Education & Career Services

Check Out NMIC’s 2025 Budget and Legislative Priorities

Nearly two million New Yorkers, including one in four children, face the harsh reality of living in poverty. According to the Robin Hood Foundation, a staggering 56% of the city’s population is struggling with either poverty or low incomes, which highlights the urgent need for action.  

NMIC is committed to advocating for essential initiatives that protect the rights and well-being of community members and staff. This past Monday, our team traveled to Albany for our annual Day of Advocacy. There, we engaged in meaningful discussions with legislators and their teams, focusing on five budget and legislative priorities.  

These priorities were chosen to address critical issues such as housing insecurity, poverty alleviation, youth empowerment, and fair compensation for human service workers, aiming to enhance social justice, economic stability, and community well-being in New York State.  

NMIC’s 2025 Budget and Legislative Priorities:  

We provide supportive services to 14,000 residents each year, positively impacting 32,000 individuals annually. Our services are focused on six core areas: Housing, Immigration, Benefits & Finance, Health, Education & Career, and Holistic Services. 

With your help, we can continue to empower community members with the tools they need to lead secure and prosperous lives. Please consider volunteering, donating, or supporting our neighbors

Check Out NMIC’s 2025 Budget and Legislative Priorities Read More »

Ringing in the New Year with Purpose

Ringing in the New Year with Purpose Read More »

December 2023 – Notes from NMIC

In our final newsletter of the year, we’re excited to share touching stories and impactful initiatives illustrating NMIC’s dedication to our community. From the FPWA Gift & Toy Grant spreading joy among families affected by domestic violence to Latchme’s inspiring educational journey, your support has changed lives. Anyelisa’s experience underscores the transformative effect of programs like Promise NYC, easing financial struggles for families. Maria Lizardo and Brides’ March advocates persist in their fight against domestic violence, supported by Representative Adriano Espaillat’s words at the U.S. Capitol. Here’s to a year of remarkable impact and the promise of more in 2024. 

FPWA Toy Grant Brings Joy to Families Affected by Domestic Violence 

We have set our sights on transforming the holiday season for families impacted by domestic violence, courtesy of the FPWA Gift & Toy Grant. The initiative aims to impact the lives of children whose parents are receiving assistance through NMIC’s Domestic Violence Project (DVP) by providing them with gift cards. Beyond simply distributing gifts, this effort emphasizes restoring autonomy and choice to these families, offering flexibility in purchasing gifts and alleviating the stress of holiday financial burdens. 

Research underscores the importance of positive childhood experiences in mitigating the impact of adverse ones, contributing significantly to a child’s development and overall well-being. In tandem with NMIC’s existing programs focusing on family bonding and cultural affinity groups, the grant adds a tangible resource to empower families during the holidays. The support garnered from initiatives like the FPWA Toy Grant symbolizes more than just material gifts; it represents encouragement, hope, and support in the healing journey.  

Clic aquí to learn more about NMIC’s DVP. 

Meet Latchme 

None of us envision a future where we find ourselves wrestling with the challenge of making ends meet or following our dreams. Yet, this is a reality that once cast a shadow over the life of a remarkable young individual in our community—meet Latchme. Latchme’s journey at NMIC began just six months ago!  

Educational disparities weigh heavily, especially on immigrant, Black, and Latine youth in NYC, where high school dropout rates are 50% higher than those demographics. Latchme, like many others, found herself at the crossroads of this challenging reality. However, with your support, she discovered a path that led to empowerment and hope. Latchme joined our Adult Education Program in January 2023, and just six months later, this past summer, she earned her General Equivalency Diploma.  

At NMIC, we provide free classes for students who do not have a high school degree. Grateful for the journey, Latchme shared, “Thank you. If it wasn’t for my amazing teachers, I couldn’t have done it.” She never envisioned herself navigating non-traditional educational paths to success. But through NMIC’s skilled teachers and your generosity, Latchme not only found her way but also unlocked a world of possibilities. NMIC became more than an educational platform for Latchme; it became a source of unwavering support and empowerment. Through your contributions, she not only acquired valuable skills but also the confidence to continue her educational journey.  

Your support can help others like Latchme restart their journey. Clic aquí to make a donation today. 

NMIC’s ‘Soothe & Sip’ Event: A Relaxing Pre-Holiday Staff Celebration 

We are grateful to our incredible team at NMIC for their invaluable contributions and dedication to our community. Recognizing the indispensable role each member plays in our success, we’re excited to announce our upcoming “Soothe & Sip” Holiday De-Stress Celebration. This special event promises an afternoon devoted to relaxation and unity. The event will have a charming pop-up Barista Bar Cart featuring an array of coffees, teas, and hot chocolate, complemented by professional chair massages. As we approach the NMIC winter break, this gathering is designed to offer a well-deserved pause and a chance for our team to connect. 

Anyelisa’s Transformative Journey with Promise NYC 

Anyelisa, a mother within our community, aspired to keep her kids in their childcare programs. She struggled with affording childcare for her children. Her childcare provider, empathetic to her financial situation, offered reduced rates temporarily. However, the financial strain became too burdensome for her provider, prompting fears that Anyelisa might have to withdraw her children. Fortunately, she was referred by her provider to apply for Promise NYC, a program funded by New York City that covers the cost of childcare for families who are ineligible for federally funded subsidized childcare due to their immigration status.  

“When I was approved for Promise NYC, I was so happy that I could cry! I am happy with the childcare program that my children are attending, and I’m glad that they could stay. My kids are happy with the childcare program, and their happiness is mine,” Anyelisa told us. 

With the support of Promise NYC, Anyelisa no longer feels the suffocating weight of financial strain, marking an end to the struggle to make ends meet for her family.  

Clic aquí to learn more about Promise NYC. 

Cafecito con Maria 

Earlier this month, Maria Lizardo and other advocates from Brides’ March including representatives from DWDC, VIP, Steps to End Family Violence-The Truman HS RAPP Program, The Ricart Family, and Josie Ashton, founder of the Brides’ March, made the trip to Washington D.C. to honor Gladys Ricart’s legacy and continue to fight for increased protection for survivors of domestic violence around the country. Representative Adriano Espaillat hosted the event at the U.S. Capitol.  

We march on September 26th each year to remember Gladys Ricart, a beloved mother and sister, and all the lives tragically lost to domestic violence on the anniversary of her murder. The life of Gladys Ricart was cut short by the hands of her abusive former boyfriend on what should have been her wedding day. We continue to march every year to honor the life of Gladys Ricart and all those impacted by domestic violence, distribute bilingual information about domestic violence to communities along the marching path, and to inspire other neighborhoods throughout the nation to organize marches that bring visibility to survivors. 

“We will not rest until Gladys Ricart’s story is told across America and is a thing of the past. We will continue to fight against domestic violence to prevent it. Every state of the union must have a code of laws against domestic violence, and we will always remember Gladys Ricart,” stated Rep. Espaillat during his floor remarks.  

Clic aquí to listen to Rep. Espaillat’s floor remarks on Gladys Ricart and Brides March.

NMIC in the News

  • On December 11th, City & State NY released the Responsible 100, a selection of selfless New Yorkers serving the common good. NMIC’s Executive Director, Maria Lizardo, was among the honorees. Click aquí to see the full list.
  • Last month, NMIC partnered with DoorDash to give Thanksgiving turkeys to 210 families in Upper Manhattan and the Bronx facing food insecurity this holiday season. Click aquí to read more. 

Observances

  • December 10, Human Rights Day 
  • December 18, International Migrants Day 
  • December 22-January 1, Winter Holiday

December 2023 – Notes from NMIC Read More »

November 2023 – Notes from NMIC

We are excited to join in on GivingTuesday, a global celebration of generosity and kindness happening this month! This November, we’re focusing on the incredible power of advocacy and its profound impact on the lives of those we serve. Check out our latest news, like a new foundation partner, the recent weatherization of two new apartments by NMIC’s team, and the launch of our TikTok. Dive in to explore the amazing stories and projects shaping our community this month! 

GivingTuesday 

As GivingTuesday approaches, we’re reaching out to extraordinary supporters like you! A $25 donation to NMIC fuels long-term neighbor-to-neighbor empowerment, addressing needs like safe housing, mental health services, and much more. Our impact is tangible, reaching over 14,000 community members annually. That’s 14,000 stories of resilience, progress, and positive change. 

Our goal this GivingTuesday? $10,000…it’s simple math – we need 200 supporters to make a $50 donation each. Will you be one of them? 

Your support sparks lasting change in our community, empowering neighbors to advocate for their families’ needs. Imagine the ripple effect! Haga clic to join the movement and be a catalyst for positive, enduring transformation. 

Thank you for considering us this GivingTuesday. Your generosity amplifies our mission, creating a brighter future for our community.  

As Giving Tuesday approaches, be a part of this journey

Thank You, Sony Music Group!  

We extend our sincere gratitude to Sony Music Group for their investment in NMIC’s Train & Earn program. Sony Music Group’s Global Social Justice Fund is dedicated to supporting anti-racist initiatives and global educational opportunities that advance the cause of equity. NMIC’s Train & Earn stands as a structured five-week paid training program designed for young adults, allowing them to enhance their skills, attain gainful employment, and receive continuous support for over one year. Through our collaborative partnership with SMG, we are afforded the means to persist in the mission of educating and inspiring the next generation to emerge as catalysts for positive change.  

Haga clic to learn more about NMIC’s Education & Career services.  

A Tale of Energy Efficiency Transformation 

In the heart of our neighborhood stands a three-unit building, privately owned, and quietly rewriting its story of sustainability. Thanks to NMIC’s Weatherization Assistance Program (WAP) and the generous support of the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA), this unassuming building has undergone a remarkable transformation. 

Here’s a glimpse into the building’s upgrades:  

  • Solar Panels (6Kw Array): Powering the building’s common area electricity needs with clean and renewable energy. 
  • Roof and Exterior Wall Insulation: Ensuring improved energy efficiency and comfort. 
  • New UPvc Apartment Windows: Contributing to better insulation and noise reduction. 
  • Ventilation Fans in Kitchen Windows: Enhancing air circulation and creating a healthier living space. 
  • Energy-Efficient Lighting: Reducing energy consumption while brightening up shared spaces. 

NMIC played a pivotal role in securing an impressive $109,200.00 from the WAP ARPA grant funds. This, combined with the owner’s commendable match of $20,000.00, fueled the entire initiative. What makes this project particularly noteworthy is the opportunity presented by the ARPA WAP funds. NMIC was empowered to address every conceivable energy efficiency opportunity, going beyond the usual scope of regular WAP programs. This allowed for a comprehensive intervention.  

It’s a reminder that even the smallest structures can play a significant role in building a greener, more sustainable city. 

Haga clic to learn more about NMIC’s WAP.  

NMIC on TikTok! 

NMIC is officially on TikTok, and we invite you to join us! If you’re eager to discover more about NMIC’s vital work and witness the impact your support has on our community, follow us @nmicnyc. 

Cafecito con Maria 

Confronted with a rising trend of displacement, a considerable portion of our clients, who were previously Upper Manhattan residents, found themselves relocating to the Bronx. However, they continued to need our services. In response, we opened our Bronx office in 2016 at 8 Clinton Place. Last month, Maria Lizardo, Executive Director of NMIC, alongside our dedicated NMIC team, organized an open house event. The primary goal of this gathering was to reintroduce our elected officials to the comprehensive spectrum of essential services available at our Bronx location, encompassing housing, immigration legal services, and benefits access. We extend our sincere appreciation to Congress Member Espaillat, Assembly Member Tapia, Council Member Sanchez, Council Member Stevens, Bronx Borough President Gibson, and their teams for attending the event.  

NMIC in the News 

  • Chelsea News New York published a story about Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg’s announcement of the creation of the Special Victims Division Advisory Council. Members representing an array of organizations, including NMIC’s Maria Lizardo, will serve on the Special Victims Division Advisory Council for two-year terms. Haga clic to read more.  

Observances 

  • National Career Development Month  
  • Native American Heritage Month  
  • November 11, Veterans Day 
  • November 12, Flight 587 Day of Remembrance 
  • November 20, Transgender Day of Remembrance 
  • November 23, Thanksgiving  
  • November 25, International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women  
  • November 28, GivingTuesday  

November 2023 – Notes from NMIC Read More »

July 2023 – Notes from NMIC

Welcome to our July newsletter, where we celebrate the vibrant tapestry of our community and the significant events that shape our journey. In this edition, we dive into the empowering stories and impactful initiatives surrounding BIPOC Mental Health Month, the joyful spirit of the Dominican Day Parade, the importance of World Youth Skills Day in shaping our future leaders, and the recent developments in the affirmative action decision day. Join us as we explore these inspiring narratives that highlight the resilience and progress within our diverse community. 

Honoring Sandra Harris at The National Dominican Day Parade 

Join us in commemorating the remarkable achievements of NMIC Board Member Sandra Harris, Associate Vice President for Government and Community Affairs at Columbia University Irving Medical Center, as she is honored at The National Dominican Day Parade. This vibrant event marks the 41st Anniversary of the Parade and is a celebration of the richness of Dominican culture, folklore, and popular traditions. It serves as a platform to highlight, promote, and acknowledge the invaluable heritage and contributions of the Dominican community in the United States and around the world. Let us come together in unity and rejoice in Sandra’s outstanding accomplishments. We invite you to join us on Sunday, August 13th, as we fill the streets of 6th Avenue, embracing the theme of ‘Nuestra Historia, Nuestra Gente; Our History, Our People.’ 

Haga clic to learn more about The National Dominican Day Parade.  

July is BIPOC Mental Health Month 

NMIC’s Wellness Program provides free mental health screenings to community members and facilitate their connection to the necessary support. Each year, our initiative reaches and screens over 800 clients, ensuring their mental health needs are not only recognized, but also compassionately addressed. The month of July is especially significant because we observe BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, People of Color) Mental Health Awareness Month, a time dedicated to recognizing and addressing the distinct mental health challenges and requirements faced by BIPOC individuals. While mental illness can affect individuals from all backgrounds, this month sheds light on the unique experiences of the BIPOC communities. Shockingly, according to the NYS Office of Mental Health, only one in three African Americans in need of mental health care receive the support they require. Our commitment to supporting BIPOC communities drives us to break down the barriers that often hinder access to vital mental health treatment.  

Haga clic to learn more about NMIC’s Wellness Program.  

Celebrating World Youth Skills Day 

NMIC’s YouthBuild program stands as a champion for providing and facilitating employment and entrepreneurial skills opportunities to youth in our community who aspire to reach their full potential. Our five-month paid opportunity caters to young people between the ages of 17 and 24 who are unemployed and out-of-school. We help participants reclaim their education, gain the skills they need for employment, and become leaders in the community. 

According to a 2021 study by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, a significant portion of minimum wage workers are young individuals. In fact, workers under the age of 25 accounted for 44% of individuals receiving the federal minimum wage or less. The statistics highlight the challenges faced by young workers, who grapple with the pressing issue of securing jobs that offer livable wages. Compounding the situation, the persistently high unemployment rates, surpassing pre-pandemic levels, further exacerbate the challenges faced by these individuals in their pursuit of meaningful employment. 

The comprehensive support services we provide play a crucial role in enabling us to empower young individuals who encounter obstacles, not just in obtaining employment, but also in providing them with the essential support to maintain stable employment and acquire the skills necessary for work and entrepreneurship. We recognize the tremendous potential of young people as agents of positive transformation and commit to equipping them with the resources and prospects needed to build prosperous and sustainable futures. Ensuring their access to education and career services stands as one of the most effective approaches to support the youth. 

Haga clic to learn more about NMIC’s YouthBuild.  

Affirmative Action: Statement from Maria Lizardo

On July 4th, Americans across the nation came together to commemorate Independence Day. However, this year’s celebration was accompanied by a complex backdrop as the Supreme Court had recently ruled to reverse affirmative action. This decision marked the end of colleges and universities being able to consider race as one of the factors in their admissions process. The ruling has stirred deep concern and disappointment among those who hold dear the principles of equality and inclusivity.  

While the full consequences of this decision may take time to unfold, it is crucial to acknowledge its potential impact. Previous research, such as a 2013 study conducted by Harvard, has shown that the elimination of affirmative action in certain states led to a noticeable decline in workforce diversity. These findings underscore the significance of affirmative action in fostering an inclusive work environment.  

We firmly condemn this recent ruling, recognizing the fundamental importance of equal opportunity for all individuals within our nation. It is essential to address the concerns surrounding this decision and comprehend the potential ramifications it has for our social progress. We firmly believe that diversity is a crucial element for the future excellence of our country and the world as a whole. As we reflect on this past Independence Day, we express our hope that meaningful discussions and exploration of alternative strategies will ensue, ensuring the continual advancement of a society that upholds the principles of equality, opportunity, and progress. 

Cafecito con Maria 

In the months leading up to Mayor Adam’s final agreement with the City Council for the budget of Fiscal Year 2023, numerous organizations across the boroughs, including NMIC, joined forces with the Human Services Council (HSC) to champion a crucial cause—a cost of living adjustment (COLA). Regrettably, the Fiscal Year 2023 budget only allocates $40 million for a workforce enhancement program for the 125,000 contracted workers in the human services sector. This agreement falls short of meeting the pressing needs of these workers, with two-thirds of them living near poverty.  

It is unacceptable that human service workers are subjected to inadequate pay, insufficient benefits, and limited opportunities for career advancement. Over the past year, in collaboration with HSC, our dedicated team at NMIC has undertaken various initiatives to advocate for change. We have orchestrated impactful social media campaigns, penned thought-provoking opinion pieces, and swiftly responded to the unfolding events with our statements. Our Executive Director, Maria Lizardo, LMSW, played a pivotal role as the emcee at one of the largest rallies ever witnessed during this mayoralty. She exemplified unwavering dedication by participating in an overnight protest outside City Hall, a bold act that no other advocate attempted this year. Maria also attended another rally the following day, showcasing our consistent and resolute stance. Throughout this budget negotiation, we have remained steadfast in highlighting the high stakes and the imperative need for a COLA to ensure true equity and accessibility in New York.  

We refuse to allow this setback to deter our progress. Together, we will persist in our fight to eradicate government-sanctioned poverty wages for human service workers.  

Haga clic to learn more about the #JustPay campaign.

Observances 

  • BIPOC Mental Health Month 
  • July 1, International Day of Cooperatives 
  • July 4, Independence Day 
  • July 15, World Youth Skills Day 

July 2023 – Notes from NMIC Read More »

March 2023 – Notes from NMIC

In a few short weeks, we will be celebrating the first day of spring. New Yorkers across all five boroughs will be shedding their winter coats and emerging to enjoy the public parks and outdoor venues our city has to offer. Speaking of outdoor venues, NMIC’s annual benefit, Unidos: A NMIC Benefit, is coming up on June 15th, 2023. The cocktail reception and award ceremony will take place at The Hudson, an outdoor space with unforgettable views of The Hudson River and George Washington Bridge. We are looking forward to celebrating the transformative work that our community members tackle each day to catalyze positive change in our neighborhoods.  

Haga clic to learn more about our upcoming benefit.  

NMIC Celebrates Women’s History Month: A Success Story 

In honor of Women’s History Month, we’d like to spotlight Jocelyn, one of our exceptional NMIC Education & Career students. Recently, Jocelyn completed our holistic Security Training program, which she found to be the most comprehensive and effective compared to other workforce development programs. This program equips students with both hard and soft skills necessary to succeed in their careers and beyond. 

Throughout Jocelyn’s participation in the program, she engaged in various interactive courses, including career building, emotional intelligence in the workplace, customer service, cultural competency, FEMA security awareness, Fireguard F-01, and the NYS 8- and 16-Hour Security Guard. Additionally, she and her cohort participated in empowering workshops covering topics such as mental health, worker’s rights, and financial literacy. The program also provided opportunities for participants to connect directly with job recruiters, increasing their chances of securing gainful employment. 

We congratulate Jocelyn on her achievement and wish her the best of luck in her future endeavors. Let us use this Women’s History Month as a reminder to uplift the women in our lives and celebrate their contributions, not just during this month, but throughout the year. All accomplishments are worth a celebration. 

Haga clic to learn more about NMIC’s Education & Career services.  

We Welcomed New Members to our Advisory Board (NAB)  

We are pleased to introduce Jordan Green, Caitie Adams, and Morgan Siegel, the newest members of NMIC’s Advisory Board (NAB). They are committed to being agents for change and innovation and we warmly welcome them to our team. Members of NAB develop awareness of NMIC’s programs and provide opportunities for our organization’s growth by leveraging resources to support the advancement of the communities we serve in Upper Manhattan, adjacent Bronx neighborhoods, and New York City as a whole. 

Haga clic to learn more about NAB.  

Introducing Katje Lilah King 

We welcome Katje Lilah King, our new Director of Education & Career Services. Ms. King has over 20 years of experience in the nonprofit sector, including roles in fundraising, evaluation, and program management. She most recently served as Senior Program Officer at PENCIL, where she partnered with hundreds of New York City schools and businesses to execute annual Principal for a Day events and deliver college and career readiness programming to over 5,000 students annually.  Katje also led the establishment of PENCIL’s Internship Programs, collaborating with partners including the New York City Department of Youth and Community Development, the Pinkerton Foundation, and Bloomberg Philanthropies to provide paid work-based learning experiences to over 500 youth each summer. 

Join us in welcoming Ketje!  

Fresh Prints  

We have a big announcement—NMIC will be collaborating with Rene Clairin, YumaYorkNYC, and Benny Cruz on art prints! The prints are inspired by Washington Heights, the hometown of the YumaYorkNYC team, and the Latin culture they were raised with. YumaYorkNYC’s work often includes vibrant colors, organic shapes, and imperfect lines—all brought together to create images that bring about joy.  

“It’s beautiful to see a local organization dedicating their time to help some of the most vulnerable members of our ever-growing community uptown: immigrants that are landing in NYC in search of stability and peace of mind. Sometimes a legal or government form can seem like an insurmountable obstacle when it’s presented to you in a language that you don’t grasp.  

NMIC specifically sets up time to provide legal access, benefit access and advocacy for these new members of our Heights neighborhoods; that’s a beautiful thing because this would have been a valuable resource for our relatives when they first arrived in the Heights decades ago. We’re happy to support their work with the proceeds of this limited collaborative work between us, YumaYorkNYC, and Benny Cruz,” Rene Clairin.  

A portion of proceeds from the sales will be donated to NMIC to support our wrap-around supportive services. To find out how to purchase a print, follow @nmicnyc on social media, we will post a link as soon as the print drops. Click here to learn more about YumaYorkNYC.  

Know Your Rights Panel Discussion 

 Community Services with Faith Hope & Charity, Inc. teamed up with the NYC Mayor’s Office of Immigrant Affairs to host a panel discussion titled “Know Your Rights” at The Annunciation Church on March 5th. The event centered on the rights of immigrant New Yorkers, updates on potential shifts in immigration laws, and a Q&A session for community members. NMIC’s immigration attorney, Marc Valinoti, was a panelist who shared expert views on the challenges of accessing legal representation for immigrants and the available resources for immigrant communities. 

Haga clic to learn more about NMIC’s Immigration Services.  

Cafecito con Maria 

As of March 1st, Congress ended Emergency Allotments, the federal COVID-era emergency food funding, to SNAP benefits. With 21% of the population of New York City receiving SNAP benefits, the impact will be dramatic, leaving a great number of New Yorkers in danger of going hungry. Every household using SNAP benefits will see a decrease of at least $95 in monthly benefits. As the emergency food funding expires, food prices continue to rise. Over the past year, food prices rose 8.4%, and as benefits are cut further, more households will become dependent on food pantries to be able to provide for their families.  

Telemundo 47 reported on the possible crisis for our city, and interviewed our Executive Director, Maria Lizardo, LMSW, to discuss the increased need and to advocate for the needs of our community. 

NMIC offers emergency food pantry services with the West Side Campaign Against Hunger and Hungry Pets Project. These partnerships allow our organization to alleviate hunger within our community through access to locally sourced, fresh produce. All people, regardless of income, deserve access to quality food. No one should ever have to choose between paying their rent or purchasing groceries.  

To get involved with NMIC’s food pantry services, haz clic aquí to sign up for our volunteer newsletter to be notified of upcoming volunteer opportunities and haz clic aquí to donate today.  

NMIC in the News 

  • On March 1st, Telemundo 47 featured our Executive Director, Maria Lizardo, LMSW, and NMIC clients during a news report on the current SNAP cuts. Haga clic to read more.  
  • Telemundo 47 had a news report on Promise NYC, a program funded by New York City that covers the cost of childcare for families who are ineligible for federally funded childcare due to their immigration status. The report featured Wilbert Negron, Program Manager of Promise NYC at NMIC, and current clients in the program. Haga clic to read more.  

Observances 

  • Women’s History Month  
  • Social Work Month  
  • March 2nd, Women’s Equal Pay Day  
  • March 8th, International Women’s Day  
  • March 12th, NMIC’s Anniversary  
  • March 31st, International Transgender Day of Visibility  

March 2023 – Notes from NMIC Read More »

December 2022 – Notes from NMIC

As the year ends, and with a fresh new one coming up, the final days of December are the perfect time to reflect on our wonderful community and everything we have achieved together this past year. We are proud of our collective successes, your dedication, and unrelenting commitment to our community even in the most challenging of times. We wish you all a peaceful festive season, as we look forward to a new year. 

Our offices will be closed for Winter Break from Friday, December 23, 2022 through Monday, January 2, 2023. The buildings at 45 Wadsworth and 8 Clinton Place will be closed during this time.

Remember Joey? 

Joey Fernandez is an alum from NMIC’s GED/HSE program— like many teenagers his age, Joey had dreams and a supportive family. He found high school overwhelming, and he dropped out at age 14. He took the initiative to sign up for NMIC’s GED & Adult Basic Education to gain access to educational opportunities.  

“I dropped out of high school at 14 and was struggling to find my place in the world. Through NMIC’s GED/HSE program, I gained the academic tools necessary to continue my education. I also found mentors who helped me earn my GED, do well in community college, and get accepted to Georgetown University,” said Joey in 2018. 

We are excited to announce that Joey not only has graduated from Georgetown University for undergraduate and Columbia University for his graduate degree, in October 2022, he was assigned to be a diplomat for the Philippines. We are incredibly proud of Joey’s accomplishments, and all that the future has in store for him.  

Join us in congratulating Joey!  

The NYIC is keeping us warm this season  

When the weather gets colder—boots, sweaters, coats, and thick socks are a necessity to get through a winter in New York City. That is why we are so grateful for The New York Immigration Coalition (NYIC) who have recently provided an in-kind donation of winter apparel.  

“No New Yorker should have to face winter in the city without warm clothes. Providing coats and winter clothes to the recently arrived asylum seekers and low-income New York families is how we ensure our communities stay safe and healthy. We thank NMIC for partnering with us to ensure the clothing we collected got into the hands of families most in need,” Jennifer Diaz, Manager of Community Engagement, NYIC.  

On behalf of all those we serve, thank you NYIC!  

Haga clic to learn more about NMIC’s Holistic Services. 

Season of Giving 

Lissette is a proud mother, an aspiring writer, and a dedicated student. She is a single parent from Washington Heights who originally came to NMIC’s office for assistance with applying for housing and benefits. When she found out that NMIC also offered adult education services, she realized that her long-term goal of acquiring a GED was financially accessible and turned her dream into action.  

“To me, a GED means a whole lot—it means that I am an educated person, and no one can tell me otherwise. I’m doing it for myself, and I know that it will help me feel complete,” she told us. 

The pandemic revealed to us how crucial digital literacy is for employment, civic and cultural participation, and accessing essential services in our society—it is no longer a want, but a need. Over 70% of U.S. jobs now require middle to high level digital skills, yet one in six working-age Americans are unable to use email, web search, or other basic online tools.  

Please consider donating today to help clients like Lissette follow their dreams. Access to education is an everlasting gift.  

Join NMIC’s Advisory Board (NAB) 

NMIC is looking for dedicated professionals committed to our mission to join our Advisory Board. Participants will enhance their resumes, fulfill their passion to serve, and gain hands-on volunteer experience. NAB members will have opportunities to interact with our staff and network with the Board of Directors as they support NMIC’s overall goals through social media, individual fundraising, service activities, and fundraising events.  

To apply, fill out this application and send your resume to NAB@nmic.org.   

NMIC’s Holiday Swag 

Tis’ the season of giving! Our holiday sale is still in motion, and your purchase directly supports our mission and everything you value from NMIC. 

Our design depicts West 167th and Juan Rodriguez Way. Juan Rodriguez was one of the first documented non-indigenous inhabitants to live in Manhattan Island and is considered the first non-native resident of what would eventually become New York City. In October 2012, the New York City Council enacted legislation to name Broadway from 159th Street to 218th Street in Manhattan after Juan Rodríguez. 
 
The neighborhoods of Washington Heights and Inwood in Upper Manhattan have a substantial Dominican community. Rodriguez was born in The Captaincy General of Santo Domingo which now is the Dominican Republic. We are thrilled to celebrate the contributions and experiences of our Dominican and immigrant neighbors by featuring the Juan Rodriguez Way Street sign. 

Haga clic to make a purchase today!  

Cafecito Con Maria 

In the last days of the year, our Executive Director, Maria Lizardo, LMSW, celebrated the accomplishments of other New York-based nonprofit organizations by attending dedicated events.  

Last month, Maria attended the West Side Campaign Against Hunger (WSCAH)’s Plentiful Plates event and spent an evening celebrating our wonderful partner and collaborator organization. Along with WSCAH, we host monthly food pantries to those facing food insecurity.  

Later, Maria volunteered at our sister organization, Community League of the Heights (CLOTH159), as they distributed food to 330 families. We are always excited to support CLOTH 159 and their dedication to supporting and empowering New Yorkers from Northern Manhattan and adjacent Bronx neighborhoods.  

Maria also attended various galas to acknowledge the great accomplishments of other organizations in New York City. On November 14th, Maria attended Columbia University Irving Medical Center’s 13th annual Crown Awards Gala. The evening highlighted Columbia’s key community health programs to improve outcomes and care for all. CUIMC’s Crown Award was presented to Pfizer for their partnership with CUIMC to help increase the involvement of historically marginalized groups in clinical trials.  

Finally, on December 7th, Maria attended Human Service Council (HSC)’s annual gala that honored Dr. Jeremy C. Kohomban, the President and CEO of The Children’s Village, and Claude M. Millman, Partner at Kostelanetz LLP. We are active members of HSC and their ongoing mission of strengthening New York’s nonprofit human services sector, to ensure that New Yorkers from all walks of life can reach their full potential, and we would like to congratulate this year’s honorees. We also proudly participate in HSC’s #JustPay advocacy efforts and join them in their fight to end government-sanctioned poverty wages for human services workers and look forward to our work together this upcoming year. 

NMIC in the News 

  • Last month, Spectrum Noticias wrote an article on NMIC’s November food pantry. María Lizardo, LMSW, director of NMIC, says she has seen an increase in people signing up to receive food pantries in recent months, which is why our delivery was so important last month. “Today we are going to deliver a turkey, despite the normality, which includes carrots, spaghetti, rice, but turkey is so expensive, and we know that many families might not have turkeys next Thursday and we are very proud to that through our volunteers,” explained Lizardo. Haga clic to read more.  
  • New York City is increasing access to subsidized childcare for hundreds of undocumented children. Mayor Adams announced on Wednesday a $10 million childcare assistance program for families who are otherwise ineligible for federal subsidies because of their immigration status. The Administration for Children Services is contracting with four local organizations with ties to immigrant communities in each borough — who will connect families with monthly subsidy payments, and help parents identify child-care providers and enroll their children. The organizations include the Center for Family Life in Brooklyn, NMIC in the Bronx and Manhattan, La Colmena on Staten Island, and the Chinese American Planning Council in Queens. Haga clic to read more.  

Observances 

  • Month of Giving  
  • December 10, Human Rights Day  
  • December 18, International Migrants Day  
  • December 31, New Year’s Eve  

Haga clic to get NMIC’s monthly newsletter straight to your inbox and be the first to know about upcoming events, volunteer opportunities, and big announcements!

Haga clic to serve as a catalyst for positive change by donating today.

December 2022 – Notes from NMIC Read More »

November 2022 – Notes from NMIC

Gratitude is more than just expressing one’s thanks—gratitude can be expressed as an act that can carry the strength of shifting perspectives. Through gratitude, we recognize all the positive aspects of our lives. For this November’s newsletter, we are highlighting the wonderful happenings in our community, and the many ways in which our collective work has been uplifted through awards, partnerships, and you, our supporters.  

D.A. Bragg Announces Creation of the Office’s First Housing & Tenant Protection Unit 

Last month, Manhattan District Attorney Alvin L. Bragg, Jr., announced the creation of the Office’s first ever Housing & Tenant Protection Unit. The conference for its release took place at NMIC’s Manhattan office, as we are very supportive of the inception of this unit. We are optimistic that this launch will help with members of our community remove the obstacles that keep them from enjoying housing security, as it will focus on the harassment of rent-regulated tenants, deed fraud, and defrauding of government subsidy programs by landlords and developers. 

“New York City is in the midst of a housing crisis, and that means tenants are particularly vulnerable to unscrupulous landlords,” said District Attorney Bragg. “By taking a targeted approach to complex and pervasive criminal activity, we can root out the bad actors who are seeking to game the system for profit at the expense of ordinary New Yorkers. The creation of this unit represents our firm commitment to fully utilizing the resources of our office to ensure Manhattan residents can exercise the right to live safely and securely.”  

Read more aquí

We Partnered with DoorDash and Constantinople & Vallone Consulting for Our November Food Pantry! 

It’s the season of giving, and at NMIC, that means providing meals to hundreds of families during the holiday season through our food pantry services. Securing and distributing these meals was only possible through our partnerships with DoorDash and Constantinople & Vallone Consulting, who not only secured hundreds of meals for our community, but also provided volunteers for one of our busiest food pantries of the year.  

“New York City continues to face challenges with food access, which is particularly evident in low-income communities of color. We are proud to support NMIC’s efforts to address food insecurity in Upper Manhattan and adjacent Bronx neighborhoods. Effective collaborations and partnerships are key in our mission of empowering local economies, so that no one should have to be concerned about where the next meal will come from,” Ivan Garcia, Senior Manager of Public Engagement, DoorDash.  

“NMIC is an amazing organization that really stepped up during the pandemic for the communities they serve. We are proud to support you and the November food pantry in this time of need. As a family rooted firm, we are grateful for the opportunity to partner with NMIC to help families celebrate the holidays around a good meal,” Jake Potent, Managing Director, Constantinople & Vallone Consulting.  

We have one last food pantry of the year, and we would like to provide as much as we can to families looking for help during the 2022 holiday season. Hundreds of families rely on NMIC’s emergency food pantry services to help them celebrate a holiday meal. Would you consider donating today to support our food pantry services? Together, we can alleviate food insecurity in our neighborhoods this season.  

Haga clic to donate today.  

NMIC Was Selected to Receive an Empire Award 

Last month, NMIC was honored by New York State Senator Robert Jackson with an Empire Award, along with 15 other Upper Manhattan community organizations, in recognition of our act of solidarity during the pandemic’s peak, our contributions to working-class communities, and our continued commitment to deliver resources in aiding their full recovery.  

We would like to congratulate each organization honored for their unwavering commitment to serving the communities of District 31 throughout the COVID-19 pandemic and present: Altagracia Fath & Justice Works, Centro Evangelistico Pantry, Community League of the Heights, Fort Washington Collegiate Church, Girl Scout Troop #3205, Jewish Community Council, Holy Rood Church, Manhattan Legal Services, Oyate Group, PA’LANTE Harlem, Ryan Health, St. Stephen’s United Methodist Church, Washington Heights and Inwood Council on Aging, and West Side Campaign Against Hunger.  

Please join us in congratulating these organizations for their act of solidarity and leadership!  

Thank You Royal Business Bank! 

We have recently received a grant of $6,500 from Royal Business Bank to support our Education & Career Services!  

NMIC plans to use this grant to address the unjust and disproportionate financial impacts that our community members have experienced due to decades of economic exclusion which has led to limited educational and professional development opportunities for low-income people of colors, and especially immigrants. Through this partnership, we plan to reduce economic inequity by equipping our community members with the knowledge, certifications, and resources necessary to re-enter the workforce and access better employment opportunities. 

Haga clic to learn more about NMIC’s Education & Career Services. 

Cafecito con Maria 

This past month, our Executive Director Maria Lizardo, LMSW, welcomed NYS Assembly Member Manny De Los Santos to our Manhattan office. This visit was particularly special because Assembly Member De Los Santos presented a check reflecting on the $30,000, he secured in the New York State Budget to support our Domestic Violence Project. We are beyond grateful for this support, as we know how crucial these funds are for the hundreds of survivors who access our Domestic Violence services each year.  

Later, on October 28th, Maria attended Latino Social Work Coalition & Scholarship Fund’s 22nd Annual Leadership Gala. Attendees spent the evening honoring trailblazing social workers whose legacies we continue, honor those that are currently making waves, and shed light on those who are charting our collective future forward. Our good tidings continued when we were recognized by Latino Social Work Coalition & Scholarship Fund as the Social Work Organization of the Year.  

Finally, Maria represented NMIC at the 2022 Dominican Film Festival, which we proudly sponsored this past year! The festival celebrated its 11th anniversary of celebrating the best in Dominican Cinema with the overall goal of enriching the artistic experience of New York’s diverse cultural audience. We are happy to support the Dominican Film Festival’s mission to promote the new generation of Dominican filmmakers as well as the established one, its film industry, and to strengthen the vital and expanding economic and cultural relationship with the United States. 

NMIC in the News 

  • Latinx in Social Work is a No.1 Best Seller on Amazon that amplifies stories of challenges and successes of Hispanic social workers. The anthology presents 21 authors who inspire and heal communities, one of whom is NMIC’s Executive Director, Maria Lizardo, LMSW. Read more here
  • Spectrum Noticias NY1 recently published an article on free supportive services in Upper Manhattan and the Bronx. Proud of her Dominican roots and her immigrant parents, Maria Lizardo, LMSW, NMIC’s Executive Director, knows firsthand the power and impact that these services have on Latinos. “And really, creating opportunity for members of the community and that is what we need as Latinos, we are immigrants, we work hard, and we need opportunities, we need those connections, access to education, access to the benefits that we are entitled to have.” Read more here.  
  • Manhattan District Attorney Alvin L. Bragg, Jr., announced the creation of the Office’s first-ever Housing & Tenant Protection Unit, which will target systemic criminal harassment of tenants and abuse of government programs by landlords and developers. “NMIC is excited to work with the District Attorney’s new Housing & Tenant Protection Unit to hold corporate landlords accountable for harassing behavior aimed at pushing long-standing tenants out of their affordable apartments,” said Rodrigo Sanchez-Camus, Director of Legal, Organizing, & Advocacy Services at NMIC. Read more here.  
  • Tenants in rent-regulated apartments say they’re left languishing for months — if not years — on a decision from the state agency charged with investigating landlord overcharge complaints as backlogs persist and rents in New York reach new highs. Matthew Chachere, a tenant lawyer who works with NMIC, recalled one case that started in the first Obama administration, as he put it, and was only recently finalized in 2021 — nine years later. “The ordinary tenant gets lost in this,” he said. “They’re certainly not going to have the means or the inclination to spend the money that it takes to fight this out. It’s terrible.” Read more here.  

Observances 

  • National Native American Heritage Month  
  • National Career Development Month  
  • November 1, Day of the Dead 
  • November 2, National Stress Awareness Day  
  • November 12, Flight 587 Remembrance Day 
  • November 20, Transgender Day of Remembrance  
  • November 24, Thanksgiving 
  • November 25, International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women/Mirabal sisters  

Haga clic to get NMIC’s monthly newsletter straight to your inbox and be the first to know about upcoming events, volunteer opportunities, and big announcements!

Haga clic to serve as a catalyst for positive change by donating today.

November 2022 – Notes from NMIC Read More »

October 2022 – Notes from NMIC

In October, during Domestic Violence Awareness Month (DVAM), we are uplifting and centering victims, survivors, those impacted by domestic violence, our community, and the partnerships that support our work.   

Visibility matters now more than ever as one in four women experiences physical violence in their lifetimes. Wear purple and make yourself a visible advocate for healthy relationships, as it will go a long way to help break the stigma of silence. Will you stand in solidarity on October 20 by wearing purple and using #NMICGoesPurple on social media to raise awareness about domestic violence and share information about trauma-informed resources? We will share the posts on our social media accounts to increase the reach of our services—because they are only helpful if survivors know they exist and how to access them.  

If you or someone you know is in an abusive relationship, please call NMIC’s Domestic Violence Project at 212-822-8311 or the 24-hour NYC Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-621-4673. 

NMIC’s Domestic Violence Project & Der Parataetische Akademie’s Site Visit 

In 1996, NMIC recognized the connection between domestic violence and housing insecurities. We founded our Domestic Violence Project (DVP) to build a network of support for survivors during each stage of their exit from their relationship, to develop a safety plan, and to help survivors find stable housing afterward. According to the National Network to End Domestic Violence, 63% of unhoused women are survivors of domestic violence. NMIC’s trauma informed counseling, legal services, crisis intervention, support groups, and many other programs give survivors the strength to move on and let them know that there are people waiting to help them every step of the way.  

On October 6th, students from Berlin’s Der Parataetische Akademie came to tour NMIC’s DVP office to learn more about our work. Our DVP staff members, Sarah Crawford Banda, Cinthya Mendez, and Aleida Sainz, led the tour group and shared NMIC’s work in the community and how we serve immigrant survivors of intimate partner violence. We were able to share our approach, values, and interventions to help survivors salir adelante after domestic violence.   

NMIC’s DVP is particularly special because we are both trauma informed and culturally and linguistically affirming—culture impacts how gender violence is viewed, and awareness of cultural values and difference is of utmost importance when we think of the systems that interact with survivors of domestic violence. The staff of our Domestic Violence Project are bilingual in English and Spanish with deep cultural and geographic ties to our community.  

“It was our honor and pleasure to welcome fellow social workers to Washington Heights and Inwood. Our shared efforts to further social and economic justice in our respective communities face some of the same systematic barriers including xenophobia, racism and misogyny. We also face the challenges posed by a lack of dedicated resources. As the global community becomes more interconnected, we are delighted to have had the opportunity to spend time with colleagues in the field of social welfare,” Sarah Crawford Banda, Domestic Violence Project Director.  

Haga clic to donate to support survivors.  

Empire Quilters 
 

Imagine yourself being wrapped in a literal blanket made with love. It sounds delightful! We are honored to share that Empire Quilters of New York, a nonprofit organization that has donated quilts for the past few years to NMIC, provided that and more to our clients. Empire Quilters were founded in 1982 to preserve and promote the tradition, culture, and history of quilt-making, and to foster good fellowship amongst anyone interested in quilt making in the New York area. Quilts represent connection, stability, and expression of the creative spirit that has allowed women to overcome hardships, and on behalf of our community members, we are very grateful for this powerful gesture.  

If you have an idea and would like to partner with us, email rosannamontilla@nmic.org

Go Purple Day 2022  

Purple is the symbolic color to raise awareness about domestic violence. Why purple? Well, the color purple became associated the strength of women in the United States because it was the color worn by the National Women’s Party who fought to gain the right to vote. Flashing forward to 1978, nearly 10,000 advocates for women’s equal rights marched in DC dressed in purple. By 1987, the first Domestic Violence Month was observed, and again, wearing purple was embraced by all those who observed.  

For 2022’s Go Purple Day on October 20th, we encourage you all to wear purple and to post photos on your social media using the hashtag, #NMICGoesPurple. It is an opportunity to raise awareness about domestic violence and a simple way to show your commitment to promoting healthy and safe relationships. Join us on the 20th, wear purple, be an advocate, and start a conversation about domestic violence and healthy relationships! 

Haga clic to learn more about NMIC’s Holistic Services.

Thank you, Valley National Bank! 

We would like to thank Valley National Bank for their support of NMIC’s Domestic Violence Project. Last September, NMIC held a back-to-school supplies drive for families impacted by domestic violence, and Valley National supported our efforts by providing us with dedicated volunteers. Through support like theirs, we were able to serve over 100 children.  

We are excited to announce our continued partnership with Valley National Bank. Through their recent investment, NMIC plans to enhance our Education & Career Services by expanding the curriculum of our career training programs and adapting them to the needs of our students.  

“Education and workforce development are foundational cornerstones that allow individuals to grow and thrive in this economy. That’s why Valley is proud to support NMIC in its efforts to support these initiatives and to serve as catalyst for positive change in our community,” Jason Cahn, Sr. CSR-CRA Officer of Valley National Bank.  

Because of thoughtful partners like Valley, we can meet our communities with responsive services.  

Haga clic to learn more about NMIC’s Career & Education Services.  

Cafecito con Maria 

For this newsletter’s Cafecito con Maria, we have particularly delightful news to reveal—Maria was named in City & State New York’s list of, “The 2022 Nonprofit Power 100!” The Nonprofit Power 100 is a list of the top public officials, philanthropic leaders, and nonprofit executives leading the sector in New York. We are pleased to hear the great news and congratulate Maria on her well-deserved success.  

Maria began working for NMIC in 1998 as the Director of Social Services and held several roles at our organization before becoming our Executive Director in 2014. She is a long-term passionate advocate for women’s rights and is one of the co-founders of the Brides’ March, who for the last 23 years, have marched to raise awareness about domestic violence.  

This past Brides March was held on September 26th where survivors, organizers, public officials, and advocates distributed bilingual information about domestic violence and resources for support along their marching path as they inspired New Yorkers across Uptown and the Bronx to begin a dialogue about domestic violence.  

We hope that Maria has a comfortable pair of sneakers because she also marched at The Washington Heights & Inwood Coalition against Interpersonal and Domestic Violence and Long Live Our Butterfly’s “Shine the Light” event on October 1. The event was a joint march against domestic violence and ceremony for the street co-naming on West 167th Street in honor of Ramona Elizabeth Rodriguez.  

We commend Maria’s nonstop leadership; however, advocacy work requires an entire community to make a substantial difference. To end the cycle of violence against women, we need to address patriarchal attitudes and practices that encourage domination and violence, we must ensure that women’s rights are part of our education system, we must provide social support to survivors of domestic violence, and we must raise community awareness of how to respond to acts of violence and to support survivors. We must work together and fight against the cycle until domestic violence comes to an end.  

Haga clic to read City & State New York’s 2022 Nonprofit Power 100 List.  

NMIC in the News

  • For the approximately 476,000 undocumented immigrants living in NYC, multiple barriers are creating gaps in vaccination rates among undocumented immigrants. The lack of accommodation for undocumented immigrants in the U.S. health system furthers the narrative that undocumented immigrants are ineligible to receive a vaccination for free and will risk deportation. Marc Valinoti, coordinating immigration attorney of the Northern Manhattan Improvement Corporation (NMIC) explains “if you are bringing someone into the country like a relative or spouse and legalizing them here, you would have to show that as the person who is here with status, you have the income and resources that at least for a several year period, the person you are bringing in would not become reliant on government resources. That they would not become a public charge.” Haga clic to read more.  
  • The Nonprofit Power 100, a partnership between City & State and its sister publication, New York Nonprofit Media, identifies the sector’s most important and effective leaders. Among the individuals listed is NMIC’s Executive Director, Maria Lizardo, LMSW. Haga clic to read more.  
     

Observances  

  • Domestic Violence Awareness Month 
  • Domestic Violence Week of Action, October 17-23 
  • Indigenous People’s Day, October 10 
  • International day of the Girl Child, October 11 
  • National Coming Out Day, October 11  
  • World Mental Health Day, October 10 
  • Purple Thursday, October 20 
  • National Immigrants Day, October 28 
  • Weatherization Day, October 30 
  • Halloween, October 31 

October 2022 – Notes from NMIC Read More »

August 2022 – Notes from NMIC

As August rolls by and September looms, many members of our community and their loved ones are preparing for a new school year. There is something about a new school year that screams hope and possibility, and we are excited to share a few stories about learners of all ages. There is no single journey to learning, as we all absorb knowledge differently, and we all face unique challenges and learning curves. The stories we have to offer this month are examples of these distinct learning experiences. 

Learning to Give Back

We are excited to announce that NMIC is launching a back-to-school supply drive for families impacted by domestic violence. Frequently, survivors of domestic violence flee abusive relationships with their children with little or nothing but the clothes on their backs. NMIC’s Domestic Violence Project aims to support survivors of intimate partner violence, and we hope that our back-to-school supply drive will provide a sense of normalcy and help their children succeed in school.  

Our back-to-school supply drive is being driven by NMIC’s Advisory Board, a group of committed volunteers with roots in the neighborhood. They will come together to set up a free store at our office so that families can take the supplies they need for the upcoming school year.  

Supplies can be purchased from our Amazon wish list, dropped off at 45 Wadsworth Avenue, New York, NY 10033 Monday-Thursday from 8 AM– 7 PM and Friday from 8 AM– 2 PM, or you can make a monetary donation on our website.  

We are accepting donations through August 19th, 2022.  

Learning as a First Generation College Student

Graduating as a first-generation college student is a particularly important achievement. Despite the excitement of being an academic trailblazer, the dream of graduating as a first-generation student is often beset by various challenges. Students enter their schools with limited knowledge about how higher education works and can sometimes feel isolated because of the elitism of many colleges and universities. To successfully graduate despite these hurdles and challenges is an awe-inspiring triumph. NMIC’s Operations Assistant, Joanel Sassone, recently graduated from City College as a first-generation college student.  

“Since an early age, I have felt that I was given the mission to change the direction of my family. For this reason, I chose to pursue higher education. I perceive college as a tool of social mobility and a portal of opportunities. As a first-generation college student one of my biggest challenges was overcoming the imposter syndrome. I did not feel worthy of being present in a college setting because I could not articulate myself as well as the other students nor was, I equipped with their advanced vocabulary. I also had to devote time to work to contribute to my family financially. When I graduated, I felt like I broke through a barrier. Despite the emotional and mental toll of navigating a new experience, I became the first person in my family to obtain a bachelor’s degree,” Joanel Sassone said.  

Sassone, in light of his recent accomplishment, also gave us a word of advice to those who are interested in becoming the first in their families to graduate from university, “To young adults interested in pursuing higher education, especially from low-income communities, I would say, never underestimate your potential no matter where you come from.”  

To those interested in pursuing Education & Career Services at NMIC, please click here. NMIC’s Education & Career Services combine real-world skills with high-quality classes.  

 Congratulations Joanel!  

Learning Through Your Journey   

When Victor* came to NMIC in his early 70s, he aspired to find peace, stability, and security in his life, but he had a tough journey ahead of him. He was ready to leave the abusive relationship that he was in, but he did not have secure housing and had several health problems. As an undocumented person, Victor did not qualify for public benefits, which made it difficult to find security in his health and wellbeing.  

He has done a lot to improve his life. He received counseling to cope with the trauma he endured, he filed for a U-Visa petition, received a work permit and a social security card, explored his housing options as an undocumented senior citizen, and more. Victor had to go above and beyond to find his peace, stability, and security, and it took over a decade. Once he was linked to health insurance benefits, he became an empowered advocate for his health and a model patient. In between couch surfing in exchange for light construction work and attending senior centers for most of his meals, he never gave up hope of having a place to call home. 

It took over a decade, but Victor is finally in stable health and has a new apartment to call his home. With time, healing, and access to resources and consistent support, Victor has become more resilient despite the many stressors in his life and has finally found security and stability in his housing and his health. Last March, Victor turned 82 years old and celebrated with NMIC staff at his new apartment. NMIC recognizes that healing is not linear, and community members need sustained connection and support to overcome entrenched barriers and injustices. 

Haga clic to learn more about NMIC’s Holistic Services.

*Client’s name has been changed.

Learning through Nontraditional Pathways

We are frequently spoon-fed the linear vision of college and higher education in general, but this is not the reality for many members of our community. 40% of college students are 25 years old or older—well out of high school—and many have children of their own, full-time jobs, or both. Adults who wish to pursue higher education frequently are on their own in trying to figure out how to get back to college because there really is not a formal system in place to help them make decisions. The Education & Career Services we offer aim to support students of all ages and learning levels to build the knowledge and skills they need to transition into college, advanced training, or careers. 

Salomon, a former student from NMIC’s General Education Diploma program (GRE), has proven that academic successes occur at all stages of life. As a previous star student in our adult education programming, NMIC honored his hard work at our 2019 benefit. We are now delighted to announce that he is on his way to pursuing higher education at Bronx Community College.  

Salomon, we wish you great success at Bronx Community College and in all your future endeavors. You have an entire team of people rooting for your success.  

Haga clic to learn more about NMIC’s Education & Career Services.  

NMIC in the News  

  • The New York State Bar Association recently launched a task force to examine historically unequal treatment of the citizens of the U.S. Territories. Among members of the task force is NMIC’s Rodrigo Sanchez-Camus, Director of Legal, Organizing, & Advocacy Services. Haga clic to read more.  
  • Manhattan Times News recently featured NMIC in an article that highlighted our current back-to-school supplies drive to aid families impacted by domestic violence. “The purpose of this campaign is to alleviate a little bit of the emotional and financial stress many of our families are facing,” Rosanna Montilla-Payano, Director of Development. Haga clic to read more.  

Observances  

  • August 3rd, Black Women’s Equal Pay Day 
  • August 12th, International Youth Day 
  • August 17th, National Nonprofit Day 
  • August 19th, World Humanitarian Day 

August 2022 – Notes from NMIC Read More »

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