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.
“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.
“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
“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.
“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.