Investing in Education 2013

For the last three years, City Year New York has mobilized a group of rising leaders from prominent Hedge Fund and Private Equity firms in New York, who believe in us and help connect our organization to the broader investment community. Today thirteen of these professions comprise City Year New York’s Investment Community Board (ICB). The ICB held their 3rd Annual Investment Community Breakfast this morning, that featured a conversation with Jeffery Aronson, Co-Founder of Centerbridge Partners L.P, moderated by Adam Johnson, Co-Anchor of Bloomberg TV’s Street Smart.

Jeffery Aronson and Adam Johnson

After discussing topics that included the stagnant recovery in Europe, a day in the life at Centerbridge and some of their business operations, the conversation moved to philanthropy. When our moderator asked how he finds value in philanthropic enterprises, Jeff responded, “Philanthropy for us is an investment – it’s not just giving money, it’s not just giving time. It’s investing our time, it’s investing our capital for a return.”

Later Jeffery described what attracted the Centerbridge Foundation and his personal philanthropy to City Year. “What we like about City Year is it leverages its capital, so there are multiple impacts. There are impacts on the corps members who are actually teaching, leading, and really getting work experience. It’s impactful upon the students and the schools who are receiving the benefit and we love that.”

IMG_2524Before the conversation started we heard from our Executive Director, Erica Hamilton, corps member, Sabine Shaughnessy and one of the students she works with every day, Brenda. “I currently serve at P.S. 112 in Long Island City, Queens, helping struggling students in Mrs. Tursi’s 5th grade class through one-on-one tutoring and mentoring,” shared Sabine. “However, what motivates me to put forth my best effort every day is seeing my students become confident leaders both in and outside of school.”

This confidence was demonstrated as Brenda took the stage to offer a firsthand account of how City Year’s in-class support and afterschool programs have helped her prepare for the state math test. “In a few months I am going to graduate and I am proud to be on track in math, going to middle school ready for success!”

Jonathan LavineAs we ended this year’s breakfast, City Year Inc. trustee, Jonathan Lavine, shared his long-standing commitment to the organization he came to know 22 years ago (he joked that he has been involved with City Year since before Sabine was born) and challenged the room to raise more than $310,000, the amount raised at a similar breakfast at City Year Boston. Thanks to a generous, anonymous match we have already raised $237,000 and are on our way to meeting that goal.

They [City Year] have a laser focus, they hit the right issues, they do it well, and there has never been a day in the last 22 year that I did not think City Year was good stewards of our money and good stewards of the time and the students they work with. –Jonathan Lavine, City Year Inc. Board of Trustees  

We would like to thank Weil, Gotshal & Manges and Todd Lang for hosting this event.

And a final thank you to our Investment Community Board (listed below) and to all of our attendees for their forward-minded investment in City Year.