Late last week, Mayor Rob Rolison was part of a local contingent attending the national "A Gathering of Leaders: Power of Place” conference, hosted by the William Julius Wilson Institute (WJWI) at Harlem Children's Zone (HCZ) in Washington, D.C.
Harlem Children's Zone leaders invited the Mayor and others to the event, and both Dutchess County Executive Marcus Molinaro and Rob Watson, co-founder of the Poughkeepsie Children’s Cabinet and Director for Partnerships and Community Impact for EdRedesign Lab at Harvard Graduate School of Education, served on panels during the conference.
The county executive talked about the Youth Opportunity Union project at the former YMCA site in the City of Poughkeepsie and the County’s Path to Promise initiative.
In October 2021, Harlem Children Zone leaders visited Poughkeepsie to find out more about the Poughkeepsie Children’s Cabinet and YOU initiatives.
The Poughkeepsie Children’s Cabinet is chaired by the Mayor and Poughkeepsie City School Superintendent Dr. Eric Rosser and is a coordinating body that brings together decision makers, leaders and community representatives to improve the lives of youth and families in the city. The Cabinet was formed in recognition of the fact that children spend 80 percent of their time out of the classroom and in the broader community.
The Children’s Cabinet recently formalized a partnership with the Harlem Children’s Zone through a Memorandum of Understanding, enabling HCZ to collaborate local leaders to help build a cradle-to-career pipeline of programs, supports and services for children, youth and families.
"We believe these partnerships are going to pay huge dividends over time," said Mayor Rolison. "The Harlem Children's Zone has a sterling reputation, and we are looking to replicate some of their successes right here in Poughkeepsie."
Also attending the conference were Poughkeepsie City School Board Member Dr. Felicia Watson; Dutchess County Assistant Commissioner for Youth Services Karmen Smallwood; Jennifer Drake, senior program officer at the Dyson Foundation; and James Watson, co-founder of the Poughkeepsie Children’s Cabinet.