Community Aid to parents

Jennifer Jean Louis

For this assignment, I tagged along with my mother to a community event that she usually attends on Wednesdays and at the end, I was lucky to speak to the trainer who trained the class. The trainer (Deborah) I spoke to was a retired strong and beautiful looking lady almost 60 years of age who used to work in a federal well paid field. She allowed me to audio tape her as I asked her various questions to get more information about the program. She became included in this program because she wanted something to do; being retired, she had a lot of time on her hand, so she took training to be a trainer/teacher in the program. She said to be one of the teachers that teach at the various classes in the program the requirements are “certifications” for whatever course that the person is interested in teaching. The course she chose to learn was training to become a fitness instructor, and after she got the certification for that, she got her position.  Healthy start Brooklyn is the name of the organization and it was founded in 2003 through Doula services which helped over 2000 families. The program focuses on mostly women who lives in very under-served community neighborhoods but it’s for parents in general men included. The trainer (Deborah) is directed to train at the places such as Fulton, East New York, Brownsville but the program goes even bigger than just those places it’s for Brooklyn. When this program was put in place it was purely to benefit those people that has no aids in learning how to treat their bodies, how to take care of their kids and just how to live a healthy, safe and informed life. The program is free so once you go on their website (, a person can see the different classes that they have and look at the times and dates and just attend whichever they want or need information on. For whatever class that is chosen only one class per week will occur; for example, the classes the lady mentioned are Dancing through pregnancy, Snap back women, Daddy iron chef, Pregnancy, CPR, Car seat, Yoga/Gym and these classes only happen one day in the week for 8 weeks. Upon attending a person will be required to sign in on a sheet and will receive a MetroCard with two fares when leaving. When people attend the teachers or trainers get paid by the amount of people that attends. Something she (Deborah) mentioned can be better in the program is she would like the classes to happen at least 3 times a week because she sees how much the people enjoy themselves talking to other mothers and building friendships etc… I noticed that not a lot of people attend the classes only around 10 and if more people took the classes serious it would probably have a bigger and better impact on the community.

Local Non-Profit Organization

While coming across different nonprofits organizations, Achievement First caught my eye. This organization helps the community by placing schools in low income communities to provide families with better options so that their kids can have access to a higher education. I interview Karissa Parris, she’s been working for the organization for a couple of months now. Her position is a Outreach Coordinator in Team Recruit. She is responsible for hiring teachers for our 36 schools. The target goal of the organization is to close the opportunity gap, so all students have access to great education despite their background and socio-economic status. Referring to one of the questions I had asked her, concerning the issues the organization is trying to solve or is there anything she wished more people knew about the organization. She stated that the opportunity gap doesn’t exist, because families of color aren’t attentive to their children or invested in their education. That the opportunity gap exists because, of inequity and various systems that keep the poor poor and the rich rich. She wishes that people knew that Achievement First is actually trying to undo some of those systems.


Questions Asked:

1. What is the name of your organization?

2. What is your position in this organization?

3. What is the target goal of the organization?

4. How does your organization help the community?

5. Is there anything you wish more people knew about your organization or the issues you are trying to solve?


I interviewed GRYC (Greater Ridgewood Youth Council) I heard about it from a friend of mine that introduced a job opportunity to me. GRYC is a after school program that gives the students support on school work and fun activities for them to try out or engage in. Some of the activities that the kids love are sports, recreation, art, Stem, and cooking. These activities are some basic activities that run through every school that works under GRYC. One of the questions I asked one of the directors that run GRYC is What types of people seem to do well in this department/organization? Her reply was and I quote “Highly motivated people do very well in the the GRYC. It is a fast paced work environment. Individuals who have a passion to change the world also do well. The GRYC is a serviced based organization and there are opportunities and expectations that staff give back to the community.” When Giving back to the community they would provide trips for the kids and for the sports kids they would have sport tournaments or clinics where it may not be a school day but some holidays that are given to us we give to the kids and open the gym for them. Letting them play multiple types of gym activities from basketball, soccer, European handball and football.
The strengths of GRYC is and I quote “ Passion, giving back, treating each employee as an individual and the family feeling environment of the agency as a whole.” All together this program is a great experience to be around with and be a part of.

Questions and additional answers:


1-How would you describe the culture here?
The culture at the GRYC is inclusive and welcoming. Employees feel safe, welcome and known. The Board of the Directors and Senior staff work to create a positive culture that embraces diversity.

2-What types of people seem to do well in this department/organization?
Highly motivated people do very well in the the GRYC. It is a fast paced work environment. Individuals who have a passion to change the world also do well. The GRYC is a serviced based organization and there are opportunities and expectations that staff give back to the community.

3-What opportunities exist for advancement?
There are many opportunities for advancement. Many GRYC Directors began on the group leader level and worked their way up the ladder.

4-What are the opportunities you see for this department in the next year?
There are group leader and instructor opportunities always available as well as opportunities to make a difference in the community.

5-What are the greatest strengths of this organization?
Passion, giving back, treating each employee as an individual and the family feeling environment of the agency as a whole.

6-What would you change about this organization if you could?
I would love to have more funding opportunities.

steven Iglesias

Local research assignment and blog post

Osman Okwan

English 1101


Selfhelp Community Services Incorporation

In my search for a local nonprofit, government agency or political action group, I found a nonprofit human service agency called Selfhelp Community Service Incorporation.

Selfhelp Community Services Incorporation is one of the largest and most respected not-for-profit human service agencies in New York metropolitan area.  According to sources the agency has 27 sites and runs programs throughout Manhattan, Brooklyn, the Bronx, Nassau County, and Westchester.( Selfhelp was established in 1936 with the  aim of helping victims of Nazi persecution rebuild their life in America before World War II. The source maintains that, selfhelp runs numerous services to more than 20,000 elderly, frail and vulnerable New Yorkers each year. Selfhelp remains the largest provider of comprehensive services to Holocaust Survivors in north America..

Selfhelp  offers a complete network of Home Care and Community-Based service to a lot of seniors in New York. The main goal of the agency is to help seniors to live good quality life, maintain their  independence and avoid institutionalization. Among the programs Selfhelp runs are:

  • Operates the oldest and largest program serving Holocaust Survivors in north America
  • Provides comprehensive services to over 4,500 elderly and frail individuals.
  • Own and operates eleven affordable apartments building in Queens the Bronx and long Island that houses over 14,00 low and moderate income residents
  • Trains and employs 1,800 Home Health Care workers who provide quality home care services to many seniors in New York metropolitan area.
  • Serves as legal guardian  for hundreds of individuals in need through three Court-Appointed Guardianship programs.

Besides, the agency offers activities such as  Home Care, Community-Base program and Holocaust survivor program. Selfhelp runs a licensed not-for-profit home care that employs over 1,800 home health aides. This program make it possible for most of New York seniors live independently.

Through the Community-Base program, social workers help seniors who qualify to access financial assistance.  According to source, this assistance is founded by New York Times Neediest and other private grants and donations (

Meanwhile, the source states  that, the agency’s services for holocaust survivors honor the sacred pledge made by the founders to serve as the last surviving relative to victims of Nazi persecution. In north America  Selfhelp remains the biggest agency who runs the oldest and largest program serving Holocaust survivors.

With this remarkable services, selfhelp has serve the senior population in New York City for 80 years with the sole aim of helping the these individuals to live the best quality life and maintain their independence and dignity.



Andrew Romero

I had a chance to interview a current volunteer of The Bridge also known as “El Puente.” Alexandra was very helpful in giving me a good inside of the program. To begin with the interview, I wanted to know about the organization and what exactly it is. The organization “El Puente is a program that allows the youth and adult to be involved within many curricular activities.” Some example of these activities is: art, sports, educational and engaging within other members. The goal of the organization is to promote peace and justice to push teens and adult to be leaders one day and pass on the message that there is peace and justice in the world and it begins with one person at a time. El Puente is not only an organization, but it is a school that offers many programs during and after school to keep teens learning and educated each and every day. El Puente has done many things for the community in the past years as it has only grown. The program is always running during the summer they offer a school camp for a variety of age group. “We focus on the community and looking in making it a better development.” One goal that has been highly anticipated is to build outside the community into other cities around the world. El Puente has helped many teens explore their talents in art and sports while get to meet new people. This program has turned a bad area into what we know today called Williamsburg. “The school has gotten many teens going to college and rates are just going up.” The community can help by offering their time and helping out supervising the youth. They can volunteer and help out with many activities such as trips and planned celebrations. Donations can support the program into making it develop even more. This can be done through the el Puente website. A volunteer would normally help out with the youth and in programs like the el Puente beacon which is a program during after school hours. This is where the volunteer can helped the youth with homework, interactions and building a trust within members. Many volunteers are very close friends that come together and go there to help out right after college and jobs as a way to educate the youth. College students are common in volunteers because it normally wouldn’t be long hours during school days but can be beneficial for the volunteer to put down in the resume. Overall el Puente is a family invested to inspire the youth in peace and justice to help them be the best they can.

Interview Questionnaires
What is El Puente?
What are the goals for El Puente?
What has El Puente done so far for the community?
How can others help this organization?
What would a volunteer do and how well do they work with each other?

Kiwanis Club , Steven Grande

The non-profit organization I reached out to was Kiwanis International . I reached out to someone one who was known in my neighborhood, and she known because she’s always great help . She said to me that their goal at Kiwanis is is too help young people , and give them a hand . She also told me that Kiwanis is a way to show how the “Little People “ are looking out for more “little People”. I asked the lady “ what made you join Kiwanis Club ?” And she told me that the reason she joined was because when she was young  she did not have someone to guide her , or tell her what’s right or what’s wrong , she had issues growing up . That is exactly why she joined; So she can be someone who can guide and help someone in need get back on the right path .

Reem Saleh’s Research Muslims Giving Back

Muslims Giving Back a Non profit organization established in 2014 also known as MGB based mainly in Brooklyn, Ny. I got to speak with one of the volunteers at Muslims Giving Back and she disclosed to me the purpose and goals of MGB. MGB’s purpose is to serve their local community of all religious and ethnic backgrounds because one of their beliefs as Muslims is to give to those around you. They believe that they shouldn’t be hiding in their boxes so nobody knows who they are and have zero influence on the people in need right in front of their eyes. Their goal is to find issues in their community like homelessness, hunger, domestic violence, and to tackle them in whatever ways they can. They do a lot of projects like making sandwiches and hot meals for the homeless and distributing them at Pen Station every week, they work with a woman’s shelter in Brooklyn called Asiyah woman’s shelter by fundraising for them and volunteering to provide emotional support for the residents of the shelter, they do projects known as project transform where we completely transform the home of someone who has nothing, usually widows or refugee families and make their homes beautiful and cover their rent until they get back on their feet. MGB is big on social media and they also really emphasize going out into the community and talking to people about who they are. Many times you’ll find them in the train station just talking to people and answering questions. Muslims giving back’s future goals include being able to impact more people, expand their volunteering team, and fund for bigger projects that give people aid internationally.

Faizan Ahmed, Bestfriends. org research

My name is Faizan and I was able to interview someone who is well known to an organization “best friend. Org”. It is an organization that helps out homeless pets. In most cases you are able to donate to this raiser. I’ve asked 5 questions to this anonymous person.
Q1• what’s save them all , bestfriends. org?
Q2• what’s no kill movement?
Q3• what are some of your strategies in achieving “no kill”?
Q4•do you have any regional programs?
Q5•What are some of the ways people can donate for your nonprofit?

I’ve asked these simple 5 questions and pretty impressed for the answers I’ve received. From these answers I was able to collect a lot of information about this non profit organization. “Best friend animal society is a nonprofit organization, a leader in the no kill movement & is committed to help homeless pets from many different places. About 1.5 million homeless dogs and cats are killed annually in shelters all around America . That means more than 4,000 animals are killed every day. They are being killed simply because they don’t have safe/caring places to call home. This is why Best Friends and other organizations purposefully describe themselves as being dedicated to no-kill. No-kill organizations euthanize animals who are suffering irremediably. They do not kill healthy animals and label it “euthanasia” to make it more palatable.The no-kill movement started as a radical notion, but today it is becoming mainstream. The goal is to correct our collective failure to value and protect the lives of homeless pets lives that matter.3 main strategies are
Promoting pet adoption: By encouraging people to adopt rather than buy their pets, we help increase the number of pets leaving shelters.Supporting spay/neuter: By promoting sterilization and providing spay/neuter resources wherever they are needed, we help decrease the number of animals entering shelters.
Hosting lifesaving events: Through local and national events like super adoptions, Strut Your Mutt and the Best Friends National Conference, Best Friends brings together community members, volunteers, animal welfare professionals, policy makers and representatives from animal rescue organizations and shelters who are committed to helping homeless pets. We have 4 regional programs in different states. New York, LA, Utah, Atlanta. Your donation to Best Friends Animal Society goes straight to work helping tens of thousands of animals – both at the Sanctuary and through outreach and animal rescue programs all across the country.” This concludes my interview with Bestfriend. Org. Working with this person was amazing and I’ve gotten plenty of more ideas on what this organization is about.


Local Research Assignment

Kimoni Fearon
This Friday I interviewed Kecia Crafton a supervisor at a local nonprofit organization named Heartshare Human Services of New York. It is located right on Livingston and bond street a couple blocks away from City Tech. This organization provides many services for the mentally disabled starting from preschool all the way to adulthood. I was able to go into the day program to get a feel of what it was like. When I first entered it reminded me of a mini school. There were classrooms, a cafeteria and even a nurse office. I found out that the day program I visited was one strictly for adults and the clients attended Monday through Friday like an actual school. Kecia informed me that the day program was modeled after a school and was to sort of take the place as a school for the mentally disabled because a lot of them were not able to attend school and be in a classroom setting. She gave me a little insight on how a normal day went at the program. “Every morning the clients are picked up from their homes or if they live in residential homes they were picked up from there on a school bus. They are then brought to the “school” signed in and then their day begins. Since they are adults in the adult day program some of them go to “work” at jobs that our organization was able to get them. We also teach them basic skills like teaching them how to brush their teeth and keep them selves clean. Some of them also do a little bit of academics with professionals and most of them do volunteer work at senior centers”. From time to time Kecia also told me that they like to take them out on fun trips every once in a while like to the museum or to the movies and also even shopping when they get their paychecks from their jobs. I asked her why they decided to come up with this program and these were her exact words, “ we want them to be able to realize that they can do what other people are able to do. That they can be normal and go to work or to the movies or school just like everyone else” and I was able to see that just from the little amount of time I spent there. It’s a great organization that is giving those who are deemed as “different” in society a chance to live a normal life and I 100 percent support that. I only wish that more people knew about this organization because they would be able to make a great impact on a lot of people’s lives.