Summer 2019 Newsletter
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St. Nicks Alliance Excellence Award
The Nonprofit Coordinating Committee of New York (NPCC), now known as Nonprofit New York, annually selects eight winners that demonstrate excellence in one of eight key areas of nonprofit area: Impact; Governance; Financial Management; Human Resources; Communications; Fundraising; Information Technology; and Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion.
Winner of the award for Governance, St. Nicks Alliance was distinguished because its board engages in risk assessment and fiscal oversight that forwards the mission of the organization responsibly. The St. Nicks Alliance Board is critical in rebuilding the 110-year-old School Settlement Association community center in Williamsburg, despite market forces that threatened it. It also used a merger to save the 211 Ainslie Street property that houses Swinging Sixties Senior Center and Small World Early Childhood Center. This site holds a strong place in the community’s heart in that it additionally serves as the Williamsburg town hall. St. Nicks Alliance provided leadership to the Greenpoint Renaissance Enterprise Corporation, a coalition of eleven organizations, which plans to build new housing and a health center on the former Greenpoint Hospital campus.
“As part of our work to strengthen the region’s nonprofit sector, The New York Community Trust supports this awards program to celebrate excellence in the field, and provide an opportunity for the winning groups to share their successful practices with other organizations,” said Lorie Slutsky, president of The New York Community Trust, one of the region’s leading funders of nonprofits.
Joseph Robles, chairman, said, “I never cease to be impressed with the work of our committee and the affiliated organizations St. Nicks Alliance’s board members continue to lead.”
“It is a true honor to work with such a strong group of volunteers who devote their time, resources, and contribute their energy to improve the lives of the clients we serve,” stated Michael Rochford, exec. dir.
Two Trees Continues Support to Construction Training
Managing Director of Two Trees, David Lombino presented a $50,000 renewal grant to St. Nicks Alliance Workforce Development, which will help fund construction skills training. 185 have been trained in construction by St. Nicks Alliance, and of those participants, 156 adults and young adults have been placed in construction jobs. The Domino Project, a Two Trees development, employed forty-nine of the construction training graduates. In addition, three graduates of Workforce’s Greenscaping training were hired and two other job placements were made at this site.
Two Trees initiated this grant to St. Nicks Alliance Workforce Development Center in 2018. This second check brings this grant’s total to $100K.
Alaska Conference on Homelessness
Frank Lang, St. Nicks Alliance's Director of Housing traveled to Anchorage, Alaska to participate in three days of executive meetings with Community Development Corporation (CDC) leaders from around the USA. The meetings were a follow-up to Achieving Excellence (held at Harvard Kennedy School) which Frank attended in 2011.
At the conference, Alaskan civic leaders reviewed models of collaborative programs that addressed issues of homelessness. The City of Anchorage has been greatly impacted by homelessness due to exorbitant housing costs and employment challenges. CDC leaders from Maine, Arizona, California, New York, and Washington D.C. discussed data collection and courses of action. Sharing a NYC perspective, Frank reviewed St. Nicks Alliance's efforts to create coalitions with organizations to address challenges in developing the Greenpoint Hospital and Broadway Triangle sites.
The group also toured the housing developed by hosts Cook Inlet Housing Authority (CIHA), a Native Alaskan lead organization in greater Anchorage. CIHA has created an innovative mix of residential and commercial developments to meet needs of the low income residents.
Guru-Krupa New Title Sponsor
The Guru-Krupa Foundation recently became the title sponsor of the BK Story Voyager with its donation of $25K to St. Nick’s Alliance’s mobile literacy initiative, the BK Story Voyager . The Guru-Krupa Foundation is a Long Island-based philanthropic organization that supports children’s education among other causes that serve wellbeing. They have given support for playgrounds, school buses, eye care, books, and mobile food pantries.
On his visit to the BK Story Voyager, Mukund Padmanabhan (Guru-Krupa Foundation’s Executive Director) observed St. Nicks Alliance’s approach in inspiring a love of reading in North Brooklyn’s school children. During the visit he watched as PS 147 students participated in intensive literacy activities as part of St. Nicks Alliance’s afterschool. For instance, a lesson taught by Laura Ennis, the BK Story Voyager Education Manager, featured books on global monetary knowledge geared to a young audience. Before leaving, Mukund confirmed the Foundation’s interest in adding its support to keep the BK Story Voyager on the road. Within a week he sent the check for $25,000.
In acknowledgement for their generous grant, the Guru-Krupa Foundation sponsorship of the BKSV will be displayed prominently on the BK Story Voyager and on the St. Nicks Alliance website.
Bushwick Community High SchoolPrincipal Salutes:
Learning To Work Career Day
Santa Calderon, assistant principal of Bushwick Community High School, sent a thank you to Valone Brown Jr., Program Director of St. Nicks Alliance’s Learning To Work (LTW) initiative.
“I want to take this opportunity to express my heart felt gratitude for your execution of Career Day at Bushwick Community High School. In my entire career at the [Dept. of Education] DOE I have not seen such a successful career day at any school. You are such an amazing young man. You have always gone above and beyond in any task you take on.
Your dedication and hard work with our students here at Bushwick Community High School is noticed every single day. I just want you to know that I greatly appreciate all you do,” wrote Santa Calderon.
Thirty-six career professionals were in attendance at the Career Day, and fifty-six students participated. Attendance would have been even higher if the weather wasn’t horrible that day – but it was excellent that so many braved the storm. This Career Day’s goal was to foster the idea of community within the school so The LTW staff also referred professionals from their individual professional networks. The event resulted in an expansion of LTW’s worksite portfolio, and students were introduced to careers in finance, healthcare, arts and entertainment, real estate, legal services, law enforcement, armed services, youth development, education, media, and biotechnology. The students also honed their networking and interviewing skills and were informed of employment, internship, and mentoring opportunities.
Michael Andrews Joins St. Nicks Alliance Board
Michael Andrews is a long-standing North Brooklyn resident and business owner. He’s lived in Brooklyn for 25 years and runs Gotham Pictures (on Berry Street), a video production company which he founded in 1992. He is also the former owner of Natural Wine Company (North 11th Street).
His desire to give back to the community led him to join the Firehouse (formerly known as the People’s Firehouse North Brooklyn Community and Arts Center), and he serves as secretary of this organization. Over the years he has witnessed the work St. Nicks Alliance was doing in the neighborhood, and this steered him to join their board.
“I believe that [St. Nicks Alliance’s] integrated approach, combining housing with youth programs and workforce development makes sense. In addition, as a board member of The Firehouse, I would like to foster a strong relationship between the two organizations. As The Firehouse finally moves towards construction, I believe there will be areas where both organizations can work together to continue to enhance and improve our neighborhood,” said Michael Andrews.
Childhood Tragedy Inspired St. Nicks Alliance Career
Justin Conigliaro oversees Youth Employment at St. Nicks Alliance Workforce. Justin actualizes a role he wished was there for those friends who went down a bad path after they suffered a tragic loss as teenagers. This was revealed when he spoke of what drives him in his career at a Bank of America Neighborhood Builders Conference.
In front of the audience of 200, Justin told of why he loved his work at Workforce. He shared that when he was a teenager he lost a friend to a horrible car accident. Subsequently, he witnessed how grief over this loss influenced friends to make choices that ruined their lives. This experience fuels his determination to have a positive and lasting impact with job seeking young adults.
A Forceful Dime McCarren 5K/10K
The 7th Annual Dime McCarren 5k/10k saw nearly a 10% increase in runners/walkers from 2018’s run. The course was twice as long for one-third of the participants, as they chose to opt for the 10k. This show of popularity has established that the 10k element will continue as an option in future. St. Nicks Alliance board members and staff participated in the run more than ever before. This has inspired the idea to start a running team that will participate in several local runs in addition to the Dime McCarren 5k/10k.
The rain couldn’t dampen the enthusiasm from this year’s participants and the purpose for this run. The Dime McCarren 5k/10k is a fundraising run whose proceeds go to support necessary academic, cultural, and recreational incidentals for summer camp and after school that are omitted by grant funding. The fundraising for this continues until June 30.
“This year’s Dime McCarren event reached new levels in participation and range of activities,” remarked Kenneth J. Mahon, Dime President and Chief Executive Officer. “By expanding the event to include a 10K race and a children’s decathlon, St. Nicks Alliance has broadened the reach of this annual Williamsburg event.” Mr. Mahon further noted, “We appreciate the continued show of support by the Williamsburg community and are proud to help fund the St. Nicks Alliance after school and summer camp programs each year.”
The success of the event is directly due to more than a little help from some friends. Local businesses: MEGA Contracting, Broadway Stages, Aetna, Compass, Business Resource Inc., Daily Gonzalez, and Capri Jet Realty added their support to Dime Community Bank’s generous sponsorship. Elite Feats, North Brooklyn Runners, and Brooklyn Running Company directly engaged and encouraged the local running community’s participation.
If you missed out on the 7th annual Dime McCarren 5k/10k, get ready, get set, and then mark your calendar for May 2, 2020.That is the date set for next year’s event, its 8th incarnation.