Keeping the Lights On: Madison Members at Con Edison

    Members from our Joel E. Smilow & Columbus Clubhouses have had the opportunity to learn about a true powerhouse in New York City: Con Edison. Con Edison offers students in 8th through 12th grade insight into what it’s like to pursue rewarding careers in science, technology, engineering, mathematics (STEM) and other fields.

    Throughout the month of October, teen members from our Bronx Clubhouses have been learning the ins and outs of different departments at Con Edison through a job shadowing program called Empowering Careers. Empowering Careers gives young people a chance to engage with utility industry professionals. Students learn about careers in engineering, law, technology, media, and other areas at Con Edison. They also discover how to evaluate potential careers based on their skills and interests, and what is required for each position.

    The program will conclude in December with a special closing celebration. Thanks to Con Edison for opening another door for our members as they plan for the future!

    Member Spotlight: Ashley S. & Imani W., Thomas S. Murphy Clubhouse

    At Madison, our members learn that the body isn’t the only thing that needs to stay healthy, but it’s equally important to keep our minds healthy too! Murphy Clubhouse members Ashley & Imani, put on their thinking caps and dove head first into an exciting, self-esteem boosting adventure.

    Founded by Ashley and Imani, both 15 years old,and inspired by their participation in the Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship, BizCamp, “Confident Caps” is the latest way the entrepreneurial spirit is shining bright within our Clubs.

    While attending BizCamp, the girls were exposed to two-week intensive program that teaches inner –city youth about entrepreneurship through fashion. Youth are mentored by small business owners, taken on trips to the wholesale district and received $200 after successful completion of the program. During the program the girls learned how to create a business plan, conduct market research, create a budget, identified their target audience, etc. At the end of the program, the girls presented their business “Confident Caps,” hand-made embroidered caps designed to remind women and girls of their worth and inner beauty, to a panel of investors for a chance to win seed money to start their business. The girls did not win the BIZCAMP challenge but the girls received $2,100 from the Hank Aaron Chasing the Dream Scholarship Foundation to pursue their business goals! Since then the girls have created a website and made over 100 caps, of which 20 were donated to the Tilden Hall shelter.

    This idea for “Confident Caps” was inspired by the rise of superficial beauty and materialism that is often flaunted in social media. As a result, 7 out of 10 girls believe they are not pretty enough and 71% of girls have low self-esteem. Ashley and Imani wanted to do something about this by reminding girls that they are all special, beautiful and unique and that should be celebrated.

    Ashley and Imani want the world to know, “Keeping a smile on your face every day despite the hardships you may face is a symbol of your Strength and Faith. Being yourself has no expiration date, feel free and live your life to the fullest. Being confident is something that everyone needs. Confidence is something where there is never enough. Loving yourself comes with no limit.”

    Mark Your Calendars!

    Upcoming Special Events

    Christmas Tree Ball: December 1st, 2017

    2018 Salute to Style Luncheon: April 18, 2018

    2018 Youth of the Year Dinner: May 23rd, 2018


    Diving Back In

    Madison officially opened our aquatics facility at the Thomas S. Murphy Clubhouse in Flatbush on Monday October 16th. With the support of Former Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz and Council member Dr. Mathieu Eugene for the 40th District of the New York City Council, a full-scale renovation of the swimming pool and adjoining facilities was celebrated with a ribbon cutting ceremony.

    Madison’s new Executive Director, Tim McChristian says “We are elated to finally give the members at our Thomas S. Murphy Clubhouse the opportunity to dive back in to one of their favorite activities. With drowning ranked as the fifth leading cause of accident injury death in New York City and second nationally, we know how important it is to give our members the opportunity to learn basic swimming skills while being monitored by trained lifeguards and staff.”

    The renovation includes a complete reconfiguration of the 4-lane, 20 foot by 60 foot pool, replacement of all tile and plaster finishes throughout the pool, a beautiful 100 foot long mosaic tile mural that features images of Clubhouse members taken by Clubhouse members, and new state-of-the-art lighting, piping, and handicap accessible features.

    “I am honored to support the new aquatics facility at the Thomas S. Murphy Clubhouse,” Dr. Mathieu Eugene said. “I want to thank Madison Square Boys & Girls Club and Former Borough President Marty Markowitz for partnering with me on this important renovation. As a lifelong advocate for youth causes, I am committed to providing our young people with the resources they need to grow as individuals. This new facility will be an ideal setting to teach water safety and to engage our children in positive community activities.”

    The Thomas S. Murphy Clubhouse is one of two of Madison Clubhouse locations that offer aquatics facilities and swimming lessons to its members.

    Staff Spotlight: Liz Ortiz, Columbus Clubhouse

    The dedication of our Clubhouse staff continues to be one of Madison’s most important assets. Because of Madison’s rich history and success, many former members come back to the Clubhouse, filled with motivation and pride, to serve the next generation of members. One such individual, Liz Ortiz, Director of the Arts at the Columbus Clubhouse, is celebrating 19 as a member of the Madison family.

    As head of the arts program, Liz provides lessons in photography, music, and dance, to members ages 6-18 and has helped to mentor and train some of Madison’s most successful alumni. Under her leadership, the Columbus Clubhouse Dance Team performs at venues like the Apollo Theater, Madison Square Garden, and at Madison's annual black tie gala.

    Liz’s work goes beyond the Clubhouse walls. A former member herself, she understands the power and importance of mentorship.

    “I have helped to raise children from the age of 6 to 18. I give advice and help mold young people. My kids have gone on to attend college. Many are accomplished nurses, doctors, and business owners. What touches me the most is when they pursue dance as a profession. Former member Aaliyah is just one example. She was a member of the Clubhouse for ten years and danced in my program the entire time. After graduating high school, she pursued danced professionally and has performed with the likes of Alicia Keys, Drake, and others. Another example is Quevaughn, a troubled youth who joined the dance program and turned his life around. He found safety in the Clubhouse and a way to express himself through dance. He is now a college graduate who advocates for civil rights. I am so proud of all my kids.”

    Staff members like Liz turn our Clubhouses into second homes and our members into success stories. Thank you to Liz and the Madison staff for their continued dedication to our kids!

    Mark Your Calendars!

    Upcoming Special Events

    An Autumn Affair hosted by the Madison Council: October 24th, 2017

    Christmas Tree Ball: December 1st, 2017

    2018 Salute to Style Luncheon: April 18, 2018

    2018 Youth of the Year Dinner: May 23rd, 2018

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