Looking for Superheroes

Posted on July 10, 2017 by Catholic Charities Admin  |  Share

Through Catholic Charities Alianza Youth Services

By Teresa Santiago

Catholic Charities Community Services is committed to the development of every child and youth—physically, emotionally, intellectually and spiritually—whether newcomer or native-born. More than 26,500 young people are served in safe environments.  Through our Alianza Youth Services we strengthen academic achievement, health, fitness, artistic expression of young people and promote employment, college entry, civic engagement and community service. Alianza Youth Services are located in Washington Heights/,nwood and in the Highbridge section of the Bronx.  Through this blog we hope that you will learn more about the great work we do at Alianza Youth Services and become one of our Superheroes

Celebrating Superhero Day

Alianza Highbridge Cornerstone - Super Heroes Program

Superhero Day at our Catholic Charities Alianza Highbridge Gardens Cornerstone program in the Bronx was in full force as children garbed in capes and masks they made celebrated their “Everyday Champions” – their participants, teachers, staff and parents. 

Cornerstone youth programs are designed to help participants acquire the skills and attitudes they need to graduate from high school, succeed in their chosen career, and give back to the community.  Programs include tutoring, recreation, computer access and more.

In fact, much more, such as our Superhero program.  Over the course of the year, youth learned that the mailman, a kind Samaritan, their teachers, and even they, are champions, who “save the day” by doing their jobs and making a difference.

At the Superhero Day, participants’ accomplishments were recognized as they reflected on their successes this year. 

 “I always volunteer and help any way that I can,” said fourth grader Moussa Camara. “If I could have any superpower, it would be to teleport, so I can travel the world.” 

Over 40 Superheroes Visited the High School for Media & Communications for Annual College & Career Day

Alianza George Washington High School of Communications Career Day

Hailing from diverse careers and backgrounds, over 40 professionals visited the Catholic Charities Community School at the High School for Media & Communications to conduct in-classroom presentations on their career fields and share their paths to success.  Presenters were asked to highlight stories that featured challenges and the steps they followed to overcome those challenges. Presentations concentrated on how education and mentors helped them advance in their careers and their lives.

Catholic Charities Community Services is a partner of the High School for Media and Communications as a community school. Community schools team-up with community organizations to eliminate the barriers to student success.

Presenters included professionals of color in leadership positions at Verizon, Charter Communications, New York Presbyterian Hospital, Morgan Stanley,Hispanic Information and Telecommunications Network, Inc. (HITN), the New York Attorney General’s Office, the New York City Office of Emergency Management, the New York District Attorney’s Office, the New York Police Department, the Dominican Women’s Development Center, the New York State Assembly, the New York City Mayor’s Office among other businesses and institutions.

 “It is incredibly important for me, as a native-born Washington Heights resident, to be a part of helping young people of color from the area imagine themselves carrying out their personal and professional dreams,” said Vladimir Martinez, Budget Director for Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer. “The students I spoke with were ambitious, emotionally intelligent, and ready to lead in so many areas.”

Superwoman Awarded Scholarship from the Dominican Day Parade

Natasha Peña


The Dominican Day parade honored Natasha Peña, a graduate of our In-School Youth Program, with a $1,000 scholarship.  Already a proven achiever, she graduated from the High School for Health Careers and Sciences in Manhattan in June 2016, with a grade point average of 90 and is currently a freshman at Lehman College in the Bronx, majoring in Biology.

The In-School Youth (ISY) program provides year-round services to high school juniors and seniors who meet certain eligibility  requirement.  They help participants graduate from high school, pursue college education, and develop career goals.

Natasha says she credits her academic success to participating in our In-School-Youth Program designed for college-bound eleventh and twelfth grade students in Washington Heights. The program, Natasha says, prepared her academically, socially and emotionally for college. She was very involved, for example, and participated in In-School-Youth workshops, SAT prep and volunteer opportunities including Food Bank of New York, soup kitchens and Van Cortlandt Park restoration.

The Dominican Day Parade, held in August awarded 25 scholarships to outstanding students from across the nation of Dominican descent at a reception at the New York Public Library in Manhattan. The Parade, that promotes the culture and folklore of the Dominican Republic, includes this scholarship program to assist students of Dominican ancestry to obtain a college degree.

 “This scholarship is my testimony that you can reach and be anything you set your mind to," says Natasha.


Catholic Charities is responding to the needs of our neighbors during the 
COVID-19 pandemic.

For Help Call 888-744-7900