First, we hope that this continues to find you safe and healthy. As Isles continues to adjust to our “new normal” with COVID-safe practices, physical distancing, and in many cases, a transition to online services, we are thinking creatively to meet our mission and stay connected to those we serve.
This time last year, we have just completed our Isles Youth Institute Commencement Ceremony, where we brought together over 100 families, friends, and partners to celebrate the successes of our IYI Class of 2019. This year, we had to adapt to COVID while still recognizing and celebrating each student, who overcame unimaginable barriers to earn their high school equivalency diploma. Read about our individualized ceremonies below.
Our COVID response work continues to grow–our staff and volunteers are making masks, putting together grow kits and healthy homes toolboxes, and delivering food to students, families, and customers. We’ve sewn more than 1,000 masks, created 270 grow kits, and delivered hundreds of meals to date
and we’re not done! As some staff slowly transition back to work that was “on pause” during the height of the pandemic, such as our lead remediation work, we’ll engage more partners and volunteers to continue to ensure that we’re meeting the needs of our communities.
Finally, on a personal note, I have some bittersweet news to share: I’ve been accepted into Harvard
’s Graduate School of Education where I will be pursing my Doctorate in Education Leadership
and will be transitioning from Isles at the end of the month.
Isles is a place that allowed me to grow and develop and to consider “community” from various lenses. This community view of education will carry me through my time at Harvard and keep me connected to the great work Isles continues to do in Trenton. Needless to say, I am truly grateful for the time I’ve spent at Isles Youth Institute
, and I’m proud of the strong, capable team that we have in place. I look forward to seeing them continuing to grow Isles Youth Institute and provide education and training to Trenton’s most at-risk youth.
A former student by the name of Evelyn created a chant, “IYI we CHANGE lives”…my life is forever changed!
Managing Director, Isles Youth Institute