SUMMER 2013 · Vol. 07 · No. 02
iPads and Entrepreneurs iPads and tablet computers are game-changers for immigrant entrepreneurs at CAMBA Small Business Services (SBS), where clients are now learning to run their businesses with mobile technology. SBS is offering new three-part courses that introduce entrepreneurs to tablets and mobile apps, teaching them to use point-of-sale systems like Square, mobile accounting systems like Outright, Google Translate for customer service and social media for digital marketing. “Tablets are an affordable and portable computing tool that… can help entrepreneurs build operational capacity and increase sales without breaking the bank or having to learn complicated software,” says Jodine Gordon, SBS Business Counselor. “The program’s goal is to help immigrant entrepreneurs stay competitive in a rapidly changing marketplace,” she adds. Her students are enthusiastically adopting tablet computing for their businesses. “This is the best thing I’ve ever done,” says Debra Brown, owner of God First Enterprises Tax Services. “CAMBA taught me just how little I knew about running a business—I had been keeping track of clients on paper.” Tawana Chatman, who started Miss Sassy Boutique, says the mobile accounting program is a life-saver for her business. “I’m really bad at bookkeeping. This program helps me keep track of how much I’m making,” she says.
From the President and CEO To paraphrase social philosopher Eric Hoffer, CAMBA believes that in a world of change, the innovators shall heal the earth. Our 36 years of experience in human services shows us that change is inevitable. And to stay relevant–and successful–as we help struggling New Yorkers cope in an ever-evolving world, CAMBA staff members research the latest thinking in our fields. We attend conferences, meet with fellow experts, learn about state-of-the-art strategies and apply groundbreaking approaches in our work.
This issue of the CAMBA Courier explores some of the many innovations that CAMBA incorporates into our programs and looks at how they help improve the lives of our clients.
Entrepreneur Debra Brown now uses a tablet for her tax business.
CAMBA’s Mobilize Your Business class is a pilot project funded by a seed grant from the New York City Economic Development Corporation (NYCEDC) as part of the Competition To Help Reach Immigrant Ventures and Entrepreneurs (THRIVE) project. THRIVE is also supported by Deutsche Bank Americas Foundation, the Garfield Foundation and the Lawrence N. Field Center for Entrepreneurship at Baruch College. As one of five THRIVE finalists, CAMBA hopes our project’s success will lead to long-term funding after the pilot stage. Email firstname.lastname@example.org to learn about upcoming tablet courses.
You’ll meet teenagers who gained sophisticated financial literacy skills through video games and entrepreneurs who are learning to harness mobile technology to run their businesses. You will learn how we make affordable housing sustainable through solar energy and how a unique garden in our food pantry combats hunger with freshly grown produce. CAMBA employs cutting-edge approaches to our social services, as well. One example you will read about is Project ALY, geared to help parents of LGBT youth overcome cultural or religious biases in order to accept their children. As a valued friend, your ongoing support is essential as we integrate new approaches into our programs. Working in partnership with you, we will continue to apply both tried-and-true and innovative practices to changing lives in New York City.
For news and updates, visit CAMBA.org.
Thank You! We salute the following donors for your generous support (Feb. 1, 2013 - June 30, 2013): Corporate and Foundation Donors A. Larovere Consulting LLC
Admiral Air Conditioning
Dance Atlantic Inc.
Ameriprise Financial Community Relations BE Furniture Outlet Beardwood & Co. LLC Brooklyn Borough President’s Office Brooklyn Commune LLC Brown & Weinraub, PLLC Center for New York City Neighborhoods, Inc.
Common Cents New York EmblemHealth Enterprise Community Partners First Parish In Needham Flatbush Food Coop Friends of Rhoda Jacobs GAP Inc. Groupe Sanglier HSBC Bank USA
Chadbourne & Parke LLP
Chris McConnell Consulting, Inc
ICL HealthCare Choices IGive
Jeffrey Sobel Consulting
Lee Weintraub Landscape NYC Department Architecture, LLC of Education
TriState Apartment Furnishers U.S. Charitable Gift Trust
Loralei Bed & Breakfast/ Loralei LTD
Oracle Corporation Matching Gifts Program
Lutheran Family Health Center
United Neighborhood Houses of New York
M.C. O’Brien Inc.
R&B Janitorial Supply
University of Notre Dame
Reliant Electrical Contracting, Inc.
van Ameringen Foundation
Research Foundation of CUNY
Viacom Media Networks
Whitsons Culinary Group
Michael F. Adanuncio Electric, Inc. Mission of Peace National Council of La Raza New York City Transit Authority
Schmutter, Strull, Fleisch Inc. Sentinel Printing Co.
Wells Fargo Bank. N.A. Women’s Sports Foundation - Go Girl Go
New York State Assembly The Hudson - District 44 Companies Inc.
The Pinkerton Foundation
INDIVIDUAL DONORS Mark Bisard & Christie Hodgkins
William Ellis & Marjorie Momplaisir-Ellis
Martin Romero & Ileanna Morales-Romero
Kevin & Brisa Palikuqi Douglas
Hannah Jackson Leor Jakubowicz
Ted & Kathy Dros
Dwayne Richardson & Valerie Barton- Richardson
Jonathan Willens & Julia Beardwood
Gregory & Catherine Farrell
William Avery Agnes Azzara
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Maura Fields Bobby Fitzpatrick Mark Foggin
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Jim Van Orden
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Ellen Wong Melissa Young
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Michael Ross Dominic Rovano
CAMBA is a non-profit agency that provides services that connect people with opportunities to enhance their quality of life.
Board of Directors Katherine O’Neill Chairwoman Christopher Zarra Vice Chairman Rev. Daniel Ramm Secretary/ Treasurer Sal Bacarella Julia Beardwood
David Rowe Patrice Rush Ryan Russo
Matthew W. Botwin
Gregory Celestin Paul Galligan Terence Kelleher Allan F. Kramer II Bernardo Mas Ruth O’Brien David H. Schultz Molly Wilkinson
CAMBA helps 45,000 New Yorkers every year.
A Farm Grows in CAMBA’s Food Pantry Clients at our Beyond Hunger Emergency Food Pantry can now watch their future dinner salads grow right before their eyes. And there’s no sunlight or soil in sight. This pioneering initiative—to grow produce inside the Flatbush pantry— started in April, when local urban farmers took over a section of the pantry to build a hydroponic farm, a soil-free growing system that will feed CAMBA clients and serve as an educational resource for the community. “It’s going to be a good learning experience, in and out of our pantry service,” said Lucila Santana, CAMBA’s Project Coordinator of the food pantry. “We’ll connect with the community through volunteer
opportunities, open houses for school kids, food demonstrations and even free classes on hydroponics.” The farm was constructed by Brooklynbased Boswyck Farms and is funded by the United Way of New York through a Seed Grant for Urban Farming. The grant supports organizations that want to turn unused space into food-producing plots and expand community outreach services for nutrition education and wellness. The pantry’s farm will do both, building on existing programs with an array of opportunities in the coming months. Santana said pantry clients will help maintain the farm, and they’re looking forward to their new, very local salad ingredients.
“It’s a good idea,” said Darren, a client who was filling her shopping bag with pantry items recently. “It’s healthier to eat food grown nearby… when you buy it from the store, you don’t know where it’s been.”
Video Gaming Leads to Financial Savvy Video games. Avatars. 3D gaming. Social networking. For most teenagers, gaming is just for fun. But for a group of 60 young people in Flatbush, Brooklyn, playing video games led to the mastery of financial literacy skills that will last a lifetime. At CAMBA Beacon 269 last spring, these teens enrolled in the Capital One Financial Scholars Program, which uses an innovative video game platform developed by EverFi to teach real-life financial concepts and decision-making to youth. Middle schooler Richardson Romeus said the EverFi program taught him that “setting financial goals is an important task. It gives you a good idea of where you are and where you are going.” Jasmin Crawford, 13, became an enthusiastic convert to responsible financial management. “I used to spend all my
allowance on snacks and hanging out with my friends, but now I’m saving my money for college,” says the eighth-grader. Jasmin Crawford She is also proud that she has been able to put enough money aside to occasionally help her mother. Jasmin and her avatar learned about opening a bank account; budgeting; managing credit scores and credit and debit cards; paying taxes; buying stocks and bonds; and deciding between homeownership and renting. Her avatar visited banks, toured the New York Stock Exchange and even rooted through a trash can, looking at discarded papers–earning points for deciding which documents could lead to identity theft. “Thanks to EverFi, I’ve learned to distinguish between my needs versus my wants,” said Justin Pile, a high school
EverFi graduates, left to right, Davine Murray, Santoshi Williams and Beyonce Taffe
student. “I also learned how important it is to keep your identity safe by putting important information in safe places.” Capital One Bank partnered with EverFi, a leading educational technology company, to bring this interactive, webbased financial management program to CAMBA’s Beacon students at no cost. Now these 60 graduates have the tools needed to become more informed, responsible and debt-free citizens.
Gateway Elton Phase II Breaks New Ground
Gateway Elton I, above, has the largest residential solar system in New York. Phase II broke ground recently, left. The project is a partnership with The Hudson Companies, Related and CAMBA Housing Ventures.
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1720 Church Avenue Brooklyn, New York 11226 CAMBA.org
Project ALY Helps Parents Accept Their LGBT Kids For many lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) youth in Central Brooklyn, being rejected by parents or family members can lead to risky and dangerous behaviors. Project Accept LGBT Youth (ALY), a new CAMBA HIV prevention initiative, is working to help these youth gain acceptance and lead safe lives. Funded by the NYC Dept. of Public Health and Mental Hygiene through Public Health Solutions, Project ALY is carrying out a multi-pronged effort to change parents’ attitudes. The initiative will include a social marketing campaign (to launch in September),
community outreach and, in a novel approach, it will enlist supportive parents of LGBT youth to share their stories and become role models for others who are not yet as accepting. “Parents and family members who struggle with acceptance will come to understand the harmful effects that disapproval and rejection can have on LGBT youth,” said Lisa Koffler, CAMBA Program Manager for Prevention Services. Project ALY hopes to improve young peoples’ self-esteem and self-worth— and lower their risk of future health or mental health problems, including HIV infection and substance abuse.
“By encouraging parents and family members of LBGT youth to share their stories of acceptance, they will help break the silence, remove stigma and motivate change throughout the community,” said Koffler. Through focus groups this summer, staff are gauging the attitudes of parents of LGBT youth in the community—to help shape the marketing campaign that will appear on Brooklyn buses this fall. Said one recent focus group participant: “It’s important to set examples for parents, from parents who already went through it.”