Karim Abouelnaga wrote -
For the last six years, my friends and I have run to raise money to level the educational play field. Every year, we've been picking grassroots organizations that could substantially benefit from a bump in awareness and ~$10,000 in philanthropy. The organizations we choose have exceptional leaders who have both compelling stories and an inspiring visions. This year, we've chosen to support Tomorrow's Leaders NYC (TLNYC). We first learned about Toyin when he received an Echoing Green fellowship in 2015. TLNYC provides over-age middle school students with the support services and essential training they need to develop leadership, critical thinking, and interpersonal skills. Students receive academic and family support, mentoring, and career readiness opportunities during and outside of school time. TLNYC encourages goal-setting, self-discipline, and skill development in students while tending to their social and emotional needs. By effectively creating a culture of leadership, TLNYC improves students’ educational motivation and impacts their short term and long term future. Toyin founded TLNYC in 2011 after realizing there were very few services for over-age middle school students, an often underrepresented and under-served population. Toyin’s previous experiences helped him to recognize that many of these students had untapped potential, but because of their previous school failures felt hopeless. He spent over two years working closely with schools, and organizations focused on education and youth development. Within three years, he raised over $60,000 for TLNYC and has built a network of support which includes local elected officials, licensed social workers, principals, teachers, community based organizations, and undergraduate and graduate students from several college and universities in New York City. Through his leadership, TLNYC has produced many success stories, and has a 97 percent grade promotion rate. We believe we can really help Toyin expand his services to reach more students. With your support, we'll hit this goal and then some!