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Seminars 2014

Anchoring Achievement Half-Day Symposium: Serving Mexican Populations' Educational Needs: Lessons From Coast to Coast

The Jaime Lucero Mexican Studies Institute at CUNY invites you to a Half-Day Symposium

Friday, December 5, 2014
9:00 AM - 2:00 PM
CUNY Graduate Center, Room C203
(365 Fifth Avenue, New York, NY)

The Half-Day symposium is designed to offer an opportunity for the Neighborhood Networks to share their work with organizations and research institutes in other parts of the United States that are also working to promote educational achievement among Mexican communities in a structured round table discussion. Dr. Roberto Gonzales of Harvard University, author of Two Years and Counting: Assessing the Growing Power of DACA, will give the keynote address. Margie McHugh of the Migration Policy Institute and Carlos Tortolero of the National Museum of Mexican Art will discuss nationwide efforts to serve Mexican communities and promote educational achievement. We will also feature a screening of the new documentary Small Truths: The Immigration Experience through the Eyes of Children

Keynote Speaker:

Roberto Gonzales

Roberto Gonzales is a qualitative sociologist whose research focuses on the ways in which legal and educational institutions shape the everyday experiences of poor, minority, and immigrant youth along the life course. He is recognized as one of the nation’s leading experts on undocumented immigrant youth and young adults. Over the last decade he has been engaged in critical inquiry regarding what happens to undocumented immigrant children as they make transitions to adolescence and young adulthood. His West Coast Undocumented Young Adults Research Project in Los Angeles and Seattle has collected in-depth qualitative data on over 300 undocumented young adults who have lived in the U.S. since childhood. This research has helped scholars, policymakers, and educators gain a better understanding of their educational trajectories, how they come of age, and how a segment of these young people engages in civic and political activity. He is currently engaged in two projects aimed at better understanding the effects of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) Program: the National UnDACAmented Research Project, a longitudinal study to assess the effects of widened access among undocumented immigrant young adults; and a companion study to assess DACA implementation in schools and community based organizations. He is also carrying out a comparative study of immigrant youth in the U.S. and the UK. His work is being supported by MacArthur, Irvine, and Heising-Simons Foundations. Gonzales serves on the editorial board of Social Problems and the City of Chicago Office of New Americans Advisory Board. In addition to top social science journals, his work has been featured in the New York Times, Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, TIME, Wall Street Journal, U.S. News and World Report, The Chronicle of Higher Education, CNN, and NPR. He is currently completing a book manuscript based on his 10 year study of undocumented young adults in Los Angeles. Prior to his faculty position at the Harvard, Gonzales was on faculty at the University of Chicago and the University of Washington. He received a B.A. from Colorado College, an M.A. at the University of Chicago, and an M.A. and Ph.D. in sociology from the University of California - Irvine.


Carlos Tortolero

Carlos Tortolero, President and Founder of the National Museum of Mexican Art in Chicago, came to Chicago from Mexico as a small child. For many years he worked as a history teacher, counselor and administrator in the Chicago Public School System. In 1982, he and several friends started NMMA with just $900. Initially, the museum had no permanent home, consisting of a series of cultural events and art exhibitions in temporary spaces. Tortolero, who had been a history teacher, counselor and administrator in the Chicago Public School System had wanted to find a way “ to teach non-Mexicans what we really are like so they understand and honor us. To connect with them, we’ve made our museum a welcoming place. Mi casa, su casa—My house is your house.” Since 1987, the museum has found a permanent home in the Pilsen neighborhood in Chicago. It is the only Latino museum accredited by the American Association of Museums.

Margie Mc Hugh

Margie McHugh is Director of the Migration Policy Institute’s National Center on Immigrant Integration Policy. The Center is a national hub for leaders in government, community affairs, business and academia to obtain the insights and knowledge they need to respond to the challenges and opportunities that today’s high rates of immigration pose for communities across the United States. It provides in-depth research, policy analysis, technical assistance, training and information resource services on a broad range of immigrant integration issues. Ms. McHugh’s work focuses on education quality and access issues for immigrants and their children from early childhood through K-12 and adult, post-secondary and workforce skills programs. She also leads the Center’s work seeking a more coordinated federal response to immigrant integration needs and impacts, and more workable systems for recognition of the education and work experience immigrants bring with them to the United States. Prior to joining MPI, Ms. McHugh served for 15 years as Executive Director of The New York Immigration Coalition, an umbrella organization for over 150 groups in New York that uses research, policy development, and community mobilization efforts to achieve landmark integration policy and program initiatives. During her time with NYIC, Ms. McHugh oversaw research, writing, and publication of over a dozen reports dealing with issues such as the quality of education services provided to immigrant students in New York’s schools, the lack of availability of English classes for adult immigrants, the voting behavior of foreign-born citizens, and barriers faced by immigrants seeking to access health and mental health services. Prior to joining NYIC, Ms. McHugh served as Deputy Director of New York City’s 1990 Census Project and as Executive Assistant to New York Mayor Ed Koch’s chief of staff. She is the recipient of dozens of awards recognizing her efforts to bring diverse constituencies together and tackle tough problems, including the prestigious Leadership for a Changing World award. She has served as a member and officer on the boards of directors for both the National Immigration Forum and Working Today; on the editorial board of Migration World Magazine; and has held appointive positions in a variety of New York city and state commissions, most notably the Commission on the Future of the City University of New York and the New York Workers’ Rights Board. Ms. McHugh is a graduate of Harvard and Radcliffe Colleges.

Karen DeMoss

Karen DeMoss’ work focuses on school reform and education policy, with an emphasis on creating humane and effective schools for all children, particularly those historically underserved. She has worked in academia and in the non-profit education sector, advocating for new roles for postsecondary institutions in addressing our nation’s educational challenges. As National Director for Research and Evaluation at New Leaders, she researched linkages between leadership, accountability policies, and student achievement. She has provided input into federal K-12 education policy, conducted statewide public input for research on education financing, led successful college access work for teens at risk of not succeeding in high school, and conducted internationally recognized work on how the arts support student learning. She earned her Ph.D. from the University of Chicago and currently is Chair of the Education Department at Wagner College, a partner in the Los Promotores work that is part of Anchoring Achievement.

Wendy Miron

Wendy Miron, LCSW currently serves as the Educational Advocate of East Harlem Neighborhood Network, a partnership between Union Settlement Association, BCNY, and LSA Family Health Service Inc. Ms. Miron is a graduate from Florida International University, and holds a Master in Social Work degree from Columbia University School of Social Work. During the past 9 years, Ms. Miron has worked primarily with Latina families impacted by trauma, domestic and sexual violence and exacerbated by poverty, and immigration factors. Ms. Miron has over fifteen years of volunteer work with indigenous and immigrant communities in the U.S and Central America. Her main professional areas of interest are cross-cultural practices including education, migration, reunification, and trauma. She approaches her work from a strength-based culturally sensitive and trauma informed-lens taking into account the migration, pre-migration, and transnational identities of families. As the Educational Advocate at EHNN, Ms. Miron coordinates the day-to-day operations of the Network, one of the five “Educational Hubs” of the Anchoring Achievement in Mexican Communities initiative supported by Deutsche Bank. Outside of her work with EHNN, Ms. Miron provides therapeutic services to Latina children and youth at a Mental Health Clinic in Queens as well as provides Pro-bono clinical and social work support at Safe Passage Project working with unaccompanied minors in New York State. She has presented at the National Domestic Violence Conference in Mexico City on the intersection of Childhood Sexual Abuse Treatment within the context of families living in shelter.

Cesar Zuniga

Cesar Zuniga is Research and Evaluation Director of The Parent-Child Home Program, an internationally replicated, evidence-based early childhood program. In this position he oversees research projects, data collection and quality assurance. He coordinates the National Center’s efforts to build sites’ capacities to plan and conduct research and evaluation projects on the short and long-term impacts of The Program on children and families. He has presented on a variety of issues related to early childhood education at various conferences across the country. Cesar is the proud son of Mexican immigrants who came to the New York metropolitan area more than 40 years ago. He has a B.A. in Political Science from Montclair State University, a Master's degree in Educational Administration from New York University and is currently pursuing a doctorate in Developmental Psychology from The Gradate Center at the City University of New York. Cesar is deeply commitment to civic engagement, and believes that one of the most important aspects of our democracy is its participatory nature.

Sarah Yuster

Sarah Yuster is a painter known for her urban landscapes and insightful portraits Notable clientele, collections include:

  • Smithsonian’s National Portrait Gallery - Nobel laureate Saul Bellow
  • National Air & Space Museum - Neil DeGrasse Tyson – astrophysicist
  • Harvard University - E.O. Wilson - evolutionary biologist
  • Yale University - Coit Liles (Skull and Bones Society)
  • Bangkok Royal Family Compound, Thailand - triptych for N. Songkhla
  • New Balance Amory Track - Ted Corbitt, Olympian

She‘s been commisioned by the Wall Street Journal, The NY State Legislature, City University of NY and the NYC Department of Education among others. Yuster’s work has been exhibited at the Museum of American Art, Nat’l Academy of Design, Biggs Museum of American Art, NYC galleries, and hangs in institutions and corporate headquarters throughout the metropolitan area. Her art is displayed beyond the US border in the UK, Continental Europe, Thailand, Israel, Japan, and Kenya. Solo shows at the NY Road Runners Club, the National Runners Hall of Fame, SI Museum, (Habitats, Biophiles and Beasts) and the Newhouse Center for Contemporary Art have prompted excellent reviews. Commitment to painting began at the HS of Art & Design. Yuster earned her fine arts degree at SVA, then attended the Greek Language Center for five years and the Italian Cultural Institute for two years of language study...just because. Her home and studio is on Staten Island, NYC’s quiet borough, where she lives with her husband, musician Robert Mosci. They have a son and daughter. As a teaching artist in NYC and NJ public schools since 1999, Yuster developed a program with a literacy component. Writing about significant, self-defining memories which are then illustrated, the students engage deeply. It became apparent that their stories could create a bridge of understanding within disparate communities if brought to a wide audience. Working with friend and colleague, filmmaker Michael McWeeney, they documented the children’s words and images. Their collaborative effort, Small Truths is intended as illumination of universal similarities, promoting a more hospitable attitude and alleviating bias.

Michael McWeeney

I became fascinated with images around the time I was 5 years old, when I started clipping photos I liked from newspapers and magazines. At 11, I picked up my first camera. I remember the anticipation of waiting for the film to be developed at the local pharmacy, and the excitement that came with finding that one good shot in the pile of prints when they finally arrived. I had no idea then that the skill I was cultivating would eventually provide the opportunity to travel the world, meet fascinating people and tell their stories - some powerful and vibrant, others sad and vacant. For more than 25 years, I’ve worked to capture the moments in our lives that define who we are, the places that shape us. I’ve shot everything from hard news to travel, fashion to animals literally crossing my path. There’s probably nothing that I don’t enjoy shooting. My work has covered the gritty, dark side of humanity (murder investigation, anyone?) to the bright, lively streets of a tropical paradise. In 2007, I began delving into multimedia. I’ve become adept at video, combining images, copy and music into woven stories that captivate my audience. From the everyday to the extraordinary, I believe my work exceeds expectations time and again, because I truly love what I do.

Adriana Lovera

Adriana Lovera is the coordinator of the Anchoring Achievement in Mexican Communities initiative at Opportunities for a Better Tomorrow in Bushwick, Brooklyn. She completed her M.A. in International and Comparative Education with a concentration in Policy and Planning at Teachers College, Columbia University. Prior to her studies at TC, Adriana worked in Paris, France as an English instructor in schools with predominantly low-income immigrant students. Adriana has worked extensively with the UCLA Migrant Scholars Leadership Institute, a month-long college readiness program for the children of migrant farmworkers in California. She has interned with the UNESCO International Bureau of Education, Saber es Poder, and worked as a consultant for the Global Partnership for Education. She is passionate about working towards a future in which immigrant students will have equal access to high quality education, a life with dignity, and ultimately, more life opportunities.

Yohan Garcia

Yohan Garcia is an immigrant student from Puebla, Mexico. He earned an Associate’s Degree in Business Management from the Borough of Manhattan Community College with a concentration on Travel and Tourism. He is now a senior student at Hunter College and is studying Political Science and pursuing a career in public service and in politics. His leadership and community service have earned him recognition and he has received various awards including the Peter Jennings Laurel Award, the BMCC’s Marks of Excellence Award, the Vice Chancellor’s Excellence in Leadership Award, the Dream Fellowship Award, the 2013 and 2014 Amelia Ottinger Award for Excellence in the Art of Debate from Hunter College and most recently the CUNY Bec@s Scholarship. He has also sought out opportunities in public service and has interned at the Mayor’s Office of Adult Education, at the City Hall Office of Councilman Ydanis Rodriguez, the NYC Office of United States Senator Kirsten E. Gillibrand and LULAC Queens Council 23047. Moreover, he has worked closely with several non-profits and community organizations such as the New York State Youth Leadership Council, the New York Immigration Coalition, La Fuente, The League of United Latin American Citizen (LULAC), United We Dream, CUNY DREAMers among others. Yohan has many goals, aspirations and interests. He is one of the authors of a research paper entitled “Have Term Limits Helped Elect More Women to State Legislatures?” which was presented at the Second Undergraduate Research Conference at Hunter College and at this year’s National Conference of the Midwestern Political Science Association (MPSA) in Chicago and it is on its way for publication at the MPSA. He is also a columnist at Queens Latino and In addition, Yohan has been a fierce advocate on immigrant rights, higher education for all regardless of legal status and a supporter of continuing education for adult immigrants. Yohan earned his GED in 2008 at Lehman College, therefore, he values the importance of adult education and the necessity of such programs. Since 2010, Yohan has also been involved in rallies, press conferences, marches among other actions calling for the passage of the New York State Dream Act, the Federal Dream Act and a comprehensive immigration reform. Moreover, Yohan is also well known to the press and media. He often collaborates with Univision, Telemundo, NTN24, Associated Press, Mundo Fox, El Diario among other Latino and international media sources on topics related to immigration, health and higher education. Yohan was featured a couple months ago by as one of the 16 Latino activists at the front lines of immigration reform. Further, he has been featured twice in the New York Times and has been invited to participate in several TV and Radio segments. Through his involvement with the media, he aspires to be the voice of his community demanding change and consideration. And, last but not least, Yohan believes that the sky is the limit, so he aims at becoming a diplomat and eventually a United States Senator.

DBAF Anchoring Achievement/CUNY Mental Health, Adolescent Health and Sexuality


November 7th, 2014 at 9:30 am at the John Jay College of Criminal Justice, (500 West 56th Street, New York, NY 10019) Westport Building, Room 105 and 106.


The purpose of this seminar is to provide the DBAF Neighborhood Networks and the general public with information regarding common mental health issues among immigrant communities, as well as approaches to trauma related to immigration and other issues. It is our hope this seminar provides tools and resources for serving diverse communities and promoting Mexican students’ educational attainment.


Dr. Tolu Olupona

Dr. Tolu Olupona, is currently an assistant clinical professor of Psychiatry and Pediatrics at the Mount Sinai School of Medicine Adolescent Health Center where she provides direct clinical care, teach and supervise clinicians.   She majored in Biochemistry at the University of California, Davis and graduated with honors.  She received her medical degree from New York University School of Medicine and completed training in adult psychiatry at New York University School of Medicine.  She completed training in Child and Adolescent psychiatry at the Columbia and Cornell University New York Presbyterian Hospital.  She is board certified in child, adolescent and Adult Psychiatry.  Her area of special interest include mood disorders and anxiety disorders.


Angy Rivera

Angy Rivera, serves as the Community Mobilization Fellow for the National Latina Institute for Reproductive Health. She was born in Armenia, Colombia to a single mother who was kicked out of the house a few weeks after her birth. In order to provide a better life for the both of them, they travelled to the United States and made a life for themselves in New York. While in high school Angy was involved in her community and was also president of the Aspira club. Around this time, she noticed the lack of resources and information when it came to education, health, work and housing for Latinas, as well as undocumented immigrants. Her senior year she joined the New York State Youth Leadership Council (NYSYLC), a non-profit that advocates for equal access to education for all youth regardless of immigration status, it was then that she heard about the Dream Act and steps being taken to make a change. After graduating, she joined them as a summer intern for the organizing sector of the organization in 2009. She has helped facilitate workshops about the Dream Act, Youth Leading Change trainings as well as access to college for undocumented youth. She then became a core member of the NYSYLC a few years later. With the skills obtained in the media and outreach committee, Angy became a blogger for the NYSYLC,, and the Huffington Post’s Latino Voices section; she also created the first advice column for undocumented youth called “Ask Angy”. Through the arts and self-expression program, which Angy co-coordinates at the NYSYLC, she uses poetry as a way to highlight and connect the many issues faced by immigrant youth as well as mobilizing them to share their stories and be involved. She is a student at John Jay College of Criminal Justice and is majoring in criminology while double minoring in writing and human services. She hopes to one day work with marginalized communities around mental health and counseling through writing. 

Margarita Guzman

Margarita Guzman, attended Georgetown University where she majored in English and minored in Women’s Studies.  She obtained her law degree from George Washington University School of Law where she participated in the Domestic Violence Legal Clinic, representing victims/survivors of domestic violence obtaining orders of protection from the DV Court in Washington, D.C.  Upon graduating from law school, Margarita was awarded an Equal Justice Works Fellowship to create a legal clinic for indigent Spanish-speaking mental health consumers in NYC.  After this, Margarita went on to serve the primarily Latina/o immigrant population of Washington Heights/Inwood at the Northern Manhattan Improvement Corporation (NMIC).  At NMIC, Margarita defended tenants against evictions and represented survivors of domestic violence in family court and housing proceedings as well as filing DV-based immigration petitions.  She then became Program Director at Day One, where she oversaw the Community Education, Peer Leadership, Social Services and Legal Services programs offered for teen and young adult survivors of intimate partner violence.  She joined the Mayor’s Office to Combat Domestic Violence in October 2013 as Deputy Director of the Bronx Family Justice Center. Margarita was born and raised in El Paso, TX, on the border with Ciudad Juarez, Chihuahua, Mexico. 

Margarita Guzman, Esq.

Deputy Director

Bronx Family Justice Center

Mayor's Office to Combat Domestic Violence

198 East 161st Street, 2nd Floor

Bronx, NY 10451


Genoveva Garcia

Genoveva Garcia, is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW). She is the Clinical Intake Coordinator at Ackerman Institute for the Family.  She currently participates in the Foster Care and Adoption Project at Ackerman and has as a private practice as a psychotherapist in New York. She received her BA in Psychology from ITESO in Guadalajara, Mexico. She earned a Masters Degree from Silberman School of Social Work at Hunter College and Post-graduate degree specializing in Systemic Psychotherapy.  She has provided individual, family, couple and group psychotherapy at such agencies as Metropolitan Center for Mental Health, Puerto Rican family institute, Weston United, Roberto Clemente Family Center and Association Tepeyac de New York.She has worked at Lehman College providing psychological counseling serving students who are first, second and third generation of immigrants. Genoveva has helped families and individuals from diverse backgrounds to overcome a great array of challenges; going from relationship issues,  issues connected with immigration, complex histories of trauma, and with clients who face mental illness. She has also worked and collaborated with various community organizations, like Enterate, Mixteca Organization, and Art for Change, promoting and fostering connections within the families in the community and as an advocate of social change. 

Genoveva Garcia, LCSW

Individual, Family and Couple Psychotherapy

936 Broadway, 2nd. Floor 

New York, NY 10010


DBAF Anchoring Achievement/CUNY Autumn Seminar: CUNY Universal Education Inside and Outside the Classroom

Took place October 10, 2014 at CUNY Welcome Center


Schools, Institute and Special Programs                          

  • Accelerated Study in Associate Programs (ASAP)   Offers free tuition, small classes, convenient block schedules, and work experience to enable highly motivated community college students to complete their Associate degrees in less than three years.
  • Graduate NYC!   Was founded with the goal of ‘doubling the number’ of City University of New York (CUNY) graduates by 2020 and builds off existing partnership between the nation’s largest urban educational institutions to increase college readiness and success.
  • Harmony Program   Trains college and graduate student musicians to teach music to economically disadvantaged young people, providing student-instructors professional development training with stipends, and offering beginner musicians musical instruments, instructional materials and tickets to cultural events.
  • John F. Kennedy Jr. Institute   Works with colleges, employers, organized labor, professional associations, foundations and government agencies to implement worker education programs, provide career mentoring and college scholarships, support the employment of people with disabilities and conduct workforce research.
  • New York City Early Childhood Professional Development Institute (PDI)   Works to ensure that all early childhood educators have access to a comprehensive system of professional development that supports high-quality early experiences for New York City’s children and their families.
  • School of Professional Studies (SPS)   Draws on CUNY's nationally and internationally renowned faculty and practitioners, as well as industry and education partners, to offer a wide range of graduate and undergraduate programs, including CUNY's first fully online degree programs.

Collaborative Programs

  • At Home in College (AHC)   A college transition program that works with over 600 high school seniors from twenty New York City public high schools and 100 students from CUNY GED programs to increase their college enrollment, retention and, ultimately, college graduation rates. At Home in College is a Robin Hood funded college transition program that works with over 2000 high school seniors from 60 New York City public high schools and 100 students from CUNY GED programs. The immediate goal of the project is to increase the college enrollment and retention rates of these students, and ultimately, their college graduation rates.
  • College Now (CN)   Offers dual enrollment activities in 350 New York City public high schools to ensure that graduating students are ready to complete college-level work successfully.CUNY’s largest collaborative program, enlisting all 17 colleges and nearly 350 NYC public high schools in its mission to help prepare students for high school graduation and success in college. The program provides a variety of opportunities, including college-credit courses, college-preparatory courses and activities, experiential-based summer programs, and access to campus facilities and cultural offerings.
  • Creative Arts Team (CAT)   Uses theater as a medium to challenge at-risk young people with participatory drama workshops and residencies that promote intellectual growth and positive social development in communities throughout New York City.
  • CUNY Prep   Offers out-of-school youth between the ages of 16 and 18 an opportunity for full-time study for the purposes of re-entering high school or qualifying for admission to college by obtaining a General Equivalency Diploma (GED). (CUNY Preparatory Transitional High School Program) is a full-time, year-round academic program that serves out-of-school low-income youth between the ages of 16 and 18. CUNY Prep is committed to developing life-long learners who have the academic, personal, and social skills necessary for higher education, expanded life opportunities, and active participation in community and civic affairs. The school culture fosters resilience, reflection, and success in both principle and practice.
  • Early College Initiative (ECI)   Blends a rigorous college-prep curriculum with the opportunity to earn up to two years of college credit while in high school, providing students with the confidence and skills necessary to graduate from both high school and college.Working with the Department of Education to redesign the secondary school experience. Students enter early college schools—of which there are currently 10—in the 6th or 9th grade, study with a mix of high school and college faculty, and have the opportunity to earn both a high school diploma and an associate degree (or two years of transferable credit) upon graduation.
  • Middle Grades Initiative (MGI)   Prepares public school students for rigorous high school and college-level work by providing school-based tutoring, advising and counseling, early college awareness activities, arts education resources in core subject classes and parent/family outreach. Designed to support public school students' academic work and college awareness, beginning in the middle grades so they will be prepared for high school, College Now opportunities, and eventually success in postsecondary education. The program provides multi-year support services through school-based tutoring, advising and counseling, and early college awareness and arts education programs.
  • New York City Science & Engineering Fair (NYCSEF)   The largest high school research competition in NYC, sponsored by the New York City Department of Education and the City University of New York, with hundreds of student participants each year from all over the five boroughs.
  • School Support Organization (SSO)   Provides resources that include partnerships, professional development opportunities, faculty consultants, research centers and student events to middle, high and early college schools that are committed to providing a rigorous academic program to prepare all students for success in college.The City University of New York has submitted a proposal to serve as a Partnership Support Organization for up to forty middle, secondary and high schools. CUNY has proposed to provide its support services through a dedicated full-time staff as well as through the extensive involvement of campus-based faculty and staff with knowledge and expertise in a wide variety of relevant areas. The proposed Support Organization is a natural extension of the University's extensive involvement with the city's public schools through its collaborative programs (College Now, affiliated schools, early college schools, and Middle Grades Initiative/GEAR UP) and its numerous teacher education programs, including the recently launched Teacher Academy. 

Language and Literacy Programs

  • CUNY Start   An intensive pre-college math, academic reading/writing and college advisement program to prepare HS and GED graduates for a successful transition to college level studies.
  • CUNY Adult Literacy   Provides classes in Adult Literacy, English for Speakers of Other Languages, GED preparation, mathematics, basic education in the native language, and a variety of special topics courses in such areas as health, family literacy and work preparation.
  • CUNY Language Immersion Program (CLIP) An intensive English as a Second Language (ESL) program to help CUNY students improve their English language skills, while building the academic and computer skills they need for college.

Workforce Development and Adult and Continuing Education

  • Adult and Continuing Education (ACE)   Programs, courses and certificates that offer an unrivaled array of opportunities for career advancement and professional development, skill development, and personal growth, all for affordable prices, on flexible schedules, and at locations throughout New York City.
  • College Opportunity to Prepare for Employment (COPE)   Offers a variety of support services including: educational counseling, assistance with registration/scheduling, tutoring, childcare referrals and preparation for social service appointments to help you meet college and HRA requirements in order to graduate!
  • CUNY311   A collaboration between the NYC Department of Information Technology and Telecommunications (DoITT) and the City University of New York, which provides qualified CUNY students with the opportunity to work as part-time Call Center Representatives within New York City's Customer Service Center.
  • CUNY Career PATH   A program supporting adult workers without jobs or looking to advance their careers by providing opportunities to earn both industry-recognized credentials and college credits and to find jobs in one of five sectors: Business, Education, Food Service & Hospitality, Healthcare, and Manufacturing.
  • CUNY Institute for Software Development and Design (CISD)   Pairs CUNY's experienced faculty members with software industry professionals and governmental institutions to sponsor research, create new software technologies, provide specialized professional development courses and create job opportunities.
  • Jobs Plus   Assists members in their pursuit of economic independence and security through meaningful employment that provides career and social advancement opportunities, while helping to eliminate economic, educational and social disincentives when seeking and maintaining employment.
  • Perfect Opportunity for Individual Skills and Educational Development (POISED)   Allows you to attend a program at a CUNY campus to develop health, parenting, computer and academic skills, and to receive help with job preparation, and also, meets the Family Assistance Program’s full-time work requirement!


DBAF Anchoring Achievement/CUNY Back-to-School Seminar: Language Diversity and English Language Learning


Took place September 5, 2014 at John Jay College of Criminal Justice


Description: C:\Users\Valerie\Documents\CUNY\Rebeca Madrigal.jpgRebecca Madrigal, Dual Language Teacher, Dos Puentes Elementary School  

Rebeca Madrigal is a Model Teacher and a first grade dual language teacher at Dos Puentes Elementary School in Washington Heights. She has taught for more than fifteen years in the NYCDOE. She has presented nationwide on multicultural and education issues.  Her experience as a Mexican immigrant and educator has been the focus of several academic and news articles. She earned a Master degree in Bilingual Education at Teachers College-Columbia University. 

Dr. Luis O. Reyes, Research Associate, Center for Puerto Rican Studies, Hunter College CUNY 

Dr. Luis O. Reyes, Ph.D., was appointed as a Research Associate at the Center for Puerto Rican Studies, Hunter College, CUNY, in 2010. He serves as Centro’s Director of Education. Dr. Reyes has served as assistant professor in various education departments, including Lehman, Hunter, Brooklyn and Baruch Colleges, CUNY, and at Long Island University, Brooklyn Campus. Dr. Reyes received his PhD in Social Sciences in Education from Stanford University in California, and an MA in Spanish Literature from Middlebury College in Vermont. 

His publications include an article in the Harvard Educational Review (October, 2006), on the 30th anniversary of the ASPIRA consent decree that established the legal right for Puerto Rican/Latino students in New York City to receive bilingual education instruction. His most recent article, “Minding/Mending the Puerto Rican Education Pipeline in New York City,” was published in the fall 2012 issue of the CENTRO Journal. Dr. Reyes has a chapter entitled “Rebuilding the Puerto Rican education pipeline for a multilingual/multicultural future” in Puerto Ricans and the dawn of the new millennium, to be published by the Center for Puerto Rican Studies in 2014 (E. Meléndez and C. Vargas-Ramos, eds.). 

Juan Carlos Aguirre, Executive Director, Mano A Mano: Mexican Culture Without Borders  

Juan Carlos Aguirre is a resident of Jackson Heights, Queens. He has served in the United States Navy and received a Bachelor of Science degree from St. John’s University.  He has worked for several years serving the Mexican community in New York in after school programs, adult education, immigrant advocacy where he built strategic relationships with other community-based organizations, academic institutions, and agencies. Mr. Aguirre is an Alumnus of the Coro Immigrant Civil Leadership Program (2011).  He is a member of the Advisory Council to the Institute of Mexicans Abroad (IME), a detached office of Mexico’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs (SRE). Currently, Mr. Aguirre utilizes his experience in developing and implementing programs for the Mexican immigrant community with an emphasis on traditional arts and culture.  

Description: KaufmanDaniel Kaufman, Ph. D., Founder & Executive Director, Endangered Language Alliance 

Daniel Kaufman obtained his doctorate in linguistics at Cornell University in 2010 and soon after founded the Endangered Language Alliance, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization that strives to document and promote the endangered languages spoken by immigrant populations in New York City. He is currently an adjunct lecturer at Columbia University and Yale University. He has also taught at the CUNY Graduate Center and New York University.  

Dr. Marguerite Lukes, Ph. D., Director of National Initiatives/Project R.I.S.E., Internationals Network for Public Schools 

Marguerite Lukes, Ph.D., oversees Project R.I.S.E., a five-year federally-funded school reform initiative that support higher levels of achievement for English language learners (ELLs) in two public high schools in New York City and San Francisco.  Marguerite has taught in and directed programs in English as a Second Language, adult literacy and basic skills in English and Spanish, and has designed, implemented and evaluated professional development programs for K-12 and adult education teachers and administrators.  She received her doctorate from New York University, where she conducted research about the educational experiences of immigrant high school non-completers and designed professional development for schools serving immigrant students across New York State. Marguerite completed a bachelor’s degree in Linguistics from Cologne University of Applied Sciences in Cologne, Germany and a Master’s Degree in Language, Literacy and Learning from California State University Long Beach.   

Liliana Vargas, Director, School Development, Internationals Network for Public Schools  

Liliana Vargas is responsible for the areas of new school development, national expansion, and other school development programs and services for the Internationals Network. Prior to joining Internationals, Liliana held teaching and leadership positions at International High School at LaGuardia Community College for six years prior to relocating to the West Coast, including serving as the Chair of its Board of the Directors during the period of its charter status.

As the Director of California New School Development for Internationals, Liliana facilitated the national expansion of Internationals schools with the openings of Oakland International High School and San Francisco International High School. She received her B.A. in Political Science and Spanish from Amherst College and a M.A. in Teaching Social Studies from Teachers College, Columbia University. 

David Hellman Project Director, Language and Literacy Programs, CUNY 

David Hellman is the “We Are New York” Project Director for the City University of New York. He is one of the senior writers of the series and a producer of the new episode, “The Storm.” For the past ten years, David has worked as a professional developer for CUNY Language and Literacy Programs, where he supervises content-based curricula development for the CUNY Language Immersion Program. He got his start in education as a Peace Corps volunteer; has trained teachers in a refugee camp in Thailand; has taught creative writing at The University of Michigan, among other educational work. In 2010, he received a Literacy Recognition Award from the Literacy Assistance Center in New York City and a NY Emmy for his writing on “We Are New York.”


Infographics from the DBAF Anchoring Achievement/CUNY Spring Seminar that took place on April 1st, 2014 at the Murphy Institute, CUNY.

Individual Pieces:

  • Age Structure of Mexicans in New York Metropolitan Counties, 2010.
  • Non-High School and College Graduation Rates Among Mexicans in New York Metropolitan Area Counties by Sex and Nativity, 2010.
  • Citizenship, Mobilization, and the Consumption of Services Non-High School and College Graduation Among Mexicans in New York Metropolitan Area Counties by Nativity, 2010.
  • Foreign-Born Mexicans Living in New York Metropolitan Area Counties in 2010 by Decade of Arrival.
  • Citizenship Status Among Mexicans in New York Metropolitan Area Counties, 2000-2010.
  • Growth of Mexican-Origin Population in New York City Metropolitan Area and Surrounding Counties 1990-2010 and Various Estimates for 2010.
  • Enrollment of Mexican and Mexican-American Undergraduates at City University of New York.
  • Live Birth by Selected Characteristics and Mother’s Ancestry, New York City, 2007.

Click here for Collection of Pieces