Long Island City Community Comes Together

December 11, 2019

Campaign includes a video featuring Long Island City residents, business owners, parents, and community leaders


With the holiday season in full swing, today NYC Kids RISE is launching “Funding Long Island City’s Future,” a campaign centered on the community effort in Long Island City, Queens, to support elementary school students’ futures by contributing to their NYC Scholarship Accounts for college and career training. Long Island City residents, business owners, parents, and other community leaders have come together to raise at least $30,000 in Community Scholarship funds by December 31 for nearly all the kindergarten, first-grade, and second-grade students of five Long Island City schools: P.S. 76, P.S. 111, P.S. 112, Growing Up Green Charter School, and VOICE Charter School.

At the center of this campaign is a video featuring 19 of these Long Island City residents, business owners, parents, and community leaders, bringing to life the heart and vibrancy of Long Island City and the dreams this neighborhood has for its children’s futures. The campaign is designed to run through the end of the month.

“I’ve lived in Long Island City for almost 20 years, and I believe it is our responsibility as a community to come together to make sure that our neighborhood is a springboard for economic opportunity for every single family that lives here,” said Debra-Ellen Glickstein, Executive Director of NYC Kids RISE. “The ‘Funding Long Island City’s Future’ Community Scholarship is a way for all of us who live or work in this neighborhood to rally around our children’s futures. Long Island City thrives when all of our students succeed.”

The theme of the video is the notion of bringing the diverse communities of Long Island City together in supporting the future education of local students, whether it be college or career training. In a three-minute video, real New Yorkers who live and/or work in Long Island City talk about this unique neighborhood and why it is so critical to invest in students’ futures and reinforce that the community is supporting their success. Supporters are encouraged to make their contribution to

The video features the following members of the Long Island City community:

  • Rob Basch, President , Hunters Point Parks Conservancy
  • Kadie Black, Board Co-Chair, Gantry Parent Association
  • Jasmine Calderon, Elementary School Coordinator, VOICE Charter School
  • Dr. Philip Composto, School District 30 Community Superintendent, Department of Education
  • Gianna Cerbone, Chef & Owner, Manducatis Rustica
  • Debra-Ellen Glickstein, Executive Director, NYC Kids RISE
  • Christopher Hanway, Executive Director, Jacob A. Riis Neighborhood Settlement
  • Corinne Haynes, Long Island City Resident
  • Dionne Jaggon, Principal, P.S. 111
  • Marion Jeffries, President, Astoria/LIC NAACP
  • Molly Kurzius, Director of Marketing and Communications, MoMa PS1
  • Shih Lee, Owner, SHI Restaurant
  • Elizabeth Lusskin, President, LIC Partnership
  • Rubio Pichardo, Owner, Mama’s Coffee Shop & Restaurant
  • Paul Salas, Owner, Print Big City
  • Luisana Santana, Long Island City Resident and former P.S. 76 PTA president
  • April Simpson, President, Queensbridge Tenants Association
  • Alvarez Symonette, Chief of Staff, Lady M Confections
  • Bishop Mitchell G. Taylor, Senior Pastor of Center of Hope International and Co-founder of Urban Upbound

Funding Long Island City’s Future” is the latest in Community Scholarships that benefit students in the NYC Kids RISE Save for College Program. Previous Community Scholarships include Seamless’ “Donate the Change” Community Scholarship, the Center of Hope International and Community Church of Astoria’s Concert for College, and the Parent-to-Parent Community Scholarship these funds were deposited into the NYC Scholarship Accounts of students in the Program.

Community Scholarships are a way for communities to leverage their unique neighborhood assets, institutions, and traditions to visibly and tangibly support their children’s educational futures. By enabling local stakeholders (businesses, neighbors, civic organizations, et al.)  to support the NYC Scholarship Accounts in the ways and amounts that make sense for them, Community Scholarships are a customizable way to demonstrate community-wide support for every child’s future, encourage families to continue planning and saving for higher education, strengthen local ecosystems of success, and build generational wealth in the neighborhood.

Initial commitments from the community in support of “Funding Long Island City’s Future” Community Scholarship include Bella Via Restaurant, Chelsea Pediatric Dentistry LIC, PLAYDAY, Floresta, Gantry Parent Association, Manducatis Rustica, Matted LIC Gallery, Modern Spaces, Print Big City, Renew Queens, Silvercup Studios, and Wellspring Church NYC. TF Cornerstone Philanthropic Fund is also supporting the campaign as part of their Building Together youth & education pillar. They will match their tenants’ contributions up to $15,000. The “Funding Long Island City’s Future” campaign video was featured during the LIC Partnership’s 2019 annual meeting.

This contribution to these young students’ college funds is made possible by the NYC Kids RISE Save for College Program, a universal scholarship and savings initiative launched by the nonprofit NYC Kids RISE in 2017 in School District 30, Queens, in partnership with the City of New York and the NYC Department of Education with founding support from the Gray Foundation. Each NYC Scholarship Account was opened with a $100 seed investment from NYC Kids RISE, with additional opportunities for matching funds and contributions from organizations, businesses, and community members. A contribution will not affect any business dealings with New York City or provide special access to New York City officials.

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