- "Hello New York!" From Our Co-Presidents
- Volunteers and Board of Directors: the Backbone of CISV NY
- I Left Austin With a Newfound Motivation to Make a Difference in My Community
- We Were All One Ethnic Group at Mosaic
- Exploration in Pittsburgh Seminar
- Feeling Differently
- Leader & Delegate Reflect on Their Time at Village
- Little Did I Know That It Was Going to Be the Best Experience of My Life
- More Family from More Parts of the World
- Village in Lisbon, Portugal
- The Love in the Room Was Real That Night & It Was Simply Awesome
- Step Up Delegation to Sweden Plan “Race to the Oval Office”
- For the Whole Month I Felt Constant Love: To Hear the Kids Call Me ‘Ate’ Warmed My Heart
- Chapter Receives Grants / Contributions for Scholorships & Programs
- Important Dates
"Hello New York!" From Our Co-Presidents
We could not be more excited to get rolling on a whole new year of CISV in our chapter! We had an amazing year of coming together as a community and working hard to achieve our goals. We could say a lot more, but we think that the numbers speak for themselves!
This year in CISV New York, we:
(11-12 yrs) with
from the NY Metropolitan Area
(17-18 yrs) with
three Village Delegations
two Step Up Delegations
(14 yrs), Lisbon,
delegate to the Philippines
for Youth Meeting (16-18 yrs)
three delegates (and one staff) to Fortnight
(16-18 yrs) in Austin,
Jr Counselor (
16 yrs) to a
(17-18 yrs) delegates to
Mexico & Pittsburgh
In all, with the help of countless volunteers, 11 staff and five leaders, we worked to
change the lives of
89 amazing kids!!
So much gratitude to our CISV New York Community for making this possible!
We can’t wait to do it all again and we hope that you will join us! Feel free to contact us any time at
with questions, concerns, ideas, or to volunteer
Goldman, Chapter Co-Presidents
Volunteers and Board of Directors:
The Backbones of CISV NY
by Julie Harrison (Board of Directors)
Most who are reading this know that CISV is an
—we have no paid administrators, thus everything we do is coordinated and/or directed by individuals who have dedicated themselves (sometimes during entire weeks of their vacation time) to our
mission of peace education.
In that spirit, I’d like to recognize some of the folks who worked tirelessly this past year (in no particular order). Last year, we welcomed two new members to our Board of Directors.
is continuing as our Recording Secretary and
is our new Leader Liaison; Co-presidents,
Jenevieve and Nina
who have kept this chapter afloat with their enthusiasm for development and attention to detail;
, our trustee who also works as webmaster, letter-writer, flight coordinator and database manager;
who directed our chapter’s three-week Seminar Camp in Connecticut, hosting 28 delegates from 16 countries, as well as trained all local staff and leaders;
who planned that Seminar with Steven throughout the year;
who planned and directed our Mosaic residential camp for a week in Upstate New York, hosting 32 delegates and five staff, including her assistant director,
, our Mosaic Chair, who recruited and worked closely with the families of Mosaic participants;
, our treasurer who has managed the books and kept us solvent;
, our longest-serving board member (over 35 years), who raises funds for our chapter;
, our new Risk Manager who is on-call when things go wrong;
, our Insurance Chair, who collects all the forms for outgoing delegates;
, a long-time board member who creates budgets and administers scholarships; all the (too many to mention by name)
selection committees, leaders
of international camps,
of local camps,
for events and delegates,
and last but not least, our
without whom this organization would not exist.
Photo above from left: Rena Altinbas, Bianca Gorman, Alanna Badgley.
I Left Austin With a Newfound Motivation to Make a Difference in My Community
by Lucy Knoepflmacher (Delegate)
, I didn’t have many expectations. I felt ambivalent about going to a place in the United States on a program with other Americans as opposed to some cool new country with people from across the globe. I felt there wouldn’t be the wide array of cultures and perspectives one may see in an international program. However, this factor ended up playing a key role in speeding up the process of forming a close community. We didn’t have a language barrier and were able to be vulnerable with one another and articulate our thoughts knowing that they would be understood. Also, there were, to my surprise, a lot of different cultures present. Each state had its own culture, from California to Delaware, and these
allowed us to have both similar and completely unique experiences as American teenagers. I loved hearing what everybody had to say.
The annual focus of
gave us room to discuss a variety of topics. We had a lot of freedom when it came to planning, from the daily schedule to activities to special events like Gala Night. We learned so much, and I really loved how my awareness about global problems grew. Our activities addressed issues such as
oppression in the education system
the refugee crisis
, and so much more. But, we also had fun. We planned a beautiful Gala Night, went all out on energizers, played a lot of card games, got salsa lessons, and enjoyed the beautiful campus.
We often discussed how
if we don’t bring what we learn in CISV out of CISV, then there really isn’t a point
. I thought about this a lot, and I decided my main takeaway from Fortnight is that this program inspired me to spread my knowledge and do what’s right. I left Austin with a newfound motivation to make a difference in my community, as well as new perspectives that I’d received from hearing about my fellow campers’ experiences as Americans and as global citizens.
We Were All One Ethnic Group
by Babajimi Famusesan (Staff)
Mosaic is magical
and special because of the diversity and the inclusion it offers. From the staff to the kids, we all come from different cultures, countries of origin, races and socio-economic backgrounds. Although
we are different, we were all one
ethnic group at Mosaic. Despite our differences on the surface, we were not stopped from forming bonds and friendships with each other, while forming our own unique culture. I remember seeing the participants embrace each other openly and how they were influenced positively by their peers' differences. Throughout the week, we
created a loving family
with one another.
We learned many lessons throughout the week at Mosaic, but the one lesson that had perhaps the most impact was our
restorative sharing circle
. This activity required each of us to
as those in our community opened up about a time they faced difficulties in their life and how they overcame it. The staff and I were nervous because we didn't know if the kids would be receptive. It turned out there was no reason to be, the kids were comfortable and
opened their hearts
to one another. From breakdown to a
, we all (the staff and kids) felt a deeper sense of
for one another. The activity was beautiful because it taught that
vulnerability leads to opportunity
to grow and learn from one another, and through our adversity we only become more beautiful, like flowers that have grown through the shells of their seeds.
I want to thank:
for doing an amazing job and for always being exuberant about her role in CISV Mosaic; the staffers:
Tina, Jesus, Sherrod, Diana, Jamila and Obed
for making Mosaic an amazing experience once again; all the
for being great role models to their children and for trusting us to watch over them and instill some valuable
who played a part in making CISV Mosaic come to fruition; and lastly, I want to thank
all the kids
for making me laugh and for always showing me and the other staff love and appreciation.
Exploration in Pittsburgh
by Sara Azcona-Miller (Delegate)
Every time I complete a CISV program, I am left feeling so
that CISV is a part of my life and that all of the wonderful people I got to know during the program are now also part of my life. My Seminar in Pittsburgh left me feeling no differently. When I think of my Seminar experience, I think of
, and I know that I will always keep the special community we created with me wherever life takes me.
Leader & Delegate Reflect on Their Time at Village
Participating in CISV Village was such a wonderful experience! As leader, I worked with children and adults from all over the world who brought together
that strengthened me to become a better
. I was able to learn about conflict and resolution that I will apply in my
and at home. I am so thankful for this
experience! Nothing will compare to the memories I made during CISV Village
Jillian Henthron (Leader)
I had so much
at Village. Both my
were great. I made so many good friends. The
was also very nice. I learned so much from the activities, especially the
"rich and poor day."
I was very sad at the end of the camp because it was
hard to say goodbye
to all of my best friends knowing that I will might not see them again.
Ceylin Altinbas (Delegate)
Little Did I Know That It Was Going to Be the Best Experience of My Life
by Madison Tina (Delegate)
I had never traveled without my family before but I loved the idea of going to
for three weeks by myself. Since it was going to be my first CISV program, I did not know what to expect. But little did I know that it was going to be the
of my life.
One of the main purposes of Step Up is for delegates to plan their own activities and that was actually one of my favorite parts of camp. I never really had an opportunity before to plan and lead activities for my peers, and I absolutely loved it! Some of my other favorite memories include
Local Impact Day
, cultural activities, and making new friends. On Local Impact Day we all went to a nursery home outside and helped out with things that needed to be done. I helped clean out the garden. On another day, we went to Lisbon and played with
to brighten up their day. For
, each country had to create an activity that all of us participated in. It had to be something about their country that they wanted to share with everyone. Lastly
, making friends
was the most memorable. I would stay up late at night talking about the problems in the world with my friends and that is something that I will never forget.
As I returned home from
I remember feeling connected to what was happening around the world. I believe this experience gave me attitudes of open
mindedness and compassion
. Just like our camps theme
Mind the Gap
, I realize that there are many different types of people with different lifestyles and values and we need to take the time to understand their perspectives.
More Family From More Parts of the World
by Kaan Taneli (Delegate)
This summer, for my first time I took part in CISV’s
program. Like all CISV programs, Youth Meeting is a
continuing down the path of maturing. The participants plan everything themselves, set the schedule and have no leaders or other delegates. The latter made me the most nervous, I was used to the first two but the concept of having no delegation was completely new to me.
were always something I felt I could fall back on, who I was often closest with on programs. I didn’t know that this would make my Youth Meeting experience so
This key change forced me even further out of my
and really allowed all the participants to bond and learn about each other in a way I had never done before. We were able to
grow together and trust each other
, increasing the intensity of the activities as the mere 14 days went by and at the end I was left with many beautiful memories with even more family from even more parts of the world.
Village in Lisbon, Portugal
This experience has
changed my life
. I got the opportunity to meet kids from all over the world, and it made me feel very
. I would recommend it right away to anyone who asked.
The Love in the Room Was Real That Night
& It Was Simply Awesome
by Olivia Feeney (Leader)
I had the
of leading a delegation to Village in
this summer. Aside from watching my
grow in so many ways throughout camp, I think my favorite camp memory is the
a place where all the kids could come and promise to be best friends forever!
The Gala Night Committee approached me about making bracelets for the event as they wanted the kids to have a more tangible symbol of the
and their friendships. In less than three days, and with the help of a couple other leaders, we made over 70 extra long
that can be tied on two friends’ wrists joining them together. During the ceremony, the bracelets were cut in the middle separating the friends but
forever linking them
in hearts and spirits. Making all these bracelets was no easy feat. We were sleep deprived and our hands were blistered but it was all worth it, especially seeing the looks on the delegates’ faces as they lined up with their friends (some as many as five times!), picked out their favorite colors, and made these
to one another.
The leaders, staff, and JC’s alike also
! I exchanged with my now forever friend Lily, the
(see photo above)! It seems silly to say that a simple friendship bracelet exchange was one of my favorite parts of camp, because friendship bracelets are pretty
with CISV and summer camp. But something about this was different. I can’t exactly put my finger on it, but the
love in the room was real
that night and it was simply awesome.
Step Up Delegation to Sweden Plan
"Race to the Oval Office"
by Hillary Doyle (Leader)
After a long hiatus from CISV, I was very lucky this summer to get to attend a
Step Up to Vasteras
, Sweden with my amazing delegates:
Selma, Eser, Alara, and Jay
nine other delegations
, we spent three weeks planning and running activities around the theme of our camp --
Tolka (a Swedish word that means “interpret”)
After voting on a
camp schedule and rules
at our camp meeting, we dove into to activities planned by delegates relating to the camp theme. One of the
of each day was “Tolka Talk.” For this hour, each delegation would talk about how a given topic applies in their country – for example
“Religion and Power,” “Environmental Activism,”
“Traditional vs. Modern Music.”
Each delegation was also responsible for planning a cultural activity to
the rest of the camp
about an issue
in their country relating to the camp theme. Our delegation planned a
“Race to the Oval Office”
activity in which we had delegates run in a
. Each candidate had to choose from one of the US issues we had written in advance and compete in a
with the other candidates in order to win the most votes. This activity led to a great discussion about how debates can influence elections, and how people choose who to vote for in the US.
While we all learned a lot about leadership and issues in each others’ countries, we also had a lot of
together, and made
that will last a lifetime!
For the Whole Month I Felt Constant Love: To Hear the Kids Call Me "Ate" Warmed My Heart
by Isa Iiams (Delegate)
This summer I had the privilege of being a
(JC) at a Village in
. I knew I wanted to be a JC since I did Village when I was 11. I looked up to my JCs so much and seeing them so enthusiastic about CISV encouraged me to be the same. JCs were like our cool older siblings, and I wanted to have the same impact and bond that my JCs had with me. Even though I had been looking forward to this program for years, I didn’t really
how incredible being a JC is until I was living it.
Every day I was
greeted with hugs
and smiles from the kids. I don’t think I ever sat down without having a kid or two sitting in my lap. No matter how tired I was from planning activities the night before, the kids never failed to make me laugh and lift my spirits. For the whole month I
felt constant love
. Every free time I hung out with the kids. We talked about everything from camp drama to their daily lives back home. We played
on the speakers. Each day I got closer to the kids, and they started opening up more and more. They came to me with problems or when they were feeling homesick. If something exciting happened that I hadn’t seen, they ran to find me and give me the update. It was amazing to feel
and to see them become so comfortable at camp.
, I got especially close with the delegation from the
. Towards the end of camp they started calling me
which is Filipino for
. My younger brother has called me Ate my entire life, so to hear the kids call me Ate really warmed my heart and made me feel more at home. In the g
we wrote at the end of camp, many of the kids, including the Filipino delegation, wrote that I wasn’t just their JC, but a friend and even an older sister. A few kids wrote that they hoped to be a JC when they are my age. Reading those letters on the flight home filled me with
pride and validation
because I knew I had accomplished what I wanted to as a JC; to be an older sibling to the kids and
encourage them to continue doing CISV
. I fulfilled little 11-year-old Isa’s dreams and couldn’t have asked for a better JC experience.
Our 2019 New York Seminar Camp
by Bianca Gorman (Planner)
This summer our Chapter hosted a Seminar program at a campsite in
. We hosted 28 participants from
16 different countries
as well as
2 international staff
! As in all 2019 camps, our Seminar spent 21 days focusing on the theme of
"Conflict & Resolution."
Their experience included a trip to
Human Rights Watch
(photo above) with our chapter's very own
Chapter Receives Grants/Contributions for Scholorships & Programs
CISV NY has been generously supported by the following grants in 2018: $5,000 from
Fidelity Charities-Paolillo Foundation
; $5,000 from
The Jim Jacobs Charitable Foundation
; $1,700 from
New York Life: Your Cause LLC
; $1,000 from
Andrew De Mar Foundation
; $3,000.00 from the
Arnold and Marilyn Miller Family Charitable Fund
, and many many
to support our
programing and scholarships
. Thank you all!
(print, cut & post to your fridge)
-- Fall Mini Camp
-- Info Session (All Programs)
-- Chapter Dev. Day (All Invited)
-- Giving Tuesday
December 7 --
January 1 --
Applications Due for Int'l Prog
-- Interview Day: One
-- Interview Day: Two
-- Family Orientation
-- CISV @ Human Rights Watch
-- Spring Mini Camp
-- Reginal Mini Camp
-- National Mini Camp
-- Mosaic Info Session
-- Volunteer Day
-- Bon Voyage Party
Above: Milan, Italy Village Leader Jillian Henthorn won the CISV USA
2019 Photo Contest
with this photo.
2019 Mosaic Faces of New York
camp in upstate NY.
Newsletter compiled by Hoda Osman and Julie Harrison, designed by Julie Harrison,
CISV NY 2019