Photo credit to Canva

This summer, Urban Upbound takes part in the largest youth employment program in the nation, the Summer Youth Employment Program (SYEP). Organized by NYC’s Department of Youth and Community Development (DYCD), this program helps level the playing field for many young New Yorkers who otherwise can’t afford an internship. The…


A Farewell to Urban Upbound Resource Navigator Team

Last month, Urban Upbound bid farewell to our team of Resource Navigators. For the past 13 months, the Urban Upbound Resource Navigator team helped support New Yorkers who needed to quarantine because of exposure to Coronavirus. Since the City’s Take Care Initiative


by Malik Harris, Business Support Coordinator

Before the pandemic, women- and minority-owned small businesses had already experienced significant barriers to accessing opportunities for individual and community economic development. Not only has this past year highlighted the harrowing inequalities some Queens’ residents continue to face, but many local entrepreneurs are now…


The COVID-19 pandemic forced Urban Upbound to move most of our social services online — which made it an unusual year for our College Access participants. Even though the participants were able to finish the SAT preparation course at the end of 2019 still sitting across from their peers, they…


Gabriel Palomino didn’t have big plans for life after high school. Then one summer, while working a low-wage job at a well known fast food chain, he decided to go to college. Gabriel moved back to New York to live with his grandmother in Queens. …


Nelson Castillo moved to New York City a few years back to find a better-paying job so he could support his wife and two children, who stayed behind. He found work at an airport terminal and was able to begin sending money to his family. Even though his income was…


Luz Martinez and her friend Solais Benitez started building their professional cleaning business with the assistance of Urban Upbound’s worker cooperative team in December 2019. As we all know now, a few months into their incubation period, the COVID-19 pandemic hit New York. Working on her own small business gave…


Tanay and her daughter at the Urban Upbound East Harlem site. Copyright: Urban Upbound.

Entering motherhood is one of the most beautiful moments in life. But how does it feel to have your baby during one of the most stressful times in recent history? NYCHA resident Tanay Felton-Carr gave birth to her daughter in April 2020, beginning her motherhood journey during the COVID-19 pandemic…


by Vismary Vargas (Site Manager of Urban Upbound Far Rockaway office) and Stephanie Kalele (Donor Relations Manager)

When Wendy Mejia Cohen immigrated to the United States in 2013 with her two young sons, she never expected that she would need to collect food from the community food pantry program in…


Tanya Vasquez. Copyright: Urban Upbound.

Tanya Vasquez had just started putting her life together when the COVID-19 pandemic hit. A single mother of two, Tanya was initially introduced to Urban Upbound in September 2019, right before her 25th birthday. With the help and encouragement from our counselors, Tanya earned her high school equivalency diploma (HSE)…

Urban Upbound NYC

A collection of stories around NYC’s public housing communities curated by Urban Upbound, a non-profit organization with a mission to break cycles of poverty.

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