CEWD Director, Babette Audant, Researches the Stackability of Culinary Arts Credits at KBCC

CEWD’s Executive Director, Babette Audant, just released findings from her study: Stackable credentials and career/college pathways in culinary arts at Kingsborough Community College, CUNY 
The study “compared employment and education opportunities for Community-College-Journalstudents enrolled in short-term training to those of students enrolled in an associate degree program. Its goal was to explore gaps between employer demand for trained workers and long-term investments in education. The study also aimed to suggest ways in which we can meaningfully support students in their pursuit of degrees, even as they seek employment in high-growth sector for which education, experience, and job titles are often an imprecise match.”


Chefs for Impact

November 20, 2014 - New York, NY - The 2014 Chefs for Impact Dinner at Studio 450 in New York. Photo by Kristyn Ulanday

Last year, NRC Culinary Arts students participated in Chefs for Impact, a benefit where NYC chefs gathered raise funds to deliver e-Learning to rural Africa. They worked aside Chef Andrew Whitcomb from Colonie and Mark Henegan from Madiba, serving as Chef Assistants.

They’re doing it again this year, tomorrow, November 19th! Join me in congratulating our students for their hard work and dedication. Go NRC students and Chefs for Impact!

Photo by Kristyn Ulanday, Chefs for Impact

Social Innovation Fund’s Project Rise Evaluation

In our 5 years Kingsborough’s Project Rise has seen so many program and student accomplishments and we couldn’t be more proud. MDRC and the Social Innovation Fund just released a report, Engaging Disconnected Young People in Education and Work, that evaluates Project Rise in its 5 sites (Kingsborough, FEGS, and Henry Street Settlement in New York, Rutgers in New Jersey, and the Full Employment Council in Kansas City, MO).

In this report, KCC’s Project Rise was recognized, among other things, for our collaboration with the College that provided resources to both staff and students—KCC Urban Farm as the pre-internship site, referrals to KCC’s Single Stop for social service benefits, the opportunity to bank college credits, etc.

In a message to her staff, Associate Director of KCC’s Project Rise, Dina LiMandri, said: “There’s a story that the report won’t tell. One about growth and development, leadership and management, interdisciplinary team approaches, and what it takes to create a culture of engagement.” Without a team that brought “a perfect balance of creativity, organization, temperament, and strategy…” our services would look completely different.

Across all sites, Project Rise has been wildly successful:
Project Rise SIF report 2015 cover-1

  • More than 91% received some HSE preparation.
  • About 72% began internships and over half of those worked more than 120 hours.
  • Within 12 months, 25% earned a high school equivalency credential or high school diploma.
  • About 25% entered unsubsidized employment.

Go Project Rise!

CUNY Fatherhood Academy at Kingsborough


New York City Deputy Mayor for Strategic Policy Initiatives Richard Buery announced today that Brooklyn’s only community college—Kingsborough Community College—and Hostos Community College in the Bronx were chosen as the two expansion sites among CUNY campuses for the CUNY Fatherhood Academy (CFA). The announcement took place at LaGuardia Community College, the site of the original 2012 program launch. Joining Deputy Mayor Buery were Kingsborough Community College president Farley Herzek, Hostos Community College president David Gomez, LaGuardia Community College president Gail O. Mellow, CUNY Director of Continuing Education and Workforces Programs Valerie Westphal, and NYC Human Resource Administration Office of Child Support Enforcement Assistant Deputy Commissioner for Parent and Community Engagement Alan S. Farrell.

Hostos Community College in the Bronx was also selected as the second expansion site, and LaGuardia Community College will continue to sustain the Fatherhood Academy which began on its campus in 2012. Total funding of $2.1 million will serve more than 200 fathers over the next year at all three sites. Beginning in November 2015, the grant of $441,357, which will be administered by Kingsborough’s Center for Economic and Workforce Development, will allow the College to serve an anticipated 40 young fathers in CFA as they prepare for, and enroll in college and/or training programs.

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Bringing it Home at KCC Urban Farm

KCC Urban Farm was just awarded a grant from Ample Table for Everyone, a non-profit that works to “mitigate food insecurity in the five boroughs of New York City by addressing the key causes: lack of time, lack of money, inaccessibility to nutritious food, and unfamiliarity with a variety of healthy ingredients, cooking methods and recipes.”

distribution fall15Our program, Bringing it Home, will teach participants basic cooking skills using both familiar and unfamiliar produce. BiH will empower everyone with the skills and confidence to cook at home for themselves and their families.

Visit Bringing it Home on the blog to find out more about the program including the schedule of workshops and recipes that have been created by students and staff.

See you on the Farm!


Kingsborough and Achieving the Dream

CEWD programs (Project Rise, Northeast Resiliency Consortium) serve as pipelines to college enrollment, specifically enrollment at Kingsborough. Our programs provide educational training needed for college-level work, the opportunity to bank college credit, preparation for the CAT (CUNY Assessment Tests), and enrollment assistance when participants decide to move on to higher education. Pretty awesome, right? It gets even better:


Kingsborough just announced that the College has been recognized as Leader College—a national designation awarded to community colleges that commit to improving student success and closing achievement gaps—at Achieving the Dream. KCC has shown how data can inform policy and practice to help community college students achieve their goals, resulting in improved skills, better employability, and economic growth for families, communities, and the nation as a whole. Upon hearing the news, KCC President Farley Herzek said that the college is “committed to helping students walk away with a sense of confidence and readiness for four-year study or for the workforce.”

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KCC Urban Farm Veggie of the Week: Ground Cherries


Recipes by student Farmer Chef Lilja with the assistance of Farmer Mike

KCC Urban Farm Veggie of the Week: Ground Cherries (Physalis Pruinosa)


  • Ground cherries are thought to be originated in Central and South America.
  • The ground cherry is a species of Physalis, and it is technically a fruit. It is part of the nightshade family, which includes tomatoes, eggplants, and tomatillos.
  • It is best to plant ground cherries indoors 6-7 weeks before transplant. Transplanting takes place after the danger of frost has passed, and the soil is warm.
  • Ground cherries can produce up to 300 fruits per plant, and can keep going until frost season.


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A Slice of Farm Life: Mount Compost

By Benjamin Hanon, KCC Urban Farm student aide10559659_777328102289207_4604875111502288765_n


Today’s story is about turning our compost pile, with the help of the nice folks over at the Liberty Partnerships Program at Kingsborough.

In the deepest depths of the kingdom of Kingsborough’s Urban Farm, towards the T1 building and behind the student beds lies the mysterious Mount Compost. Rumor has it that this mountain is made of garden waste and the bodies of fruits and vegetables that never get eaten. They say that mysterious figures wearing sun hats and farm clothes add to the mountain every week. It is believed that otherworldly forces transform this plant matter into soil. I know the truth. Mount Compost is made of much more than just the bodies of our fallen plant brethren. Mount Compost is composed of a network of of Bacteria, Fungi, and Protists that digest plant matter and convert it into the rich soil that we use on the farm.

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Farm Hands

By Lilja Walter, KCC Urban Farm student aide11222936_1021180417903973_6387449318426881408_o

Every day I look at the progression of the tan on my arms. I trace over the marks and splotches that the plants have bestowed upon my epidermal layer. They are the gentle kisses that the farm leaves behind after a hard days labor. On the train I am wrapped in my cozy dirt blanket. The light dusting protects all of my exposed parts from the cold train car, allowing me to rest rather than shiver. As I am lulled into sleep I admire the soil locked behind my fingernails. I feel my fingers worming through the land as I try to free my loves from the saboteur weeds stealing their nutrients.

I dig my arms deeper into the soil.

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