Undeterred and Taking Control

The COVID-19 pandemic has affected people’s lives in many ways. 24-year-old Cheyenne Lewis lost her food service job at the beginning of the year, during the city’s lockdown. Undeterred, she set a new goal for herself, to obtain a higher education degree.

Cheyenne first enrolled at Urban Upbound’s Jobs-Plus East Harlem Program in September 2017. At the time, the Clinton Houses resident was looking for employment. Working with our team of employment specialists, she was able to secure a job at a fast-food restaurant. It was this job that she lost earlier this year. Having stayed in touch with our East Harlem team, Cheyenne sought our counselors’ assistance to return to college.

An alumna of Borough of Manhattan Community College, where she earned an Associate’s Degree, Cheyenne was now planning to go for a Bachelor’s Degree in Business and Writing (Freelance, Journalism, and Creative). She began participating in our College Workshop Series in April, not missing a single session. Determined to succeed, Cheyenne would come prepared with questions, and actively engage the facilitators and guest speakers in conversation, ready to share her own research on the college application process.

Our team at Urban Upbound further assisted Cheyenne in narrowing down her list of colleges and applying to her top choices. We are happy to report that some weeks ago we celebrated her admission to Baruch College, where she has begun taking classes as a major in Business Communications.

Urban Upbound’s COVID-19 Relief and Recovery Efforts cover a full spectrum of critical areas of need, from food and direct financial assistance to employment counseling and youth development. Your donation makes it possible for us to continue providing these services. And if you’d like to learn more about our impact and work, please follow us on social media — we are on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, or subscribe to our newsletter.

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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.