“I was not going to give up, so I applied aggressiveness and went for it.”
Ashlye was a student of KCC’s Project Rise in 2014. She entered the program having already completed the requisite credits for high school completion at the Bronx Aerospace Academy, but was denied a diploma on a technicality. While she had a passion for a job in the aviation industry, she knew that in order to support herself and her daughter, she would need to change her immediate career prospects.
Upon attending an information session, program administrators, Norma D’Arancio and Victoria Bershtat, urged her to enroll telling her that she had the skills to rapidly excel in the program. The commute was long but knowing that “the further I had to [travel] to get an education, the more I’d want it.” This momentum began the moment she started.
This program is more than just classroom engagement. We provide workshops, mentoring opportunities, familial engagement activities, case management, and so much more! We even provide FREE metrocards and other incentives.
Call a CFA representative for more information (718.368.6784) or register for an application session to find out more.
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:
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.
David Zubin 24, is a current student KCC’s Project Rise. Since enrolling, he has made it his mission to earn his TASC Certificate and find employment. Although it hasn’t been easy, in 8 months he has come closer to meeting goals–reaching over 100 internship hours, finding part-time employment and, working his way to taking the TASC Exam. “I love Project Rise and I focus on what is important: getting my GED, completing internship hours, and working at Applebee’s. I love working!”.
His hard work has paid off. David is the first Ambassador in Project Rise’s Ambassador Program. Since taking on this new role, his class attendance, participation, grades, and confidence have all gone up. “Now I feel important, like I am really needed. Sometimes I get excited and brag on Facebook and to my friends about what I do as an Ambassador.”
Project Rise at KCC is approaching the end of our initial 4 year grant period. During that time over 180 disconnected young adults have come through our doors to receive preparation for the GED/TASC exam, important work readiness skills development, and extensive individualized support services. Our efforts have had a huge effect with over 50 participants receiving their high school equivalency and over 50 gaining long-term employment. Even more significant, so many of our students have gained confidence in themselves and their work to overcome obstacles that kept them from succeeding earlier in life.
As we move forward, KCC’s Project Rise received a challenge grant from the Center for Economic Opportunity/Social Innovation Fund to provide an additional year of funding for our program. Late last week we received a commitment from the Pinkerton Foundation for $100,000 and $2,500 from the Signature Bank Foundation towards reaching the challenge. These awards will allow us to continue providing our much-needed services to disconnected young adults who are eager to take control of their educational, professional and personal lives.
KCC’s Project Rise on WBAI 99.5FM, tomorrow December 10th!
CEWD sees so many amazing and ambitious students! Desi, a current NRC CHW student also hosts a show on WBAI 99.5FM: Women in the Making: Tomorrow’s History Today, which “highlights the views, perspectives, questions, goals and accomplishments of today’s girl.” Desi has taken a special interest in KCC’s Project Rise and has interviewed the program’s associate director, Dina LiMandri and two Project Rise students. The segment will air tomorrow, Wednesday, December 10th at 2pm. Tune in to find out how the lives of these young women have changed, in part, thanks to the work of Project Rise and Kingsborough Community College.
If you’re a follower of this blog, you’ve seen post after post we’ve written about the success of Project Rise. We’re obviously proud of what we do. What makes our program so great is the one-on-one attention we’re able to give our participants. This individualized counseling, along with extensive preparation for the GED/TASC and job readiness training has allowed so many participants to reactivate their professional, educational and personal lives.
A. started PR feeling insecure about her academic ability despite having specific career goals. To hide her insecurity, she focused more energy on the people around her and neglected her own academic goals. With the help of Project Rise staff, she began to take Project Rise more seriously 4 months into the program. Since then, she has become incredibly focused in class and has started a coveted internship at a local hospital. What’s more, A. has noticed the shift in her own attitude and has often referred to the “old her” and the “new her” as she speaks with classmates and program staff.
I sat down with Natalie, a recent Project Risegraduate, to talk about her experiences with the program.
Me: How did you hear about Project Rise and what made you sign up?
Natalie: My mother. She saw the Project Rise advertisement in the Kingsborough Community College Brochure. My family is run on tough-love so she basically threw the brochure at me and told me I needed to get my G.E.D (I swear she is a very kind and funny woman). But I did like how they offered a paid internship and work readiness. Heaven knows I had no job experience.
Me: You just graduated. Congratulations! What did you like most about the program?
Natalie: Generally I liked the whole package. The fact that I was going to be able to study and take the G.E.D. for free and have a paid internship along with obtaining college credits not to forget we had the chance to work on the Urban Farm, it was great…still is.
Since 2006, CEWDat Kingsborough has developed successful workforce training programs that meet the needs of un- and under-employed New Yorkers. Check out this infographic showcasing our most significant programs and awards:
Friday, October 10th marked an important milestone for members for Project RiseCohort 5: graduation! This cohort was one of the most active and engaged groups we have seen with the number of students earning their GEDs, completing internship hours and staying enrolled surpassing previous cohorts. This group was so engaged, they even designed their own graduation t-shirt, sashes (made by a fellow classmate) and yearbook filled with photos and stories of their year with the program. Graduates were presented with heartfelt messages from staff members along with their certificates and celebrated with friends and family members who encouraged their success. Congratulations, Cohort 5!