I'RAISE Impact Report

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2020/2021 Impact Report

Reconnecting our Communities



A Letter from our CEO On March 28th, when prior New York State Governor Cuomo issued an executive order to shut down New York State; for I’RAISE this meant the closing of our physical doors to our children & families but the doors of our hearts remained open. Not knowing the catastrophe that lay ahead for our children and families, what was most important was carrying our families through these dark seasons of loss, trauma, social isolation, and tragedy. Serving communities of color who were hit hardest by COVID-19 in New York City, our primary focus was to provide emotional stabilization and release from the day-to-day trauma of COVID. In a research study, we launched in an effort to understand the impact of COVID on youth adolescents who reside in NYC well-being, it was revealed that more than half of adolescents were afraid of dying from COVID, and more than 75% of students reported in an increase in depression and anxiety since COVID. The realities of our children meant isolation from the community that relied on us for consistent support. We expanded our village and linked arms with parents, teachers, guidance counselors, principals, superintendents, elected officials and faith leaders. Our dedicated and experienced team of staff and over 200 volunteers, worked day in and out to meet the needs of our children and families. I am proud of the work we have done throughout this pandemic, and the progress we have made. We created spaces for our children to re-imagine their worlds beyond the pandemic, we created spaces for parents and the community to discuss racial injustice and to heal through racial trauma, and we created programs that helped children and families cope through the pandemic. We remained at the forefront of advocating for children mental health and remain a fierce advocate and provider of mental health support. The future of our children and families look brighter, as we continue healing as a collective. This pandemic has brought us together, and made our communities more resillent. Through social distance, we have gained a deeper appreciation for one another, for our neighbors, friends and families. I would have never imagined that we would be here 2 years later, stronger than ever, more committed than ever and our hearts more open than ever. I look forward to the years to come as we continue building this beautiful village side by side with our children and communities. Shanequa Moore, LMSW

Chief Executive Officer I’RAISE Girls & Boys International Corporation


inside this report Snapshot of Accomplishments In Service: Doing More For Children Parents Schools After School Community Outreach Combatting Racial Injustice Research Dept. Media Attention


FY2021 Financial Report Our Team Our Sponsors

Our History I’RAISE started in 2012 in the Bronx as a mentoring program for girls 9-18 years old. In 2013, the organization transformed into the present-day I’RAISE whose main goal is to provide innovative school support and community services for vulnerable youth.

Our Mission I’RAISE Girls & Boys International Corporation provides holistic programs aimed at improving social determinants of health for minorities ages 4-21. Our programs help to improve the mental health, physical health and social wellbeing of youth in high needs communities. We implement a culturally sensitive and appropriate model that helps to empower under-resourced communities and schools to be resourceful and to thrive.

Our Vision Our vision is for every child in urban communities to receive a well-grounded foundation, to be raised in a community that supports and loves them and that has the resources and support needed for every child to reach their highest potential to have life success.

Our Services In-School • • • • • •

Art and Therapy Afterschool Arts College and Art Mentoring Parent Support Professional Development

In-Community • • • • •

Art Academy Big Brother Big Sister Mentoring Generation Z See Her Be Her Coaching Tutoring


Snapshot of Accomplishments January 2021 • • • • • • •

Launched Generation Z Project (accessible career prep and job readiness program for teens) Launched Parent Ambassador Program (enables parents to become representatives of the agency and get involved in key decision-making efforts) Clinical psychologist Dr. Alan Dubro leads parent advocacy classes on IEP Parent support classes that helped parents who were overwhelmed, burned out, and drained, provided an essentially new set of parenting skills to help parents parent in the pandemic. Launched study with over 200 teen participants to understand the psychological impact of COVID-19 on youth in NYC Partnered with NYC Department of Health and Thrive to provide workshops on mental health and health disparities in communities of color Provided one-on-one online counseling support for students with trauma and mental health issues

February 2021 • • • •

Held workshops for families on topics including strengthening parent-child relationships, how the vaccine works, Parenting in the Pandemic, and Parent Advocacy Workshops on SSI Applications Improved children’s mental health through the arts Boosted children’s self-esteem, self-expression, and overall mental well-being through visual art, music, and dance Continued providing remote counseling services

March 2021 • • • • •

Held even in honor of Women’s History Month called The Role of Black Women in America Launched online cooking and baking courses for youth Launched a new community Theater Career Club led by a theater professional Provided remote counseling services to K-12 Diligently worked on Psychological COVID-19 Teen Study

April 2021 • • • • •

Held career prep series for teens and young adults to network with employers and gain paid internships Through our Generation Z program, we held a career series for young adults ages 16-21 years old which enabled youth to: Launched group mentoring for youth to improve youths’ social-emotional development, hobbies, and increase friendship and confidence Provided remote counseling services to K-12 Launched study on racial injustice and the impact of racial injustice on the psychological well-being of adolescents in New York City

May 2021 • •

6 •

Mother’s Day to Remember at the Park (an outdoors Mother’s Day celebration) An I’RAISE entrepreneurship student sat on a panel for Bronx Youth Empowerment Program’s Youth Speaks 2021 Forum I’RAISE 8th Anniversary Virtual Gala celebrating 8 years strong of essential mental health,

• •

educational, and community-based programming Our research team finalized the findings of our COVID-19 psychological impact study

June 2021 • • •

Finalized findings from our Racial Injustice Study and presented to New York City community leaders at a panel sponsored by IRAISE on an important panel discussion I’RAISE held its Spring Showcase celebrating new beginnings. Graduated our first class of Generation Z students who successfully completed the requirements for graduation after completing college-level courses in law, medicine, and entrepreneurship.

2021 Summer • • • •

I’RAISE officially reopened its doors when NYC reopened and reopened its Arts Afterschool program at P.S./I.S. 178 Held online classes such as Ballet, Photography, Salsa Dance, Read Aloud, Lego, Baking, Yoga, and more! CEO Boot Camp trained over 20 youth on how to start their own business I’RAISE CEO presented at several panels before Chancellor of NYC public schools Meisha Porter Congressman Bowman, Assemblyman Ritchie Torres, and Bronx parents to advocate for mental health support for our kids for the coming school year with findings presented from our research study

September 2021 • • • • • • •

Held Back to School/Homecoming school supply giveaway to mark the re-launch of our in-person school services Reopened in-person school mental health program in schools across Bronx and Brooklyn and helped students readjust to in-person schooling Worked with students who lost their loved ones and families due to COVID-19 Provided SEL groups to students after school Worked side by side with teachers to develop SEL curriculum for their students Led in-school SEL advisory groups along with teachers. Launched in-person after school program.

October 2021 •

Continued growing partnerships, serving students.

November 2021 •

Gained more coaches for See Her Be Her coaching program to uplift Black girls.

December 2021 • •

Gave out over 400 toys during 9th annual Christmas toy giveaway event sponsored by Toys for Tots and New York Cares Held Paint and Chew therapeutic event at partner school (immersive therapeutic lunch art led by social workers



Reconnecting our

Communities Our country has faced numerous critical points throughout its history and the past two years has proven to be one of those historical moments. During a time when New York City was knocked off balance, our organization continued its programs to provide a solid foundation of support for youth and teens in all five boroughs…just in a more innovative way. In 2020, I’RAISE was able to pivot its existing programs to develop a line of virtual programs maintaining children’s social, emotional and academic well-being. 2021 saw the growth of our virtual programs continued their growth in 2021 even as we prepared for a return to in person services through our in-school programs. We understand that now is not the time for us to rest on our laurels. We are proud of all we have accomplished in 2021, yet we are determined now more than ever to push toward producing even greater good in the lives of those we serve within the communities that need us most. Our mission is still resolute. Our vision remains clear. Letecia Stewart Executive Director I’RAISE Girls & Boys International Corporation


Doing More for

CHILDREN Keeping kids engaged, smiling and developing friendships. When New York City schools closed their doors, the action also removed the option for safe after school programming for their students. The I’RAISE Virtual Academy allowed at-home youth and teens to continue socializing with their peers while adhering to social distancing mandates. Kids forged new friendships as they joined weekly classes in art, dance, computer science and fitness. Remote learning posed a challenge for many children and became a major source of frustration for parents as they struggled to assist their children with school assignments while balancing their own remote work, or no work, difficulties. As a result, we experienced a significant surge in requests for our tutoring services. Children are matched with a one-on-one tutor that implements a customized learning plan following a thorough assessments of their mentees academic needs. Online teen study groups and academicallyfocused classes in ELA, Math and Science enabled children to stay on top of their studies through entertaining assignments and projects. Our Social Work team became trusted confidants to youth in need of emotional support. Despite school closures, we stayed connected to the children in our school programs through telecounseling service. Although the students may not have been equally as excited, we were certainly full of enthusiasm to join our students back in their school buildings in Fall 2021.




1296 Hours

enrolled in tutoring

of Virtual Tutoring Sessions

1000+ hours



Virtual Sessions



Doing More for

PARENTS When parents receive the right supports, better child outcomes can be expected. Learning opportunities abound for parents and guardians interested “It’s been the best in learning more around child development, work-life balance thing that’s happened to and other pertinent issues us this pandemic. Not only has relevant to parenting today’s it given them something to do, youth. Parent administered but it’s given them new friendships. surveys and insight from Their mentors have been awesome. school principals and They found someone to trust, parent coordinators help someone they can speak to besides inform subject matter for the parents because it’s always a our parent workshops.

little different to speak to someone outside the household.”

It’s amazing what can occur when parents come together. We discovered this when - Arisbel, I’RAISE hosting our weekly Parents Rise parent group. These sessions assembled parents from different boroughs and different cultures into one virtual space to discuss shared experiences that perplex and bring joy to all parents. Parents that desired more intensive support to address their own trauma and personal challenges found solace in clinical 21 sessions with one of our licensed social workers. Parents enrolled in workshops

We value and appreciate our partner agencies 6 weekly that enable us to connect parents with resources workshops in or near their neighborhoods, especially during these difficult times of a global pandemic.


Doing More for

SCHOOLS Our comprehensive in-school mental health program is designed to help students achieve better academic performance by boosting their self confidence, increasing their socialization skills and supporting key people with direct influence on their well-being. Our Social Work team operates in close collaboration with school personnel, including principals, school social workers, and teachers, to ensure a service plan that addresses the specific needs of each individual school population. Our school partners become part of the I’RAISE family as they incorporate us into the fabric of their school environment.

2021 School Partners P.S./I.S. 178


P.S. 676


I.S. 181


P.S./M.S. 194


individual counseling sessions

In-School Support at

11 schools in Fall 2021


Doing More for



Telecounseling Our dedicated Social Work team refused to allow a pandemic to stop them from connecting with students. Telecounseling enabled children to stay connected to caring adults that continued to talk them through social and emotional challenges faced during times of remote learning and social distancing. Support for Principals We value school principals as trusted partners of the organization. There are multiple layers of responsibility and specific challenges involved with school oversight and understand that the role of school principal is no easy task. Therefore, our school mental health staff join the school SEL teams to work as one in identifying at-risk student behavior, developing procedures to access student behavior and make appropriate referrals.


Praise for “This

is the story for so many of our young people as they go day-to-day through the school year.”


School can be challenging enough academically, but for a very shy child, it can also be a challenge socially.

The I’RAISE counselors worked closely with our Single Shepherds and other staff members and counselors on our school team and really became part of the family and I think that’s one of the things that made the program really work. I’RAISE is an amazing program that afforded our kids the ability to get the help that they needed. I’RAISE is an excellent counseling and mentoring program.”

-Principal Cooper



After-School Program

Allowing kids a place to laugh, smile, and grow. The Rise Afterschool program launched in February 2021 for students enrolled in grades K-5 at P.S./I.S. 178 in the Brownsville section of Brooklyn. The program offered virtual means for children to socialize and engage in fun recreational activities with their peers outside of school hours. Children’s increased emotional well-being was easy to see as they laughed and exchanged pleasantries during classes such as art, music, dance and fitness. Children also received academic support through daily homework assistance offered through the program. Virtual services could be a challenge at times due to spotty Wi-Fi connectivity. We were excited at the thought of returning to the schools for in-person services. On July 6, 2021, our Afterschool department was the first within I’RAISE to relaunch in person activities. The return to in-person learning for the 2021-2022 school year resulted in many students needing extra support as they adjusted to new norms within the school setting. To provide students with the level of support they needed, the Afterschool team worked closely with our social workers to implement weekly social-emotional learning instruction to address students’ anxiety and reinforce socialization skills.



Community Dept. programs

Keeping kids engaged, smiling and developing friendships. Our community programs were the first programs to launch in the height of the pandemic in April of 2020, with a new virtual academy design for children. Our initial virtual academy included over 10 courses from literacy to arts and social-emotional learning. Through our virtual academy, children were connected to a loving community that they could rely on for daily relief from the pandemic. We grew our virtual academy throughout the pandemic and continued adding new courses such as our Generation Z program which was launched in January 2021.

Our Generation Z, was designed by our current director Katherine Campbell, as a career access and readiness program where teens explore careers in law, medical science, and digital marketing free online through college-style courses. In June 2021, we graduated our first cohort of Generation Z students where students participated in a formal commencement ceremony with faculty from the Generation Z program. Recently in 2021, we launched our a coaching program for Black girls, middle school age to address the racialized trauma and self-esteem issues in Black girls.


List of courses provided during the pandemic: 2020-2021 • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • •

Legos for Champions Art Groups Book Club Contemporary Dance Ballet K-Pop Hip Hop Dance Jazz Dance Read Aloud/Storytelling Project Inspire Cosmetology Yoga/Meditation Kickboxing Entrepreneurship Zumba Music Production Girls of Color Who Code Youth STEM: CSS Youth STEM: App Development Teen STEM: Biology Musical Theater Vocal/Singing Black History Financial Literacy Virtual Lounge NYU Workshops DIY Crafts Comic Book Drawing Illustration Algebra 1 Earth Science The Engineering Lab Total Body Fitness The Writers Block (Creative Writing) Bakeshop



Doing More for

Community outreach Mothers residing in the Bronx received a special treat from I’RAISE in the form of flowers and fun activities with their children. Smiles were seen from parents and kids alike. To encourage children before they embarked on their new adventures back into the classroom, I’RAISE hosted our very first Bronx Homecoming Concert in September featuring musical performances and speeches from local community members and leaders. Attendees danced, ate and walked away with school supplies to start the year right. The best part of the Christmas holiday is enjoying the looks of happiness on the faces of those around us. We were overcome by the joy that filled the room at our Annual Toy and Coat Giveaway. It was a day full of art activities, family photos, refreshments that truly exemplified the spirit of the moment.



Racial Injustice

The most recent name is George Floyd. However, when it comes to unfair treatment of Black people in the United States, that name is preceded by a lengthy list of other names such as Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, Rodney King, that serve as persistent reminders that the promise of liberty and justice for all still has a way to go before truly being fulfilled. The death of George Floyd and the worldwide protests that followed served as motivation for I’RAISE leadership to expand upon its mission of addressing issues from a culturally responsible mindset to implement a number of initiatives in response to racial injustice. We hosted a Black Lives Matter Panel discussion. This publicly viewed event, featuring documentary award-winning filmmaker for Traffic Stop, Breiaon King, allowed participants to openly share their thoughts and experiences. Through out parent groups, we provided a space for Black parents to cope with social unrest and racial injustice. We held a workshop for other nonprofits entitled Race, Racism & Its Effect on Youth of Color where we presented research findings on racial injustice studies. Black History courses were offered for kids and teens to learn about Black heritage across cultures. We implemented an anti-racist statement in our company strategic plan. Given our diverse staff, it was important for us to ensure that the perspective of Black individuals we understood by every employee so that we could better understand one another and better serve Black children and families. We discussed the concepts of post traumatic slave syndrome, intergenerational trauma, and systemic racism. Black staff members shared their lived experiences with volunteers teaching them ways to be involved.


Research Dept. In the height of the pandemic, we launched our research committee, formed and Led by I’RAISE CEO, Shanequa E. Moore. The research team comprised of a consortium of professional volunteers and staff with expertise in social research. The mission of our research committee is to identify the needs of vulnerable youth of color and their families in the areas of research, training, and service. In an effort to gather data on how the pandemic affected our young people, we launched our first study, “The psychological impact of COVID-19 on youth in NYC Ages 11-19 years old. With over 200 teen participants. Highlights of the Psychological Impact Study Post-covid, youth were more likely to feel sad, upset or vengeful. Pre-covid 5 to 7% - 4 times a week and 20 to 24% - 2 to 3 times a week, but post-covid 20 to 21% - 4 times a week and 30 to 34% - 2 to 3 times a week. Pre-covid, only 11% of youth would go to their family members when they felt-upset, but post-covid 17% would go to their family member. An equal percentage (16%) would go to their friends pre and post-covid. Pre-covid, 42% of youth were likely to utilize mental health resources if schools were to provide it, but post-covid only 25% reported that they were likely to utilize it. Twenty-seven percent of youth felt comfortable receiving either video counseling to individuals or non-video phone counseling, 21%.


Research Dept. Cont. We launched our second research study in 2020 In the early months of 2021, during racial and social unrest, the I’RAISE research team distributed a survey to learn more about the impacts of racial injustice on adolescents ages 12-19. A total of 203 teens residing in New York City responded.

Highlights of the Racial Injustice Study An overwhelming 64% of students surveyed self- reported having been unfairly stopped, questioned, or threatened by the police. Of those who had been stopped, 50% were males between the ages of 16-19. (67% Black males, 69% Asian males). Adolescents were asked to rank how often, from never to almost everyday, they experienced 7 different kinds of microaggressions. Categories included ‘people act afraid of you’, ‘people act like you are dishonest’, and ‘you receive poor service,’ with a score of 28 indicating experiences with each type of microaggression almost every day. Consistent with other research, Black/African-American teens experienced microaggressions most frequently across categories. Fear of discrimination from peers tended to be greater than actual experiences of discrimination. Nonetheless, students of all races on average reported these feelings more than “some of the time” (5 on a scale of 1-10).

Our research furthers our efforts to designing and implement evidence-based practice interventions that will enhance 26 positive outcomes in vulnerable youth of color.

Media Attention I’RAISE was in the news! For 7 times and counting, we were highlighted in newspapers and broadcast media during the pandemic. From our annual toy giveaways, our advocacy, to our Black Lives Matter Youth Panel, we made headlines while connecting with and serving our youth and families.. BronxNet- 5 times in 2020 - 2021 Bronx Times - 2 times in 2020-2021 Research quoted in Bronx Times Bronx Times and Schneps Media honors CEO & Founder Shanequa Moore in 2021 Power Women of the Bronx


Fiscal Year 2021 Financial report Operating Revenue

Operating Expenses

Public Donations Foundation Grants Government Grants In-Kind Revenues Other Revenue



$13,412 21,104 109,031.5 214,219 $ 357,767

$ 12,729 45,000 126,109 712,500 88,000 $ 984,337

Variance Favorable 23,896 17,078 498,281 88,000 $ 626,571

Over two years we raised over $26,000 Over two years we received Over 1.2 million in-kind revenue More than 10 increase in government support More than 50 increase in foundation support In Kind Sponsors 2020-2021 • Toys for Tots • Lawyers Alliance • New York Cares • Barclays Center • New York City Department of Education • Staples • Macys • Material of the Arts • Taproot Consulting • Over 200 volunteers across U.S University Partners 2020-2021 • Columbia University School of Social Work • New York University School of Social Work • Fordham University School of Social Work • Lehman College School of Social Work • Hunter College School of Social Work


Our Team Executive Staff • •

Shanequa Moore, Founder & CEO Letecia Stewart, Executive Director

Staff Community Department • • • •

Katherine Campbell, Program Director Tanequa Moore, Program Manager Shanice Moore, Administrative Assistant/Art Instructor Priscilla Prince, Parent Outreach

Schools Department • • • • •

Melissa Gray, Clinical Director Consultant Andrea Marano, Clinical Consultant Victoria Draper, Social Worker Crystal Morgan, Social Worker Frida Kamau, Art Instructor

Afterschool Department • • • • •

Xavier Donaldson, Program Director Taylor Burgos, Group Teacher Luis Guallpa, Group Teacher Evard Obermuller, Group Teacher Nastassia Panter, Group Teacher

Human Resources Department • Dalamu Sherpa, HR Supervisor

Marketing Department • Kristen Maikoo, Marketing Supervisor


Board of Directors • • • • • • • • • • • • •

Meredith Benson Katelyn Cai Deshawn Dalmida Susie Fogelson Eileen Ghastin Dimple Gosai Elizabeth Harkins Vanessa Johnson Antonio Johri Abhishek Lingineni Lleuella Morris Maria Moya Lydia Neely


Our Sponsors Government New York City Department of Cultural Affairs CDF New York City Department of Cultural Affairs CASA • Council Member Alicka Ampry-Samuels • Council Member Robert Cornegy • Council Member Reuben Diaz Sr. • Council Member Carlos Menchaca • Council Member Kevin Riley New York State Council on the Arts New York State Office of Children and Family Services


Foundations • • • • •

Bronx Community Foundation Bronx Council On the Arts Hispanic Federation New York Community Trust Columbia University Tamer Fund

Corporations • • • •

Macy’s Ridgewood Savings Bank Staples Ureeka

Other Sponsors • Toys for Tots


Individuals • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • •

Gina & Tom Anderson Weitny Anderson Anna Andresian Robert Bailey Daren Baird Keisha Barnes Hans Bernier Ben Bryant Kaaron Carter Rex Chen Flora Goldston Paul Jones Cara Lynch Andre & Emmeline Maikoo Ardit Memaj Felicia Moore-Clark Katie Moquete Priscilla Prince Nitul Purohit Sherill Purrier Tracy Rosenberg Sinead Schenk

• • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • •

Siobhan Schenk Benjamin Sher Neva Shillingford June Sidman Raquel Soriano Sandra Warren Katie Wendel Aaren Andre Andrea Annie Arisbel Bryce Carlington Carmen Carrie Ciara Crystal Dolores Erica Gabriel Grace Isabelle Isis Jessie

Individuals continued • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • •

Joe Karen Katherine Keisha Laura Leslye Lucky Lydia Micheal Michelle Nakisha Paula Phyllis Sandra Shakira Sheila Sheryl Tywanda



Contact Us! iraiseinc.org

8 West 126th Street, New York, NY 10027 facebook.com/iraiseorg instagram.com/iraise.inc twitter.com/Iraisegirls linkedin.com/company/iraise-girls-boysinternational-corporation