New York Tristate Impact Report

WE Impact Report 2017 - New York Tri-State

Letter from New York Tri-State Regional Director Dianna H. English Dear Friends,

We are so excited to celebrate the launch of the New York Office, supporting schools, families and companies in Connecticut, New York and New Jersey. This is an incredible milestone for WE as an organization, and for me personally. I grew up as a WE Schools student in Connecticut, so I couldn’t be more excited to be part of bringing new and exciting programs home. As an organization, WE celebrated tremendous growth in 2017. I’d like to take this opportunity to share some highlights. • Here in New York, we launched the first-ever WE Day UN. With involvement from UN Women, UNAIDS and UN Global Compact, we brought 6,000 young people together in the Theater at Madison Square Garden for a UN General Assembly week event like no other! Celebrating the Sustainable Development Goals, special guests included Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, Chelsea Clinton, Whoopi Goldberg and so many Tri-State area young people with incredible stories to share. • WE also opened the WE Global Learning Center. This word-class facility in Toronto will support students and educators globally to connect with each other, engage in service-learning locally and globally, and learn more about the world around them. The opening in September included performances by the Kenyan Boys Choir, a welcome address from former UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, and students from Ecuador, Kenya and the UK joining via Skype! The technology investments in this center will allow New York educators and students to connect to programs in Toronto and around the world over the next year. • Globally, we launched WE Villages in Ethiopia. Through a merger with imagine1Day, we will increase our East African foot print to support sustainable development in the region. For 10 years, imagine1day

has focused on constructing schools in remote communities in Ethiopia, and is a leader in education programming in the country. Work in Ethiopia will continue to expand over the next several years to include all Five Pillars of Impact, adding Water, Food Security, Opportunity and Health as we grow.

For me, some of the best moments this year were the quiet ones. Laughing with Mama Jane in Kenya while filling jerry cans at the river on a water walk with young American women visiting Bogani. Sorting toiletries with Queens high school students to support a local women’s shelter. Hugging New York staff and supporters after the successful launch of WE Day UN. Reconnecting with an organization that made me who I am, and watching so many young people start their journeys in the world. Thank you for all that you do to help us support the Tri-State area community locally, and the WE movement globally. We could not do this without you, and we’re so grateful to be on the journey together!

Dianna H. English WE Regional Director, New York and Tri-State

Letter from WE Schools Director Caitlin Robisch Dear educators, partners and friends, The 2016–2017 school year marked our first full year in the New York Tri-State market, and we were overwhelmed by the excitement and drive shown by schools and youth groups across the region. As many school districts and after-school program providers wrestled with questions of how to provide stability to their youth and empower them to become active citizens, many turned to service-learning and WE Schools. School leaders and after-school administrators were keen to enhance their service-learning credentials, while youth were clamoring for a voice on the social justice topics of the day and were eager to implement new service campaigns. • At the Bronx School for Law, Government and Justice, students participated in a citizen appreciation day on Election Day 2017, and then organized and ran a teen role-model program for students at their school. • At New Visions Charter School for the Humanities II, students organized a day of silence to bring recognition to bullied LGBTQ students around the world. More than 50 students took a vow of silence and taped facts to their mouths about the higher suicide and bullying rates of LGBTQ students. • In Elizabeth, New Jersey, at Toussaint L’Ouverture-Marquis De Lafayette School No. 6, students collected and donated 20 bags of clothing for people in need, after learning about homelessness in their city. • At an after-school site for the Chinese-American Planning Council, youth studied the issue of hunger and researched national and local statistics. This research compelled them to start a poster campaign around their school to educate their fellow classmates on the issue. • In Port Chester, New York, middle school students upcycled plastic water bottles by turning them into bracelets, to raise money for relief efforts in Haiti and to bring awareness to plastic pollution in the ocean. The WE Schools team was honored to support over 400 WE Schools during the 2016–2017 school year. Our team provided 19 professional development workshops for educators, 78 action-planning

workshops for student leaders and 89 motivational speeches in classrooms and school assemblies—in addition to regular mentorship provided to all 1,285 educators involved in WE Schools. We were thrilled to host our first WE Day at Radio City Music Hall in April 2017, to celebrate the civic action taken by educators and youth across the region. We followed up our inaugural WE Day with WE Day UN at Madison Square Garden Theater to kick-off the 2017–2018 school year. As we enter our second year of programming, we are inspired by the passion and determination of students and teachers across New York, New Jersey and Connecticut. We are grateful for the support of our educational partners, including school districts, city agencies and non-profit peers. Thank you for all the work you do to empower the next generation of leaders and create active change-makers amongst today’s youth. We believe that together, we will change the world. We’re ready to get started! Caitlin Robisch WE Schools Director, New York and Tri-State

New York Tristate Impact Report 2017


Table of Contents Welcome to WE........................................... 3 WE Schools................................................... 3 History of WE............................................... 4 Our Learning Framework.....................................5

WE Day.........................................................27 Access to WE Day................................................ 27

Overview of WE Day 2017................................ 28

Impact of WE Day on youth.............................. 35

Program components...........................................6

2017 WE Day testimonials...............................36 Special events............................................37 Looking forward: 2018............................38 ME to WE.....................................................39 Cultural immersion travel................................39

WE Schools Kit and educational resources...........................................7 Local and global monthly service campaigns..................................................8

Campaign spotlights...........................................11

Take Action Camp...............................................43

Motivational speeches and action-planning workshops.............................. 13

WE Companies......................................................44

Special feature: Wilson and Jackson........... 15

WE Families...........................................................45 WE New York Tri-State team.............. 46 The New York Tri-State Champions Committee..........................47 Thank you to our partners.................... 48

Professional learning and coaching for educators......................................................... 16

Partnership management and support....... 19

AP® with WE Service..........................................20

Program reach and students served.................................................... 21

WE Schools impacts........................................... 23

2016–2017 WE Schools profiles....................24

New York Tristate Impact Report 2017


Welcome to WE WE is a movement that brings people together and gives them the tools to change the world. With an aim to “make doing good, doable,” we empower people to change the world, locally and globally, achieving transformative outcomes for themselves and others. We do this through our domestic WE Schools program, our international WE Villages model and a unique partnership with our social enterprise, ME to WE. At the heart of all our work is the belief that when we act together, we can change the world for the better. WE Schools Our goal We aim to reignite the fundamental purpose of education: moving students to want to learn, preparing themwith the life skills to better the world and empowering them to forge their own paths to success. WE Schools is experiential service-learning Through educational resources and service experiences, youth further their curricular learning and develop the life skills for success. Young people are challenged to research and make an impact on at least one local and one global issue that sparks their passion. Participants in the WE Schools program receive free curricular resources, service campaigns, professional learning for educators and motivational speeches for students. WE Schools resources are free to schools and are always evolving to stay relevant and aligned to learning standards. For educators, the program has the power to revitalize the classroom, deeply engage students in the curriculum and ignite students' passion for learning and engaging as citizens. The WE Schools program supports building the next generation of compassionate leaders.

New York Tristate Impact Report 2017


History of WE In 1995, at 12-years-old, Craig Kielburger told his class about Iqbal Masih, a child laborer who escaped slavery but was murdered after raising his voice. At first, Craig felt powerless against a challenge as massive as ending child labor. But when he reached out to his classmates, he immediately found allies. Soon, other children joined his cause. What started as a group of twelve 12-year-olds grew into a movement. More than two decades later, Craig, his brother, Marc, and a devoted team have evolved that small group into a powerful movement dedicated to change: at home, abroad and within each and every one of us. Today, our movement consists of millions of passionate youth, women and men working together to shift the world from “me” to “we.” This philosophy comes to life for youth through the WE Schools programming and WE Day. In an effort to better support local schools and educators here in New York Tri-State and throughout the Northeast, we made the strategic decision in the summer of 2017 to staff a fully operational program team in our New York office, now known as a regional office. Civics education mandates and service requirements across the region have only heightened the desire for more applied service-learning experiences. As a result, our WE Schools program staff now supports educators on the ground across the New York Tri-State area as they implement WE Schools.

New York Tristate Impact Report 2017


Our Learning Framework The WE Schools Learning Framework is grounded in 21st-century learning practices and skill development, and is the educational foundation for every resource we provide. In alignment with the goals of the Common Core State Standards, educators are supported with hands-on opportunities for their students to apply their learning. Educators are easily able to assess which skills students obtain through each curricular resources and learning experience by utilizing the WE Schools assessment rubrics.

Legend Outcomes

Learning goals

Core skill sets



Argument formation

Information literacy

Leadership skills

Action planning

Research and writing

Critical thinking

New York Tristate Impact Report 2017


Program components WE Schools is a tailored and customizable program, implemented in hundreds of schools and groups across New York Tri-State, that is designed to fit the unique needs of diverse educators and students. The following components represent the wide array of free resources and experiences that the WE Schools program offers: Dedicated WE Schools Program Manager All educators registered for the WE Schools program in New York Tri-State have a dedicated point-person and mentor based in New York. Program Managers are available to their portfolio of educators throughout the year to provide the following types of support: one-on-one coaching sessions, service action planning, co-teaching and modeling, as well as guidance through the registration process for WE Day and access to free professional learning for their schools. I work for WE because I know firsthand the immeasurable role educators have in shaping the lives of their students. Participating in service-learning throughout my academic career not only altered my perspective about community and global development, but also led me to work at WE. I feel so honored to play a small role in helping who I believe to be the most dedicated, passionate and influential people in the world make a difference in their students’ lives. –Alison Haier, WE Schools Program Manager

New York Tristate Impact Report 2017


WE Schools Kit and educational resources Lesson plans, current events articles, social justice blogs, WE Day speaker videos and service ideas are all designed to help educators enhance their curriculum and to broaden students’ knowledge and understanding of local and world issues. These resources also provide tangible tactics for youth to be able to engage on issues beyond their immediate surroundings.

WE Schools Kit

Issue cards


Rafiki bracelet

Educator's Guide, Student Guide, WE Day Book, Local Student Yearbook and Global Student Yearbook

Resource bag

Club cards

Campaign posters

Local and global service campaigns Each month, WE Schools spotlights a unique service campaign that makes it easy for educators to incorporate service-learning into their curriculum.

Local campaigns When you decide to take action on an issue, knowing where to start can be a challenge. That’s why we’ve set you up with seven local action campaigns that you can customize to suit your needs.

Come together to collect food to help scare away hunger. Hold a food drive to contribute to your local community and raise awareness of the root causes of hunger. Learn more at .

Help promote digital responsibility by spreading positivity and putting an end to negative actions using social media. Use your voice to speak up and spread awareness. Learn more at .

Film For Change

Take action through an art project in your school or community to promote acceptance among your peers. Film it and share it with others to spread the message! Learn more at . Made possible by Participant Media.

Read Together

Find the book that inspires you to take action and change the world. Be an advocate for literacy by organizing a book drive or reading with a buddy. Learn more at . Made possible by KPMG.

Are One

Technology is a powerful tool for social change. Use it to imagine and develop ways to make your school and community more inclusive for everyone. Learn more at . Made possible by Microsoft.

Commit to a sustainability pledge in your school or community and watch how everyday actions can turn into sustainable impact. Learn more at . Made possible by Unilever.

Find your passion for change and rally together to help take action on a cause in your community. Inspire others to volunteer and create a ripple effect of volunteerism. Learn more at . Made possible by The Allstate Foundation.

New York Tristate Impact Report 2017


Global campaigns Learning about the issues facing the world beyond your own community can enrich your life and provide you with new perspectives. That’s why we’re equipping you with six global action campaigns that can help you connect with people across the world.

Create Change

Small change can create big impact! Host a coin drive to raise funds toward purchasing a goat for a family in a developing community. Learn more at .


Empower women in Kenya and help them earn money to send their children to school by selling handmade Rafiki bracelets. Learn more at .

Are Silent

Take a vow of silence to turn up the volume on the struggles of young people fighting for their basic human rights. Collect pledges for every hour you go silent and raise money for WE Villages. Learn more at .

Bake For Change

Give families the ingredients they need for a better future. Host a bake sale at your school and help raise money to fight food insecurity in WE Villages’ partner communities. Learn more at .

Walk For Water

Help families in developing communities gain access to clean, safe drinking water by organizing a water walk to inspire positive change on global water issues. Learn more at .

Give Health

Organize a healthy-living event and raise funds for WE Villages to help youth in developing communities gain access to health care. Learn more at . Made possible by Walgreens.

In the New York Tri-State Region, WE Schools and groups created an estimated social impact value of $11,067,640 through all volunteer hours.

New York Tristate Impact Report 2017


Campaign spotlights WE Film For Change

Fifth grade students at The Bellaire School decided to investigate and learn about infectious diseases. In their research, they learned that handwashing is a preventative measure that can help stop the spread of diseases. The students decided to collect data on the frequency of handwashing in their school by sitting in the bathrooms and making note of how many students were washing their hands. They learned that while the younger students were washing their hands with water, many older students were not. As a result of what they learned, the students have decided to make soap and sell it in their school, and use the proceeds to help an international community. The students also understand the power of raising awareness, and have chosen to focus on this issue as part of a WE Film For Change campaign. They created videos aimed at teaching other students in their school about the importance of handwashing and and held an assembly in the spring to screen the videos for the entire student body. They hope that because these videos use popular music they will be convincing enough to #stopthespread. WE Bake For Change P.S. 117 Briarwood's first fundraiser was for Puerto Rico. Students chose a WE Bake For Change campaign to raise funds in collaboration with their sister site, Middle School 217. After the bake sale, students used the proceeds to purchase non-perishable food and other items to add to the supplies being collected to aid Puerto Rico. A participant’s parent donated the use of their truck to transport the supplies to the Jamaica Armory.

WE Are Aware The after-school group run by New York Junior Tennis & Learning at Knowledge and Power Preparatory Academy III held an Anti-Bullying Forum at their local library, West Farms on Honeywell Avenue. The group took a deep dive into the issue of bullying in a variety of ways. They explored questions like: What is bullying? What are the different types of bullying? How is bullying done through the media and online? The group also defined general bullying as a repeated negative behavior. Next, they explored the emotional and physical effects of bullying. Finally, they concluded by drawing in two blank faces to show what a bully looks like and what a target looks like. The result was a collage of pictures over which the students wrote "a bully and a target can be anybody."

WE Scare Hunger Students at University Settlement at P.S. 133 held a food drive for WE Scare Hunger during November and December 2017. Students from grades 3 and 5 organized the drive and were able to collect 113 cans of food. They donated the collected food to Park Slope Community Help.

New York Tristate Impact Report 2017


Motivational speeches and action-planning workshops

WE Schools program participants have the opportunity to invite a WE motivational speaker to visit their group throughout the year. During a motivational speech, youth learn about the importance of youth activism and global citizenship through an engaging discussion on local and global social issues. Following the inspirational keynote, youth participate in an action planning session where they explore causes they are passionate about and are relevant to their classroom curriculum, and are trained on how to assess their talents and create a plan of action. Youth perform community mapping and landscape analysis exercises to develop their plan and identify ways to engage their school and community. Youth leave inspired and prepared to lead a service action.

Over the 2016–2017 school year, the WE New York Tri-State Team provided motivational speeches to over 6,000 youth.

Participating in WE Schools allows my students to get excited about service locally & globally. Empowering my students to travel overseas and volunteer in their daily lives is extremely important in developing well rounded leaders of tomorrow. —New York City Educator

New York Tristate Impact Report 2017


Today you showed me that my voice is as important as a group, that my voice can start a change, that my voice can empower and inspire the future generations. That my voice can bring a group of people together to stand up for their beliefs. You showed me that a single person does have the power to change the world. Thank you. —Joan Sioson, 9th grade student

New York Tristate Impact Report 2017


Special feature: Wilson and Jackson Wilson Meikuaya and Jackson Ntirkana are Maasai Warriors from the Maasai Mara region of western Kenya. For many years, Wilson and Jackson have played an important role in WE’s partnership with rural communities in Kenya. As proponents of education and equitable access to health care, as well as activists supporting issues like women’s rights and environmental sustainability in their home country, Wilson and Jackson are leaders within the Maasai community. Wilson and Jackson visited New York Tri-State in September and October of 2016 to share stories with local youth about their personal experiences as Maasai Warriors, as well as to talk about the development work that has brought sustainable change to their community. They even had the opportunity to meet some of the young change-makers who raised funds for WE’s development work in Kenya.

Four students in Manhattan organized a Run with the Warriors event in Central Park in October of 2016 to raise both awareness and funds for the Maasai Mara region of Kenya.

New York Tristate Impact Report 2017


Professional learning and coaching for educators WE Schools' professional learning sessions directly support educators in implementing service- learning in their classrooms and after-school programs. WE Schools staff created a professional learning program that aims to teach service-learning theory and best-practices for pedagogy. All professional learning workshops include modeling, collaboration, coaching and planning time. In school year 2016-2017, over 500 local educators participated in 23 professional learning and coaching sessions, leaving with the tools necessary to implement best practice service- learning. Feedback from WE’s professional learning series is reviewed and utilized to improve the implementation of these sessions; responses from 2016-2017 professional learning attendees are captured here: Survey questions 99% called the session informative, engaging and useful. 98% were satisfied or highly satisfied with their workshop experience. 89%

85% have more meaningful relationships with students in their group or community.

say they are better equipped to teach about social justice issues through active citizenship- based learning.

New York Tristate Impact Report 2017


TheWEpresentationwas informativeandgavemeawealthof information about the WE program. The WE facilitator Chris was informative and I would like to attend another workshop with him.

Very informative workshop, great ideas were discussed and all questions were answered. I wouldn’t change anything.

Each WE session I have attended has been very easy, clear, informative & engaging.

—WE Professional Learning Participants, 2017

New York Tristate Impact Report 2017


Partnership management and support

One unique aspect of the WE Schools program is that we welcome all school types and community organizations across all communities and demographics to join the WE movement. The WE Schools program is strategically designed to be facilitated by educators and youth-support staff in various settings and across diverse implementation models. As such, WE enjoys the unique ability to truly build a youth movement at scale. WE could not achieve our mission without the educational partners and organizations that believe in WE and have helped us build the movement. In order to grow, and for our partners to be able to make the best use of WE’s extensive curricular and professional learning offerings, WE works to make it easy for over-burdened educators, schools, districts and community organizations to partner with WE. Some of our partnerships are outlined below: Police Athletic League (P.A.L.) : WE is unique in its ability to serve youth where they are, even in after-school settings. The P.A.L. welcomes WE to support youth in over 20 P.A.L. after-school programs across New York City. WE Schools staff has provided professional learning for individual sites as well as led workshops for central staff and educators across multiple P.A.L. programs. Teach for America (TFA) : In the 2016-2017 school year, WE provided service-learning training to current TFA corps members and alumni in both New York and New Jersey. Corps members helped to expand WE’s reach in the region by bringing WE Schools programming to their respective classrooms and schools. Elizabeth Public Schools: WE worked with district leaders to provide district-wide professional learning opportunities for teachers and to share information about service-learning resources, grants and WE School staff support. The WE Schools team also organized and led service days in Elizabeth, NJ, to help teachers and students learn about local service opportunities.

AP® with WE Service We are proud to partner with the College Board to achieve the mutual goal of elevating service learning within the rigorous Advanced Placement courses. Through the partnership, high school students across the U.S. will have the opportunity to apply their AP® learning through a service framework and earn a special recognition on their AP® transcripts to share with colleges and universities. This partnership will allow WE Schools to scale exponentially across the U.S. while empowering a generation of compassionate leaders and citizens to realize their full potential. Over 55 schools in the New York Tri-State area participated in AP with WE service in the 2016-2017 school year.

After opting in to the program, teachers will select from one of two curriculum modules that have been thoughtfully developed by the College Board, WE, and active AP teachers. This coursework aims to align with the AP Course Framework, as well as enable teachers and students to examine and engage with relevant coursework through both a local and global context. Upon successful completion of program requirements, students can earn a recognition on their AP Score Report, as well as their high school transcript. AP with WE Service is currently available for the following AP Courses: • AP Computer Science A • AP Environmental Science • AP European History • AP Human Geography • AP Spanish Language and Culture • AP Studio Art: 2-D Design

New York Tristate Impact Report 2017


200,000 2016–2017 Program reach and students served WE Schools seeks to be reflective of the region's diverse demographics and to serve schools that are in greatest need of enriching programming for their youth. As WE Schools continues to grow and expand its reach across the region, we take great care to create equitable access for youth served by our programming: # of WE Schools 450 2016–2017 # of WE Schools youth # of WE Schools educators 1 ,285 2016–2017

Free or reduced price lunch recipients


Hours volunteered by WE youth 458,477


National average of 15%

African American students


Dollars raised by WE youth $699,329


National average of 14.5%

Hispanic students



Pounds of food collected by WE youth 8,335 lbs

National average of 17%

New York Tristate Impact Report 2017


The 10 most common local and global causes supported are listed separately below. Local causes: WE Schools groups supported an average of three local causes. Global causes: WE Schools groups supported an average of one global cause. Educators: WE seeks to support educators by improving pedagogy through implementation of service and experiential learning, improving educator and youth relationships, and increasing job satisfaction. Communities: WE seeks to improve the connection between the WE School and its community through youth service. At the end of the year, WE Schools educators are asked what local and global cause(s) their group supported during the year and to share the impacts of their service actions. Evaluation data WE Day and WE Schools are held accountable for positively impacting youth and educators, and for creating social value contributions to the communities in which WE Schools operates. Youth: WE holds itself accountable for increasing academic engagement, workforce readiness and active citizenship, as a result of participating in service.

Rank Local causes 1 Bullying 2 Hunger 3

Rank Global causes 1 Hunger 2 Education 3 Health 4 Poverty 5 Women’s rights 6 Environment 7 Food 8 Water 9 Child labor 10

Health and wellness

4 5 6 7 8 9

Volunteerism Environment Homelessness


Women’s empowerment

Child/youth advocacy



Child/youth rights

In an effort to best serve our community of educators and youth, we conduct educator surveys annually to identify strengths and opportunities to improve. This year, educators concluded that participation in WE Schools programming overwhelmingly created positive impacts on the mindsets, beliefs and behaviors of both youth and educators.

New York Tristate Impact Report 2017


WE Schools impacts

Youth academic engagement • 84.1% show more enthusiasm for learning • 90.6% are more capable of effectively voicing their own opinions • 90.6% ask more critical questions to reflect on and understand issues and concepts College and career readiness • 80.3% demonstrate increased leadership among their peers • 83.3% developed stronger communication skills • 83.3% are able to work effectively and respectfully in diverse teams • 69.7% are more likely to plan for a future career or higher education Active citizenship • 80.3% feel a greater connection to their community • 81.5% demonstrate more consideration of local and global issues in their daily life choices • 83.1% are more likely to stand up for others being treated unfairly Educator impacts • 84.8% feel a renewed inspiration for teaching and engaging with youth • 84.8% have more meaningful relationships with students in their group or school • 89.4% feel better equipped to teach about social justice issues through service-based learning School impacts • 75.8% of senior leadership has become more supportive of active citizenship actions or initiatives • 68.9% of educators feel that WE Schools has helped create a welcoming and respectful environment in [their] school or community • 72.1% of educators feel that WE Schools has created a sense of mutual respect between their school and the local community WE youth alumni impacts A third-party evaluation conducted by Mission Measurement in 2014 confirmed that these impacts remain with youth well into adulthood. Specifically, the study found that five years after participating: • 89% of youth continue to volunteer, on average 150 hours per year • 83% had donated to a charity in the last year • 79% had voted in the last national election, double the rate of their peers

As reported by educators

New York Tristate Impact Report 2017


2016–2017 WE Schools profiles El Puente Leadership Center at Williams Plaza The youth at El Puente Leadership Center at Williams Plaza raised awareness about pollution and the health risks associated with air toxicity in their neighborhood. They believe that because of the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway and the high amounts of construction, people living in their community are at greater risk of disease. To help raise awareness, the youth created posters outlining some of the triggers and treatments available to people who suffer from asthma, diabetes and heart disease, and hung them up around the neighborhood. The youth also cleaned up the community garden at Espiritu Tierra for their community service day. Those who participated were beyond happy to be giving their time to help clean up the local community garden. After a long day, the volunteers prepared a meal to share with the youth!

One World Middle School One World Middle School has spent the last year advocating for global child rights and leading a global awareness campaign to lobby for U.S. ratification of the Convention on the Rights of the Child and global enforcement of the treaty to promote equity, opportunity and peace for everyone. You can follow their journey on Twitter (@CRCHeart2Heart) and Instagram (@ CRCChildrensMarch). The students continued to work toward the goal of solidarity in this cause, organizing marches across the country and around the world. The students were also given the honor of visiting the United Nations as a result of their commitment to supporting the United Nations’ goals through the Junior Ambassadors Program.

New York Tristate Impact Report 2017


Joseph Battin School No. 4 Joseph Battin School No. 4 in Elizabeth, NJ, hosted Unilever at their school for a WE Take Charge kick-off during which they painted rain barrels and compost bins to promote a greener school. The school has also partnered with local environmental organizations to support community gardens. Harry S. Truman High School In May 2017, students at Harry S. Truman High School hosted a joint day of awareness for the 31st annual AIDS Walk. With funding provided by a WE Volunteer Now grant, the students created a social media backdrop that stood behind 9th graders who shared positive messages about HIV/ AIDS awareness with their peers. Students led activities such as Jeopardy and creating a banner to be displayed during the AIDS walk, while others filled out “What I Thought I Knew” and “What I Learned” sheets to share information with their peers. In all, 34 students participated in the student-led event.

Robert M. Finley Middle School Students at this school in Glen Cove, New York, created a food pantry full of nutritious options that any student or school community member can access for two hours every Friday. Drawing on their passion for creating food security for those in their community, students also held bake sales to provide a year of healthy lunches for students in Sierra Leone.

New York Tristate Impact Report 2017


Port Chester Middle School In Port Chester, New York, students at Port Chester Middle School were incredibly busy throughout the 2016-2017 school year. Raising over $13,500, students purchased a wheelchair-accessible van for the Rojas family. The family has two sons attending Port Chester Middle School who have been diagnosed with ALD (adrenoleukodystrophy), a rare genetic disease that causes rapid deterioration of brain functions, causing blindness, seizures and dementia. Furthermore, a prize of $10,000 added to the total fundraising goal as the students entered their initiative into a Lead2Feed contest and were honored with second place. Meanwhile, the Fighting Life in Poverty and Plastic Ocean Prevention student groups upcycled plastic water bottles, transforming them into 500 bracelets for purchase. The two school groups fundraised $150 that benefited relief efforts in Haiti while simultaneously bringing awareness to plastic pollution in our oceans. At the same time, the 6th graders of Port Chester Middle School opened the Compassionate Café, the proceeds of which benefited WE Villages communities to combat child slavery and human trafficking. Selling drinks donated by a local grocer, the 6th grade class promoted their café with posters hung throughout their school, encouraging their peers to take part in the initiative. In all, the project raised over $1,100 in a school where 74% of students are on free or reduced price lunch programs. Lead2Feed recognized the schools incredibly successful project with a $1,000 prize to donate to WE Charity in addition to a $1,000 prize to purchase technology for the school. To read other stories of impact, visit:

New York Tristate Impact Report 2017


WE Day The goal

WE Day is the manifestation of the WE movement, an incomparable opportunity for young people to come together to create impact and celebrate the change they have already made. We hope that all in attendance will leave inspired to continue taking action on the most pressing issues in our city, state and world. This year alone, over 220,000 young people came together in 16 arenas across Canada, the U.S. and the U.K. to experience the magic of WE Day. Plus, millions tuned in to live televised broadcast on ABC. WE Day celebrates all WE Day is a powerful experience for the youth in the WE Schools program, with world-renowned speakers and performers mixed with real, inspirational stories of change. Youth can’t buy a ticket to WE Day, they earn their way there by taking action on at least one local and one global issue. Access to WE Day Students and educators who participate in the WE Schools program and complete at least one local and one global service action are eligible to attend WE Day, WE’s signature youth empowerment event and celebration of service. WE Day is a one-day, invite-only event that celebrates youth who are making a difference in their local and global communities through the year-long WE Schools program.

New York Tristate Impact Report 2017


Overview of WE Day 2017 WE Day Welcome and WE Day UN each brought together 6,000 youth from across the New York Tri-State area to celebrate their commitment to service and honor their commitment to positive change. As with WE Schools, the aim is to ensure that WE Day is reflective of the demographics of the New York City metropolitan area, and inclusive of New Jersey and Connecticut neighborhoods. This year, there were over 200 schools and youth programs represented at WE Day, with over half hailing from New York City. A majority of the audience were low-income youth. An important component of WE Day is hearing from local young people and educators who have contributed to their community and the world in an inspiring way. WE Day also welcomes celebrity change makers and world leaders who share their passion for empowering youth to create change. The following individuals spoke on stage at WE Day New York, sharing their stories and experiences inspiring social change.

Justin Trudeau In 2015, Justin Trudeau became the second- youngest Prime Minister to be elected in Canada. In November 2015, Trudeau made headlines when he appointed half of his cabinet positions to women, honoring a campaign promise of having a gender-balanced cabinet. When asked why he felt the need to do this, the self-purported “proud feminist” simply replied: “Because it’s 2015.”

New York Tristate Impact Report 2017


Ellen Johnson Sirleaf Internationally known as “Africa’s Iron Lady,” Nobel Laureate Ellen Johnson Sirleaf is a leading promoter of freedom, peace, justice, women’s empowerment and democratic rule. As the current President of Liberia, President Sirleaf was awarded the prestigious Nobel Prize for Peace in 2011. She also received the Presidential Medal of Freedom—the United States’ highest civil award—for her unwavering commitment to expanding freedom.

Nyeeam Hudson Under the name King Nahh, Nyeeam Hudson is a motivational speaker who spreads a positive message of self-love and confidence to other kids and parents through his speeches. Named one of America’s most motivational kids by Forbes , Hudson is a regular speaker as a member of the FP YOUTHOUTCRY Foundation, and an author of We Are All Kings , an inspirational children’s book that encourages young men to embrace their “king qualities.”

New York Tristate Impact Report 2017


Shontanyce Bailey Shontanyce Bailey grew up with an excess of fast food joints nearby, while hard-pressed to find a fruit and vegetable stand in her community. Shontanyce shared that such business were so foreign to her neighborhood that she wouldn't have even thought to look for one. She joined the Green City Force, a program that introduced her to the idea of healthy eating and community gardens. She realized that access to fresh vegetables is actually a question of social justice. Chelsea Clinton As Vice Chair of the Clinton Foundation, Chelsea Clinton works alongside the Foundation’s leadership and partners to help create greater opportunities for people to build better futures for themselves, their families and their communities. Chelsea is a tireless advocate for expanding access to early childhood education, improving the health and well-being of Americans across the country, providing the next generation of young leaders with the resources they need to turn their ideas into action, and ensuring the empowerment of girls and women.

New York Tristate Impact Report 2017


Whoopi Goldberg In 2002, Whoopi Goldberg joined a very elite group of artists who have won the Grammy, the Academy Award, the Golden Globe, the Emmy, and a Tony. She has also placed prints of her hands, feet and braids in the forecourt of the famed Grauman’s Chinese Theatre and received her star on the Hollywood Walk. Meanwhile, Goldberg is equally well-known for her humanitarian efforts on behalf of children, the homeless, human rights, education, substance abuse and the battle against AIDS. Among her many charitable activities, Whoopi is a Goodwill Ambassador to the United Nations. Angy Rivera Rivera is a Colombian-American living in the Bronx. She came to the United States as a child with her single mother, fleeing violence in Colombia. For 20 years, Rivera was an undocumented woman in America. Now as a sister to two American-born brothers, she knows the unique struggles that come with living in a mixed-status family. She knows how difficult it is for undocumented youth in America to finance a college education.

New York Tristate Impact Report 2017


Harshini Raman Harshini Raman is a senior at West Windsor- Plainsboro High School South in Princeton Junction, New Jersey. Raman was profoundly impacted by the changes a friend underwent after being diagnosed with kidney issues and starting dialysis. Raman started volunteering at Princeton Junction Dialysis center by playing her violin. That experience led her to creating the Artistic Hearts program, which allows students to perform live music for dialysis patients.

Katherine Chambers Katherine Chambers, a 20-year-old who began her transition from male to female two years ago, struggles to gain acceptance in her own community. Now working for Project Reach, a non-profit dedicated to fighting discrimination and empowering disenfranchised youth, she works on a city-funded initiative to make safe spaces for transgender, gender nonconforming and intersex youth across New York City.

New York Tristate Impact Report 2017


Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka is United Nations Under-Secretary-General and Executive Director of UN Women. She was sworn into office on August 19, 2013, and brings a wealth of experience and expertise to this position, having devoted her career to issues of human rights, equality and social justice. Ms. Mlambo- Ngcuka has worked in government and civil society, and with the private sector, and was actively involved in the struggle to end apartheid in her home country of South Africa.

Luiz Loures Luiz Loures joined UNAIDS in 1996 and

was appointed Deputy Executive Director of Programme and Assistant Secretary-General of the United Nations in January 2013. He leads UNAIDS’ efforts in leveraging critical support to countries to reach the end of AIDS by 2030. Dr. Loures is a medical doctor with nearly 30 years’ experience in AIDS response. His engagement has ranged from providing medical care to people living with HIV in the early days of the epidemic to his dynamic involvement in global policy framework development today.

New York Tristate Impact Report 2017


WE Day honors our community WE Day is special because it is cause inclusive and it honors the work of other incredible local orga- nizations every year. The following schools, organizations and initiatives were also featured during the 2017 WE Day New York shows: Roosevelt High School Early College Students, Chinese- American Planning Council Inc., and the New York City Big Apple Award winners. Guest performers and speakers included: Grace Vanderwaal, Dr. Jacqueline Sanderlin, Lynne Doughtie, Paul Polman, Carolyn Everson, Ornella Bara, Laurie Hernandez, Ashley Murphy, Mary Robinson, Jessie Reyez, Ambassador Andrew Young, Kenyan Boys Choir, Margaret Trudeau and hosts Jordan Fisher and Skai Jackson! Finally, youth learned more about the following causes from local leaders, celebrities and their peers: violence and peace, social entrepreneurship, New York Tri-State community needs, the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, literacy, hunger, health care, access to healthy food and civil rights. New York City Big Apple Awards WE featured three New York City Big Apple Award winners (and WE Schools teachers) on the WE Day stage. The Big Apple Awards is a New York City-wide recognition program that celebrates educators who inspire students, model great teaching and enrich their school communities. As an organization that aims to empower individuals to create change, WE proudly recognizes the Big Apple Award recipients as teachers who go above and beyond their roles as teachers and truly empower their students. Winners in 2013, 2015 and 2016 respectively, Stephen Jackson, Joan Fiorillo and Michele Fienga spoke about what inspires them on a daily basis.

Newtown Arts Newtown Arts, otherwise known as “NewArts” was founded by Michael Baroody, MD, following the tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary School in 2012. As a resident of Newtown, Connecticut, Michael created an organization that works to prepare children to lead meaningful and fulfilling lives. With a specific focus on the performing arts, NewArts provides young people with a creative outlet to instill confidence and courage, while teaching life skills such as teamwork and work ethic. NewArts was honored on the WE Day stage for their incredible impact on youth in the Newtown community.

New York Tristate Impact Report 2017


Impact of WE Day on youth WE Day is a powerful, life-changing experience with world-renowned speakers and performers, mixed with real inspirational stories of change. It is an opportunity for young change-makers to come together and celebrate their year of action. Read below to learn about some of the transformative impacts that WE Day has on students.

Survey statements 100% strongly agree

98% strongly agree that WE Day allowed

94% strongly agree that WE Day added

68% strongly agree that they felt a connection to the other students around them at WE Day.

that WE Day is a positive incentive which motivates students to take action on local and global issues.

the students to see themselves

educational value to the students’ WE Schools experience.

as a part of their larger community.

New York Tristate Impact Report 2017


2017 WE Day testimonials WE Day creates lasting impacts on participating youth and educators. Some comments from participants are included below.

WE Day provided youth with the opportunity to see that they are never too young to make a difference in the world.

It was incredible being able to bring my students and have them see that the kids were making huge impacts in the world. I think that kids can inspire other kids in ways more powerful than adults can. —Educator, Brooklyn, New York

New York Tristate Impact Report 2017


Special events We are pleased to host a series of honoring events around WE Day that offer intimate experiences for our WE New York Tri-State supporters. These events allow our champions and supporters to meet fellow local and national partners of WE and provide an opportunity for attendees to personally hear from and speak with our WE New York Tri-State leadership and WE Day performers.

The WE Day UN Evening of Inspiration brought together WE Day talent and thought leaders to inspire change within the young people, educators and families who joined us. The evening closed with an incredible performance by Universal recording artists, the Kenyan Boys Choir.

Our Celebration Reception provided our corporate, foundation, family sponsors and donors with an opportunity to hear from WE’s co-founders, our New York Tri-State co-chairs and additional WE Day special guests. The reception provided a small-scale sampling of WE Day speakers and performers for our valued supporters, who enable us to offer vital programming to so many educators and youth in the New York Tri-State Area.

New York Tristate Impact Report 2017


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