A Decade of Community Impact
“I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” – Maya Angelou
Earlier this year, Zone 126 marked a significant milestone in the organization’s history when we turned 10 years old. Just a few weeks ago, I celebrated my one year anniversary as the Executive Director, and several days ago my own 10 year anniversary with the organization. Ten years is not only major for the organization but it is very personal for me as well.
I grew up and attended elementary, middle and high school in Astoria/Long Island City and over time, as with anything, change is inevitable. When I joined the team a decade ago as the Director of Community Engagement, my role was to develop a greater understanding of the needs of the children/youth and their families. As I walked around NYCHA Astoria Houses, I met a lot of people of all ages who were willing to talk to me about the neighborhood. These resident and community conversations were critical in helping the organization as well as myself to understand what people felt was necessary for children and youth to thrive in Astoria/Long Island City.
As the community has evolved so has our organization over the course of the last decade.
Some of our accomplishments that we are proud of are:
- Developing trusting relationships with our partner schools (PS 171Q, IS 126Q, and Long Island City High School)
- Developing a comprehensive Neighborhood Community Schools model across Pre-K through 12th grade at our partner schools
- Utilizing data to decrease chronic absenteeism while increasing student daily attendance
- Playing a supporting role in increasing graduation rates at the high school level
- Developing strong partnerships that put students, families and community needs at the center of our work
- Working to close the digital divide during the pandemic
- Establishing food pantries that promote healthy eating habits
- Being a thought partner with national organizations on the field of cradle to career
- Commitment to continuous improvement and
- Always putting those we have committed to serve at the center of our decision making
While a decade has passed and we have served over 10,000 students and their families, our organization still has a great deal of work to do to continuously support our community because the need has grown exponentially over the course of the last year and a half with the pandemic.
In order to do this work, one cannot do it alone. Zone 126 is not one individual, it is made up of a dedicated, passionate, committed group of individuals that include staff, board members, funders, elected officials, school leaders and the community. These countless individuals all have an unwavering sense of commitment to ensuring Astoria/Long Island City is the best place for all.
It has been my sincere pleasure to be a part of the Zone 126 team, and to be leading the organization. To have the opportunity to work in the community that I grew up in is a dream come true, but to be able to do it in collaboration is an even better reality.
Catch up on the latest
ABC NEWS: Program offering free laundry aims to wash troubles away for students in QueensRead More
PATCH: Free Laundry Service Opens For Students In AstoriaRead More
Queens Chronicle: LICHS pantry opensRead More
A Decade of Community ImpactRead More
Queens Eagle: Queens resident dubbed hunger hero for pandemic pantry effortsRead More
Zone 126 Stands In Solidarity With the AAPI CommunityRead More
Celebrating Parents In The Attendance ProcessRead More
Conversations with our YouthRead More
A Hub Has Formed at IS 126QRead More
Zone 126 Hosts the Queens Borough President Candidate Education ForumRead More
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