Queens Community House Hosts 10th Annual Spring Event at Forest Hills Stadium

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Queens Community House (QCH) held its 10th Annual Celebrating Local Champions Reception on May 18 at Forest Hills Stadium. This was our first in-person spring event since 2019. Attendees included elected officials, Queens community stakeholders, borough residents, QCH leadership and program participants, and supporters of QCH.  

During the event, QCH honored New York State Senator Toby Ann Stavisky and Assemblymember Andrew Hevesi as “Local Champions” for their years of supporting the Queens community.  

“Both Senator Stavisky and Assemblymember Hevesi have been tireless advocates for the Queens community, going above and beyond to ensure that families and individuals across the borough have the resources that they need,” said QCH Executive Director Ben Thomases. 

“The main reason Assemblymember Hevesi and I continue to support Queens Community House is the fact that they have programs for every age, from early childhood to older adults, serving the entire community in both good times and challenging times,” said Senator Stavisky. 

“I am incredibly honored to be named ‘Local Champion’, but the real champions are the staff, volunteers and board members of Queens Community House,” said Hevesi. “Thank you for all the work you do for our community.” 

QCH also announced Esther Sanchez as the winner of their 2022 Irma E. Rodriguez Community Builder Award. “Esther embodies what is best about our borough – a compassionate, tenacious, and selfless individual who has made a dedicated effort to unite neighbors of all backgrounds,” said Anna Dioguardi Moyano, QCH Director of Community Building. 

Meet Your Neighbor: Esther Sanchez

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Meet Esther Sanchez, recipient of QCH's 2022 Queens Community Builder Award! Every year, this award recognizes an individual who has made a dedicated effort to unite neighbors of all backgrounds, embodying what is best about our borough. Esther is an immigrant volunteer who has spent years helping to address many issues that impact the communities we serve: immigration, housing, voting rights, food insecurity, and more.

In this special edition of our Meet Your Neighbor series, Esther talks about the importance of community, volunteering, getting involved, and ends with a strong message to the youth.

Click here to view the video featuring Esther! Congratulations to Esther for being the Queens Community Builder Award recipient at QCH's 2022 Celebrating Local Champions Reception!

QCH Access for Young Women Hosts 23rd Annual Youth Leadership Conference


On May 21, QCH's Access for Young Women (AFYW) program hosted the 23rd Annual Youth Leadership Conference at the Beacon Community Center (JHS 190) in Forest Hills.

AFYW provides an intensive 30-week leadership development curriculum that includes training in public speaking, problem solving, goal setting, and critical thinking. The young women also address important issues affecting their lives such as body image, identity, global issues, relationships, and social media. The program culminates with an Annual Youth Leadership Conference organized and facilitated by the young women to educate their peers and spread awareness on issues of importance to them. 

"Every year, we see so many smart, incredible and artistic young women participate in AFYW, and the Leadership Conference is a great opportunity for them to implement and showcase the different skills they developed throughout the program," said Ben Thomases, QCH Executive Director.

Among the attendees was Congresswoman Grace Meng, who was the keynote speaker of the conference. "We thank Congresswoman Meng for her inspiring message to the young women of our program on the importance of leadership in the community," said Thomases.

Intergenerational Arts and Crafts Held at QCH Beacon Community Center


As part of QCH's new Intergenerational Initiative supported by the Eisner Foundation and United Neighborhood Houses (UNH), we held an in-person intergenerational arts and crafts meetup connecting young children and older adults at the QCH Beacon Community Center at PS 149 on May 18.

"It was amazing to see how well older adults and young children got along and had real fun together," said Emily Rosewood, QCH Intergenerational Program Activity Specialist. "We had participants ages 8 through 89, and they were all so creative and genuinely looked forward to seeing each other again soon."

The initiative aims to provide year-round meetups and events to build on the strengths of older adults and foster meaningful intergenerational relationships in the Jackson Heights community. The Intergenerational Community Center in Jackson Heights (ICCJH) has started growing out of the Beacon program at PS 149 to bring together older adults from the nearby Naturally Occurring Retirement Communities (NORCs) and fourth graders in a variety of engaging artistic and educational activities. 


QCH Hosts the Pomonok Community Center's First Job Fair

On May 18, QCH and the Queens Chamber of Commerce held the first community job fair at the Pomonok Community Center.

Many Queens jobseekers stopped by and had the opportunity to meet with employers from a wide variety of industries, including the US Open, New York Life, NYC Parks, NYC Emergency Management, Fidelis Care, Comunidad Latinx, The HOPE Program, Able Healthcare, TWA Hotel, USTA, and more.

"We thank the Queens Chamber of Commerce and all of the employers who represented their companies and connected with the Queens community to help find the right jobs for them," said Zani Simmons, QCH Director of Community Engagement. "It was such a great turnout, and so many community members left feeling satisfied and confident. Some of them were even hired on the spot."


QCH Forest Hills Community Center Renovation Project

As you may know, QCH is undergoing a massive project to renovate our original community center in Forest Hills. This renovation project will turn our most active program site into a state-of-the-art facility that can continue to be there for Queens for years to come. The new space will be brighter and more welcoming, with enhanced programming rooms, upgraded infrastructure, and an elevator and other accessibility features. The move will also free up space at the Center for additional program use, including a Neighbors’ Lounge off the front lobby and small meeting rooms to ensure participants’ privacy.

Click here to learn more about our Capital Campaign!

“The improvement of and addition to these program spaces is critical to meet the needs of the communities QCH serves throughout the borough of Queens," said Ben Thomases, QCH Executive Director. “QCH eagerly looks forward to welcoming our neighbors back to a transformed and truly dignified space.”

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Queens Community House provides individuals and families with the tools to enrich their lives and build healthy, inclusive communities.