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Arete Student Interns and Employees Learn Read World Skills

This year students across Arete's two high school campuses are engaging in real world skills through their internships with Arete.

Student employees at Media High School are engaged in a professionalism seminar where they practice and grow their emotional intelligence, expand their lesson planning skills, and reflect on their own professional strengths, goals, and growth areas. Our self-care club for students at Media High School is growing a culture of wellness among future professionals.

At The Laboratory School of Finance and Technology, high school interns are working with Citizens Bank branch managers to open bank accounts and deepen their personal financial literacy skills. In our pilot ISP Internship, our Communications Interns are mentoring 8th graders to build social media campaigns to raise awareness about common diseases that disproportionally impact patients in the Bronx, conducting interviews with BioQuest STEM mentors, and publishing to Arete's social media channels.

 - 04/30/2024 - sbsd@areteeducation.org
black voices unfiltered

Empowering Youth through the Voices Unfiltered Podcast Network

The Media Performing Arts Division at The High School for Media and Communication (HSMC), alongside Spanglish Voces, is proud to inaugurate their latest project - the Voices Unfiltered Podcast Network! This innovative platform aims to empower youth by providing them with an outlet to express themselves freely while honing their critical thinking, writing, and research skills.

The mission of the Voices Unfiltered Podcast Network is to give power to youth voices by fostering confidence and providing opportunities for self-expression. Supported by Artistic Director and Teaching Artist Zulaika Valezquez, students will share their diverse and personal stories, ideas, and perspectives. By encouraging them to pursue their passions and create high-quality content, the initiative aims to instill a sense of agency and advocacy in these young adults. 

One of the primary goals of the Voices Unfiltered Podcast Network is to amplify marginalized voices and narratives. In collaboration with HSMC students, the new podcast, “Black Voices Unfiltered," seeks to shine a light on the experiences Black youth. This initiative aims to provide a space for understanding, empathy, and solidarity within the broader community.

Through the creation of their own podcasts, students involved in this project will gain valuable hands-on experience and improve their abilities in media and communications. Furthermore, the Voices Unfiltered Podcast Network serves as a catalyst for meaningful conversations and community engagement, ultimately, being a powerful platform for youth empowerment and social change!

Check out the podcast here: Black Voices Unfiltered Podcast

 - 03/27/2024 - Anthony Ramirez Diaz
job fair insta post

First Job Fair @ P.S. 59 The Dawn Best School: A Success!

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! 

 - 02/19/2024 - Anthony Ramirez Diaz
feed our needs logo 2023

“Feed Our Needs”: The Inspiring Journey of Philanthropy with Areté Education

"Feed Our Needs" is an impactful initiative hosted by Areté Education that is dedicated to addressing the fundamental needs of individuals across underserved and vulnerable communities. With a passionate commitment to fostering positive change, Areté Education brings together a diverse range of programs under the "Feed Our Needs" campaign aimed at empowering low-income and predominantly Black and Brown populations. From food drives and etiquette luncheons to the provision of winter clothes and financial resources, "Feed Our Needs" strives to create a holistic approach to community well-being. Areté Education's innovative and inclusive programs empower Black- and Brown-owned businesses and provide essential resources to those in need. 

 

The journey of Feed our Needs began in 2020, initially rooted in the collaboration with IHS Markit, Barclays, and The Collective (consortium of Wall Street based Black Employee Resource Groups across the financial sector). When the annual gala, traditionally hosted by The Collective, was put on hold, they decided to channel their efforts into a meaningful cause. Areté Board President, McEvans Francois, and his peers were inspired by a CNN article that shed light on the struggles faced by Harlem restaurants, particularly those owned by people of color. That inspiration sparked conversations on pathways to support Black-owned businesses. Thanks to the vision of Areté Board members, Kholofelo Mothibi and Erica Sealey, the initiative evolved to focus on supporting both Black-and Latinx-owned establishments, as each population resides in the communities Areté serves. 

 

Barclays and IHS Markit saw the need and generously supported the Feed Our Needs mission. Areté created a website in order to raise awareness and broaden the fundraising efforts. The firms were able to raise $15k to support the Feed Our Needs programs in the first year. These funds were used for large food orders at Black- and Latinx-owned restaurants, and the purchased food was given to Areté families at community events serving those in need and most impacted by the pandemic. A notable contribution of $5,000 was directed towards La Morada, a Mexican restaurant located in the South Bronx well-known for supporting migrants in our communities. Families in the area reaped the benefits, marking the beginning of a broader mission.

 

Furthering Areté Education’s mission and vision, the Feed Our Needs Campaign began to scout out restaurants in underserved communities of South Bronx, Harlem, and Brooklyn. In 2021, for Juneteenth, Feed Our Needs sponsored food truck meals, increasing access to food directly to the communities in need. Then, in 2021, Areté incorporated financial literacy efforts in collaboration with Carver Bank, providing pamphlets and valuable resources to the community. Further expanding the mission, in January 2023, an event in Brooklyn served as an example of the program's adaptability. Recognizing the changing demographics due to an increased volume of migrants from South America and the Caribbean, Areté Education tailored the efforts of Feed Our Needs to meet the specific needs of these communities. Warm meals, sourced from local Black- and Brown- owned businesses,  and duffel bags containing winter accessories, like mittens, were distributed to families. 

 

Over the past year, Areté has hosted various events assisting families across Bed-Stuy, Mott Haven, and Washington Heights as part of the Feed Our Needs Initiative. 

  • Running from January to June, students from P.S. 59 are invited to go out to eat at a local restaurant and participate in an etiquette class. These etiquette luncheons help foster an environment where students are stimulated by the process of learning new skills while also getting the chance to explore a new restaurant, owned by Black or Latinx individuals in the local community. 

 

  • On November 18, a Thanksgiving Feed our Needs event was hosted at The Laboratory School of Finance and Technology from 10-12 pm where 90 families received hot meals and one bag full of quintessential ingredients and groceries to prepare a homemadeThanksgiving dinner. 

 

  • On November 21, a Family Thanksgiving Dinner was hosted at P.S. 59 The Dawn Best School. The event ran from 4-5:30 pm and more than 60 people attended. Students and families gathered together to enjoy food and music and  spend quality time with each other. Five $50 Food Bazaar gift cards were raffled at this event. 

 

  • On December 16, a Family Resource Fair was hosted at the High School for Media and Communications where approximately $1400 was spent to support 90 families in Washington Heights.

 

Now more than ever, the Feed Our Needs program is needed to address the ongoing migrant crisis, food insecurity, and poverty rates in our communities. As we head into 2024, the focus of Feed Our Needs remains dedicated to meeting the evolving needs of Areté’s underserved communities. This January, there is an upcoming MLK Day event to be hosted in Brooklyn the week of January 15th. Join the movement and be part of this transformative journey where we’ll support our families in the Bed-Stuy neighborhood! Contact Sam Alexander (sam@areteeducation.org) to sign up as a volunteer. 

 

Through strategic partnerships, outreach, and community engagement, Areté Education is actively working towards building a stronger, more resilient community through the Feed Our Needs initiative!

 - 01/11/2024 - Anthony Ramirez Diaz
bioquest program launch

BioQuest Program Launch

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. 

 - 11/03/2023 - Anthony Ramirez Diaz
hawa highlight (1)

Student Excellence Highlight - Hawa Fisiru

Hawa Fisiru is an outstanding senior at The Laboratory School of Finance and Technology who has shown tremendous leadership and excellence with her involvement in school activities, working with Arete, and earning an apprenticeship with JPMorgan through the CareerWise Partner Program.

She first heard about the CareerWise apprenticeship while she was in 10th grade. After being accepted into the program, she commenced her work with JPMorgan in 11th grade. Her apprenticeship is expected to continue well into her first year of college.

As a senior in high school, her typical weekday models a split school-work schedule. In the morning, she attends her classes where she takes multiple Advanced Placement (AP) courses and manages to plan senior activities and meet with administration as the Class Council Vice-President. While at school, she prioritizes her academics and also takes on an additional role of advocating for students’ needs and wants.

Once the clock hits 12 pm, she heads off to work. Her role as an apprentice focuses on working in corporate investment banking, specifically with trading and foreign exchange. Recently, Hawa was shadowed in her work in Manhattan and interviewed by a production team from JPMorgan and the Atlantic to discuss her time with JPMorgan as an apprentice and learn about her story.

During this conversation, she was asked about her time as an apprentice, what she has learned thus far, the meaning of family, and what got her to where she is right now. Hawa’s poise and brilliance will be used to promote the Career Connected Learning Program.

Not only has Hawa been a proactive student in school and throughout her internship, but she also displayed excellent humility and maturity through her involvement with Arete. She worked as a tutor during the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic when learning transitioned from in-person to online. Every other day, she tutored two students in different subjects in order to keep them on track with handing in assignments and retaining the information during this difficult time. When schools opened back up, she remained as a tutor and took on an additional role of being a teaching assistant. Through these responsibilities, she learned to work with students of different learning levels and teaching styles. She also refined her skills of compassion, communication, and patience. Although these roles taught her that she does not want to go into education, it taught her how to communicate with others and provided her with a sense of fulfillment by patiently assisting students in need!

Currently, a lot of her time is spent going through the college application process. She is applying to various schools in the city in order to continue working for JPMorgan while also taking her education seriously. Some schools she plans on applying to are NYU, Barnard, Fordham, and Columbia University, Columbia being her dream school. Hawa expressed that even though the application process is arduous due to her various roles and responsibilities, she is still giving it her all to submit all her application materials in order to get into a good school post graduation. “It’s stressful, but I’m getting it done!”

 - 11/03/2023 - Anthony Ramirez Diaz

Press Release Arete Golf Tournament

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: 8/8/2023

Sarah Benis Scheier-Dolberg

Arete Education, Inc.

sbsd@areteeducation.org

917.985.9027

 

Arete Education Golf Tournament Opens Doors for South Bronx & Harlem Teens

October 24th Event Raises Money, Awareness for Youth in Underserved Communities

 

New York City, NY: Today Arete Education, Inc., a South Bronx-based nonprofit youth development organization, announced plans to host its inaugural Golf Tournament at Saint Andrews Golf Club in Hastings-on-Hudson, NY. Saint Andrews is America’s oldest private golf club and is a noted course for golf enthusiasts. The club will open its doors to Arete’s diverse group of tournament participants which includes leaders in the fields of law, health, human services, and business as well as program alumni currently enrolled in college. The golf tournament will be held on Tuesday, October 24, 2023 beginning at 10 am.

 

Arete’s students, staff, and Board directors all represent diverse ethnic and racial backgrounds, many hailing from low-income backgrounds and never dreaming of being invited to a private golf club. Arete Board Director Kelly Holloway is Managing Director at Siebert Williams Shank and long-time member of Saint Andrews Golf Club. He was eager to connect Arete’s students and Board Directors to networking and recreational benefits of Golf in the form of a new fundraiser for the nonprofit that seeks to build private-public partnerships to invest in the city’s youth. The event is currently seeking sponsors and players who are passionate about investing in the city’s youth and see the value of building diverse professional networks and relationships through golf. 

 

McEvans Francois, Arete’s Board President, is thrilled about the event. He shares, “This is really exciting to bring our Black and Brown youth together with professionals on the Board as well as professionals in our BERG networks, and to do it on such a stunningly beautiful historic Golf Course. It’s amazing for us.” Francois, Executive Director at a global Data and FinTech firm, is active in bringing professionals together through Black Employee Resource Group (BERG) initiatives on Wall Street. Francois sees the Arete Golf Tournament as a perfect opportunity to connect BERG professionals with the mission of Arete and open doors to the next generation of professional leaders.

 

About Arete: Arete Education, Inc. is a 501(c) (3) non-profit organization serving youth from New York City. Founded in 2012 to empower and train teens in the South Bronx to lead successful lives, Arete has since expanded to serve students ages 5-24 in Harlem, Brooklyn, and The Bronx through school-based partnerships.

 - 08/08/2023 - sbsd@areteeducation.org
arete alumni feature - Amy Arizmendi

Arete Alumni Feature - Amairany (Amy) Arizmendi

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. 

 - 07/31/2023 - Anthony Ramirez Diaz
arete alumni feature - Dinanyelin Martinez

Arete Alumni Feature - Dinanyelin Martinez

Meet Dinanyelin Martinez - graduate of The Laboratory School of Finance and Technology in 2020 and current student at Mount Holyoke College, double majoring in Sociology and Spanish with a certificate in Latin American study

 

Dinanyelin started working with Arete back in 2020 as a tutor and teacher’s assistant. Following LSFT graduation, Dinanyelin worked as a virtual intern supervisor for the entire academic year. Then, in the summer of 2021, she became an in-person supervisor for the summer tutoring program/summer youth workers, specifically as a supervisor for Summer Programming student interns. As a supervisor, she guided, taught, and evaluated students on different benchmarks like teaching strategies and SEL.

 

This summer, Dinanyelin will return to Arete as an Impact Fellow. She will work alongside our president, Sarah Benis Scheier-Dolberg, to plan the logistics for Arete's pilot Summer Career Camps. She is leading the pilot career program which includes programs teaching, finance, and journalism. As Dinanyelin anticipates her return to Arete this summer, she appreciates all she has learned from this work environment. One thing she noticed that Arete underscores is the mental health of students and how students’ mental health is important when it comes to academic performance. With this, she has learned how to approach students using different tactics based on their different circumstances, learning styles, and skill levels - something that is imperative to effectively address the needs of every student!

 

Dinanyelin is grateful to have picked up pedagogical skills while working with Arete. “The ability to teach and navigate communication with students and other adults is an asset that will come in handy in any career field and network opportunity!” Furthermore, Dinanyelin deeply values the substantial personal and professional development she has undergone in conjunction with her participation at Arete. Through its commitment to cultivating an environment conducive to the expansion of skills and offering unique avenues for active involvement, "Arete has bestowed upon me exceptional opportunities and responsibilities that are rarely attainable for the younger members of my community."  

 - 07/20/2023 - Anthony Ramirez Diaz
arete alumni feature - Mariyam Sumareh

Arete Alumni Feature - Mariyam Sumareh

Meet Mariyam Sumareh - LSFT Class of 2020 and a rising senior at New York University majoring Sports Management and minoring Public Policy and Management

Her involvement with Arete as an employee began back in 2020 as a senior at The Laboratory School of Finance and Technology forming part of the internship team. She was a tutor to three 8th grade students. Being a tutor provided her with connections she did not know she would have made. She connected with her tutees on a more personal level on top of providing them with educational support during the peak of the pandemic. She noticed that these tutor-tutee relationships helped her reflect on how she saw herself in the younger kids and made her realize that she could become a mentor to them. She made sure the students felt validated about their passions. She was not just a tutor but someone that students could lean on socially, emotionally, and academically. 

After being a tutor, Mariyam became a Youth Service Leadership Fellow where she conducted leadership initiatives for grades 6-12, helped with the adaptation of virtual learning and became a spokesperson to donors and guests. After this, she took on the role of Project Coordinator for Summer Bridge/Rising. During her 2021 summer role, she mainly did administrative work. Her other responsibilities involved outreach which included updating families about student progress. She also curated weekly vlogs for the summer rising program and communicated with program donors. She then got promoted to Program Coordinator for College and Career Access. Here, she oversaw high school student activities during afterschool programs and managed attendance for 400+ people. She supported weekly and monthly attendance reports for the senior leadership team. On top of that, she made phone calls and wrote letters to donors and also maintained a digital alumni database . Additionally, during her time in this role, she started up the Arete Alumni Council where they held monthly events, such as financial literacy, resume building, Feed our Needs events, and Alumni Day. 

Currently, Mariyam works as an Admin Operations Associate. She is in charge of various operational needs like keeping inventory on school supplies, ordering supplies and storing items in the office, and organizing electronic files (paystubs, alumni contracts, etc.). She ensures that students get stipends in a timely manner and administers the onboarding process of staff to ensure they get offer letters. Moreover, she serves as support for human resources responsibilities. This means that she tackles operational issues, creates guides on how to clock in and clock out, provides assistance on accessing paycom and timesheets, and produces basic employee manuals. Not only is she the go-to person for employee assistance, but she also helps the President of Arete, Sarah Benis Scheier-Dolberg, find prospective donors, have access to an alumni database, and keep alumni contact information organized! 

One thing that Mariyam is immensely grateful for is the ability to grow as an individual with the help of Arete. She recalled that when she first started working with Arete, she possessed a student mindset where her main goal was to just do what needed to be done; however, as she progressed throughout her various roles, she gained leadership skills as she took on more responsibilities. Through this, she has been able to tap into her leadership skills whether it be leading groups or leading behind the scenes. She is constantly pushed to do better and improve on her time management, organization, networking, leadership, and mindfulness skills. She is proud of being able to create a space where everyone is able to adapt and do what they have to do - something that Arete has enabled her to do easily!

A second thing that she values about Arete is Arete’s involvement in her life but also with everyone that is part of the organization. She became exposed to Social Emotional Learning that taught her that it is imperative to check in and make sure you and everyone around you is doing and feeling well. Having the opportunity to debrief and be mindful of these emotions allowed her and her colleagues to perform better within their roles. “Arete definitely cares about their staff!” exclaimed Mariyam as she explained that Arete asks their employees about their feelings and opinions on certain projects instead of just being told what to do. Being asked for personal input makes Mariyam feel welcomed and validated. As a former LSFT student and current Arete employee, she is able to provide a new and youthful perspective on certain events and makes her feel valued as a member of this organization. On top of that, Mariyam enjoys seeing that Arete organizes important events that are beneficial and dear to the communities they serve (Juneteenth, Feed Our Needs, hotline and family services, Eid celebrations, etc.). Also, the fact that Arete is expanding shows that they care about service and are constantly striving for more! One last thing Mariyam underscores is that although what she is studying is different to what she does within Arete, she is able to gain transferable skills that help support her career goals (youth engagement, consistency, empathy, being supported and being supportive). 

 - 07/11/2023 - Anthony Ramirez Diaz

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