Press Release

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: February 22, 2018



As part of NextGeneration NYCHA, this event is designed to hone networking and public speaking skills for 60 members of NYCHAs Youth Leadership Councils.

Participating mentors hail from a variety of industries across the public, private, and non-profit sectors.

NEW YORK – Today, the New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) held the inaugural speed mentoring event for 60 resident members of its Youth Leadership Councils (YLC). This unique opportunity connected young NYCHA leaders to a group of approximately 60 mentors for a series of short and focused one-on-one conversations aimed at building their networking and public speaking skills. The event aims to help NYCHA youth explore career options and the variety of paths available to achieve their educational and professional goals.

The inaugural class of mentors included professionals at varying stages of their careers from the public, private, and non-profit sectors. All mentors participated on a volunteer basis and were able to share how their experiences helped them ascend to their current positions. These dedicated professionals, several of whom are NYCHA employees, helped these highly engaged high school students gain important insights into their educational background and career paths.

“This speed mentoring event will help our young NYCHA leaders build critical skills as they continue growing into their roles as leaders of their communities,” said Sideya Sherman, NYCHA’s Executive Vice President for Community Engagement. “This first-time effort represents a clear testament of NYCHA’s commitment as we continue investing in our future generations.”

“Participation in this event is important to me because mentorship is invaluable,” said Joseph M. Kemp, a volunteer speed mentor and Peer Mentor and Facilitator with non-profit Urban Upbound. “Being that I am a public housing resident myself, I know that having a mentor at a young age is highly advantageous to one's career, education, and successful transition out of poverty.”

“This event is important to me because I want to learn new things; also, I want people to hear my story. In addition, I can network with people,” said Zackary Rummit, Resident Youth Leader at Van Dyke Houses. “This opportunity will get me out there so that people can know who I am and where I’m from and what my plans are for my community.” 

NYCHA partnered with NYC Service, a division of the Office of the Mayor, to organize this event, using their speed mentoring toolkit as a guide. Further, NYCHA is a supporter of the City’s Youth Mentoring Initiative, which aims to increase mentoring opportunities for high school youth across the five boroughs, in support of the City’s Equity and Excellence plan to achieve 80 percent high school graduation and two-thirds college-readiness rates by 2026.

“NYC Service is proud to partner with NYCHA to invest in the future of our youth by supporting their voices and connecting them with caring volunteer mentors,” said NYC Chief Service Officer Paula Gavin. “Events like this are about ensuring young people across our city have every chance for success and shaping the path of our City’s future. I want to thank NYCHA for their deep commitment to NYCHA residents as well as all of the mentors and mentees at today’s event.”

NYCHA also worked with NYC Service to launch its YLCs, which are part of NextGeneration NYCHA, the Authority’s 10-year strategic plan. Launched in 2016, the YLCs are neighborhood-based, providing guidance and input to NYCHA leadership from a youth perspective. The YLCs identify priorities within their development and community and implement local and citywide community service projects throughout the school year. There are 14  NYCHA-based YLCs city-wide, with more than 200 active resident members.


About the New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA)
NYCHA’s mission is to increase opportunities for low- and moderate-income New Yorkers by providing safe, affordable housing and facilitating access to social and community services. Almost 400,000 New Yorkers reside in NYCHA’s 325 public housing developments around the five boroughs, and another 235,000 receive subsidized rental assistance in private homes through the NYCHA-administered Section 8 Leased Housing Program. For more information, visit, and for regular updates on NYCHA news and services, connect with us via and