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2015 Top-Rated Nonprofit

Urban Workshop NYC, Inc.

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Children & Youth, Education, Educational Services, Secondary & High Schools, Youth Development Programs

Mission: UrbanWorkshop NYC provides students with an opportunity to engage inrigorous academic learning in an applied setting.  Through carefullyconnected studies in math, literature, and writing, students in theprogram learn to plan, design and carry out construction projects invarious New York City communities.  In this integrated learningprocess, they •    make tangible, real-world connections with their academic learning •    develop practical skills and a sense of craft •    connect with community members in various New York City neighborhoods and serve their needs •    understand issues of environmental, economic and social justice facing New York City communities •    build teamwork and leadership skills •    gain a clear sense of accomplishment Theprogram helps students develop the skills, understanding and confidencethey need to earn a high school diploma and succeed in the future.

Geographic areas served: New York City

Programs: A 3-credit class offered to students at Lyons Community School.  Students work on community construction projects four days a week, with math, reading and writing integrated into the project.

Community Stories

46 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

Donor

Rating: 5

Urban Workshop NYC is a phenomenal educational breakthrough. Through hands-on construction projects in community gardens throughout the five boroughs, it transforms the high school experience of participants, giving them academics through carpentry, a feeling of connectedness to each other and their community, the satisfaction of completing tangible projects, and an awareness and sense of belonging to New York City as a whole. Excellent planning and execution of the work projects make for excellent outcomes on every level.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

Urban Workshop NYC is, quite literally, a life saving organization. I have referred many students to the organization who are at an extremely high risk of either dropping or failing out of school. These students consistently reconnect to school, find purpose in their work, and get back on track to be successful. I cannot praise this organization enough.

Client Served

Rating: 5

Urban Workshop worked with our school farm to build cold frames and composting bins. I use the cold frames and composting bins everyday- they are great and a huge asset to our farm.

also the staff at urban workshop are great to work with. They are amazing with the students and inspiring!

anonymous777

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

Passionate, talented educators developed this revolutionary program to engage at-risk students in education, which has yielded promising results. Urban Workshop provides an alternative and meaningful way for previously unsuccessful students to access education. Should be expanded to more schools!

Donor

Rating: 5

Phenomenal program that tries to teach kids from ground up ... teaching work ethics (which much of US today lacks), love for mathematics (seeing concepts applied in real world and how cool it is), feeling of accomplishing something that is useful and meaningful that kids can carry it with them no matter where they end up in life, and sharpening their mental acuity.

I know one of the program leaders personally. He is a brilliant guy who could have chosen to do anything in life, and would have been successful in anything he chooses to pursue (and creates tremendous monetary wealth for himself if selfish), yet he chose to pursue this with passion - to make a real impact in the world. i have no doubt that this will become a nationwide program many years down the road - and honored to be a part of the program as a donor.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

A fantastic charity that does real, concrete (or at least wood-based) work that helps kids and helps community. All money they receive goes 100% to buy materials for the program, no overhead, etc. The teachers that lead the organization are all inspiring, dedicated, creative, amazing individuals who care about helping kids learn and succeed and have found a unique way to improve education for kids in NYC.

Zach R.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I used to work in the school Urban Workshop was housed in, and it was truly amazing to see the things they were able to accomplish with the kids. EVERYONE wanted to be in the program, and for good reason - it is run by an expert staff and provides an amazing way for kids to learn about academics and life.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I am a senior in the school where Urban Workshop takes a part of. I've actually been apart of Urban Workshop for three years, my growth and mentality towards life has change for the better. Building and giving back to the community has brought out the better side of me. I've shared many experience that I will carry throughout life with Urban Workshop. Everytime I felt like giving up my classmate along with my teachers helped me realize that I shouldn't be thinking that way and help me get through my days with smiles. Urban Workshop is an great program!

Client Served

Rating: 5

The Urban Workshop NYC group has help a number of garden groups in NYC with various projects. The is a great way to get students/gardeners working together for the greater cause in the community. We are so happy they working with us to help beautify and enhance our garden. The project they have completed in our garden has been successful. We look forward to further work with them on new garden projects

Donor

Rating: 5

The Urban Workshop NYC is a powerful program. I gave to them because this program works for kids who have struggled with school. We need more programs like Urban Workshop NYC that reach a greater number of students who are on the margins. I applaud their efforts and will continue to support them in the future.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

This program combines important ideas in a wide range of content areas with valuable and practical experiences. It immerses students in solving important problems, while, at the same time providing services to the communities where the students come from. It is both educational and empowering. I wish there were more like it.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I work at the school where Urban Workshop is based. Over and over again I watch kids who were on the verge of not caring anymore, catch a second wind and a new outlook not just about school but also about themselves after participating in Urban Workshop.

Donor

Rating: 5

This program is a wonderful opportunity for students to apply their math and other skills to real life projects, and, in the process, to enhance the communities in which they live. The dynamic trio that runs the program is, simply put, fantastic--their energy and dedication is inspiring. The program is run very efficiently, and seems to always be doing something new!

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I went to visit Urban Workshop 2 years ago as part of an effort to identify programs that were proven effective in both motivating inner city youth and teaching rigorous math and science skills. After an afternoon spent watching students learning to take units of measurement seriously by mistakenly carrying a 50 lb bag of cement instead of a 20 lb bag, I could see how and why this program worked. In both school-type assessments and with real life, commerical grade production standards, these kids are learning on many levels.

Donor

Rating: 5

The Urban Workshop is a great organization that offers excellent opportunities for students who learn best outside the classroom. The program has very dedicated teachers who work with a select group of students with a high teacher-to-student ratio that is hard to find anywhere, but especially in NYC public schools.

Client Served

Rating: 5

We are a small community garden in central Brooklyn that was in need of having a shade structure built in our garden. Urban Workshop was recommended by one of our greening partners - these young adults were a blessing to us and a joy to work with. The team of Dan, Jonas & Carolyn are very dedicated teachers who take pride and joy in the accomplishments of the students and really inspire the students to their highest potential. The structure they built for us is quite sturdy and could not have been built better by so-called professionals. We very much support the work they do and look forward to future collaboration.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Been following this group since their inception... There is a contagious energy in what they are doing. The students build a legacy of hard work and accomplishment. Communities are strengthened. NYC is growing one open space at a time!

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I am fortunate to work at the public school in Brooklyn where Urban Workshop is offered as a part of our curriculum. Many students I work with are currently a part of this program or have been involved with it in the past. From conversations I've had with students, Urban Workshop has received nothing but positive reviews. Students really like the idea of seeing their math and planning drive towards a tangible end-product. Aside from the sense of accomplishment they feel, students also enjoy working with instructors in a setting that is conducive to more one-on-one teaching.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

The dedication of the staff of Urban Workshop NYC, Inc. is unparalleled. Their enthusiasm sets up a tone that motivates the students to work together as a whole to benefit the community, and in turn they gain confidence, skill mastery and a sense of belonging to something greater than themselves.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I wrote an article on Urban Workshop and had the opportunity to interview the people that created the program as well as the students involved. Dan, Caroline and Jonas talked with me after the school day had ended, and we spoke for nearly two hours without even the slightest lull in our conversation; their care and devotion are exceedingly clear and deep. Their work has created a refuge for a lot of students who might not otherwise have remained in school. These kids are there, really showing up, working on the math, engaged in the English readings. One student took some time to show me the best way to nail a brace level onto a floor joist. Afterward, I asked why Urban Workshop was important to him, to which he responded, "Because I can see that I've done something. I can leave and come back and what we built is here. In school, you work on an assignment, write something, then you never see that piece of paper again."