NYJL Celebrates National Mentoring Month

Here at the New York Junior League, 2018 starts strong with our core mission to improve the well being of children and families in New York City. Our mission would not be possible without the care and persistence of our volunteers. January’s National Mentor Month highlights the importance of mentorship in our communities.

In honor of National Mentoring Month, it’s time to celebrate the special mentors who have trained children, teens, and adults through our 11 mentoring programs.

A way to show your  role models appreciation for their support and guidance is by making a donation in their honor to the New York Junior League Annual Fund. Your chosen mentor will receive a card thanking them for the positive life changes that were made possible with their mentorship. To make a brighter and safer future for those in need is the foundation of our solid mentorship programs.

Want make an impact and support mentor programs? Send your donation of appreciation to your mentor!

NYJL Volunteer Annmarie Stewart Gets Creative with Fundraising Efforts

As we are reflecting back on 2017, we are regularly amazed by the kindness and  generosity of the New York Junior League volunteers. Annmarie Stewart is a wonderful example. Stewart works full-time as a Director at RBC Capital Markets and found a fun, smart way to engage her coworkers to help fundraise for the NYJL.

With each donation, the NYJL continues to directly impact the community.

Rather than just wear jeans, Annmarie’s trading floor donates money to a chosen charity to celebrate casual Friday and give back at the same time. During a recent quarter, Annmarie nominated the NYJL to receive the trading floor’s generosity.  Through this, she was able to fundraise a significant amount for our organization and help support our mission.

We are honored that Annmarie chose to support the NYJL in this way. It is a great example of how we can engage communities outside of NYJL to help benefit our community projects. Thank you to Annmarie for coordinating this generous donation!  

Volunteer Education and Training: Aging Out of Foster Care

Founded in 1851, The Children’s Village’s mission remains the same: work in partnership with families to help society’s most vulnerable children so that they become educationally proficient, economically productive, and socially responsible members of their communities. Today, The Children’s Village serves over 10,000 families and children in New York City. They invest in families and communities to keep children and youth safe, and to be able to connect to people who love them.

During the recent Volunteer Education and Training (VET) event, Aging Out of Foster Care, New York Junior League volunteers met and spoke with Jeremy Christopher Kohomban, Ph.D., President and CEO of The Children’s Village to learn more about the state of the foster care system in New York.

Foster care is a system in which a minor has been placed into a group home or private home of a state-certified caregiver. Children who languish in the foster care are more often destined for poor life outcomes. New York faces many challenges to the foster system including fewer homes and a struggle to create safety and permanency for children in it. Many children “age out” of the system when they turn 18 or 21 years old without a family and without skills to make it on their own. In 2015, more than 20,000 young people aged out of the foster care.

The Children’s Village works with children and families to help develop the attitudes and skills needed to enter the workforce successfully. By creating strong adult relationships, they help children develop and nurture life-long relationships with friends, family, and mentors. These children leave the foster care ready to take on the challenges of the world around them, have a stable home, and are on the path to self-sufficiency.

NYJL volunteers on the New View Committee work in partnership with Good Shepherd Services, to provide workshops and mentoring for at-risk adults from 18 to 21 years of age who are transitioning from foster care to independent living. Mentors help expose teenagers in foster care to a world they may never have thought possible, and practical skills workshops include financial planning and other vital skills these young adults need to succeed and thrive. For more information on how to get involved, please reach out to newview@nyjl.org.

Making the Arts Come Alive

Recognizing the importance of art education for all, especially children, the Volunteer Education and Training committee’s recently brought together volunteers from Spotlight on Performance and Beacon to Broadway committees along with their community outreach partners to discuss the how they bring make art come alive for so many in New York City.

The Spotlight on Performance committee, led by Andrea McDermott, initiated the conversation around performing arts and how children are able to learn transferable skills such as leadership, public speaking and social skills, both key in developmental stages.

Amy Platt, of the Beacon to Broadway committee, added to the discussion by addressing key educational issues such as funding the arts in schools and drawing attention to how we could help address this issue through volunteerism.

GiGi Verkaik of the Stanley Isaacs Center closed with sharing data around how educational programs are neglecting the arts despite the evidence that exposure to the arts is a critical component of growing in other areas such as math and science.

This was a highly interactive panel that left participants wanting to continue to give back and promote the arts to support youth in the community.

(Left to right: Andrea McDermott, Co-chair of Spotlight on Performance and Amy Castle Platt, Co-chair of Beacon to Broadway)

Announcing This Year’s Playground Improvement Project Partner

On Wednesday, November 29 the NYJL announced that this year’s Playground Improvement Project (PIP) partner is Corlears Hook Park! After two years uptown, this year’s park is located in the Lower East Side at the intersection of Jackson and Cherry Streets along the Franklin Delano Roosevelt (FDR) Drive.

During this year’s project, PIP and NYJL volunteers plan to repaint playground equipment, benches, and lampposts, as well as repair the batting cage area and clean up garden beds and shrubs located throughout the park.

Thanks to the generous support of our donors, $5,205 (and still counting) was raised during this year’s #GivingTuesday! Each dollar will help support PIP’s spring park renovation of Corlears Hook Park and goal of creating a safe, beautiful, well-organized, and educational space for children to play.

There’s still time to donate! You can make a donation in the spirit of #GivingTuesday through Sunday, December 3, to support the Playground Improvement Project.