Education Nonprofit Breakthrough New York Appoints J.P. Morgan’s William Clark and Metropolitan Real Estate’s David Sherman to Board of Directors

(New York, N.Y.) — New York City education nonprofit Breakthrough New York (BTNY) has appointed J.P. Morgan’s William Clark and Metropolitan Real Estate’s David Sherman to its board of directors. BTNY transforms the lives of talented kids from low-income backgrounds by providing comprehensive support from middle school through college and into careers.

“We are delighted to welcome William Clark and David Sherman to our board of directors,” said Beth Onofry, Executive Director of BTNY. “As long-time supporters of Breakthrough New York, they share a passion for empowering young people from low-income backgrounds to access the kinds of educational opportunities that helped them both to become so successful.”

Mr. Clark served in a variety of positions at J.P. Morgan, and currently is Vice Chairman of Global Corporate Banking. He joined J.P. Morgan after 20 years at Citigroup, where he last was Co-Head of Healthcare Global Banking. He has been covering the healthcare sector since 1996, prior to which he was an investment and corporate banker in London with Citi responsible for managing relationships in the consumer industry. Before that he was an investment banker with First Boston Corporation (now Credit Suisse). Mr. Clark graduated from the University of Virginia in 1980 with a BA in Economics and Foreign Affairs.

“Breakthrough New York’s mission to level the playing field for students who lack resources is more critical today than ever before,” said Mr. Clark, who was honored for his generous support of the organization at BTNY’s gala earlier this year. “I’m excited to serve on the board, to help this tremendous nonprofit transform more young lives through education and develop the talent that can change the world for the better.”

Mr. Sherman is Senior Advisor and Chairman of the Investment Committee at Metropolitan, a real estate investment management company that he co-founded in 2002 and served as president through 2018. In addition, he is Co-Director of the Paul Milstein Center for Real Estate at the Columbia University Graduate School of Business Administration. Previously he was Managing Director of Salomon Smith Barney’s REIT research team. He has held positions in real estate finance, investment banking, consulting, and strategic planning at D. Sherman & Company, Smith Barney, The Harlan Company, First Boston, and Paine Webber. He was also an Adjunct Professor of Real Estate Finance at Columbia Business School for seven years. Mr. Sherman holds an AB in Mathematical Economics from Brown University and an MBA in Finance from Columbia Business School. 

Mr. Sherman and his wife Liz, a former BTNY board chair, have been benefactors of BTNY students since the organization’s establishment as an independent nonprofit in 2009. They fund Sherman Scholars, a grant program that enables BTNY students to attend private schools by covering financial aid gaps that would otherwise prevent them from attending.

“For over a decade, I have seen the life-changing impact Breakthrough New York has on talented young people — and their families — from low-income backgrounds,” said Mr. Sherman. “It’s been my privilege to support Breakthrough New York’s work to nurture its students’ potential and help them achieve the success they deserve in college and careers. Now, as a board member, I look forward to helping this organization continue to grow responsibly and sustainably in the years to come.”

BTNY was founded as Summerbridge at The Town School in Manhattan in 1999 and has since expanded in size and scope, now serving 527 students and providing a full ten years of support for every student.  Services include rigorous summer academic programming, after-school tutoring, test prep, high school and college admissions guidance, financial advisement, internship placements, and more.

The organization boasts a stellar track record, helping 100% of its graduating seniors matriculate to college this year. In 2015, BTNY expanded services beyond high school, to help students all the way through college graduation. This past spring, its second class to have gone through all ten years of the program graduated from college.

With three program sites in Manhattan, Brooklyn, and the Bronx, BTNY draws students from across New York City. The organization strives to create leaders who break the cycle of poverty in their families and effect positive change in their communities. It also inspires talented young people to enter careers in education through its unique students-teaching-students model.

Demand is steep for the organization’s services. A record 476 sixth graders applied for spots in BTNY’s new class, which started its 10-year journey to college graduation with summer classes in July and is now receiving after-school tutoring, enrichment, and guidance.

For the full list of BTNY’s board of directors, visit www.btny.org/our-board.

Breakthrough New York Earns GuideStar’s Highest Seal of Transparency

- Platinum Seal allows donors to focus on progress and results -

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Media Contact:  Sophie Crumpacker, 347-361-7128, [email protected]

(New York, NY) – Breakthrough New York (BTNY) today earned a 2019 Platinum Seal of Transparency, the highest level of recognition offered by GuideStar, the world’s largest source of nonprofit information. By sharing metrics that highlight the progress BTNY is making toward its mission, the organization is helping donors move beyond simplistic ways of nonprofit evaluation towards a deeper understanding of BTNY’s impact.

“Our donors are passionate about Breakthrough New York’s work to transform the lives of talented, low-income students,” says Laura Amerman, Breakthrough New York’s Chief Development Officer. “We also know they want to understand the difference their dollars are making, and our new GuideStar Platinum Seal allows us to transparently share a wealth of up-to-date organizational metrics with our supporters to ensure healthy and collaborative long-term partnerships.”

To reach the Platinum level, BTNY added extensive information to its GuideStar Nonprofit Profile, including in-depth financial information; qualitative information about goals, strategies, and capabilities; and quantitative information about results and progress toward its mission. By taking the time to provide this information, BTNY has demonstrated its commitment to transparency and to giving donors and funders meaningful data to evaluate nonprofit performance.

BTNY provides a full 10 years of support for each of its students, including after-school tutoring, mentoring, financial advisement, and internship placements. Through these comprehensive services, BTNY has helped 98% of its students earn admission to high-performing high schools and 100% earn admission to four-year colleges.

BTNY was founded as Summerbridge at The Town School in 1999 and has since expanded in size and scope. The organization now serves 527 students, providing support from middle school all the way through college graduation. 

About Breakthrough New York

Breakthrough New York (BTNY) transforms the lives of talented kids from low-income backgrounds by providing educational support from middle school through college and into careers. BTNY also inspires talented young people to enter careers in education through its students-teaching-students model. The organization’s goal is to create leaders who break the cycle of poverty in their families and effect positive change in their communities. Learn more at www.btny.org. Follow BTNY on social media: Facebook – Instagram – Twitter @BreakthroughNY

Education Nonprofit Breakthrough New York Appoints CBS Corporation’s Gautam Ranji as New Board Chair

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(New York, N.Y.) — New York City education nonprofit Breakthrough New York (BTNY) has appointed Gautam Ranji as chair of its board of directors. Mr. Ranji, who has served on the board since 2017, is Executive Vice President, Strategic Planning and Development at CBS Corporation. Mr. Ranji will succeed Bonnie Litt, General Counsel at Success Academy Charter Schools, who has served as BTNY board chair since 2016. Ms. Litt will remain on the board.

BTNY transforms the lives of talented kids from low-income backgrounds by providing comprehensive support from middle school through college and into careers.

At CBS, Mr. Ranji oversees strategic planning and business development across all of the corporation’s businesses, in a role he has held since 2016. Previously, he served in strategic and operational leadership roles at The Hearst Corporation and Viacom. A graduate of Dartmouth College and the University of Chicago, Booth School of Business, he lives in Chatham, NJ with his wife and two children.

“I’m honored to be taking over as board chair for Breakthrough New York,” said Mr. Ranji. “Now more than ever, Breakthrough’s work to level the educational playing field for students from low-income backgrounds is critically important. I look forward to continuing to help this fantastic organization transform the lives of children and families through expanding access to educational opportunities.”

“Gautam will be a fantastic leader for Breakthrough New York,” said Beth Onofry, Executive Director of BTNY. “He cares deeply about our students and has done so much on behalf of this organization throughout his first two years on the board.”

“My term as board chair has been exceptionally gratifying,” said Ms. Litt, who joined the board in 2010. “I am proud of Breakthrough New York’s growth over the last three years, expanding and enhancing our services to create more educational opportunities for more students in need. I’m delighted to pass the torch to Gautam, who will do a terrific job, and I look forward to continuing to serve on the board.” 

“Bonnie’s knowledge, passion for education, and dedication to our students have been indispensable,” added Ms. Onofry, who became executive director in March 2018. “She has been a tremendous leader for this organization during a time of change, helping me to transition into my role. I am thrilled that she will continue to be a part of our board.”

BTNY was founded as Summerbridge at The Town School in Manhattan in 1999 and has since expanded in size and scope, now serving more than 550 students and providing a full 10 years of support for every student.  Services include rigorous summer academic programming, after-school tutoring, test prep, high school and college admissions guidance, financial advisement, internship placements, and more.

The organization boasts a stellar track record of preparing students for college. In 2018, all of the program’s rising 9th grade students matriculated to college prep high schools and 100% of its graduating seniors matriculated to four-year colleges. In 2015, BTNY expanded services beyond high school, to help students all the way through college graduation. This spring, its second class to have gone through all ten years of the program is graduating from college.

With three program sites in Manhattan, Brooklyn, and the Bronx, BTNY draws students from across New York City. The organization strives to create leaders who break the cycle of poverty in their families and effect positive change in their communities. It also inspires talented young people to enter careers in education through its unique students-teaching-students model.

Demand is steep for the organization’s services. A record 476 sixth graders applied for spots in BTNY’s next incoming class, which will start its 10-year journey to college graduation with summer classes in July.

For the full list of BTNY’s board of directors, visit www.btny.org/our-board.

 

About Breakthrough New York

Breakthrough New York (BTNY) transforms the lives of talented kids from low-income backgrounds by providing educational support from middle school through college and into careers. BTNY also inspires talented young people to enter careers in education through its students-teaching-students model. The organization’s goal is to create leaders who break the cycle of poverty in their families and effect positive change in their communities. Learn more at www.btny.org. Follow BTNY on social media: Facebook – Instagram – Twitter @BreakthroughNY

 

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Food Insecurity Another Systemic Barrier to College Persistence and Success

You may have seen a recent story in The New York Times that highlighted the rise in food insecurity—the state of having limited or uncertain access to food—among college students. According to a Temple University survey published on April 30, 45 percent of students from over 100 institutions had been food insecure in the past 30 days. The situation is even more dire here in New York City, where 48 percent of CUNY students surveyed indicated they had been food insecure.

It’s heartbreaking that so many students who are pursuing higher education are forced to forgo meals in order to keep up with expenses. While there is no need more basic than food, it’s also important to note that there are other costs associated with college that many people take for granted. Staff who work directly with our students report that students often struggle to afford a MetroCard or internet service—it’s hard to keep up with school work if you can’t take the subway to class or get online.

Without the right support, these barriers can cause students to fall behind academically, and even drop out. This is why we are committed to providing holistic support for all of our students, especially as they navigate the challenges and unexpected costs associated with college. Our College Coaches check in with students regularly, helping to address these obstacles by connecting students to resources on campus and developing budgeting plans.

Some of the solutions presented in the Times article, such as waiving work requirements for SNAP benefits and the Debt-Free College Act, are moving in the right direction toward addressing the systemic inequalities that make it challenging for students from low-income backgrounds to make it to and through college. In the meantime, we are here for our students to provide any support they need to succeed in college and beyond.


Breakthrough New York Raises More Than $900,000 and Honors Inspirational Leaders in Finance, William E. Clark and Michael C. Dawley, at Annual Benefit

Seventh Annual Gala Featured “Are You Smarter Than a Breakthrough Student?” Trivia Competition, Celebrated 20 Years of Transforming the Lives of Students from Low-Income Backgrounds

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(New York, N.Y.) – Education nonprofit Breakthrough New York raised more than $900,000—an event record—at its seventh annual Gala on Tuesday, April 30, while honoring William E. Clark and saluting Michael C. Dawley, both leaders in finance, for their commitment and enthusiasm in supporting student success.

Gala Chairs Maria Hackley, Kim Johns, and Cathy Aquila welcomed a crowd of more than 350 people to the event held at 583 Park Avenue in Manhattan. Breakthrough New York celebrated 20 years of success in transforming the lives of talented kids from low-income backgrounds by providing educational support from middle school through college and into careers.

“We are grateful to everyone who came tonight for believing in the transformative power of education and helping to make this our most successful gala ever,” said Beth Onofry, Executive Director of Breakthrough New York. “At a time when access to our city’s best high schools and the country’s best colleges is limited to a select few, our work is more critical than ever.”

Clark is Vice Chairman of Global Corporate Banking at J.P. Morgan, and Dawley is chairman of the National Futures Association (NFA), chairman of the Institute for Financial Markets (IFM), a board member of the Futures Industry Association (FIA), and president of Bluefin Partners.

“Breakthrough New York’s mission is more pertinent today than ever,” Clark said. “What this organization really does is transform lives, helping young people achieve the success they and their families have worked so hard to achieve. Without Breakthrough and organizations like it, we risk never developing the talent that can change the world and make a real difference to society in the future.”

Gala attendees enjoyed dinner and a live auction, and competed with students in an engaging trivia competition, “Are You Smarter Than a Breakthrough Student?”

Breakthrough New York strives to create leaders who break the cycle of poverty in their families and effect positive change in their communities. The organization provides comprehensive support from middle school through college and into careers, including summer and afterschool academic programming, mentoring, test prep, and high school and college application guidance.

In 2018, all of the program’s rising 9th grade students matriculated to college prep high schools and 100% of its graduating seniors matriculated to four-year colleges. With three program sites in Manhattan, Brooklyn, and the Bronx, Breakthrough New York draws students from across New York City.

Breakthrough New York was founded as Summerbridge at The Town School in 1999 and has since expanded in size and scope, now serving more than 550 students and providing a full 10 years of support for every student it serves.

About Breakthrough New York

Breakthrough New York transforms the lives of talented kids from low-income backgrounds by providing educational support from middle school through college and into careers. We also inspire talented young people to enter careers in education through our students-teaching-students model. Our goal is to create leaders who break the cycle of poverty in their families and affect positive change in their communities. Learn more at www.btny.org. Follow us on social media: Facebook – Instagram – Twitter @BreakthroughNY

 

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