Student Testimonies – The New York Center for Interpersonal Development

Before connecting with The New York Center for Interpersonal Development’s YABC Program I was stuck drowning in my own troubles. But then YABC helped to give me the courage to make a better path for myself. Now I’m on my way to earning a high school diploma and I am even on the Student Counsel.
– Erikson Felix

The New York Center for Interpersonal Development has shown me such care and understanding, allowing me to develop the tools that I will take with me throughout my life. They have helped to redefine me and smooth the rough edges.
– Brandon Plaza

Before the New York Center for Interpersonal Development’s YABC program I moved around a lot and was never able to focus on school. The Center has helped me to get myself together and stay in one place. Before YABC I hated school and now I look forward to going.
– Victoria Pagan

Before The New York Center for Interpersonal Development, I was in a very bad place. I hated school and rarely attended class because I felt the teachers didn’t care about me. The YABC program is a God-send and I feel like I am part of a loving family who guides me and helps me to succeed in every way. This program is the best thing that could have happened to me; it has provided amazing opportunities and helped me to grow up and turn my life around.
– Sharoya Beache

Before I joined New York Center’s Young Adult Borough Center Program, school was a struggle for me and I felt like an outcast.  I didn’t want to try anymore and I didn’t want to find my purpose because I didn’t think I had one. This program has totally changed my perspective. It picked me up, gave me drive and lifted a huge weight off my shoulders. Now I have purpose and focus; I don’t have to be a high school drop-out or settle for a GED.
-Justine Savastano

Before finding The New York Center I was completely lost when it came to what I wanted to do with my life.  Even more than that I couldn’t focus on myself because I had so much strife and difficulty in my experiences were just not good and my relationships were all strained.  Finding the center was literally that – I found my center.  I now have a clear vision of myself.  
Michael Paparella

NYCID – Olympus Academy

takia WatsonWhen I was attending James Madison High School I experienced bullying, I skipped classes and school, made a lot of bad decisions, and after a while I completely lost interest in school. 
                               I started skipping school and classes in my sophomore year, it was around May. Not only did I sometimes completely skip school to go to the beach but when I did end up attending school it was very late and even then we were either in abandoned classes or in the girls bathroom by the gym. I only ever got suspended from school for skipping classes once and it was an in-house suspension where you came in at 7am and was dismissed at 9am.
                               After two of our friends left my so called "friends" turned their backs on me, they still talked to me but it wasn't as much as before, they didn't include me in anything they did, and when I did try to involve myself it was like they reluctantly let me. The first altercation was when someone informed me in the bathroom that one person (one of my "friends") said I "looked like a dirty bum". I know that I shouldn't have said anything but I gave my response to the girl and she went back to that person to tell her. When the girls caught wind of what I said they were furious and began talking about me even more, they even went to one of the girls who left and told her that I was talking about her when she left. Another one of the girls cornered me in the hallway and got in my face, this is not the first time I went through bullying but the difference was that the school was bigger and none of the teachers really knew who I was. She began threatening me and pushing me, telling me that once the last bell rang she would meet me outside and beat me up. Not being a fighter meant that I was in real trouble, so I went and called the only person who I knew would help me within a moment’s notice, my sister.
                                   When I arrived to Olympus it was a very different setting. The staff was friendly, the classes were smaller, we used computers, and we didn't have to listen to a teacher talk for almost a whole hour unless it was necessary. Olympus helped my attendance by stressing the fact that attendance mattered towards graduation as much as schoolwork did. I wanted to make a good impression on everyone, including my family, so I tried to keep up my attendance as well as I could. Within a month being there my progress in schoolwork had greatly improved, I wasn't being rushed to complete an assignment and I had time to think and really grasp the point of the assignment that was presented to me. The internship also helped me because it put money in my pocket, taught me about office etiquette (answering the phone properly, filing, addressing my co-workers, and data entry) and also taught me about the importance of having a job. When I graduate I plan to become a chef and quite possibly a hairstylist also, I like to satisfy people, whether by food or by great hair, it doesn't matter. Thanks to Olympus Academy, my future seems brighter and more secure.


DSCF2667(1)The young man’s name is Dorian Beckles. 
Dorian is 24 yrs. old. 
He was referred to Arches in July 2013. 
Upon entering the program, he stated that his short term goals were to obtain his GED and gain employment. 
We allowed him to take the GED “predictor” test and he scored well above the threshold to pass the exam. 
He immediately completed the required paperwork and took the exam. 
On 9/2/13, he was notified that he passed the exam. 
In October 2013, I used a community contact and helped him obtain employment at Duane Reade. 
Earlier this year he was promoted to shift supervisor at the store in Rockefeller Center. 
Dorian completed Arches in February 2014 and stated that without the mentors and I he would have never accomplished his goals.

NYCID – Supervised Visitation Program

As a result of this program, I have a relationship with my 9 year old daughter. I have been going to this program for many years and it has helped tremendously in keeping my family together. My daughter and I are close and it is solely because of NYCID’s Supervised Visitation Program.