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Former New York City Council candidate and Black female Bronxite leads NYC non-profit to heighten aw

NEW YORK CITY, NEW YORK – On May 4, 2022, I’RAISE Girls and Boys International, an

organization dedicated to supporting children’s wellness holistically, will partner with the New York Mets to host a gathering of community leaders and elected officials to address the mental health crisis of youth in New York City. This is the second year that the New York Mets has collaborated with I’RAISE in this important initiative.

The nonprofit offers mental health school and community programs, which include counseling, social-emotional learning, mentoring, academic support, performing arts, job readiness, and fitness.

“There are not enough programs that actually care and are effective and invested in the kids' well-being and in their future success,” says Shanequa Moore, LMSW, the CEO and founder of I’RAISE.

“When you think about the child, you have to think about the child holistically, not just in the area of academics and a large part of that is making sure they have that social-emotional support.”

While our youth have been experiencing mental health issues prior to the pandemic, aspects of the health crisis, including remote learning, social distancing, wearing masks, and other changes, have added layers and created significant challenges affecting their mental health.

In the wake of a national youth mental health crisis, I’RAISE is expanding the counseling services and social-emotional support that complements those of the organization’s partner schools.

Licensed social workers and social work interns work with school staff and families and students to deliver individualized support to meet students where they are. According to the American Psychological Association, 81% of teens reported experiencing more intense school-related stress because of COVID-19.

When asked about their favorite part of the I’RAISE program at their school in Brooklyn during a News 12 interview, two students shared about the opportunity to learn about “things that we never knew before.”

“My favorite part of this program is that we get to speak to the teachers about how we feel,” says one of the students in the after school program where I’RAISE offers social-emotional learning.

“My favorite part is that we can communicate with people and make more friends all at the same time,” another student says.

Moore says, “The goal really is to raise up a generation of Black and minority kids that can be successful and can overcome whatever barrier or trauma that they have been living with.”

I'RAISE began as a mentoring program for at-risk girls in the New York City Housing Authority, uplifting them through intensive group-based and individualized mentoring. The program has grown from serving 40 children in 2012 to 1,000 annually today as a tax-exempt nonprofit organization. In 2013, it began transforming into the organization it is today, with a mission to provide a holistic program to improve socio-emotional well-being and educational outcomes of youth ages 4-21 years.

To donate to I’RAISE Girls and Boys International, click here.


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