Citizenship Legal Aid Partnership with CUNY

Arete Education staff and Board Director Raymond Sanchez joined the City University of New York Citizenship Now! initiative and Council Member Rafael Salamanca Jr. to provide legal support to 84 community members in the South Bronx to prepare citizenship applications. Thank you to our staff Gabriel Hernandez, Lizzette Cheatwood, Amy Arizmendi, Noe Carrillo and our Board Director Raymond Sanchez for leading the charge.

Juneteenth Freedom Fest 2022 Impact

Arete Education and The Collective (CF BERG) partnered over the Juneteenth 2022 Holiday weekend to support the 2022 Juneteenth Freedom Fest NYC in Harlem.

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.

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Summer Bridge (Rising) Enrichment Club Highlights – Story Movers

We are excited to continue highlighting our enrichment clubs that were running ths summer. Story Movers was led by Rose Padilla and Yarley Martinez, alumni from The Lab School. In Story Movers, Rose and Yarely work hard with their students to allow them to showcase the skills that they have. Story movers is not only about students performing arts but expressing themselves. During the last week of program, they had decided to split up their class into different groups based on what the students wanted to do. One group which included around 5 students decided to practice a dance. The group of students made up their own dance, which I found amazing. Seeing students take the initiative and do something that normally is led by a facilitator was incredible. Not only did the students create the dance, there were other students who were practicing their singing while others were working on what they wanted to showcase. Seeing each of these students showcase their talent allows us to continue working with student talent all year round. 


We are excited to showcase more of the arts side to the program as it will allow us to continue showcasing the amazing talent that these students have. 

Each of these clubs holds a special place in our students' hearts, and so it's up to us to make sure that these students receive what they need. 

Be sure to check out our Instagram Page and Website for any updates, announcements or newsletter regarding the summer program.

Combatting Hunger with Hope

Grocery Home Deliveries to Mott Haven Families


Over the last eight weeks, Areté has re-established online programming, enrolling 300 students at the Lab School in a variety of weekly learning activities. We have also provided resources for direct services to Lab School families to acquire groceries, hotspots, and other critical services and supplies. Working with the Lab School staff, we keep track daily of students in terms of COVID-19 sickness (self and household members), hunger, and family member loss.

We have also seen a desperate need emerge: hunger.

How can our students learn if they are hungry?

How do we connect our students and families to immediate resources they need to bring meals and groceries into their homes during this COVID-19 pandemic?

Areté has responded by starting a Family Help Hotline and Grocery Delivery initiatives for the families we serve in Mott Haven.

We are working every day to garner foundation, private donor, and government funding to expand these efforts. Recently the Tracy Family Foundation funded our volunteer grocery delivery team by awarding Areté $7,500 to purchase groceries for our families recently losing a loved one to COVID and/or suffering from acute food shortages. Private donors have also been filling in the financial gaps needed to continue the initiative beyond the first delivery to 20 families.

Areté and Lab School staff have been volunteering every Saturday afternoon to meet at Fine Fare, load our cars with boxes of groceries, and then deliver directly to the apartment buildings of our families most in need.

We need more help.

Please consider sharing news our hunger relief efforts with friends, families, and foundation who would be interested in supporting our students and families during this critical time.

We have traditionally served the Mott Haven neighborhood of the South Bronx, home to the poorest congressional district in the nation. We partner with the Laboratory School of Finance and Technology to serve 700 students and their families; those services have been dramatically curtailed due to COVID-19, due to a suspension of all on-site youth and family programming. By virtue of zip code, our Mott Haven families will be hit harder by COVID-19 than most due to decades of historical and structural inequities that erect barriers to accessing healthcare, employment, and educational opportunities. The Bronx has the highest number of COVID-19 fatalities as a share of its population of any borough.

You can learn more about our COVID-19 responses to support students and families in Mott Haven by watching a video about our recent efforts in March and April.

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