Aankit Patel, Director of CUNY STEM Education Programs
Aankit Patel directs STEM Education Programs, a creative bureaucrat, leading the Computing-Integrated Teacher Education (CITE) at CUNY initiative and other programs to boost math and science instruction in NYC schools.
Gotham Gives provides funding for this program with Google and Robin Hood to help educators across all platforms incorporate technology into their disciplines.
Alex Zablocki, Public Housing Community Fund, Gotham Gives
Alex Zabocki is the Executive director of the Public Housing Community Fund, responsible for creating and leveraging resources and relationships to enhance the opportunities and quality of life for NYCHA residents while uplifting the importance of public housing in NYC.
I spoke with Christy Crawford, the senior director of Partnerships and Culturally Responsive Education at Computer Science For All, responsible for making quality computer science education available for New York Public Schools. We need more people like Christy working to make the world a better place for the next generations.
John MacPhee, JED Foundation, Gotham Gives
There are countless reasons I write this blog; one is hearing from people who resonate with what I write. A few years ago, one of the leaders at the JED Foundation reached out to me, a long-time reader, and we began to talk about the JED Foundation.
These days we are finally paying attention to people struggling with mental health issues. The founders of this incredible organization lost their child to suicide. Through their grief, they realized that the shame and secrecy of mental health prevented most from having an open dialogue about their thoughts. There was no roadmap for anyone. The gift they gave us is the JED Foundation, which has opened the conversation, created a curriculum, and brought mental health issues out into the open.
I had the pleasure of interviewing John MacPhee, the CEO of JED, a nonprofit that protects emotional health and prevents suicide for teens and young adults in the US.
JED was the first commitment made by Gotham Gives, which we are incredibly proud of.
Richard Clemmons, Generation USA, Gotham Gives
I had the esteemed pleasure of speaking with Richard Clemmons, the COO of Generation USA, a nonprofit that provides free job training, placement, and support to help people find life-changing careers. Our conversation reminded me how many people are giving their time to impact their community. He is pretty awesome.
Roy Castro, Strive, Gotham Gives
Roy Castro is the co-chair of Strive, a non-profit based in Harlem that helps the underserved and formerly incarcerated lift themselves out of poverty through living-wage employment, aiming to shatter the cycle of intergenerational poverty.
Gotham Gives Podcast, Fred and Me
In honor of our one-year anniversary, Fred and I sat down with our ED, Jennifer Klopp, to reflect on where we started, where we are, and where we hope to be in the future.
If you want to learn more about our work at Gotham Gives, I invite you to watch and listen to this special anniversary podcast episode.
To keep up with Gotham Gives and our mission to empower and inspire ALL New Yorkers, please check out gothamgives.org, Twitter, and Instagram as we begin to share our investments in the future of NYC with podcasts, articles, and information about organizations we are partnering with.
Bill Rauch, Perlman Arts Center
Gotham Gives supports the Highline, the Shed, and now the soon to be open Perlman Arts Center. This is the second podcast highlighting the organizations we are partnering with.
I had the pleasure of talking to Bill Rauch, the Artistic Director of the PAC. We talked about his career and his excitement about the opportunity ahead. Bill’s entire career has been about social responsibility through the arts. All of those dots connect towards the mission of the PAC that is dedicated to cultivating bonds between extraordinary artists and communities
Hood Code, A Podcast with Founder Jason Gibson
I had the utmost pleasure of crossing paths with Jason Gibson. He is a man with a big heart, an entrepreneurial mentality, and a large hardworking family behind him. Growing up in NYCHA, New York City’s Housing Authority buildings, at thirteen, he began to do what every other kid his age does. Hang out with their friends, try to act like an adult or an idiot, get stoned in places you shouldn’t be. If you live in lily-white neighborhoods, you get in trouble, but you don’t get arrested and begin a record. The only happens in places like NYCHA and underserved communities. That record has now screwed you at age 13.
Jason spent forty-five months in jail for his small-time drug empire. He was never going back to prison. He educated himself, read countless books, got a legal degree, and vowed to make sure other kids growing up in NYCHA get access to opportunities he never had.
He started Hood Code. He is building a non-profit company, a brand, a community, a website, and a new way of life by teaching kids how to code. Jason understands that access to understand and build technology is number one. His program is built on top of Scratch. He knows his audience and how to make sure the kids keep coming back.
The podcast is a worthy listen. Hearing Jason’s story is powerful. The team will launch a YouTube channel for Gotham Gives, and I hope to do a podcast once a month with other organizations that are truly making a change.
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