A Better New York

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Panelist L to R: Rain Henderson, Erica Hamilton, Josh Wachs, and Chelsea Clinton

Earlier this year, The Association for a Better New York (ABNY) asked Chelsea Clinton to be the keynote speaker for one of their breakfast events. When Chelsea accepted, she asked if she could bring leaders from some of her favorite New York City-based non-profits to join her for a panel discussion on how they are engaging the younger generation. We were thankful to have our Executive Director and Vice President, Erica Hamilton, sit on the panel alongside Rain Henderson, Deputy Director at the Clinton Health Matters Initiative, and Josh Wachs, Chief Strategy Officer at Share Our Strength.

The conversation focused on how the non-profit community is working to help our most vulnerable citizens, particularly the younger generation. This was a topic that Chelsea felt was not mentioned enough in the recent election, but something that we all could feel positive about given the progress that non-profits working in NYC and around the country are making. A strong focus on children is a common thread that all of the panelists are addressing through their work, whether by bringing health education to the low-income community, creating  greater access to meals for those in need, or by deploying corps members to under-performing schools; from all the panelists we heard solutions that are both making an impact and can be scaled.

The event space overlooked the 9/11 Memorial which was a great reminder of how New Yorkers come together when faced with tragedy, and this was made evident when the panel shared how quickly and efficiently they mobilized food, volunteers, and resources to help those most affected by Hurricane Sandy.

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City Year Staff and Corps L to R: Ian Rees, Alice Pak, Lauren Abuhadema, and CYNY Board Member David Caplan

A word that reoccurred several times throughout the discussion and was something that I felt as I walked away from today’s event was “optimism.” All the panelists are working to solve really big and challenging problems, but with the right resources and strategies these are problems with solutions. It was a privilege to be represented on  the panel, and we thank ABNY and Chelsea Clinton for making today’s event possible.

Photos by Don Pollard.

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