The Partnership for Afterschool Education (PASE) held its annual PASEsetter Awards Benefit at Cipriani 42nd Street on February 25 to recognize the commitment, energy, and creativity of five outstanding New York City afterschool educators and one champion. Among them was Amanda Etienne, associate director of youth development for The Child Center of NY.
During the benefit, award recipients had the opportunity to share their journeys with an audience of more than 400 people. Amanda spoke warmly about The Child Center community and its positive impact on New York City’s youth.
“Our organizational culture produces some of the most high-energy, dedicated, compassionate and passionate youth work professionals who go beyond expectations to meet the needs of our clients,” she said.
With The Child Center for more than 12 years, Amanda has changed the lives of countless teens. A social worker who began her career in mental health and substance abuse counseling, it was her interest in helping teens overcome a rough start in life to reach their full potential that brought her to The Child Center, where she saw a deep commitment to providing that level of support.
Before becoming the associate director of youth development, Amanda grew The Child Center’s Teen Impact and Prevention Program to reach more young people, prevent dating violence, and reduce cases of HIV/AIDS. She coordinated our first annual HIV testing day, which brought in 66 kids; today it brings in 400. And she used creativity—one of the qualities the PASEsetter Award recognizes—to ensure her messages truly hit home with youth, even helping them produce public service announcements that aired on cable TV and became the most popular PSA’s in the history of Cable Positive, our producing partner. With Amanda’s leadership, the teens also wrote, shot, and acted in an award-winning HIV prevention video.
Amanda stays in touch with many of the young people she has worked with in afterschool programs, community schools, and community centers over the years, and says she most enjoys seeing them succeed, develop leadership skills, and transition from middle school to high school to adulthood.
“The grace with which Amanda represents The Child Center of NY, day in and day out, was finally center stage,” said Deepmalya Ghosh, associate executive director of youth development and Amanda’s supervisor. “The entire team we’ve formed in our Youth Development Division feels an authentic responsibility and personal accountability for helping forge paths to success for those we serve. No one exhibits that commitment more than Amanda.”
“I couldn’t agree more with Amanda as the choice from our organization to represent a completely selfless and mission-driven contributor on all fronts,” said Child Center CEO and Executive Director Traci Donnelly.
PASE is a child-focused organization that promotes and supports quality afterschool programs, particularly those serving young people from underserved communities. We thank the men and women of PASE for more than 20 years of commitment to New York City’s youth and for recognizing educators’ critical contributions to afterschool programming.
Along with Amanda, this year’s PASEsetter award winners include: Hélène Onserud (Center for Family Life), Waleska Salcedo (NYC Mission Society), Mitchel Wu (Coalition for Asian American Children & Families), and Michael Zevon (Queens Community House), and the afterschool champion Tracy High (Sullivan & Cromwell, LLP). Please join us in congratulating the winners—and thanking them for their continued dedication to youth development.