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November 18, 2010

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November 18, 2010

Why would anyone commute two and a half hours in NY/NJ traffic for a nonprofit's board meeting? There are plenty of nonprofits closer to home. I do it because the stories I hear from the kids in ACE and YABC and Olympus (the youth development programs) have convinced me that NYCID staff know how to give kids a second chance in ways that bring success. This agency really "gets" youth development. Take La'Shara. She talked to the board at our meeting last week. She'd dropped out of school. "There was nothing wrong with my brain," she said. "I just didn't like all the cliques and stuff that goes on in school. But, when you drop out, you just get yourself in trouble. And, I did." When she ended up at ACE some time later, she said "They were relentless. You couldn't drop out. They were there, in my face, reminding me what I had to do to get my GED and go to college. I knew they cared!" Today, she's in college and talking about a future. She's discovered she likes biology and thinks maybe she'd like to become a doctor. But, she likes arguing, too. Maybe she'll become a lawyer. But she's excited about life. She knows her future is in her hands. So, they're not perfect. Not all kids succeed. And, sometimes the thank yous don't go out on time. But they're pretty close. Well worth supporting.

The Great!

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

listening to the kids they work with, reading the evaluations from the mediation training, seeing the staff in action.

Ways to make it better...

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

Give them more unrestricted funding so they could offer parenting classes and facilitate community conversations around diversity and bias.

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