Ending 2014 Strong, and Starting 2015 Right

During Inwood Academy for Leadership’s first two months of Season of Service, students, families, and staff helped many of its neighbors most in need. This new IAL program also helps us reinforce a simple message to our students: that we all can be leaders by making a difference.

In November, we partnered with over twenty organizations to launch #UptownGoGreen to feed thousands of Go Green Volunteer 1families in northern Manhattan. Our middle school served as the distribution hub for over 10,000 pounds of food, 500 pounds of which were collected at our two buildings. Forty IAL students, parents, and staff joined dozens of other volunteers to prepare bags that were distributed at eight locations.

In December we held a holiday toy drive. Phase one saw over 130 new and gently used toys collected and distributed to homeless children and families during the Love Kitchen Holiday Banquet. We have another 100+ toys collected Toy Drivefor phase two: a Three Kings Toy Distribution for gravely sick children at New York Presbyterian Hospital. Another event was a comic book fundraiser held by
our IAL Middle School Students, who raised money for the purchase of warm accessories and toiletries, which were distributed to HIV patients at New York Presbyterian Hospital.

With every school-wide season of service event we are setting the example that our service is the best holiday gift we can share.  Season of Service will continue until Saturday, January 18, after Martin Luther King, Jr.’s birthday.

Thank you to all who have contributed to the Season of Service. To get involved, please contact angelo.ortiz@inwoodacademy.org.

Click here to see pictures of one of the distribution sites.

I’m Taking My Talents…to Inwood

During the summer, Inwood Academy for Leadership made #thedecision to add needed talent to the staff roster.  We reached out to Lebron James and Kevin Love, but we couldn’t match their offers.  However, we found the right people with the desired experience despite not being able to dunk a basketball.

Here are the fab four:

  • Denise Canniff, Development Manager. Denise worked at the New York Public Library last year and at the Metropolitan Museum of Art for thirteen years, where she developed programs to increase the number of supporters for these institutions. She raised a son and daughter in the city—both of her children are now in college—and lives in Washington Heights.
  • Taylor Evans Bernal, Director of Talent Management. Taylor was formerly employed at Manhattan Charter Schools on the Lower East Side. She joined IAL with the desire to perfect her craft in human resources and work closer to home so that she could spend more time with her family.
  • Angelo Ortiz, Director of School Culture. Angelo worked at Inwood Community Services for the last twenty years to bring quality youth programs and preventative services to Inwood. He will work closely with the Inwood High School and Inwood Middle School Deans along with the College and Career Counselors.  Angelo joined IAL so that he could work more closely with students and families of the community he loves so much.
  • Erica Reyes, Director of Operations and Finance. Erica was formerly employed at Gap Inc. for 13 years, spending the last 10 as store manager for the highest volume store in NYC’s North Market. She spent much of her time leading the store team in meeting sales goals, customer service targets, and Operating and Human Resources objectives through execution, coaching and accountability.

David Boehm, former Director of Operations and Finance, is transitioning into the Director of Instructional Technology at Inwood High School where he will fully utilize his passion for technology.

By Christian Guerrero, christian.guerrero@inwoodacademy.org, @inwoodacademy