Tag Archives: nyc public schools

Cynthia Nixon Pledges 24 in 2010

18 Dec

Yesterday I braved the cold (along with a lot of other people) to watch the unveiling of WE Volunteer’s mobile resolution trailer, the latest addition to the WE Empowers Women campaign. Standing on Military Island in Times Square, Cynthia Nixon -along with WE tv’s Kim Martin- pledged 24 hours of volunteer service to the Alliance for Quality Education (AQE) in 2010. As their spokeswoman and veteran volunteer, I’m sure Mrs. Nixon will be giving way more than the minimum 24.

Cynthia Nixon: actress, mother, and volunteer

Also on hand to help unveil the WE Volunteer mobile unit were a group of NYC public school students, three of whom spoke about the success of AQE and their excitement for the future of the organization and WE Volunteer. The eldest of the student speakers, Jeremy Gonzalez (18), a recent graduate of Franklin K. Lane HS in Brooklyn and current student at LaGuardia Community College, currently works with the Urban Youth Collaborative. He noted that UYC encourages kids and teens to succeed, and that “college is possible” for everyone. Jeremy was the most animated 18-year-old public speaker I’ve ever listened to, and added a very sincere, honest element to the event.

You can join Cynthia and pledge your own 24 in 2010 by visiting the WE Volunteer website. You just have to enter some contact information and choose an organization you’ll be dedicating your time to. As the year progresses, you can log and track your volunteer hours on the website, as well as share your experiences with fellow pledges. Added bonus: when you pledge, you’ll be entered into WE tv’s “Chic in the City Sweepstakes” to win a trip for two to NYC, attend a highly anticipated red-carpet premiere and afterparty, two nights in a boutique hotel, dinner at an NYC hotspot and $500 shopping spree at Saks Fifth Avenue. It doesn’t say on the website, but if you add up the clues (Cynthia Nixon is filming a new movie, sweepstakes named ‘Chic in the City’, Saks has a huge shoe department, Carrie Bradshaw loves shoes), I’d guess that the movie premiere will be Sex in the City 2…

For more information about WE Volunteer, you can read my previous post about the event or visit their website. I’ve posted some photos of the event below but if you want more, visit Women on the Web for photos and coverage.

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According to their website, the Alliance for Quality Education has become New York state’s lead community-based organization in the fight for high quality public education since it’s inception in 2000. “Working with all stakeholders, but emphasizing the involvement of parents and youth, AQE combines leadership development, community organizing, electronic activism, extensive media relations, policy work, and lobbying within a cohesive campaign for fundamental education reform.”

Ralph J. Sansone Foundation Art Show

10 Jun

Update 6-10-10: If you would like to make a donation to the RJS Foundation, you may do so by writing a check out to the Ralph J. Sansone Foundation and sending to 5816 13th Avenue, Brooklyn NY, 11219.

The RJS Foundation was formed 23 years ago in memory of Ralph Sansone, who died tragically in a plane crash at an early age. To honor his life, my aunt and uncle, Mary and Zack Sansone, decided to do something meaningful for the children of their community, who might follow the path of life that Ralph was on: he was a successful lawyer and labor arbitrator, husband and father, and community activist. They began to collect money and set up a $500 scholarship at Ralph’s alma mater, Bishop Ford High School. The Foundation grew with each passing year and since its inception, has given out over $200,000 in scholarship money. Five years ago, they began an endowment scholarship program which awards one student each year with a partial scholarship to Brooklyn Law School, where Ralph received his law degree.

So, long before I started volunteering in New York City, I began my involvement with the Ralph J. Sansone Foundation. This organization is one of a few (others include CIAO and C.U.R.E) that are the creation of my aunt, Mary Sansone, who is largely responsible for the exposure I’ve had throughout my life to the world of non-profit work and community service, and consequently, the passion I have for such things. (But that’s a post for another day.) What began as my attending honoree dinners and luncheons with my mom, has in recent years evolved into my playing a more integral part in these organizations.

Another scholarship program they have is the annual Art Show, which started six years ago. For the past two years I have had the pleasure of being one of four judges for this contest. It is open to high school students across the boroughs; the winners are given monetary awards (first place gets $500, second place $250, third place $150, and four honorable mentions get $50). Also, the art department of first place winner receives $250. The level of work submitted is always impressive, and sometimes downright unbelievable. If these kids didn’t come back to get their work, I would gladly take their paintings and hang them in my own apartment.  I posted some pictures below so you can see the level of work the kids of New York City are capable of. All of the judges, including myself, are employed in the field of graphic design or art education. Deciding who wins is not easy, and heated discussions were had regarding the quality, composition, and technique of the entries. Their work will be on display for the next month or so at the CIAO office in Borough Park, Brooklyn. For more information on when and where you can see these paintings and many others, email me : info@giveandgetnyc.com