Meet Kendall and Luis, two BronxWorks participants

BronxWorks After-School Programs Provide New And Exciting Opportunities For Bronx Youth

BronxWorks provides high-quality after-school programs for Bronx youth of all ages, including three programs for middle school students. In addition to providing a safe place to go after school to spend time socializing and completing homework, BronxWorks makes every effort to provide new and exciting opportunities the students may not get in a normal school day.

Kendall B. is a 6th-grade student who attends a BronxWorks after-school program at her middle school. She started coming to BronxWorks this year for the first time. “My friends come here,” she said, “so I wanted to try it out. The staff here are so great. They give us the freedom to have fun but also know how to keep us focused and structured when we need to be.”

Kendall has really loved learning more about cosmetology through the program. “The instructor comes in and teaches us how to do different hairstyles on mannequins. I never get to do this sort of thing in school.”

Kendall also has participated in the Misty Copeland Foundation BE BOLD program, a recent partnership with BronxWorks. BE BOLD teaches basic ballet concepts to students ages 5-12, connecting positive youth development, social emotional learning, movement, music, and culture to make ballet and dance inclusive and accessible to students of different backgrounds. “The dance classes have been great,” Kendall said. “I like being able to stretch out and loosen up after school. School hours are a lot of work so it’s really nice to just relax.”

Kendall (second from left) and other students in the BE BOLD program at BronxWorks.

Luis G. is an 8th-grade student who also attends a BronxWorks after-school program. A friend of his introduced him to the program last year. “When I first came to BronxWorks I was nervous and skeptical,” he says. After getting to know the staff and making some new friends, he now comes every day. “I love coming here to do the different activities we do, and I also get to use some free time to play basketball one-on-one with my friends,” he said.

This year, Luis and his classmates got an opportunity to work with Building Beats, who came to BronxWorks to teach students about music production. “I learned a lot of cool skills with Building Beats. It seems like a cool job,” Luis said.

Students from multiple BronxWorks programs also had an opportunity this year to attend a basketball clinic hosted by the Jr. Knicks, giving students a unique experience to run basketball drills and meet with former New York Knick and NBA legend John Starks for words of encouragement and other lessons.

Luis (second from right) and other students with NBA Legend John Starks at the Jr. Knicks Basketball Clinic at BronxWorks.

Luis said, “The clinic was a pretty special opportunity. We ran a lot of drills that focused on things like shooting mechanics but also how to increase balance. It’s my dream to be an NBA star, like a small forward or point guard, and the clinic was definitely something that happens once in a lifetime.”

To support BronxWorks programs for youth like Kendall and Luis, donate to the BronxWorks Year-End Appeal!

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