Little Elevate and Middle Elevate

Article by Elevate Staffer - March 2015
Elevate students and Kevin Singleton

Elevate students in front of PS 335, where we’ve taught Little Elevate for the last five years.

For six out of the 8 months of the school year, our Elevate students become the teachers and mentors. Using the Colorado Uplift program as a model, Elevate New York implemented “Little Elevate” 5 years ago, putting our Elevate students at the front of the classroom in a local elementary school, PS 335. For one hour each week, our high school Elevate students become elementary school mentors, teaching 2nd through 5th grade students. Elevate students learn and craft their 20-minute lesson plans during their elective classes throughout the week. For the last two school years, 60 Elevate students have taught 150 elementary school children, every week.


Elevate students become teachers in the Little Elevate classroom.

By challenging high school students to become the teachers, the character quality and life skills lessons that they’ve been learning are now being applied to complete the lessons’ circle: Elevate students become the leaders, mentors and role models they were always meant to be. Whether it is giving a presentation to the entire class or working with hands-on activities in small groups, our high school students work to improve the mindsets and enrich the knowledge of elementary school students in their neighborhood.

Furthermore, our students learn that spending time and energy to teach valuable lessons to their younger counterparts – is the greatest form of giving. It teaches them to be philanthropic, even before they start earning money.

Team leader, Elvis Dela Rosa, prepping his team for Little Elevate

Team leader, Elvis Dela Rosa, prepping his team for Little Elevate.

With the success of our Little Elevate program, we launched our Middle Elevate program three months ago. Much like our Little Elevate program, our Elevate students are mentoring and teaching 6th and 7th grade students, during their lunch period. It has established a strong connection between these two groups of students, who share the same hallways throughout the day. We are seeing increased accountability from high school and middle school students. Once again, our goal is to serve our school community with the Elevate character qualities and life skills.

We are excited to see this program grow and are proud of our students for encompassing the lessons they’ve learned and the character-building qualities they’ve developed through Elevate to reach out and impact younger students.

How Students Spell Love: T.I.M.E.

Article by Elevate Staffer - February 2015


Every month, Kevin Singleton (Elevate founder and CEO) and Yasmine Rodriguez (program director, teacher and mentor) share their experience and insight into what it takes to harvest powerful relationships, build strong character, spark inspiring connections and make a profound impact on the next generation of urban youth.

If the walls of flowers in your local supermarket or the hundreds of jewelry commercials on your TV haven’t reminded you enough lately, February is a month of love. But here at Elevate, we know that the term “love” has a very different meaning for the students we work with every day. For many of them, “love” doesn’t come easy – and when it does, it needs to be showcased in a much more engaged, in-depth and powerful way. For our students, LOVE = T.I.M.E.:

(T) – TEXT/Access
There is a direct correlation between Access and Communication. If a student can’t access you, they can’t communicate with you. If they can’t communicate with you, they won’t feel LOVE from you.

(I) – INTIMACY or (In-To-Me-See)
Does your student know your dreams and failures? Have you opened up your heart and let them see what’s inside? The more secure the adult is, the more they can share with their student.

(M) – Meals
Food is an ice breaker. Whenever we eat meals with our students, their hearts become a little less guarded.

(E) – Epistemology
def. – the study of HOW we learn.
Seek to understand HOW students learn. What are their
Learning Geniuses?

To name a few…

“True Love Takes The Time To Figure Out Which Learning Style Is Best For A Student.”

- Kevin Singleton

Elevate New York: January 2015 Recap

Article by Elevate Staffer - February 2015

While January is usually a time to relax after the hustle and bustle of the holiday season, Elevate New York has come into 2015 with a profound rush of excitement and energy.

For starters, we ended 2014 with the incredible success of our matching gift campaign, raising more than $50,000 in one week! We could not be more grateful to all of our donors. We are so blessed to have a network of supporters that continue to bolster our efforts and help provide our Elevate students with the education and life skills they need in and out of the classroom. Because of you, lives will be changed forever.

Speaking of our Elevate students, they continue to grow and impress us every day. Recently, our classroom discussions have centered around Courage. Our students taught elementary school students that courage means “being brave and standing up for what you believe.” They also played a fun game called “Cookie to Face,” which is an activity where the objective is to place a cookie on their forehead and get that cookie to their mouths without using their hands. The lesson learned is that sometimes you have to risk looking silly to accomplish your goals. To see the game in action, check out the video on our Instagram.


Along with Courage, we also spent time discussing bullying and how it effects your character and self-esteem. Our special speaker Kesha Nichols, the CEO of Sugar & Spice Productions and star on Basketball Wives, explained that “bullying has nothing to do w/ the victim, but everything to do w/ the internal struggle of the bully.”


Earlier this month, our students were honored to have former MLB player Darryl Strawberry and his daughter Diamond Strawberry visit our classroom and also watch our Little Elevate program in action. Darryl gave a lot of great advice to our students, including “If you quit, you never know the journey that would have been ahead of you.” We want to thank him and his daughter for visiting and giving our program and our students so much support.


With so much excitement in just one month, 2015 is looking to be a fantastic year for Elevate New York. We look forward to sharing all of our experiences here on our website and also through our social media channels. If you don’t already, be sure to “Like” us on Facebook, and follow us on Twitter and Instagram.

Announcing: Osta Jewelry for Elevate New York

Article by Elevate Staffer - January 2015


The holidays are over, but that doesn’t mean we have to lose the spirit of giving. In addition to our new online giving system, iDonate, Elevate has other opportunities for you to make a difference in the next generation.

In the start of this new year, Elevate New York is proud to announce a new partnership with Osta Jewelry!

Vadim and Anastasiia Osta, founders of Osta Jewelry, are avid supporters of our organization. Their work is known to be modern in style and timeless in taste. They have created a signature pendant for Elevate New York. This elegant and inspiring piece can be worn with everyday casual wear, and will still dress up a fancy outfit for a night out.

With every purchase, enjoy free shipping within the US, and the excitement of knowing that all profits go to helping raise up the next generation of urban leaders.

To place your order, click here.

We could not thank Osta Jewelry enough for partnering with us on our mission as well as all of you who continue to support our cause. Happy 2015!

Elevate Goes to Harvard

Article by Elevate Staffer - December 2014

Last month, we took 12 Elevate students on a weekend trip to a place that many inner city students would never dream of stepping foot: Harvard University.


In conjunction with the Latina Empowerment And Development (LEAD) conference and Harvard Latinas Unitas, our students were able to spend time on Harvard’s campus and learn the important skills – inside and outside of the classroom – necessary to apply to college, gain acceptance into college and succeed as a college student.


After our six-hour drive from the Bronx, we were greeted at Harvard with a special welcome dinner, featuring entrepreneur and humanitarian Ernesto Arguello. We were also treated to awesome performances by the Mariachi Veritas and Ballet Folklorico de Aztlan.

On Saturday, the students participated in workshops that covered topics such as applying to college, juggling life as a college student and successful resume creation. They also listened to the keynote speaker, Natalia Oberti Noguera, dubbed “The Coach” by Marie Claire magazine, who the founder and CEO of Pipeline Fellowship, an angel investing bootcamp for women that creates capital for female social entrepreneurs.


After the conference ended, the students took a tour of the Harvard campus, lead by Elevate advisory council member Becca Hill, who just graduated from the Harvard Grad School for Education.

Elevate_harvardtour Elevate_HarvardStatue

Overall, we had an incredible weekend. It was an experience that dramatically changed the way our students look at the college experience, the process it takes to get there and the grit required to be a successful college graduate. Here are some thoughts on the weekend from our students:

“The only way I can describe my experience is beautiful. Just being in that environment made me view things differently. I saw in the conference how much I needed to do just so that I could get into college. I want to end up at a school like Harvard someday or even just any college i apply to. Since I have returned from my trip at Harvard, I have been working harder and paying more attention in my classes. I just want to thank Mr.Kevin so much for the opportunity he gave me. I hope I can attend again next year.”

“The Harvard trip made me realize that college isn’t just something you do just because, it’s something you do to get somewhere in life. The process of college isn’t easy-breezy, it’s hard – but not impossible. This Harvard trip also made me connect with a few people I would’ve probably never met if it wasn’t for Elevate.”


“Going to Harvard was a life-changing experience. Mr. Kevin, my teacher/mentor, approached me to go on an overnight trip to go to a conference at Harvard because he knows that part of my life vision is to go to Harvard. Being able to sit in a conference and learn so much from women that are passionate and have similar backgrounds as me and still managed to make it to my dream school gave me so much hope. It was refreshing to hear that so many people are willing to help and that there are things you can be apart of that represent you such as the Latina Empowerment And Development.

During my stay at Harvard, I learned in advance about college applications and resumes, which is something I didn’t expect to hear about. I also got to see what the campus looked like and met some wonderful people. I even built a relationship with one of the volunteers that took the place of my other teacher/mentor Ms. Yasmine by rooming with her in the hotel.

After having this experience I now know what steps I have to take to accomplish my goal of going to Harvard. My mind was shaped after this trip, I’m determined to do anything possible to get to my goal. Something that stuck with me was that without the women at the conference knowing me personally they continued repeating that they believe in me. I appreciate this experience so much and Mr. Kevin for making it happen and allowing me to take part of it.”


We want to extend a huge thank you to Harvard, the Latina Empowerment And Leadership organization and the Harvard Latinas Unitas. It was an incredible experience and one that certainly changed our students’ lives.