May is the month of celebrating all of the important women in our lives, including Moms! At the Thomas S. Murphy Clubhouse, some of our members paid special tribute to the leading ladies in their lives.
As a way of saying thank you, members of the Murphy Clubhouse’s Passport to Manhood program hosted a special dinner for the important woman in their lives. Moms, grandmas, aunts, and special friends were treated to lovely evening and delicious dinner, prepared and served by our members.
Passport to Manhood is a targeted effort to engage young boys in discussions and activities that reinforce good character. The program addresses critical issues that young men face, such as ethics, decision making, wellness, employment and careers, cooperation and conflict, diversity, relationships, and self-esteem.
Staff Spotlight: Tasha Cooper, Smilow Clubhouse
Our Clubhouses continue to be the focal point of all we do. Without the dedication of our staff, our members would be without reliable, positive adult role models and relationships. One such staff member who has continued to provide mentorship to our members is Tasha Cooper, Director of Leadership Development at the Smilow Clubhouse.
Q: Tell us a little bit about yourself!
A: My name is Tasha Cooper. My parents are from Trinidad and Tobago and they migrated to America for a better life. I am born on the 4th of July and I am a native New Yorker initially from Queens, NY. At the age of 12 my parents moved to Harlem, NY and I attended Frederick Douglass Academy from 7- 12th grade. I graduated from John Jay College of Criminal Justice with a B.S. in Legal Studies (2011) and I am graduating with an M.P.A. from John Jay College on May 30th, 2018.
Q: What role do you play at Madison?
A: I am the Director of Leadership Development at the Smilow Clubhouse. I am responsible for three premier leadership programs which are Torch Club, Keystone Club, and Youth of the Year. Torch Club serves members ages 11-12. We conduct elections, service projects, workshops and many fun activities that encourages the development of leadership skills. Keystone is a program offered to members ages 13- 18. The program encourages good citizenship, service, and opportunities to develop good character and leadership skills. Youth of the Year amplifies the Club experience of High school seniors that exhibit good character and citizenship, leadership skills, academic success. I am honored to say that this year my Youth of the Year Grace Assabil- Bentum was selected to represent Madison Square Boys & Girls Club at the New York State competition.
Q: How did you get connected to Madison and ultimately the Smilow Clubhouse?
A: I started working with children as a freshman in college and I realize that am passionate about helping others. Prior to Madison, I worked for the Department of Education, Social services agencies and lastly, a legal program in Queens, NY with high school students. That experience helped me realize that I wanted to do more. I came across the Madison website and applied for a position. That was one of the best decisions I made. I was the Director of Leadership Development at the Columbus Clubhouse for 3 years before transferring to the Smilow Clubhouse. I have been here for the last 9 months.
Q: What is your favorite thing about working at Madison?
A: One of my favorite things about Madison is that they allow kids to be children by offering amazing programs and opportunities. I look forward to coming in everyday because the kids are always excited to see me as much as I am to see them. Sometimes, I open my office and kids are literally running in, which shows me that I am making a difference in the lives of so many young people. There is nothing more rewarding.
Q: What are your goals for the upcoming Clubhouse year?
A: This year, I hope to run a curriculum from We.org during the summer and provide fun service projects as well as service learning for members. I am also looking forward to teaching children about elections and its process. I will also start recruiting future ambassadors for the next cycle of Youth of the Year as well as continue to support my current Ambassadors.
Upcoming Special Events
Youth of the Year Dinner: May 23, 2018
Bronx Grand Gala: June 14, 2018
A Night at Yankees Stadium: May 25, 2018
Fore the Kids Golf Tournament: August 6, 2018
Christmas Tree Ball: November 30, 2018
Posted on Tue, May 15, 2018
by Gabby Schiraldi