Arete Family Help Hotline
Dear MS/HS 223 Families:
Please contact our team if you are in need of family assistance.
We are here to listen and respond to your needs, ideas, and questions. At this time we are able to respond to calls and emails within one business day. We ask that when leaving us a message or sending an email, please include your name, callback number, and details about why you are calling (food concerns, tech/internet access, etc).
La Morada Chef Natalia's Sopa de Viandas Recipe / Receta
Inspired by employees at Engage@IHSMarkit and Barclays Embrace, Arete partnered with South Bronx Mutual Aid and La Morada Restaruant in Mott Haven to prepare 100 meals to give away for Thanksgiving. We learned Chef Natalia's recipe for Sopa de Viandas, a nutritous vegan soup made from root vegetables and shared the prepared soup, fresh vegetables, and the recipe to feed a family of 4-8 people. You can see pictures and the recipe below. More details on our blog.
Last week, P.S. 59 The Dawn Best School hosted a Job Fair, marking a significant moment in their commitment of empowering the Bed-Stuy community. In efforts of fostering career opportunities for Brooklyn families, P.S. 59 opened their doors to a variety of Career Vendors, offering on-the-spot interviews and potential employment prospects.
P.S. 59 welcomed excited families with the anticipation of meeting with representatives of different sectors and career backgrounds. Attendees of this job fair were eager to explore new job possibilities and learn about diverse professional aspirations. Among the highlights of the event were the success stories of two parents of Areté students who secured employment with State Security during the Job Fair!
This first job fair was an amazing opportunity to bring the community together and foster an environment for networking. This event was the first of the series of monthly Job Fairs, each offering fresh opportunities for Brooklyn families to engage with potential employers. P.S. 59 plans on continuing their dedication to creating meaningful connections between families and employers in order to promote economic stability and social mobility.
Thank you to all who attended and contributed to the success of the first Job Fair!
Arete Education has officially partnered with RTW Charitable Foundation to launch the BioQuest program!
RTW Investments invests in biomedical research and products in order to add value to people’s lives. RTW Charitable Foundation extends the RTW Investments mission to include building a sense of community through establishing different health-based initiatives in underserved communities. All of this is done to advance science and research while also addressing urgent public health needs.
RTW Charitable Foundation first began to work with Arete during the COVID-19 pandemic. In 2021, RTW provided Arete with a grant because they wanted to fund grassroots work focused on removing barriers that prevent children in temporary housing from receiving educational support during the pandemic. Arete was identified as a grassroots organization working in the South Bronx during this difficult time. In the end, $75,000 was allocated towards developing a high-touch and wrap-around support program, The Arete Hope Network, for 30 families in the South Bronx and Harlem, mostly F&T families.
After the peak of the pandemic, RTW Charitable Foundation shifted back towards its main work in funding biomedical research and projects alike. This year, they launched the BioQuest program - an initiative in STEM education for middle and high school students - in collaboration with Arete Education, Hunts Point Alliance for Children, Weill Cornell, and BioBus. RTW Charitable Foundation reached out to Arete over the summer to invite students from the Bronx to enroll in a year-long program receiving STEM educational and mentoring experiences. This was an amazing opportunity for Arete and the students we serve as 1) we have never partnered with Weill Cornell or BioBus and 2) F&T students would be gaining an expansive exposure to the STEM field: engaging in enrichment activities to encourage and inspire an interest in science, biotech, and medicine while also building relationships with mentors and other students with expertise and interest in these fields.
The first event to this program was held on September 9th, 2023 where students participating in the BioQuest program were invited, along with their families, to attend a Kick-off Breakfast. This first meeting was a nice way to launch the year-long program as students and families got the opportunity to get to know about the program and get to know each other. The ice breaker and scavenger hunt activities allowed the students and families to go around and network with one another, and it was a nice way to make parents and families feel included as they got to know who their children will be surrounded by in the program. Volunteers also set up backpacks for the participants containing STEM and back-to-school materials. They were distributed towards the end of the breakfast and sent off for the Back-to-School Fair and BioBus event, in collaboration with Hunts Point Alliance for Children.
What’s next for these students? The BioQuest program has scheduled 6 events in total: 3 in the fall and 3 in the spring. The next event was a Career Day held on October 5 at RTW Investments in Chelsea. Future events include visiting JLABS with Johnson & Johnson, a BioBus event (mobile lab with interactive + scientific activities), exploring lab spaces at Weill Cornell, and a Science Museum Field Trip.
Arete is proud to be deepening its relationship with RTW Charitable Foundation and its respective partnerships in order to broaden in terms of science in research and biomedicine. This amazing collaboration will give new pathways to young students for STEM-specific career opportunities and push the boundaries on what is possible for students beyond high school. This program also supports Arete’s mission with its partner school, The Laboratory School of Finance and Technology, of shifting to more career-connected learning as a way to address the experience gap our students face. This is a major step towards inaugurating an afterschool curriculum that prepares students to enter the workforce and provides opportunities for career exposure in a new area: medicine, biomedical research, and biotech investments.
Meet Amairany (Amy) Arizmendi - middle school alum of The Laboratory School of Finance and Technology, Class of 2012.
She has become extremely involved with Arete taking on various roles and responsibilities, an indispensable team member and leader. She has had the roles of family advocate, registering people for the census, helping families register their children to Arete programming, coordinating events at different sites involved with Arete, ordering supplies, managing budgets, and more. Additionally, during the peak of the pandemic, Amy was involved with Arete’s mission of assisting different families during this difficult time. She helped with the distribution of groceries and provided families with access to laptops and gift cards to buy different necessities like toiletries, clothes, and household items.
One main takeaway from her various roles throughout her time with Arete has been her mindfulness skills! She has learned to take things one day at a time and use breathing techniques when things get stressful and difficult to manage. This is especially important when dealing with important responsibilities and following through with the mission of serving underserved and vulnerable populations. Amy affirms that Arete has fostered an environment where she is constantly able to learn and grow. She has grown the ability to effectively communicate not only with her peers and coworkers but also with parents. She enjoys interacting with families and credits this growth and enthusiasm to Arete’s commitment to providing support to their employees. Amy continues to benefit from Arete as she is continuously being challenged and improving. She takes on more tasks and fulfills more deadlines which allows her to learn more and become more prepared for future events and jobs.
We donated $5,000 in meal vouchers to residents of Harlem in partnership with NYC NYCHA offices and JFF Event staff to feed over 450 people at the event and support a local business partner, Casa Birria NYC! We are so proud to have expanded our Feed Our Needs Initiative to include this Juneteenth Freedom Fest Community Event.
Arete Education volunteers also hosted a youth Creative EQ Table, featuring local business-owner Nicoise Waring's Coisescape Black Arts experiences.
Closing, we extend a large appreciation to Arete Board members McEvans Francois and Kholofelo Mothibi for organizing the event alongside Barclays ERG leader Erica Fray and the 15 volunteers and financial support from Barclays, S&P Global, Mizuho, Nomura, Deutsche, USB, and Factset.
As the spirit of giving continues, Arete continues to reach our mission of investing in Mott Haven youth. As part of Arete’s Feed Our Need 2.0 Initiative, members of the community came together to provide over 150 Lab School families with bagged groceries and hot meals. Members of our Arete Alumni Council volunteered to serve the community alongside 25 voluteers from Arete, The Lab School, and the Corporate sponsors of the initiative - IHS Markit, Barclays, and Carvers.
To provide some history on the initiative, in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic The Collective Black Employee Resource Group (CFBERG), led by Engage@IHSMarkit and Barclays Embrace partnered with Areté Education (Areté) and black- and brown-owned restaurants to raise funds for meal distribution in Harlem and the Bronx in 2020. The initiative’s objective was to support black- and brown-owned restaurants in the surrounding areas to source the meals that were distributed to disenfranchised communities. Learn more by viewing our impact report.
Alumni Council President, Brittni Ortiz, reflected on the event:
"Feed Our Needs was an amazing experience, and I would definitely do something like it again. This was a type of event that I wanted to do for a long time. We connected with families, escorted them throughout the whole process and had insightful conversations about what the school is doing and what our roles are. It was also so great to see so many parents that I have worked with before through the College Office. It was a great feeling when some of them recognized me, too! Overall, I can't wait to volunteer at future events and for the Alumni Council to have our own.”
Alumni Council Secretary, Chanel De Los Santos also added on that:
"The feed our needs event was a great way to connect with local families. The families were so lovely and wonderful.”
Reflecting as as an Arete staff member and Lab School alumni, it is amazing to be able to provide these direct services to the community. As on organization, it is our goal to make sure that we provide Mott Haven youth and families with these resources. We believe that the sense of hope that comes through creating resilient communities is something that has the power to change our communities forever. We know that our work does not end with an event but continues throughout our lives. We cannot wait to continue the work that we are doing as a team with our staff, alumni and other proud members of the community.
MAKE AN IMPACT
Areté Education is thriving, but the best is yet to come! We have a vision for this program -- to offer even stronger, smarter, and more enriching experiences that propel our students to succeed. We're ready for the future of Ignite Learning -- help us get there.