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Reimagining the Future
View the inspiring video of our 2022 Virtual Benefit and learn about our groundbreaking four initiatives!
On Monday, May 23, 2022, The Child Center of NY held its Virtual Benefit. It was a chance to present our vision for the next 70 years by giving a high-level vision of our four initiatives: Family Health & Wellness (Enhancing Family Health), Improving Graduation Rates, Cash+Community Works, and Research, Development, Innovation, and Training. We were grateful for the opportunity to shine a light on the incredible work our team is accomplishing for 43,000 children, families, and their communities every year.
The Russell L. Carson Visionary Award was established in 2015 to recognize employees and supporters who perform above and beyond expectations, initiate creative solutions despite limited resources, and demonstrate entrepreneurship in increasing the accessibility to services and opportunities for children and families. The award is named for Russell Carson, whose steadfast and generous support has played an instrumental role in advancing the Child Center mission.
Thank you to the generous supporters who made our 2022 Virtual Benefit a success for the families and communities we serve.
- Angels Trudi Elbaum Gottesman and Bob Gottesman Pat and Dick Jay Joseph & Katherine Macari Foundation
- Champions Garrett D'Alessandro and Amy Rappaport
- Benefactors Greenberg Traurig, LLP Jennifer Milacci and Marc Scher Pond Family Foundation Trust Nell Shanahan and Adam Schwartz
- Mentors Julie Amadeo Ficalora Family Foundation Bernard Groveman Anne Marie Macari Tina and Steven Price Charitable Foundation
- Friends Anne and Benjamin Bahr Katie and Jim Brennan Jackson Lewis, P.C. Gelvina Rodriguez Stevenson Techworks Consulting, Inc.
- Rising Stars The Coffey Family Giving Fund D'Arcy and Peter Green Robert Jesurum New York Community Bank Foundation Louise and Erv Shames Dr. David and Ilene Siscovick TD Private Client Group DJ Williams
At the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, the needs of our families were so great and varied that we quickly learned the best support strategy was directly investing in them with cash. We gave away over $725,000 — no strings attached — trusting 1,300 families to determine their own financial priorities. This experiment formed the basis of what is now Cash+Community Works, which works on the premise that families are the experts on what they need to achieve their goals, and our job is to act as investors, advocates, and partners. The program also includes a community component through which families share support, knowledge, contacts, and resources so they can lift up their families and communities together.
Increased Graduation Rates
Graduating from high school is one of the most effective avenues toward a brighter future, leading to more career options, fewer adverse outcomes, and a real chance to break the cycle of poverty. The Child Center works with families toward this goal before a child is even born. Through our early childhood education programs and all through elementary, middle, and high school, we ensure that the young people in our communities have the academic, social-emotional, and practical support they need to succeed in school and beyond.
With this holistic, long-view approach, our programs have achieved significant results. Nearly every year, students in our early childhood programs improve an average of more than 50% in all developmental areas; third-grade math proficiency jumped from 8% to 41% at an elementary Community School where we serve as lead community-based organization (CBO); and the graduation rate at a high school where we serve as lead CBO increased from 24% to 96%. These figures represent thousands of young people who now have a better chance to reach their full potential.
Family Health and Wellness
The most important factor affecting a child’s development is a healthy family. A child can’t learn on an empty belly, and a parent can’t function at their best, when living in a home with no heat in the winter, facing domestic violence, or struggling to meet essential needs in any number of ways. That's why we make it our mission to address all these things, with programs that provide practical assistance as well as mental health services and other supports that assist families in developing the tools to raise their children in a safe and nurturing environment. We know that when families have their basic physical and emotional needs met, they can thrive.
Research, Development, Innovation, and Training
Insurance companies, government contracts, and other sources of revenue share one thing in common: they don’t fund research and long-term outcomes analysis. As we look to take bold new approaches to having an impact on the communities we serve, it becomes clear that we need to invest in our ability to quantify that impact. At The Child Center of NY, we are investing in measuring and understanding the impact of our services on the community; training staff so that our programs evolve to best align with desired outcomes; and developing new and creative strategies to deliver on the pledge of disrupting the trajectory of generational poverty and creating cycles of opportunity and promise.
Adam H. Schwartz
Senior Managing Director at First Manhattan Company
Adam Schwartz is a Senior Managing Director and Portfolio Manager. He works closely with First Manhattan Co.'s Executive Chairman, Robert Gottesman, to manage assets for individuals, families, partnerships, and family and charitable trusts. He is committed to understanding each client's investment goals and working collaboratively to meet them.
Adam played a lead role in establishing two of the firm's private investment vehicles—the FM First China Funds and FMZ Ventures Fund, L.P. He travels to China and San Francisco regularly and works closely with his Fund partners on company research, portfolio management, and due diligence.
Prior to joining First Manhattan in 2001, Adam was a Strategic Development Analyst at a European telecom company in London where he analyzed merger and acquisition opportunities. Before that, he was an Investment Banker for Morgan Stanley in New York, covering telecom companies.
Adam serves on the Board of Directors of The Child Center of NY. He holds an MBA from Columbia Business School and a BA in Economics and International Relations from Brown University. He lives in Westchester with his wife, Nell, and their three children.
Assistant Program Director, Health Homes
Nona Ohikuare is as an assistant program director in The Child Center’s Health Homes Program, which serves young people with multiple chronic conditions or Serious Emotional Disturbance. She began at The Child Center five years ago as an individual care coordinator in our Waiver home visiting program and was promoted to assistant program director in our Health Homes program due to her hard work and excellent skills. In her current role, Nona opens the line of communication between each client and provider to ensure the client’s stability and well-being at home and in the community. She excels at team building and is passionate about helping clients overcome their obstacles and linking them to activities and services that improve their socialization, foster interpersonal skills, and propel them to thrive. Nona has been a valuable team member of The Child Center of NY for five years and exemplifies the qualities that the Russell L. Carson Visionary Award was established to recognize and support.