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Latest Stories of Lives Transformed

Posted on June 1, 2017 by Alice Kenny  |  Share

At Catholic Charities Alianza It’s Not Just About Taking; It’s About Giving Back

 

There is so much happening at Alianza Youth Services, our Catholic Charities Community Services (CCCS) division that serves children and youth in Washington Heights, Inwood, and the Bronx.  Check out our latest stories of youth's lives transformed in these struggling yet vibrant communities.

 

Children Feed Neighbors & Honor Their Moms

Young children  participating in CCCS Alianza Dyckman Cornerstone Community Center were determined to give back.  So they worked together to help feed the hungry and later the same day to honor their moms on Mother’s Day. 

On a cool rainy Saturday morning in mid-May the Dyckman Cornerstone Center opened its doors at 8:30 a.m. to a trove of children.  They packed bags filled with eggs, salmon, Vienna sausages, rice, milk, beans and more from our Feeding Our Neighbors food pantry. Then they distributed these bags to 139 families, many of their own neighbors in need.

Next these kindergarten through fifith graders helped transform the Center into a Mother’s Day wonderland filled with balloons and pastel-colored decorations. Dressed in t-shirts they tie dyed with arms filled with paper roses they cut the children dedicated poems, songs, artwork, hugs, kisses to their moms, aunts, grandmothers and more, over 100 women caretakers all told.  

Many of the moms teared up when their little ones recited from memory a special poem in Spanish and English:

Me dio la vida/She gave me life

Me dio su amor/She gave me her love

Y yo se lo pago con mi Corazon/And I repay it with my whole heart.

 

Ella es muy linda/She is so beautiful

Ella es mi madre/She is my mother

Ella es la estrella que mi camino abre/She is the star that guides my way.

 

 

Catholic Charities Takes Part In Largest Latino Education Program in the Northeast

Catholic Charities Alianza Youth Services Division’s Director Eddie Silverio served as a panelist at the Hispanic Federation’s recent Hispanic Education Summit at the CUNY Graduate Center, the largest community-wide gathering on Latino education in the Northeast region.

 

The Summit brings together Latino community leaders, parents, students, and educators to discuss ways of improving the K-16 access and success pipeline for Latino students and ultimately increase college retention and graduation rates

 

“To have the opportunity to speak to the successes and shortcomings of public education and give concrete recommendations for best practices, new policies and reform to improve and strengthen public education is critical and extremely valuable,” said Mr. Silverio.

 

Teens Transform Concrete Jungle

At Merriam Playground, a Bronx park surrounded by concrete, teens in our Highbridge Cornerstone Young Men’s Initiative volunteered with their mentors to pull weeds, plant spring seeds and transform this local hangout into an oasis in the city. 

 

Young Men’s Initiative was created by the New York City government as a public-private partnership to address increasing disparities among black and Latino men between the ages of 16 and 24 in education, employment, health and justice. Its mission, in partnership with organizations like Catholic Charities Alianza division, is to develop and champion policies and programs that holistically support the success of young men of color throughout New York City.

 

Catholic Charities Alianza Division Highbridge Cornerstone’s Young Men’s Initiative (say that 3 times fast!) works to achieve this mission by connecting young men of color participating in our Alianza programs to individuals, opportunities and organizations that improve the quality of their lives and lead them to a more successful future.  And, as their recent park project illustrates, this initiative is not just about improving the teens lives.  It’s about giving these teens the opportunity to help transform the lives and community around them.

 

Learn more about Catholic Charities Alianza programs