On Friday, April 12, 2019, Green City Force celebrated the graduation of our 17th and 18th Cohorts! With the day’s 47 graduates, GCF’s alumni network now numbers over 480 members!
These two Cohorts are the first to graduate under GCF’s one Service Corps model. All Corps Member, whether serving 4, 6 or 10 months, contributed to the full set of sustainability initiatives in the Service Corps’ portfolio, including our flagship projects Farms at NYCHA and the Love Where You Live campaign.
Under one unified Service Corps, Corps Members’ collective contributions serve to advance a greater good. We serve under one banner, one team, and share a culture and language. While GCF prepared Cohorts 17 and 18 to succeed in their own sustainable career pathways, the Corps Members gave their all to a cause greater than themselves, improving sustainability in NYCHA communities. Each of the day’s graduates expands the critical mass of trained, woke and active citizens in NYCHA’s ranks that will lead New York City to become the green city we wish to see. So, in celebrating each graduate’s strengths and contributions, it is their collective power that fuels GCF’s success.
The ceremony was filled with the energy and excitement of Green City Force’s supporters across organizations. The graduates entered the room to the fanfare of the Blue Angels Drumline, Directed by Sammy Toussaint. GCF Board Member Steven Berkenfeld kicked off the day’s festivities with a welcome to the 150 guests in attendance. GCF Director of Service Jennifer Tirado emceed the day. New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) Interim Chair and CEO Kathryn Garcia gave the commencement address, thanking the graduates for their work to advance the sustainability priorities at NYCHA, and those related to her work as Commissioner of the NYC Department of Sanitation.
Our great thanks and appreciation to New York City Council Speaker Corey Johnson for providing each graduate with a personalized certificate of recognition presented by Lynn Schulman, Senior Community and Emergency Services Liaison of the City Council. Thank you to NYC Council Member Alicka Ampry-Samuel for supporting GCF and her leadership as Chair of the Council’s Committee on Public Housing. Everton Smith, Director of Policy and Budget for Council Member Ampry-Samuel delivered remarks thanking the graduates for their work in Brownsville.
Graduates Justin Baker, Cohort 17, and Kayla Trammell, Cohort 18, delivered the cohort remarks. Kayla spoke on the GCF pillar of Service. You can read Kayla’s remarks on our blog here. Justin, on of The Corps Network’s 2019 Corps Members of the Year, spoke on power. You can read Justin’s remarks on our blog here.
GCF honored a number of partners in attendance, including Tenant Association Leaders Ms. Kiko Charles from Mariner’s Harbor Houses and Ms. Naomi Johnson from Howard Houses. We were also pleased to present two scholarships to the winners of the Force Award. The Scholarship was donated by Eric Fass, a GCF partner at TemPostions, in honor of his father Jeff Fass who spent his life committed to family, conservation and learning, and in recognition of GCF’s 10 year Anniversary.
Visit the Graduate Gallery to see the graduates and read their testimonials. See photos from the event and the list of award recipients at the bottom of this post. Watch highlights from the service terms of Cohorts 17 and 18 in the graduation video below.
Full List of Graduate Award Recipients
Force Award, GCF’s highest honor: Hakim Jeffrey, Cohort 17, and Matthew Lisbon, Cohort 18
Sustainability Award: Kyara Grant, Cohort 17, and Kayla Trammell, Cohort 18
Leadership Award: Justin Baker and Lisa Kelly, Cohort 17, and Delvis Garcia and Erick Diaz, Cohort 18
Integrity Award: Brandon Cowans, Cohort 17, and Akira Rogers, Cohort 18
Attendance and Punctuality Award: Steven Roig, Cohort 17, and Ka-rief Cain, Cohort 18
Most Improved Award: Jamal Chase, Cohort 17, and Jaiquan Walker, Cohort 18
The Kiara Harris Peacemaker Award: Jacob Nunez, Cohort 17, and Juan Santiago, Cohort 18