancing, drumming, and barbering.  Stuart needed a trim, but someone was already in the barber's chair!

Grantee Partner:

November 21, 2016:  Attended a rehearsal of Cora’s Youth Company in Red Hook.  Their evident talent was expected, but it was a pleasant surprise to see such incredible cohesion and tight interpersonal bonds between the dancers.  Turns out, most of these young dancers have been coming to Cora since they were five or six years old!

Grantee Partner:

November 14, 2016:  Traveled up to the Bronx High School for Business to check in on the Young Men’s Initiative we helped to launch there.  These young men, many of them English Language Learners, are being kept on track through CHCF’s effective and practical infusion of work, life, and academic skills instruction.

Grantee Partner:

November 13, 2016:  Sat in on a dance/choreography workshop for AileyCamp alumni.  Once again, was struck by their talent, poise, and maturity.

Grantee Partner:

November 3, 2016:  At a cultivation event in Dumbo, Brooklyn, Charlotte announces our three-year challenge grant to support Extreme Kids’ expansion to additional schools. Her steadfast support has been key to the careful growth of this outstanding organization. 

Grantee Partner:

October 28, 2016:  Just received this photo from TKU’s first-ever Halloween Teen Social at NYU Tandon School of Engineering.  Sorry to have missed this fun night.

Grantee Partner:

 October 25, 2016:  We had the great pleasure of getting a first-hand account of Weill Cornell's on-the-ground work of improving eye care in Tanzania from Dr. Frank Sandi.  An ophthalmologist based in Dodoma, Tanzania, Dr. Sandi has received extensive mentoring and advanced training from his colleagues at Weill Cornell.  The Meringoff Foundation supports this international exchange.  Pictured above are, L to R, Dr. Grace Sun (Weill Cornell), Stephen Meringoff, Dr. Sandi, and Dr. Donald D'Amico (Weill Cornell).

Grantee Partner:

October 24, 2016: Epic sent us this photo of a recent college trip for its high school seniors to SUNY-Binghampton, part of an Upstate swing that also included Ithaca, Hobart and William Smith, and Hamilton Colleges.  Other colleges visited this fall are SUNY-Potsdam, St. Lawrence University, SUNY-Albany, Marist, Allegheny, SUNY-Buffalo State, and Niagara University.  To quote Epic’s Executive Director Ron Russell, “Whew!  LOTS of driving!”

Grantee Partner:

October 20, 2016:  Stephen (right) talks with fellow engineer Paul McCoy (center) at the annual NYSCF gala.  This unique event gives guests an opportunity to meet the men and women on the frontlines of stem cell research.  Mr. McCoy, NYSCF’s Principal Automation Engineer, is designing the machinery used by stem cell researchers to develop individualized treatment options for colon cancer patients.

Grantee Partner:

October 18, 2016:  BMCC President Antonio Perez addresses this semester’s incoming “Out In Two” cohort, all recipients of full academic scholarships.  Thanks to Meringoff Foundation support, this program, which ensures that high achieving students earn their Associates degree in two years and go on to four-year colleges, now serves twice as many BMCC students.

Grantee Partner:

October 13, 2016:  At NYWC’s poetry salon, writing workshop leaders and participants read their work alongside poetry VIPs Carl Hancock Rux, NYC First Lady Chirlane McCray, and Pulitzer Prize winner Vijay Seshadri (above).

Organization:
Bronx Community College

September 29, 2016:  Samuel White, great-grandson of famed architect Stanford White, and Stephen near the top of the rotunda at Gould Memorial Library on the campus of Bronx Community College.  The Meringoff Foundation provided seed funding to conduct a full-scale planning study to inform the restoration of this White-designed landmark and architectural masterpiece.

Grantee Partner:

September 27, 2016: At PENCIL’s annual gala, Fox-5 newscaster Rosanna Scotto interviewed several students, who provided disarmingly unscripted observations about their real world experiences with local corporations through the PENCIL Partners program.  

Grantee Partner:

September 22, 2016: Student talkback following the debut performance at Columbia Teachers College of “Laundry City”.  During Epic’s summer intensive, these five high school students interviewed 30 educators and administrators on the topic of school segregation in NYC.  The result: a fast, funny play exploring the tensions between school desegregation and separate but equal.  Eight civic and educational organizations have already booked performances; in addition to their gigs throughout NY City and State, the Epic teens are slated to perform in Sante Fe and DC.

Organization:
LIFT

September 22, 2016:  During Katie and Stuart's visit to Manhattan Family Court, we were thrilled to see LIFT staffers assist parents without legal representation in navigating the complexities of family law and the Family Court system. 

Grantee Partner:

September 20, 2016:  Ailey II dancers welcome guests to its "roof raising" ceremony by performinng an except from Reveleations in the lobby of Joan Weill Center for Dance.  Ailey is about to construct three additional floors atop the roof of its current Midtown home, creating significantly more space for dance studios and classrooms. 

Grantee Partner:

August 18, 2016: At the culminating event for PENCIL Fellows, we met many impressive young leaders including Abdoulaye, Sabina, and Kalen. Over the summer, they respectively interned at Theaterworks USA, Brooklyn Public Library, and Golden Touch. Stephen Meringoff delivered the evening’s keynote address and the Foundation once again underwrote the cash awards for the annual PENCIL Fellows scholarship competition.

Grantee Partner:

August 15, 2016:  At the Epic Next summer intensive at City College, the collected group – Epic’s most advanced students – offered supportive critiques to a group of rising 10th graders on their dramatic monologues.  Over the next two years, their monologues, which will continue to develop, will be a key component of their application to college drama programs.

Grantee Partner:

August 15, 2016:  At the Epic Next summer intensive at City College, the collected group – Epic’s most advanced students – offered supportive critiques to a group of rising 10th graders on their dramatic monologues.  Over the next two years, their monologues, which will continue to develop, will be a key as they apply to college drama programs.

Grantee Partner:

August 11, 2016:  AileyCamp instructors take a bow at the close of this summer’s culminating performance at Hostos Community College.  As always, the young dancers dazzled, but as this group shot demonstrates, it takes a village of caring and committed adults to facilitate the exciting growth the AileyCampers experienced.

Grantee Partner:

August 11, 2016:  At RTB’s first-ever awards ceremony for its college-bound graduating seniors, Stephen Meringoff looks on as Executive Director Adam Green presents a scholarship check to Kevin F., who is heading to SUNY New Paltz.  All of the seniors wrote essays about their experiences at RTB.  Kevin’s piece was particularly eloquent: “Watching a wooden boat form from a single piece of wood to a full sized 25-foot steamboat is humbling.  As I helped build he boat, I slowly built my character.  Having dedication and passion for creating something larger than I had ever imagined is my greatest achievement so far….Seeing that boat develop made me realize I too could develop and become something.”  The Meringoff Foundation contributed to the scholarship fund that directly supports young leaders like Kevin.

Grantee Partner:

August 11, 2016: This summer, Extreme Kids hosted its first-ever summer camp program, with three themed two-week sessions: Arts, Sports, and Animals.  Charlotte and Stuart visited during Animals, where campers spent several days horseback riding with Gallop NYC in Prospect Park.  We were thrilled to meet Assistant Teacher Jay, who was a semi-finalist in our MVP competition; through Extreme Kids, Jay has found his calling, and is off to college this fall as a Special Education major!

Grantee Partner:

August 10, 2016: At TKU’s summer camp program at NYU Poly in downtown Brooklyn, students learn “Scratch” coding to facilitate digital storytelling.  Each week of this eight-week program covers different topics, including video editing, 3-D printing, and creating customized tech tools for actual clients like the NY Transit Museum and Pace University.

Grantee Partner:

August 8, 2016: Charlotte and Stuart visited NYSCF’s future home on the far west side of Manhattan, where Development Director Christine Lin walked us through the architectural plans for transforming this vast, raw industrial space into a world-class, state-of-the-art stem cell research facility.

Organization:
KAVI

August 8, 2016: At KAVI’s summer program on the campus of Wingate High School in Crown Heights, high school students spent their first four weeks in intensive leadership and workshop facilitation trainings.  For the last two weeks (when we visited), they demonstrated their new-found skills by running all aspects of an abbreviated camp program for younger kids.  As part of their overall theme of the intersections between fashion, social media, and marketing, guest speaker and community entrepreneur Phillip Shung talked to the students about being socially responsible consumers.

Grantee Partner:

July 30, 2016:  Sat in on the Ft. Greene Park Summer Youth Writing Workshop, a free six-week series for young writers of all ages.  This group of 11-13 year olds wrote pieces about students with super hero powers.  Many of these writers have literally grown up in NYWC, attending this program over several summers.

Organization:
GEMS

July 29, 2016:  Imagine our pleasant surprise when we saw that Lara, one of our MVP scholarship winners, was the emcee for GEMS’ Educational Initiative awards ceremony.  As a highlight of the event, several GEMS girls spoke movingly about the many obstacles they overcame to pursue higher education.  Very inspiring!

Grantee Partner:

July 27, 2016: Though our support of the FDNY Foundation, we had access to a private fire boat tour of New York Harbor.  Who better to share this incredible opportunity than a group of rising 7th and 8th graders from Eagle Academy?!?

Organization:
Meringoff Family Foundation

July 26, 2016:  The Meringoff Foundation invited its grantee partners working in the college access sphere to an informal gathering to discuss unaddressed mental health issues facing first generation college students.  Lots of excitement, and a great sense of common purpose.  Looking forward to seeing how this conversation continues in the coming months.

Grantee Partner:

July 22, 2016:  Using “Google Cardboard”, Stuart checks out the 360-degree “virtual reality” subway etiquette PSAs Tech Kids created for the Transit Museum during a week-long residency.  These terrific pieces will soon be on the Museum’s website.

Grantee Partner:

July 22, 2016:  During the week, these students at Urban Dove’s Brooklyn high school are sports counselors for younger kids.  Fridays are reserved for college prep.  Through this spirited round of “two truths and a lie”, the teens – who without Urban Dove in their court, wouldn’t view college as a realistic possibility – start thinking about what to highlight on their college application personal statement.

Grantee Partner:

July 20, 2016:  At AileyCamp’s open house, it was great to see that tap has been added to the dance mix, along with modern, jazz, and ballet.  After only two weeks of Camp, this routine looked incredibly polished, synchronized, and fun!

Organization:
American Littoral Society

July 19, 2016: It was a real treat for Sophie and Stuart to take a boat tour of Jamaica Bay to inspect the many accomplishments of the summer youth Restoration Corps.  We saw verdant wetlands, wooden platforms for osprey nests, and spotless shorelines.  Above, corps members “seine” the shore, i.e. sweep a large net and inspect the catch.  The number, size, and diversity of the catch – which is quickly released back to the water – offer important clues about the local ecosystem's health.

Grantee Partner:

July 14, 2016: Go hosted a high school selection workshop for its families.  Our main takeaway: the DOE application process is incredibly complex, and there’s no “one size fits all” approach.  Fortunately, this program was simply an introductory overview.  Moving forward, Go will work individually with each of its families to develop a 90-day work plan for researching and applying to the schools that best meet their child’s specific needs.

Grantee Partner:

July 14, 2016: At Visitor’s Day for the Brooklyn summer program, we met an impressive trio: Vivek, a rising 8th grader who wants to attend Bard HS, and Clio and Fatoumata, rising 9th graders off, respectively, to Phillips Academy and Thatcher.  While the program’s focus is intensive academic prep, the vibe is distinctly summer camp fun!

Grantee Partner:

July 13, 2016:  Stuart was one of about 40 volunteers conducting mock interviews with rising 8th graders as they prepare for the demanding high school application process.  A few days later, this thank you note arrived, a great reminder of time well-spent.

Grantee Partner:

July 13, 2016:  Trayvon, a recent NYU Tisch graduate, leads students through some simple breathing exercises to manage stress.  A new Mindfulness track – deploying yoga and meditation techniques – is an important addition to the Summer College Prep Academy’s solid academics.  

Grantee Partner:

July 12, 2016:  Percussion class at Eagle’s summer program.  During the visit, we were thrilled to learn that through our support, the 2015-16 Extended Day programming was the strongest ever, with 94% of students participating in chess, forensics, barbering, culinary arts, debate, and Regents prep classes.

Grantee Partner:

July 6, 2016: Stephen Meringoff offered his advice to this year’s PENCIL Fellows before the start of their six-week internships. His four points, in brief: find a mentor, read everything, become indispensable, and reflect on what you’ve learned.  This summer, PENCIL is placing a record 400-plus high school juniors and seniors in summer positions at NYC’s leading employers, including Estee Lauder, JPMorgan, Deloitte, NYC Department of Education, Columbia University, and American Airlines.

Grantee Partner:

July 5, 2016: Just received this photo from Tanzania, where local ophthalmologist Dr. Frank Sandi (left) performs a procedure alongside Dr. Grace Sun from Weill Cornell.  The Meringoff Foundation supports Weill Cornell’s work to greatly expand the number of locally trained eye surgeons working in Tanzania.  We look forward to meeting Dr. Sandi in the fall, when he is scheduled to travel to NYC to receive additional training at Weill Cornell.

Grantee Partner:

June 28, 2016: At today’s graduation ceremony, many stirring speakers – students and faculty alike – stressed Eagle’s values of brotherhood and mutual responsibility.  We also got to meet Jahrell Joseph, a winner of our Meringoff Victory Prize.  Jahrell was unable to attend the June 7th awards ceremony because he was at a Morehouse College orientation; he’ll be a freshman there this fall!  

Grantee Partner:

June 19, 2016: For the first time ever, Gallop hosted its annual horse show in Central Park, which provided a spectacular backdrop for riders to demonstrate their horsemanship (and receive blue ribbons!).

Grantee Partner:

June 8, 2016:  Wow...AileyCampers are center stage at Lincoln Center's David Koch Theater, performing at Ailey’s Spirit Gala!

Grantee Partner:

June 8, 2016:  This is the “after” picture, now that the sensory play space at P.S. 71 is fully outfitted.  Scroll down to January 21 to see “before”.  So proud to support this incredible transformation!

Organization:
Meringoff Family Foundation

June 7, 2016:  The family celebrates the achievements of our inaugural group of Meringoff Victory Prize winners; each "MVP" received a $2,500 scholarship.  From left to right, Asher from Epic Theatre Ensemble, Atira from NY Writers Coalition, Darniece from Go Project, Tai-yan from Hemophilia Association of NY, David from Committee for Hispanic Children and Families, Lara from GEMS, and Hannah from Rocking the Boat; Jahrell from Eagle Academy was unable to attend.  For more details on this essay competition for college-bound high school seniors, see our website's "News" tab.   

Grantee Partner:

June 6, 2016:  Claudia (at podium), Alex and Shannon, 2016 graduates of BMCC, were the standout stars at this year’s gala fundraiser.  Their remarks were alternately funny, inspiring, and wrenching accounts of persistence, smarts, and lots of hard work leading to triumph over daunting challenges.

Grantee Partner:

May 27, 2016:  Ran into Sarah and Georgia on the way to visit a friend at Cobble Hill Health Center. On the elevator ride, learned that Georgia, a Dachshund Pekingese mix, is very affectionate.

Grantee Partner:

May 26, 2016:  Just received this wonderful photo from Breakthrough.  Congratulations to this year’s high graduates, who are off to a pretty terrific array of colleges!

Grantee Partner:

May 17, 2016: Great to re-visit CMOM’s Shelter Program which we fund; it facilitates weekly visits to the Museum by moms and kids from a local homeless shelter.  It was wonderful to be re-reminded that a dedicated social worker participates in these visits, and that the breakout sessions for moms lead to therapeutic breakthroughs that resonate far beyond the walls of the museum.

Grantee Partner:

May 3, 2016:  Stuart joined Ailey Trustees for a visit to P169 on the Upper East Side, one of five NYC District 75 public schools where Ailey is piloting dance residencies for special needs students.  Rehearsal is in progress for the end-of-year culminating performance.

Grantee Partner:

April 29, 2016  We joined 12 young men from the Bronx H.S. for Business for a full afternoon of mentorship at Chase's world headquarters on Park Avenue.   Chase team members conducted workshops on networking, resume writing, and business etiquette; we also toured the trading floor and saw highlights of Chase's impressive corporate art collection (which includes the pistols Hamilton and Burr used in their infamous duel!).

Organization:
Wellness In the Schools

April 18, 2018:  At the WITS annual fundraiser, these esteemed judges -- all students affiliated with the organization -- judged four celebrity chefs' versions of a school cafeteria lunch.  Each chef used standard-issue NYC DOE ingredients, but prepared their lunches in a decidedly gourmet manner!

Organization:
Urban Word

April 16, 2016:  This is the view from the upper balcony of the famed Apollo Theater in Harlem as Urban Word teen poets competed in the 16th annual Teen Poetry Slam Grand Slam Final.  17 of Urban Word's most talented poets performed, demonstrating their incredible passion, smarts, and verbal dexterity.  Six of these spoken word artists will go on to the national finals this summer in Washington DC.  (Note that poets shared the stage with the Apollo's famed "Tree of Hope" stump, which generations of aspiring amateurs have rubbed for good luck.)

Grantee Partner:

April 9, 2016:  During a day-long orientation session, returning Pencil Fellow Tariq answers questions from incoming Fellows about what to expect at their upcoming summer corporate internships.  (BTW, Tariq was awarded a full, four-year Posse scholarship to Wheaton College!)

Organization:
Wellness in the Schools

April 8, 2016:  Every few months, each WITS school hosts a Cafe Day with its restaurant partner.  At PS 705 in Prospect Heights, Aneesha Hargarave, the R&D Chef at Chop't, describes the healthy treat students are about to receive: curried sweet potato salad with Granny Smith apples and celery.  Delicious!  

Grantee Partner:

April 5, 2016:  Randy Ramphal, the former president of BMCC's Out in Two club and now a junior at St. John's University, was elected president of St. John's National Leadership Honor Society.  So exciting to see Out in Two alumni thrive as they go on to four-year colleges.

Grantee Partner:

April 3, 2016:  Alicia Kershaw, Gallop's Director, toured Stephen around Lynne's Riding Center in Forest Hills, Queens, one of several sites where Gallop conducts therapeutic horseback riding lessons for special needs youth.

Grantee Partner:

March 20, 2016:  Nilaja Sun and Cynthia Nixon hosted Epic's annual fundraiser, which featured a performance of "10467", a student-created exploration of educational equity in NYC's public schools.  In the summer, the cast will travel to Scotland to present this powerful piece at a youth theater festival.

Grantee Partner:

March 17, 2016:  Finally made it over to see Cora's new space on the formerly unused second floor of a Red Hook storefront church.  After a successful Kickstarter campaign -- and lots of sweat equity! -- dance students young and old can enjoy a light-filled studio.  Best of all, this studio (which doubles as a church reception hall on Sunday afternoons) is the same size as Cora's previous rehearsal space just around the corner but is FAR more affordable.  Congratulations!

Organization:
Wellness in the Schools

February 24, 2016: This is what a healthy school lunch looks like – chicken with broccoli, lo mein, hummus with celery sticks, and fresh slaw.  Oh…and it really delicious – 10 minutes later, Stuart was a proud member of the clean plate club!

Organization:
New Leaders

February 24, 2016:  We sat in on a workshop, part of multi-session series, where New Leaders prepares its aspiring school principal trainees for the job interview process.  These aspiring principals went through a series of exercises to help them identify their strengths as school leaders, and articulate those strengths, as well as their specific plans for impacting student achievement, in a series of mock interviews.

Organization:
Alzeheimer's Poetry Project

February 17, 2016:  The Memory Café at the New York Memory Center (a day program for people with dementia) started out sedately enough: a musical performance punctuated with interludes of poetry creation and recitation.  But things got wonderfully out of hand pretty quickly with spontaneous vocal accompaniment from an audience member that turned into a tour de force performance, outbreaks of dancing from many other audience members, and a wave of kisses spreading through the function room. In brief, it was a joyous, moving celebration of the Valentine season.

Grantee Partner:

February 9, 2016:  Stephen and Stuart had a great visit at the Urban Dove Team Charter School in Bed Stuy, Brooklyn, which represents an exciting new model for the organization.  As an extension of their school day, Charter School students – all transferred into the school severely under-credited and not on track to graduate high school – serve as after-school tutors and sports coaches for local elementary school students.  This innovative approach has led to dramatically increased graduation rates.

Grantee Partner:

January 30, 2016:  25 AlieyCamp young alumni traveled to Wagon Wheel Camp in Chappaqua for a weekend retreat of dance and personal development workshops.  In one of many highlights, Gregg Betheil from PENCIL conducted a resume writing session. Meringoff Foundation support makes AileyCamp alumni programming possible.

Organization:
New York Transit Museum

January 26, 2016:  Ellen Rubin, a museum access consultant who is also blind, conducted a training session for Transit Museum employees on how to welcome blind and low vision visitors.  Lots of practical information was covered, all of which will also be helpful beyond the walls of the museum.  This is one in a series of access trainings at the Transit Museum that Meringoff Foundation support is making possible. 

Grantee Partner:

January 21, 2016:  This empty classroom at PS 71 in Ridgewood, Queens will soon be transformed -- thanks to our lead funding -- into a sensory play/therapy space for special needs students.  Charlotte Merinogff is standing in the far corner, obscured by the school's principal and occupational therapist, who spoke with great passion and excitement about their new collaboration with Extreme Kids.  Once the classroom is fully outfitted in February, we'll post the "after" photo...stay tuned!

Grantee Partner:

January 9, 2016:  Nearly 40 Metro Center alumni, now college students, offered the current crop of high school seniors advice on campus life.  The main take-away, repeated in many forms: time management!!

Grantee Partner:

January 2, 2016:  The Meringoff Foundation arranged for Cora families to attend a matinee performance of Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater.  As a special treat, the group got a backstage tour, where they met several of the Ailey dancers.

Grantee Partner:

December 22, 2015:  Stephen met with Ron Russell, Epic's Executive Director, and several of his current high school students and recent alums, who are now in college.  All of these young people discussed how Epic, in addition to deepening their love of theater, provided in depth, one-on-one guidance to help them through the college search, application, and selection proecess.

Grantee Partner:

December 12, 2015:  Campers reunite for pizza and an Ailey matinee performance at City Center.  Although AileyCamp is primarily a summer program, many campers stay engaged over the course of the school year through ongoing workshops and alumni programs.

Organization:
LIFT

December 9, 2015:  Stuart attended the Parenting Workshop graduation ceremony in Long Island City, where participating moms spoke movingly about how this program helped them better care for their children, and themselves. 

Grantee Partner:

December 9, 2015:  Sat in on two interviews for incoming PENCIL Fellows with Program Director Gregg Betheil, who is completing his score sheets and notes.  PENCIL takes the review process incredibly seriously to ensure a 200-plus cohort of high school juniors and seniors looking to get the most out of their summer internships with leading NYC businesses.  By the way, the two students we met were outstanding candidates and will make great Fellows. 

Grantee Partner:

December 5, 2015:  Out in Two scholars on a whirlwind, three-day visit to Boston to explore several four-year colleges where they might like to apply.  Our funding made this trip -- which looks pretty fun -- possible.    

Grantee Partner:

December 5, 2015:  Gallop hosted a Community Open House for its friends, neighbors, and supporters, who enjoyed glorious late fall weather for a ride in Prospect Park.  Stuart wanted to ride, but didn't want to be the only equestrian over four feet tall (!).

Grantee Partner:

December 4, 2015:  Stephen and Stuart sat in on the most recent gathering of AileyCamp's directors from its eight national sites.  Our support makes these convenings possible, and they're wonderful opportunities for far-flung peers to share best practices and ensure a uniform camp experience, regardless of locale.

Grantee Partner:

December 3, 2015:  Cora held a "friendraiser" in Red Hook, which featured pop up performances by its youth company.  These young dancers demonstrated great talent, commitment, and maturity, and completely wowed their audience.  

Grantee Partner:

November 15, 2015:  Attended the opening night performance of Epic's Off-Broadway production of Nilaja Sun's one-woman show, "Pike Street".  Sun gave a memorably virtuosic performance in this work, where she created an array of vivid characters -- yound, old, male, female, Latino, Chinese, Arab, Jewish -- in and around a Lower East Side tenement before the onset of a major hurricane.  

Grantee Partner:

November 12, 2015: At Eagle's Senior Convocation, senior Jonathan Hernandez delivered stirring remarks that wonderfully encapsulated the school's mission.  An excerpt: "Thanks to Eagle, I have had three jobs, traveled to over 6 states, 2 countries, actively participated in over 10 programs and attained a 92% GPA.  Ladies and gentlemen, this is MY school, these guys are MY brothers, and EAGLE is MY family."

Grantee Partner:

November 11, 2015:  Was visiting a friend at Cobble Hill Health Center as Micah and his poodle Maurice were leaving after their regular visit with residents.  Always terrific to stumble across the great work Good Dog's volunteer teams do in area health care facilities. 

Grantee Partner:

October 22, 2015:  Stephen Meringoff spoke at the Out in Two Induction Ceremony, and joins inductees for a group photo.  This semester's cohort, at 44 students, is significantly larger than prior semesters, thanks to our mulityear funding.

Grantee Partner:

October 21, 2015:  Stephen and Stuart lucked out weather-wise on a glorious late Indian Summer afternoon visit to RTB.  After touring the boat building shop, Executive Director and Founder Adam Green got us onto the Bronx River, where we saw students in the sailing (above) and environmental tracks. Of course, their beautifully sturdy longboats were built by teen peers in the boat building track!

Organization:
LIFT

October 21, 2015:  Here's the agenda for today's session in a 12-week parenting workshop for formerly incarcerated moms in Queens, led by (very impressive!) LIFT social worker Shamika Vargas.  So much great information in just one session.

Grantee Partner:

October 20, 2015:  The family attended NYSCF's annual gala fundraiser which provides a unique opportunity to meet stem cell researchers and learn about their progress in developing stem cell therapies to treat a variety of common but deadly diseases.

Grantee Partner:

October 14, 2015:  At the book launch of "Hope Came Here", featuring poems and stories written by mothers living in family shelters who participate in family literacy programming at the Museum, Tawana and Mia flank NYC First Lady Chirlane McCray, who wrote the book's introduction.  Tawana and Mia participated in CMOM's first collaboration with a family shelter 21 years ago, and they spoke movingly of the power of self expression during times of crisis, and how CMOM, in creating a safe, nuturing, and sharing space for children and their mothers, also helped to forge life-long friendships. 

Grantee Partner:

October 13, 2015:  It was a great privilege to participate in “Commanding Officer for an Evening”.  Stuart shadowed Deputy Inspector Maximo Tolentino, the Commanding Officer of the 83rd Precinct in Bushwick, Brooklyn.  In addition to exploring this rapidly changing neighborhood (which has NYC’s highest burglary rate), we accompanied CO Tolentino to the Brooklyn District Attorney’s National Hispanic Heritage Month Celebration, where he was one of the evening’s honorees.

Grantee Partner:

9/26/15:  Cora dancers took over Red Hook with Common Dances, an afternoon of short, site-specfic dance pieces scattered around the neighborhood's churches, bars, front stoops, living rooms, street corners, public housing hallways, etc...  Great dance, and a wonderful demonstration of Cora's deep community roots!   

Grantee Partner:

8/18/15:  Charlotte and Stuart visited Gallop’s summer camp, a pilot program with Extreme Kids & Crew. During the morning, Gallop teaches Extreme Kids’ kids to ride and groom horses.  In the afternoon, Extreme Kids takes over, with therapeutic play (see July 14th post for more details).  Really exciting to see our Special Needs grantee partners working together so effectively!

Grantee Partner:

8/13/15:  Stephen Meringoff meets with PENCIL Fellows and staff at the culminating event for this year's Fellows.  As a highlight of the celebration, Mr. Meringoff presented $6,000 in scholarship awards to the five winning entrants in the annual competion where Fellows design multimedia presentations exploring ways to improve a discrete operational aspect at their summer host companies.

Grantee Partner:

8/13/2015:  After AileyCamp NYC's amazing culminating performance at Hostos Community College, Stephen Meringoff and the family went backstage to meet the Directors of the 8 other AileyCamp sites nationwide.  Our support has created opportunities for the national directors to work together more closely – and come to NYC to see how AileyCamp New York puts on a show!

Grantee Partner:

8/13/2015:  Teens in Epic’s summer intensive are working on mock interviews with the Center for Educational Equity, as they develop monologues on educational inequity in New York State.  Next week, they will interview over a dozen teachers, school administrators, and educational policy analysts as part of their research.  The teens will then perform their finished monologues in several locations throughout NY State as part of the Center’s ongoing advocacy efforts.  

Grantee Partner:

8/10/2015: Ben Dolnick is a successful writer (www.bendolnick.com); he also leads a drop-in creative writing workshop for adults at the Main branch of the Brooklyn Public Library, which we attended.  It was incredibly exciting to be part of such a talented, diverse, and interesting group of writers.  In the above photo, Ben poses with the prompts for one of our writing exercises.

Grantee Partner:

8/3/15:  Professional dog trainer Claire works with several human handler/therapy dog teams, all trainees who will soon be volunteering in a variety of health care settings. During this session -- the 10th of 11 -- Claire led the trainees through several role-plays of tricky scenarios that they might encounter in pediatric, rehab, and dementia units. 

Grantee Partner:

7/31/15: Speed networking! PENCIL Fellows at a breakfast workshop practicing what they learned about the art and science of networking from a group of corporate mentors who work at LinkedIn.

Grantee Partner:

7/28/15: At CMOM's "hub" at a Harlem family shelter, Museum educators talked about healthy eating with a hungry group of kids (with a few parents in tow).  With the "Go, Slow, Whoa" curriculum, we sadly discovered that our favorite fried foods are all "Whoa".  Fortunately, the yogurt, blueberry, granola parfaits the kids made were all "Go", and quite delicious!

Grantee Partner:

7/28/15: Whenever we visit AileyCamp, it's a given we'll be carried away by the campers' energy and talent as they work on their ballet, jazz, modern, and West African dance moves.  But we also loved their Creative Communications project:  life-sized figures -- inspired by sculptor/performance artist Nick Cave -- of campers striking a pose from Revelations, Alvin Ailey's signature dance.

Grantee Partner:

7/27/15: The summer pilot of  Go Project's Kindergarten Institute, which hopes to get struggling Kindergartners on track before they enter first grade, is showing great promise.  This intensive, small-group literacy work takes many forms, including multi-sensory education, i.e. having fun by writing your name in shaving cream or sand!   

Grantee Partner:

7/24/15: Today's financial literacy workshop for CHCF high school and college summer interns explored tax returns and went deep, going into lots of detail about 990s, W4s, ITINS, 1098s, 1099s, Education Credits, and more.  And these young people -- some of whom are their families' primary financial support -- couldn't get enough, as they peppered the outstanding presenters from H&R Block with dozens of questions.

Grantee Partner:

7/23/15: Our visit to BTNY's summer intensive at the Town School was a pure delight.  James (left),  a rising 9th grader, is off to his top-choice high school in the fall; Mehedi (right), a rising eight grader, still has a year to decide.  Amanda (next to James), a BTNY alum, is back this summer, teaching these guys math.   She's also a rising sophomore at Lafayette College and participating in BTNY's new college persistence program.  Amanda's BTNY adviser was a big help during her freshmen year, helping sort out some seemingly intractable course registration snafus.  And Rhea, BTNY's wonderful Executive Director, keeps everything running smoothly! 

Organization:
New Leaders

7/23/15: Visited New Leaders’ rigorous training intensive for 2015-2016 Emerging Leaders Program (ELP) cohort, which prepares these NYC and Newark public school teachers to go back into their schools in September to coach 3-5 fellow teachers toward stronger student outcomes.  This was a truly impressive group of committed and talented educators.

Grantee Partner:

7/14/15: Really enjoyed visiting Urban Dove's summer camp in East Harlem.  During this six-week, full-day, M-F, free (FREE!) camp, 120 8-13 year olds engage in sports, games, and field trips designed for maximum fun, in addition to daily academics to stave off summer learning loss.  The camp is essentially run by an army of 60 high school-aged youth staff, with whom Urban Dove works intensively throughout the school year.  The counsellors we met were poised, mature, and great role models for the younger kids.  Oh...and at the end of the summer, campers and youth staff go up to the Berkshires for a week-long overnight camp!

Grantee Partner:

7/14/14: We visited some Extreme Kids, who were attending one of the week-long summer camp sessions at Speak, Learn, & Play in Park Slope, Brooklyn.  SLP uses a holistic therapeutic approach to working with children with special needs, and it was a great chance for Extreme Kids & Crew and SLP staffers to share best practices.  Plus, lots of fun for the kids!

Organization:
Heights and Hills

7/9/15: Attended a wonderful program on "Aging 101".  A Heights and Hills volunteer met with a group of 8 to 10 year-old summer campers to discuss – and demonstrate – the challenges the elders in their lives face.  The kids donned drug store glasses smeared with Vaseline and had their fingers lightly bound together with masking tape; they then tried to read directions, fill a pill box, and handle coins from a change purse.  Turns out, it wasn’t so easy, and the young people got a much better sense of life with low vision and arthritis.

Grantee Partner:

7/08/15:  NY Writer’s Coalition, which has hosted a PENCIL Fellows intern for the last two summers, just got a note from last summer’s intern, Michelle:

“I have decided to attend Hunter College… and will be admitted this August as a sophomore…I was also accepted into the "Sing for Hope" chorus program where we've performed in several galas, concerts, benefit events, and lately TIMES SQUARE! Lastly, I created an A Capella group in my school, received the Chancellor's Honor Roll Award for the Arts, and recently graduated [high school] with 33 college credits.  I would like to thank you for the wonderful opportunity you gave me last summer to be part of the NYWC team!  From working in the office to lending a hand in the writing workshops, I considered every single moment a great learning experience and will be forever grateful to you.” 

Clearly, PENCIL and its internship hosts are shaping tomorrow’s leaders.

Grantee Partner:

6/30/15:  Stephen Meringoff and colleagues from Meringoff Properties participated in “Boss for a Day” by introducing a group of PENCIL Fellows to the company’s operations.  As a highlight of the day, the teens toured two Meringoff buildings in Manhattan’s Flatiron District, where they learned about commercial real estate management from several members of the firm’s senior management.

Grantee Partner:

6/29/15:  Stephen Meringoff welcomed this year’s class of PENCIL Fellows at their day-long orientation session at NYU.  This year’s class of Fellows is 200-strong, and by far the largest in the program’s history; all will go on to paid internships in a variety of exciting fields including advertising, banking, real estate, and municipal government.

Organization:
New York Transit Museum

6/25/15:  A client of Birch Family Services participating in a two-part travel training workshop, where the Transit Museum – located in a decommissioned subway stop – is a living classroom for subway navigation independence.

Organization:
The Reading Team

6/12/15: Kindergarten through third graders at P.S. 36 rehearsing the poetry recitation for their upcoming spring commencement, the culmination of a year of intensive after school literacy training to get them reading at grade level and poised for academic success. 

Grantee Partner:

6/10/15: The family attended the incredible opening night performance of Ailey's annual spring season at Lincoln Center.  It was particularly exciting for us to see the Ailey Campers dancing alongside members of the Ailey School, Ailey II and the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater; the Ailey Campers more than held their own!!   

Grantee Partner:

5/29/15:  Stephen Meringoff addressed BMCC's graduates and their families after receiving the Presidential Medal during this year's commencement ceremony at Madison Square Garden.  "I believe strongly that BMCC is truly a place where many doors are opened," said Mr. Meringoff in his acceptance speech, "and I feel fortunate to have opened a few of them myself.  I am truly inspired by so many of the students I have met here." 

Grantee Partner:

5/20/15: The family attended the spring gala, an incredibly fun party rich in thought-provoking content. As the event's centerpiece, MC Katharine Heller interviewed comedian and actress Maysoon Zayid (www.maysoon.com). With humor and honesty, Maysoon talked about her career as a performer with cerebral palsy. She challenged the entertainment industry's treatment of people with disabilities, and in doing so, made all of us reevaluate our own attitudes and beliefs.

Grantee Partner:

4/28/15:  We took advantage of a very rare opporutnity to attend an event on Rikers Island.  For the last several years, NYWC has held weekly creative writing workshops for incarcerated women on Rikers, and recently published These Are Hard Times For Dreamers, an anthology of their work.  To mark this publication, NYWC invited a small group of volunteers and supporters to attend a public reading at the correctional facility's Rose M. Singer Center.  As with any NYWC gathering, the writers moved and inspired their audience, once again demonstrating the written word's power to break down perceived barriers.  

Grantee Partner:

4/27/15:  In Brownsville, Brooklyn, we were honored to meet Principal Rashad Meade (center), who went through New Leaders' rigorous Aspiring Principals training program.  Using New Leader's approach of heightened expectations combined with lots of support for teaching staff, Mr. Meade took over a failing school that is now thriving.  Our visit was nothing short of inspirational.  

Grantee Partner:

4/23/15:  We visited Morgan Stanley's corporate headquarters in Times Square to observe employees there mentoring a group of  seniors from the Business of Sports School (BOSS), a small public high school in Chelsea.  PENCIL facilitates an intensive two-year partnership where corporate volunteers, working one-on-one with BOSS juniors and seniors, explore all aspects of the college prep, search, application, and selection process.  As a result, participating BOSS students are getting into an impressive range of colleges, and creating a culture of higher education attainment within their larger school community. 

Grantee Partner:

4/15/15:  Visited Epic's Ron Russell as he led a playwrighting workshop at the Bronx HS of Communications and Writing. Very rare to see an outside arts provider that is so integral to its host school's daily life -- graduating students there selected Ron to be this year's Commencement speaker!

Grantee Partner:

4/11/15:  Stuart spent a hectic but incredibly rewarding morning interviewing sixth graders, and their guardians, for spots in the upcoming summer program for rising seventh graders, the start of a 10-year journey to attend a top college prep high school, then a competitive college, then graduating from college to a great job.  Amazing to see such focus and determination in 10 and 11 year olds!

Grantee Partner:

4/10/15: Attended the pilot of a new earned-income initiative where Gallop will conduct team building workshops for corporate groups.  Great way to introduce Gallop's work to new audiences.  

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3/11/15: Workshop on the Common Application form, to assist Out In Two scholars as they transfer to four-year schools.

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3/9/15: The family at the I Am Epic Gala, which really drove home how Epic is using theater to completely transform the lives of NYC high school students.

Organization:
New York Transit Museum

2/8/15:  Stuart, Tory, Katie, and Charlotte all attended Special Day for Special Kids, a weekend open house for special needs families.  Incredibly well attended, with varied and fun family activities.  This popular event was co-sponsored by another Gen 2 grant recipient, Extreme Kids & Crew.