The NYC Leadership Academy (NYCLA) is excited to announce the winners of its mini-grant program for New York City Network participants. The Network – comprised of 538 graduates of its Aspiring Principals Program (APP) and more than 1,800 coached principals – is being funded by the Booth Ferris Foundation and Carnegie Corporation of New York. The Network’s goal is to accelerate the sharing and implementation of effective practices designed to ensure that boys and young men of color achieve their full potential.

With funding from the Booth Ferris Foundation, NYCLA has just awarded three Network participants with mini grants.  These grants, coupled with technical assistance, are designed to provide the mini grant awardees with the resources to launch or expand programs intended to transform academic and social experiences and outcomes for boys and young men of color. Graduates of our New York City Aspiring Principals Program and recipients of our New York City-based coaching services submitted hundreds of proposals outlining schoolwide initiatives that would achieve this goal. We are pleased to be able to support the efforts of three principals and their schools in the coming academic year:

Terri Grey, Principal of the Bronx High School for Writing and Communication Arts

Principal Grey, a recipient of NYCLA’s New York City-based coaching services, will leverage mini-grant funding to offer more young men of color opportunities for advocacy and leadership by expanding all-male advisory sessions that focus on character building, self-esteem, male etiquette, healthy peer relationships, sexual health, communication skills and social advocacy. Participating young men will benefit from one-on-one mentoring through the school’s partnership with an outside mentoring program and will participate in a documentary/ filmmaking program through which students will develop public service announcements, short documentaries, plays and monologues focused on social justice issues. All aspects of this initiative will focus on building the skills necessary for college and career readiness upon graduation.

Doris Lee, Principal of Village Academy Middle School 

Principal Lee, an Aspiring Principal Program graduate, will leverage mini-grant funding to increase the cultural proficiency of staff and students within her school with the goal of increasing student attendance and engagement. Teachers will receive professional development targeting culturally-relevant educational experiences. Students will benefit from this curriculum which will align with numerous excursions to arts, cultural, and educational institutions throughout the city. This effort will provide increased cultural exposure to students from low socio-economic communities – many of whom are boys and young men of color – who have limited access to experiences outside of their neighborhoods.

Kimberly Swanson, Principal of Life Sciences Secondary School

Principal Swanson, an Aspiring Principals Program graduate, will leverage mini-grant funding to create a Young Men’s Empowerment Group designed to build the self-esteem and confidence of the school’s young men of color. Participating students will benefit from conversations and projects that reaffirm students’ value through their contributions to school and community improvement efforts. They will also develop mentoring relationships with professional men of color through networking lunches and will attend a leadership retreat that culminates in a college visit. These efforts will support and encourage the school’s young men of color to fully engage in school.