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July 3, 2011

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July 3, 2011

I am a guidance counselor for the NYC Board of Education. I have worked with Groupworks in the past co-leading adolescent groups. My experience with Groupworks has been outstanding. The therapist I worked with was extremely knowledgeable and pleasant to work with. The supervision I received was thorough. I learned a lot about my own techniques and I was enlightened to a broader spectrum of group counseling. My experience with Groupworks was beneficial to my own counseling practice as well as the children in our groups.

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

expanding my own knowledge of group counseling

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

make it free for NYC public schools

June 30, 2011

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June 30, 2011

I write this letter regarding the work that was done between Groupworks and Simon Baruch MS 104. Our school was afforded the opportunity to connect with Groupworks after the tragedy of September 11th. Simon Baruch is located in the Gramercy Park area and we service many students who attended elementary schools or lived near ground zero.

David Dumais was the therapist provided to our school through Groupworks. The work that the counseling staff was able to engage in with the support of David and Toby Feinson-Chua was invaluable. Students were provided with a different kind of counseling experience in the school setting, one that allowed them uninterrupted time where they could express themselves in many ways. Groups were put together to meet students needs and students were able to be involved in the process of agreeing to be in the group. The counseling staff received valuable supervision from David that allowed them to further develop their skills and build upon their skill set. The supervision also provided the counseling staff support to manage the many issues and needs that are evident in a diverse school such as ours.

I had the pleasure of working with David when I was a member of the counseling department and the work we did together was of great importance to our students. Students were able to develop skills that allowed them to cope with frustration, anger, and stress in constructive ways. My work with David left me better equipped to address the issues that were presented to me as a counselor and students better equipped to manage these issues as well.

I believe that Groupworks is a valuable resource for all schools. Please feel free to contact me with any questions or further information.

Sincerely,

Rocco Macri
Assistant Principal

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

See above

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

None

June 30, 2011

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June 30, 2011

I work in the Department of Education as a social worker providing counseling services. Groupworks provides professional training for counselors and social workers who provide counseling. I have been participating in their supervision groups and training sessions for over a year. The groups are didactive as well as experential. You experience directly what it is like being part of a group with a Groupworks professional as well as learn the group techniques didactically in a supportive, nonthreatening framework. You learn methods of helpiing group members interact more with each other as well as moving the groups along.

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

It has often been restorative and energizing. It has helped me feel comfortable in working with groups and in dealing with confrontational often angry adolescents. As a professional in the field for over twenty years I have found this training group to be one of the best training experiences that I have had.

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

I wouldn't.

June 28, 2011

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June 28, 2011

While I am a mental health professional, I am also a "client served." I was part of an experimental program where the NYC Dept. of Ed. contracted Groupworks to give school counselors training and support. I have NEVER felt more supported at my job as when we were fortunate enough to be involved with Groupworks. I liked them so much, in fact, that I signed up for a certificate training with them, which was also excellent! These folks really care, and they know their stuff. I've been in the field for 25 years plus, so I know what I'm talking about. Great organization.

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

My practice and work life is better because of Groupworks.

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Bring Toby Back to life!

June 28, 2011

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June 28, 2011

Three years ago, I became involved with GroupWorks for Education as a school social worker, new to the school system. My experience with the organzation since has been nothing short of transformational.
Through regular group supervision by seasoned facilitators (some of the best in the
field, in my opinion), I have gained the knowledge and insight necessary to best work with the students in my school.
GroupWorks for Education provides a very unique (and rare) space for me to process the goings-on of the ever fast-paced school day. I can always bring challenging cases to my supervision group knowing that I will walk away with valuable insights; and just as important is the emotional and professional support I receive from this organization. In turn, I am able to be more effective in my daily work.

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

the wonderfully facilitated, bi-monthly supervision I have received for the past 2 years. I draw so much support and strength from my participation in the organization. GroupWorks for Education helps me to be a better social worker for the students with whom I work. It is truly a unique organization--one of the rare few who can affect the changes needed to improve the public school system.

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

want to see this wonderful organization expanded! The service it provides, to both students and staff alike, is truly needed in the New York City public school system. EVERY clinician, teacher, administrator, and educator should know about and experience the transformational power of the services GroupWorks for Education provides.

More feedback...

How would you describe the help you got from this organization?

Life-changing

How likely are you to recommend this organization to a friend?

Definitely

How do you feel you were treated by this organization?

Very Well

How did you find this group?

Through my job.

What, if any, change in your life has this group encouraged?

This organization helps me aspire to be the best counselor possible for my students. It pushes me to implement better practices in my work.

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2011

June 27, 2011

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June 27, 2011

I am happy to support GroupWorks because of the long-term positive impact it has had in my development as a professional. Although I am not working directly with Dr. Leslie Quinn or Groupworks any more, what I learned from my supervision has continued to inform my practice with young people. Here’s what I wrote about my experience in 2006:
Since the fall of 2001, when our school (and our city) experienced so much turmoil, several of our most vulnerable students have received counseling services in conjunction with Adventures in Teaching and Counseling. These fortunate students have been in a co-facilitated group with myself and Dr. Leslie Quinn. Three of our original group members have remained since sixth grade, the other three have gone on to different high schools. Over the past years we have successfully added and enfolded new members to the original already existing group (all 6 members are now in high school). All members of our original group were mandated for counseling - these children had, in addition to the extraordinary stressor of proximity to the World Trade Center tragedy, learning problems and serious family issues. In the first year of our group, we regularly saw outrageous acting out behaviors, uncontrolled impulses, an inability to express emotions and a dearth of social skills.

It is in retrospect that we best see the strides that all the students have made: better school attendance, better grades, increased classroom attention spans, decreased disruptive behaviors in school, qualitative changes in peer connections, and improved self-images. As a most striking example, Craig(not his real name), an original group member, is not only able to stay in his seat and refrain from aggressively breaking wind towards the group, but he is able to express his feelings in words, using good natured humor instead of mean-spirited physical and verbal retaliation. He has gone from being the victim of cruel scapegoating (which due to his lack of social skills, he seemed to invite) to a popular school leader and athlete. He still struggles with learning problems, but is a willing participant in working on managing his disabilities, rather than feeling resigned to being “inferior.”

Great strides have not only been made by the group members. When Dr. Quinn joined the group in 2001, I was floundering in my first experience with counseling. As a novice, I had little confidence, and with this particularly difficult group, I despaired that I’d ever be able to effect any positive change. By working with Dr. Quinn and receiving supervision from her as well as Dr. Chuah-Feinson, I have become an effective group leader, who is confident and proud of the advances our group has made.

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

I am happy to support GroupWorks. I worked with this group from 2001(when I was a counseling novice), to 2006, when I changed schools. Though I no longer work directly with Dr. Leslie Quinn or Groupworks, the supervision I received continues to inform my practice with young people. The students served during that time have all graduated high school and gone on to college. I give credit to this organization and to Dr. Quinn for my success, and for the success of the students whom I counsel.

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

The only change I would hope for is an extension of services to additional schools!

June 26, 2011

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June 26, 2011

I have been with GroupWORKS since its inception and currently serve as Senior Facilitator and Board Member. I have trained 6-10 guidance counselrs and social workers per year for the past decade, engaging them in weekly and monthly experiential group process trainings.

In turn, we reach
large numbers of NYC public school children-- each of our facilitators and our in-school counselor teams reach 15-30 kids per week who learn to flourish in new ways in their daily lives in the school environment. These children, coming from socially, emotionally and financially challenged backgrounds, learn how to function cooperatively and flourish in their daily lives. Group interventions can be more powerful, direct and effective than individual counseling methods.



The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

I have seen children learn to be able to cope in new ways with bullying behaviors, racism, and problems with authority figures. These groups empower children who otherwise might fall through the cracks and be lost.

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Increase the number of schools and organizations in which GroupWORKS services could be offered.

More feedback...

How does this organization compare with others in the same sector?

Very Well

How much of an impact do you think this organization has?

Life-changing

Will you recommend this organization to others?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2011

June 24, 2011

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June 24, 2011

I am pleased to write in support of the GroupWorks organization.
Since 1996, GroupWorks staff have provided professional development in group leadership and group counseling for the District #2 counselors that I supervised, as Director of Pupil Personnel Services. In 1996, still new at my role,
Groupwork’s staff helped me create an unparalleled counselor training program that resonates and is a model to this day.

After September 11th, 2001, with so many of our schools in lower Manhattan impacted by the World Trade Center disaster, as Director of the 9/11 School Recovery Program, I turned to those I could trust to provide the comfort, support and expertise the school communities needed to heal. GroupWorks answered the call with the caring, skill and knowledge necessary to truly help.

Since November 2001, GroupWorks has been intensively working with school counselors, SAPIS (Substance Abuse Prevention/Intervention Specialists), children and educational staff in Community School Districts 1, 2, 4 and 7. David Dumais, and his staff have specifically collaborated with school counselors in Districts 1 and 2, co-leading groups for at-risk students. Through this Co-Leadership Resiliency Coaching Model, they have provided direct service to at-risk students, as well as on-site training in group work for school staff, serving as resilience coaches. The Co-Leadership Project and the Counselors’ First Project have increased the resiliency of hundreds of children and adults in the lower Manhattan schools and expanded the capacity of counselors to work with students in groups.

Counselors who have participated in the Counselors’ First Project have honed their group leadership skills, and as resilience coaches have increased the number of students they serve through leading groups in their schools.

It is with great enthusiasm that I recommend GroupWorks which would be a benefit to any school as part of its initiatives
Marjorie Robbins

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

As Director of Pupil Personnel Services Groupworks has provided valuable assistance to the schools, under my jurisdiction, in large Manhattan school district.

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

expand their capacity so their experience could be shared with many more schools.

More feedback...

How does this organization compare with others in the same sector?

Very Well

How much of an impact do you think this organization has?

A lot

Will you recommend this organization to others?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2011

June 10, 2011

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June 10, 2011

GroupWorks is an amazing organization that has helped me grow personally and professionally over the past 10 years. As a guidance counselor in New York City, I had the fantastic opportunity to co-lead several groups with a Senior GroupWorks faciliator. It was there that my love for, and committment to, this organization began. I saw first-hand how powerful these groups were and how many children's lives were positively affected. After a few years of co-leading groups, GroupWorks gave me the confidence to successfully run groups on my own. I was able to reach so many more kids in my school through groups--they are very powerful. In a school environment, where time is so hard to find, being able to successfully and confidently run counseling groups helped make my jop as a counselor much more managable. Additionally, I witnessed these students grow and develop in considerable ways through these groups.

Personally, I have grown tremendously since getting involved with GroupWorks. The professionals in this organization have shaped my life and helped me truly understand myself. The staff is made up of some of the most caring, understanding and intelligent people I know. Any school would be lucky to work with Groupworks, as the students and staff will both benefit tremendously.

I cannot say enough good things about this organization--it is top-notch!!!!!

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

My understanding of myself and my professional growth.

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Increase the budget so that every school in New York City can reap the benefits of having a partner like Groupworks.

More feedback...

How does this organization compare with others in the same sector?

Very Well

How much of an impact do you think this organization has?

Life-changing

Will you recommend this organization to others?

Definitely

What is unique about this organization?

Totally understands the needs of NYC public schools and addresses them direclty.

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2011

June 8, 2011

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June 8, 2011

Every inner city middle school and high school has a percentage of "troubled kids" in their student body. But these kids are NOT stupid. Their problems are driven by their inability to cooperate with school rules and adapt to classroom norms, and an incapacity to develop the necessary self-determination to succeed in school. These kids are a major factor, maybe the largest factor, in the disappointing pace at which American students are falling behind their counterparts around the world.

GroupWORKS is starting to chip away at this mountainous problem. And, to be clear, we are ALL stakeholders in this problem that is filling our unemployment offices, detention facilities and ultimately our prison system with people that COULD become fantastically productive members of society.

GroupWORKS focuses on group treatment because financial and human resources are vastly insufficient to address this problem on a student-by-student basis. More importantly, GroupWORKS focuses on training staff that is already within the schools. They teach counselor and teachers how to deal effectively in a group setting with troubled kids, and then they leave. That is part of the beauty of GroupWORKS’ business model…it is designed for obsolescence. The organization’s goal is to become unnecessary.

Empowering schools to effectively bring more students’ skills to productive ends is what GroupWORKs does. It is all they do and they’re very good at it. And the payback is immediate….in school budgets, and in the wellbeing of students and staff. And ultimately, for all us as taxpayers and citizens.

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

The accolades that GroupWORKS receives from the schools that it serves, and most importantly from the students for whom it has been a life changing experience, provide a continuous stream of feedback that what we're doing is making a huge, positive difference in a vast number of lives.

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Grow it much larger. This is an enormously talented and dedicated group of professionals that have served as a critical lifeline for so many students and school staff. With current budget cutbacks, these kids and these schools are being deprived of the unique skills that this team brings.

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