Back to School for Elevate New York!
School is officially back in session for Elevate New York! While our summer was very busy with our inaugural summer program, we are very excited to be back in the classroom and are ready for another inspiring year of learning, mentoring and growth.
Before the 2014-2015 school year began, several Elevate students came in and helped set up our classroom at Bronx Studio School for Writers and Artists (BSSWA). This year, we have 30 new Elevate students and 30 returning students. In addition there will be 20 additional former Elevate students joining our After School program.
Our After School program will commence with Homework Help and Tutoring on Monday and Tuesday afternoons. Every other Wednesday, we travel to the Times Square offices of Instinet, an institutional trading firm. There, our students interact with staff from various departments. These business professionals teach our students how the lessons learned in the Elevate class are applied at a very successful company.
On alternate Wednesdays, students participate in a movie night sponsored by TrueSpark, one of our After School partners. Every Thursday we alternate between a Pilates class and an Adventure Activity. Friday afternoon is our Bonding Time, where we build relationships outside of the classroom setting.
Kevin Singleton and Yasmine Rodriguez are our two full-time teacher/mentors. Kaylee Souther, a senior at CUNY School of Professional Studies majoring in business, will be interning ten hours each week, providing management support.
Elevate New York will continue to train and inspire young leaders through our In-Class curriculum and After School activities. Our goal this year is to reach more students and have a greater impact by building a team of committed volunteers to help us reach our mission.
If you’re interested in volunteering for Elevate New York, email us at email@example.com.
Summer Camp at Elevate New York
While some kids spend their summers playing video games or hanging at the mall, our Elevate students have been spending theirs out of their comfort zones, learning vital life lessons, developing leadership skills, taking care of our community and of course, having a ton of fun with friends – all during our Elevate New York summer camp!
Summer camp runs for six weeks and is filled with 19 Elevate students. So far, there hasn’t been a dull moment. We’ve packed the schedule to include different lessons, activities and field trips… and it isn’t slowing down any time soon!
On Mondays, we focus on academics. We discuss important topics, write in our journals and enjoy various guest speakers, including Bianca Caban, who grew up in the Bronx and then went on to graduate from Harvard. She is now the Chief of Staff for international banker Bob Diamond’s company, Atlas Merchant Capital. Bianca shared about overcoming obstacles (very similar to the ones faced by our students) and achieving her dreams with hard work and dedication.
Come Tuesday, we turn our attention to the community. We fill our days with special community service projects, including serving food at Holy Apostle Soup Kitchen and volunteering at The Legacy Center. And, since school is right around the corner, we’ve also spent time cleaning and organizing the school so that it is in tip-top shape once classes are back in session.
But all of that hard work pays off…Wednesdays are our “fun days!” We head out into town with the Elevate students for trips to places like the Bronx Zoo, amusement parks and NYC parks. The students have put together pick-up games of football, kickball and baseball when we’ve visited local parks.
As Cameron, one of our students, told us, “it is a great learning experience…a highlight is bonding with my peers and getting to learn and talk to successful people.”
Elevate New York in the Hamptons!
Last month, we took two incredible trips to the Hamptons with our Elevate students for some fun in the sun as well as important character-building lessons and activities.
On our first trip, six Elevate boys along with teachers and mentors spent the day soaking in the sun and playing games at the beach. We also took a trip on the ferry over to Shelter Island to play a serious game of putt putt golf and devour a lot of ice cream. It was pretty clear that the boys had a lot of fun when one of our Elevate boys, Matthew, declared that the trip “was a dream!”
During our time with the Elevate boys, we covered lessons such as manhood, leadership, goal setting and time management. As one of our students Erik said, “I learned life lessons about lateness, and that every moment matters.”
On our second trip with the Elevate girls, we enjoyed a day lounging at the pool, talking and laughing. We also took a trip into Sag Harbor, where we walked around and had ice cream as well as stopped by the beach. The girls enjoyed a memorable dinner at Ruschmeyers restaurant in Montauk.
Over the course of the trip, we discussed topics such as appropriate dress as well as social media etiquette. All 16 girls had a blast – Kiralee, one of our Elevate girls, told us that the “all day pool party and dance party” were the highlight of her trip.
Elevate New York’s night “On The Run” with Beyoncé
On Saturday, July 12, Elevate New York was given the ultimate surprise – tickets to the sold-out Beyoncé and Jay-Z “On the Run” concert at MetLife stadium! Thanks to Beyonce and the #BeyGOOD initiative, everyone had an incredible night together.
We are fortunate to say that this wasn’t our first interaction with Queen Bey herself. Earlier this year, Elevate New York participated in the Chime for Change one-year anniversary celebration, where one of our students (who helped inspire the Chime for Change foundation) was lucky enough to meet Beyoncé and pose for a picture.
#BeyGood’s support of Elevate New York has helped our Elevate girls discover the power of positive self-image, the courage to fulfill their dreams and the possibilities of living a life without limitations. Thank you again to #BeyGOOD for your continued love and support and for giving Elevate New York a night to remember.
Beyoncé supports Elevate through Chime for Change
Beyoncé Knowles-Carter is using the platform of Chime for Change to raise funds for a variety of projects, including Elevate New York.
Through the Nurturing Healthy Relationships project, Elevate New York will model healthy behaviors for 20 young women in the Bronx Studio School for Writers and Artists during a “Date Day” program. To learn more about the project and to donate, visit catapult.org.