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Thank You for Your Service, Deep!

Deep Ghosh

Tribute to the longstanding service of Deepmalya Ghosh

Twenty-two years ago, when The Child Center of NY was still called the Queens Child Guidance Center (QCGC) and focused solely on mental health counseling, then-QCGC Clinical Social Worker Deep Ghosh presented at a conference on childhood trauma. Someone there mentioned Beacon centers.

At the time, “I didn’t know what they were talking about,” Ghosh recalls. “But I learned Beacons are all-purpose centers open to the community for recreation, arts, afterschool — all different things — for all ages. And I thought, I hope we get one.”

The hope came true, and on December 28, 1998, with the persistence of then-Executive Director Sandra Hagan and Ghosh’s exhaustive work and vision, Parsons Beacon opened in Flushing with Ghosh as its director. Operating with donated supplies and games and only nine participants — our Youth Development division was born.

In the intervening 20-plus years, Ghosh, most recently our Senior Vice President, External Affairs and Community Engagement, has played an enormous role in transforming the face of our services and opportunities for local youth and growing our YD division into what it is today: a dynamic line of services that help not only youth, but also whole families and entire communities, making a difference in the lives of nearly 13,000 individuals every year. Although his humble manner belies it, he is rightfully a legend in YD circles and regarded as the “father” of Queens YD programming.

Last month, Ghosh began a new chapter in his career. While he is still tackling many of the same issues he worked on at The Child Center, he is doing so as the head of his own consulting firm. And although we are fortunate to continue having him on our team in his new capacity, we felt it more than fitting to pay tribute to his incredible legacy here at The Child Center. Ghosh is known far and wide in our local communities for his commitment to our clients. “He’s the real deal,” says Child Center Vice President of Youth Development Nick Ferreira. Words cannot adequately express our gratitude for all he has done for his fellow New Yorkers, but we hope the below tributes are a place to start.  Thank you, Deep.


Deep Ghosh and Donovan Richards at Manny Fiallo Luncheon in Far Rockaway

Ghosh with Council Member Richards at the 2018 Manny Fiallo Jr. Men’s Luncheon, where Ghosh was honored with a City Council proclamation for his tireless efforts to improve the Rockaways.

“I would like to thank Deep Ghosh for his exemplary service to The Child Center of NY and his community. His personal and professional commitment to education and leadership deserves great reward and remembrance. It is said, ‘The secret of life is to have no fear; it’s the only way to function,’ Stokely Carmichael. With that, I wish Deep the best of luck and congratulations on his future endeavors as he embarks on a new journey.”

Council Member Donovan Richards, District 31, Chair of Committee on Public Safety


“It’s hard to think of anyone who has had a more significant impact on what The Child Center is today than Deep. He began as a therapist in our Jamaica clinic and was very competent in that role. However, when The Child Center won its first Beacon contract for Parsons Educational Complex, Deep accepted the challenge of becoming its director. From there, the rest is history, as they say. Deep grew our youth development programming to 30 programs impacting more than 12,700 children, youth, and family members a year. What a legacy! Deep’s commitment to hearing what community members, from a participant’s parent to an elected official, are saying as well as to programs achieving results is exemplary. I will miss him.”

Sandra Hagan, LMSW, Senior Advisor, past Executive Director


“Deep was my supervisor’s supervisor’s supervisor when we first met, but he knew my name! I was a 17-year-old rookie at The Child Center of NY. He knew my name because he spent time as a leader getting to know all the faces and names of our growing Youth Development team.

“When I learned he knew my name, I felt empowered and recognized, which fueled me to really give my all to youth development. Deep learned very early on, before I even did, that Youth and Community Development would be my lifelong career path. I was 19 years old when Deep first told me that one day I am going to lead my own programs; he was so confident in my capabilities, and throughout my journey at The Child Center always reminded me that he is cheering for my success.

Saher Mahmood, Deep Ghosh, members of MBSK

Ghosh and Mahmood at a baseball game with participants of My Brother’s and Sister’s Keeper Youth Council

“Fourteen years later, I have achieved an abundance of triumphs and transformed into a professional young woman with The Child Center of NY. I would not have been able to make positive impacts in communities, engage with thousands of young people and families, and feel fulfilled in life if Deep did not trust my leadership, challenge me, and push me to my greatest potential throughout the journey. Although Deep was only my direct leader since 2018, he has played multiple roles during my career. Deep has been a coach and mentor, a thought partner, a champion, YODA, and a dear friend. I will miss Deep’s presence at The Child Center, but his impact lives on forever in the communities that we serve and the lives of hundreds of youth developers!”

Saher Mahmood, Executive Assistant, Youth Development


“Deep. The founding father of Youth Development at The Child Center and one of the true NYC pioneers. I am so proud and lucky to have worked with and for you for over 12 years! Thank you for all you have taught me and the entire Youth Development family at The Child Center. We are forever grateful for your leadership, vision, empathy, advocacy, trust, and so much more. You lifted so many of us with humility and purpose (and more RFPs than you’d probably like to count!). Thousands and thousands of people are better off because of your efforts and talents and leadership. You are a true champion of youth and Youth Development. Personally, I’d like to say ‘thank you’ for taking a chance on me and trusting me all these years. And for showing me the power of youth voice, team, and process to name just a few. Though bittersweet, I’m so proud of you for taking this next step in your amazing career and life journey. You have more work to do, brother! Thank you for everything past, present, and future, Deep. Much love.”

Nick Ferreira, Vice President, Youth Development


It was 17 years ago that I began my career at The Child Center of NY. It was Deep who hired me. My journey at The Child Center has been life changing. I’ve had my good days and my challenging days. I think the one part of this experience that has been consistent was Deep. He was a great supervisor, mentor, and coach. He was a visionary who always inspired me to be an advocate for young people, to be there for our staff, and to believe in the goodness of people. He always believed in my ability, sometimes more than I ever did. I am grateful to have had him as my supervisor for so long. I really believe that he has been instrumental in the success of a lot of us here at The Child Center of NY. He has had a life-lasting impact on many of us. My desire is to be able to inspire others as he has done for me.

“Deep, as you embark on your new venture in life, I wish you nothing but success, happiness, and fulfillment. Thank you for all of those pep talks, all of those supervision talks, for holding me accountable, and for believing in me as a YD leader.

“’Leadership is about making others better as a result of your presence and making sure that the impact lasts in your absence.’ This quote by Sheryl Sandberg fits perfectly.

“Thank you Deep…”

Amanda Etienne, Vice President, Youth Development


Opening of Redfern Cornerstone Community Center

Deep (far left) and Donnelly (back, center) at the ribbon-cutting ceremony of the Redfern Cornerstone Community Center

“When I came to The Child Center in 2013, two things immediately became clear: First, The Child Center was an organization like no other; and second, a humble, intelligent, and deeply dedicated associate executive director named Deep Ghosh had a lot to do with the first.

“Deep saw the potential in The Child Center and the kids it served. He helped both grow beyond anything anyone thought possible. Because he saw the promise in everything, and obstacles as challenges to be overcome, he was able to help convince a city agency that a mental health counseling organization like The Child Center was the right entity to operate a new kind of community center. The agency took a chance on him, and they were proved right to do so again and again and again.

Deep Ghosh, Far Rockaway RBI

“I worked closely with Deep for the past seven years, and it’s been an honor. Since I’ve been at The Child Center, he’s helped grow our presence in the Rockaways, establish RBI leagues, spearhead our Community Schools work, and turn the Youth Development division he helped create into what’s truly a family and community development effort. He’s forged strong partnerships with everyone from grassroots community leaders to elected officials to the NY Mets, and his commitment to results-based accountability has helped ensure that we serve children and families in ways that truly move the needle. Perhaps most important, his ability to see both the big picture and the children and families we serve as individuals is a model for all of us to follow.

“Thank you for your service, Deep, and I’m glad this isn’t good-bye, but rather the beginning of a new kind of partnership that will help the communities we serve in ways that, today, we are first beginning to imagine.”

Traci Donnelly, Chief Executive Officer

—Tekesha Hanson, Program Director at PS 56 Harry Eichler School; Hanson was one of the first nine participants of The Child Center’s first Beacon program.

“Hello, My Love”

Gabriella Hernandez

Tributes in Memory of Gabriella Hernandez, Family Worker at EarlyLearn Corona

By Lillian Rodriguez-Magliaro, Senior Program Director, EarlyLearn Corona

Gabriella Hernandez, EarlyLearn Corona

Gabriella Hernandez

On April 13, 2020, Gabriella Hernandez passed away, as a result of complications from COVID-19. I had known Gabriella for about seven years, and for the past two years she served as a family worker at the EarlyLearn Corona program, where I was her supervisor. Upon meeting her all those years ago, I immediately noticed Gabriella was an exceptional and loving human being. I knew she would make a great addition to our EarlyLearn team. I admired and respected her for her commitment to clients, her friends, and family. Continue reading

In memoriam: Jermaine Miller, a.k.a., Coach Jermaine

A beloved coach is deeply missed by the Child Center community.

Coach Jermaine Miller at Parsons Beacon

Coach Jermaine, center, reflecting the team spirit he was known for.

The terrible news came in mid-March. The COVID-19 pandemic had hit home, taking the life of Jermaine Miller, better known as Coach Jermaine to participants at our Beacon Program at Catherine and Count Basie M.S. 72.

While Coach Jermaine was a natural leader and teacher on the basketball court, his real gift was inspiring youth to live up to their potential not just as athletes, but also in character. Continue reading

Tribute to Jeremy Beddoe

Mourning the loss and celebrating the legacy of our former staff member

Jeremy Beddoe, former staff member of The Child Center of NYThe COVID-19 pandemic has touched us personally and painfully. Clients’ lives have been devastated. And we tragically have lost three staff members to the virus — beautiful, giving, and selfless individuals who dedicated their lives to service.

In April, we lost a very special young man, Jeremy Beddoe, to COVID. Jeremy was a Child Center legend. He grew up to know he wanted to serve. That is what he did, and he did it incredibly well, first at our former program at P.S. 188, then as Group Leader at the COMPASS afterschool program at P.S. 24, and later as Activity Specialist at Parsons Beacon in Flushing.

As Youth Development Vice President Amanda Etienne said, “Jeremy and his sister Crystal [Beddoe, Interim Acting Director of COMPASS P.S. 24] have served as Child Center YD staff for many, many years. The morning after he passed, I sat on the phone with [Parsons Director] Talia [Banks], laughing and crying about Jeremy’s fun days at Parsons. This is a hit to all of us.”

We mourn the loss of Jeremy deeply, but we also want to celebrate his legacy. His life inspired so many people when he was with us, and we know his memory will, too. We hope the below tributes to Jeremy will give a glimpse into the compassionate, wonderful person he was, and that it will inspire us all to do our best to serve others in whatever ways we can.


“I have never witnessed, in my lifetime, the close bond of a brother and sister, like that of Crystal and Jeremy. I met Jeremy about nine years ago, when he, Crystal, and a close friend of theirs, Christina, would come to P.S. 24 to watch and support our semi and end-of-the-year on-stage culminations.

Jeremy was always humble and unassuming. When he joined our team at P.S. 24, Jeremy had a commanding presence about himself, one that resonated with, “I am here to serve,” and indeed, he did just that. Jeremy was one to never compromise his expectations because he would do much more that required of him.

Jeremy had an astute way of connecting with youth, simply, leading by example. Whenever Jeremy would help a student who may have fallen off track, he would guide that student in the right direction. There were times when Jeremy had to correct a child, but he didn’t just correct that child, he would provide an explanation as to why. Those corrections were more of insights so that that child could learn from his/her mistakes. Well, one may ask the question, how did I know these things about Jeremy? I personally witnessed them myself. You see, when humility is bestowed upon someone, that person uses that quality to transcend it to others among the other innate qualities that person possesses. That is exactly what Jeremy would do. Moreover, when it’s bestowed upon youth, it’s even a greater accomplishment. After all, we are here to serve, and Jeremy, the messenger, has done his work…never in vain, for the beneficiaries of Jeremy’s gifts and talents are the youngsters he served. In short, his kindnesses to others were invaluable. He was a man of his word because he simply practiced what he preached.

“In the words of J.C. Watts, ‘Character is doing the right thing when nobody’s looking.’

“That is exactly what Jeremy did…simply, a man of integrity!”

—Kenny Henderson, Program Coordinator, COMPASS at P.S. 24

Jeremy Beddoe, Nicole Freudenberg, Crystal Beddoe

Jeremy with his sister Crystal (left) and former colleague Nicole Freudenberg (middle)

“Jeremy Beddoe was an amazing person. At P.S. 24, he showed his passion to not only us, but also the children in the program. He was a positive role model in our participants’ lives. He touched many people along his journey on this earth. He never really knew how many people he touched.

“Jeremy became the brother I never had. He empowered not only our youth, but also our staff. He always put others before himself. He was a great person to vent to, a person to laugh with. Such a beautiful soul. I cherish the moments I had with Jeremy. I cherish the fact that I was able to call Jeremy a friend/brother. I am beyond grateful to have not only have been able to work alongside him, but also to see the amazing work and passion he put into his work with our youth. I will forever hold Jeremy close in my heart.”

Nicole Freudenberg, Activity Specialist, COMPASS at P.S. 24

“When I first started with The Child Center of NY back in 2013, Jeremy was one of the first people I worked with. As a former participant of the program, I saw the passion and devotion that Jeremy had for the program and the dedication to improve the program for the students. I saw that many students looked up to Jeremy as a role model. I also looked up to Jeremy as a role model; I wanted to become the counselor he was. Whenever any student had a problem, one particular counselor that they would always look for was Jeremy. I remember the time that Jeremy had to move on to another program site. I remember the many upset students and counselors that day. Jeremy kept his promise to always come back and visit, even through his busy schedule.

jeremy and crystal beddoe

Jeremy and his sister Crystal

“Jeremy also loved his family. I am very honored that I was able to work with both Jeremy and his sister, Crystal. I remember many moments of all of us working together, both during and outside of the program. I remember the time that Jeremy and I were actors for Crystal’s media project that she had to do for her class. We basically spent the whole day at the park trying to finish the scenes; of course, the scenes took a lot longer than they should have, due to our jokes and laughter. Jeremy will be missed by many, but let’s make sure he’s never forgotten.”

—Main Kong Koo, Activity Specialist, COMPASS at P.S. 24

“A kind, genuine, and happy soul. I felt that energy before even saying my first words to Jeremy. That energy never stopped or dwindled, either. I always felt happy around him, and I know he brought that around everyone else, too. I was blessed to even get to work with him and witness his creativity and how intellectual he was. I’ll never forget how he made others smile with his own smile, and I’ll miss that too. God bless.”

Jonathan Mora, former Activity Specialist, COMPASS at P.S. 24

“Mr. Jeremy was a positive gentle giant. He always had kind words to say and a big heart. He would always check on the kids and see how they were doing and always made the kids have a good experience at The Child Center. He would walk around the lunch room, and when I saw him he reminded me of big Shaq. He was a humble, gentle soul, and he will be missed but not forgotten. RIP Mr. Jeremy.”

Ajayi, former student, now a sixth grader

“I remember supervising Jeremy for about a year at Parsons Community School. Jeremy was a person dedicated to youth development. I would oftentimes see Jeremy talking, laughing, and joking with participants who weren’t considered to be the most popular in our program. I always saw great value in those interactions because by doing so, Jeremy validated those young people by simply listening to their stories. He is missed. SIP.”

Ronell John, Assistant Program Director, Parsons Beacon

“Having Jeremy as a colleague was an absolute pleasure; I recall working closely with him during each of our respective electives as well as a few events held at Parsons. During his elective sessions, Jeremy seemed to have just as much excitement about his activities as he expected the children to have. It was evident to me that Jeremy was an individual who valued doing their job well. I also remember Jeremy as being ready and willing to help with whatever anyone asked of him. Only positive memories come to mind when I think of Jeremy, and I hope he rests easy.”

Maya Ijeaku, former Activity Specialist, Parsons Beacon

 “This is for my friend Jeremy.

Jeremy was an individual who I did not get to know as much as I wish I could. When I did get to speak to him at Parsons, he was a caring individual who was willing to step up when needed. He was, is, and will be always an example of a good person. May he rest in peace.”

Evan Cuadrado, Program Coordinator, Parsons Beacon

 “I feel blessed to have worked with and known Jeremy. His beautiful soul and positive attitude were always contagious! He always had a positive outlook on things, and he was such a team player. Jeremy also brought activities to Parsons that allowed participants who had interests in robotics. His patience and kindness made him so easy to be around. Jeremy is truly missed.”

Talia Banks, Director, Parsons Beacon

“Jeremy was a kind and humble soul. Anyone who knew him was blessed by his quiet nature, which echoed a great sense of peace.”

Jadae Johnson, Program Coordinator, Roosevelt Island Beacon at P.S./I.S. 217

“When I think of Jeremy, I think of a dedicated and loving man who put others first. One who all the kids and team loved, because he loved them. Like all the Beddoes who have blessed The Child Center, Jeremy exemplifies true service and the spirit of community. Even in his passing, he will continue to guide so many. Rest in Peace and Power, Jeremy! You are missed!”

Nicholas Ferreira, Vice President, Youth Development

“Jeremy exemplified everything that makes The Child Center great. He was a relatable role model to the kids, who believed they could rise because Jeremy, with quiet confidence, believed in them. He was part of this family and we are all deeply saddened. The world is a better place with people like him in it and he will be missed. Our hearts go out to Crystal, his sister, who also is part of the Child Center family, and to the entire Beddoe family. May Jeremy’s good life be of some comfort to you, and may Jeremy rest in peace.”

—Traci Donnelly, Chief Executive Officer

Jeremy, Crystal, and Kimberley Beddoe

Jeremy and his sisters, Crystal and Kimberley

“Jeremy Justin Anthony Beddoe was a caring, kind, and gentle giant. A quiet but deep young man, he really put his all into everything and everyone he was involved with, whether it was his job, church, family, or friends. He was an amazing young man who absolutely loved life. Though these last few years he was in and out of hospitals due to his autoimmune disease, he remained strong and resilient and kept his spirits up. He was always inspiring others in life and through his social media. One of the last messages he wrote was ‘..stay close to your friends, settle any quarrels you may have as tomorrow is not promised.’ Words we will forever carry with us.

“The Child Center of NY was his first real job and he enjoyed every minute of it. In the time he spent within the agency he was able to make a lot of friends, share his love of technology, and make an impact in many young students’ lives. Jeremy was a great son, brother, and friend, and he will be missed.

“The Beddoe family would like to send our love to the agency and his colleagues for continued support, prayers, and condolences. It means more to us than you would ever know. God Bless you all!”

The Beddoe Family


If you have a memory to share about Jeremy, we invite you to share it with us in the comments section below. May Jeremy rest in peace and his legacy live on through all the many lives he touched.

In Honor of Social Work Month: The Team That Helps Troubled Teens and Families Change Course

HALE III staff

A Q&A with Our HALE III Team

HALE III staff

The HALE III team is a close-knit group. Here they are at a baby shower for two of their team members.

Editor’s Note: This Q&A provides a snapshot of the important role our social workers and other therapists play in the lives of some of NYC’s most under-served children and families. In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, these dedicated professionals now are conducting tele-visits instead of in-person visits — and they have done it without missing a beat. Stay tuned for stories of how various members of The Child Center’s dedicated staff are going above and beyond during the COVID-19 pandemic, which is affecting all of us, but has unique implications for our clients.


The Child Center of NY’s HALE (Holding Adolescents in Loving Environments) III program uses evidence-based family interventions to reduce risks of abuse and foster care placement. Most families in the program have sought our services voluntarily. Some are referred to us by the NYC Administration for Children’s Services. Regardless of how families come to us, our HALE III team — made up of therapists Elsa Barkhordarian, LMSW; Webb Casimir, MSW candidate; Therese Despeine, MA MFT; Vanessa Heller, LCSW, MPH; Domonique Wilson, MSW; Tatiana Wilson, MHC; Program Secretary Lissette Camilleri; and Program Director Elizabeth Traverso, LCSW-R — understands that the vast majority of parents want to do well by their children and will do so when given the right skills, counseling, and support. The team works to equip families with these tools. Here’s how they do it.
Continue reading

Staff Spotlight: Q&A with Alondra Santiago, Early Head Start Home Visitor

Alondra with her client family, through Early Head Start

A linchpin of our Early Head Start program, home visitors play a crucial role in helping clients strengthen the parent-child bond and increase school readiness where it begins: the home. They work with low-income families with babies, toddlers, and pregnant women, using the ParentChild+ home visiting model and curriculum. These dedicated professionals show parents how they can help their children learn, grow, reach developmental milestones, and feel confident and safe.

Alondra Santiago has served as a home visitor at The Child Center of NY for three years — and wouldn’t have it any other way.

Alondra with her client family, through Early Head Start

Alondra (left) with clients Isaías and his mom Rosalba

How did you get involved in this line of work? Continue reading

Sound Bite: Saran Shields Earns 2019 Russell L. Carson Visionary Award

Saran Shields, Russell Carson Award winner

Saran Shields, Russell Carson Award winnerThanks to generous supporter Russ Carson, The Child Center is able to honor an outstanding employee every year at our annual gala. The award is presented to a staff member who goes above and beyond for clients and epitomizes The Child Center’s innovative approach — qualities that perfectly describe Saran Shields. As Senior Program Director and Community School Director at August Martin High School, Shields and her team helped AMHS’s 24 percent graduation rate shoot to 73 percent in three years. Continue reading

Staff Spotlight: Micki Segel

Micki Segel

On June 19, The Child Center of NY hosted a retirement celebration for Micki Segel, LCSW-R, who began working with the agency an incredible 32 years ago — before we were even known as The Child Center!

Most recently our Associate Director of Youth Development, School-Based Mental Health (SBMH), Micki has been an unfailing advocate throughout the decades for the children in her care, as evidenced by her blog post, Three Ways Schools Can Counter the Rise in Teen Suicide, and her comments in this article about the devastating consequences of the Netflix series 13 Reasons Why.

Below is the farewell address Micki gave to colleagues at Queens Bully — four blocks from our administrative headquarters in Forest Hills and four miles from our South Jamaica (SJ) Clinic, where Micki spent the majority of her tenure with us. Thank you, Micki, for your hard work and dedication. You will certainly be missed.

Continue reading

News: Child Center VP Becomes Columnist for the Korea Daily

Dr. Yoon conducting a group workshop at The Child Center.

The Child Center of NY’s Vice President of Integrated and Value-Based Care, Anderson Sungmin Yoon, DSW, LCSW-R, has been invited to contribute a monthly column for the Korea Daily, the top Korean newspaper in the U.S. and one of the major newspapers in South Korea. Dr. Yoon will introduce The Child Center’s programs and services to Korean American readers and to the idea of being comfortable discussing mental health issues.  Continue reading

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