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Beacon Celebrates 25 Years of Service!


In honor of the Beacon program’s 25th year, a celebration was held October 27th at The Metropolitan Museum of Art. In attendance were the Beacon team, Beacon Executive Directors and Directors, as well as First Lady Chirlane McCray, who accepted an award on behalf of former Mayor David N. Dinkins. The event was MC’d by Hot97’s Laura Stylez. View images from the event on our Facebook page.

Ladders for Leaders Applications Now Available!


DYCD’s Ladders for Leaders is a nationally recognized program that offers high school and college students the opportunity to participate in paid professional summer internships with leading corporations, non-profit organizations and government agencies in New York City. Ladders for Leaders gives students a unique opportunity to explore their interests and discover new ones through: Pre-employment Training: Receive help with résumé and cover letter writing, and interviewing skills. Learn essential workplace readiness skills and business etiquette; Paid Summer Internships: Paid internship opportunities available in a variety of industries to accommodate student interests; Opportunity to join a growing Alumni Network: Broad network of alumni, post-internship opportunities and networking events open only to past participants of the program.

This competitive process differs from the Summer Youth Employment Program in that it requires applicants to submit an application to one of several community-based organizations serving the five boroughs. Applications are evaluated based on academic performance, response to an essay question and résumé. For more information, please contact 1-800-246-4646 or apply online now.

Thanksgiving Volunteer Options for NYC Kids and Families


With Thanksgiving approaching, there are great ways NYC kids and their parents can give back to those in need, while finding opportunities for children of all ages so everyone can participate. Here are some family-friendly ways to put the “giving” in your Thanksgiving. For future opportunities, subscribe to the free Doing Good Together/NY newsletter, a monthly roundup of local volunteer opportunities appropriate for families.

New York Botanical Garden Holiday Train Show - Celebrating 25 Years of Holiday Magic


Saturday, November 19, 2016 – Monday, January 16, 2017
New York Botanical Garden
2900 Southern Boulevard, Bronx, NY 10458
For all ages
Model trains navigate painstakingly crafted miniatures of New York City’s built environment, all made entirely out of plant parts. The Statue of Liberty, the Brooklyn Bridge and Yankee Stadium are among the 150 landmarks that form a fantastically rendered city landscape built from seeds, bark, leaves and twigs, serviced by a robust half-mile of track, all nestled underneath the glass ceilings of the historic Enid A. Haupt Conservatory. Other events coinciding with the train show include a cappella performances, special tours, classical music concerts, a poetry reading and activities for kids. Please visit, the NY Botanical Garden website for tickets and more information.

NYC Holiday Markets 2016

Currently through Monday, January 2, 2017
Various locations
For all ages
New York City takes its shopping experience to a new level with the many holiday markets that pop up for the season. So grab a cup of hot cocoa and brave the cold to find homemade wares for everyone on your list at the three big outdoor markets — Union Square Holiday Market, Holiday Shops at Bryant Park and Columbus Circle Holiday Market — or stay warm at the indoor Grand Central Holiday Fair.

Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade & Balloon Inflation


Wednesday, November 23, 2016 – Thursday, November 24, 2016
Macy’s Herald Square
151 West 34th Street, Manhattan, NY 10001
Free for all ages
A Thanksgiving tradition for more than 90 years, this parade is one of the most famous holiday events in the world. Millions line the streets of Manhattan to watch celebrities, Broadway performers, clowns, marching bands, floats (including Santa himself riding a reindeer-powered sleigh) and the true headliners of the day: the all-star roster of floating balloons—Snoopy, Hello Kitty and friends—flying high above the route. The procession heads south down Central Park West from 77th Street, east along Central Park South to Sixth Avenue and then south along Sixth Avenue to West 34th Street, ending in front of Macy’s in Herald Square. Also, the inflating of the balloons along the perimeter of the American Museum of Natural History has become an annual Thanksgiving eve tradition on the Upper West Side. To learn more about the parade lineup and route, please visit macys.com.

NYC Holiday Lighting Ceremonies


Enjoy New York City’s holiday lighting ceremonies! Live entertainment, caroling, and pictures with Santa are all in store for you this holiday season in NYC.


Holiday Under the Stars at the Shops at Columbus Circle
November 14, 2016 – January 2, 2017, 5:00pm to Midnight, Daily
American Museum of Natural History Origami Holiday Tree
November 21, 2016 – January 8, 2017, 10:00am – 5:45pm
17th Annual Winter’s Eve at Lincoln Square
November 28, 2016, 5:30pm
Seaport District Annual Tree Lighting
November 29, 2016, 6:30pm – 7:30pm
Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony
November 30, 2016, 7:00pm – 9:00pm (lit until January 7, 2017)
NY Stock Exchange 93rd Annual Christmas Tree Lighting
December 1, 2016, 3:00pm – 5:15pm
Charles A Dana Discovery Center Holiday Lighting in Central Park
December 1, 2016, 5:30pm – 6:30pm
Carl Schurz Park Tree Lighting
December 4, 2016, 5:00pm – 6:00pm
The Lighting of the Park Avenue Christmas Trees
December 4, 2016, 6:30pm
Washington Square Park Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony
December 7, 2106, 6:00pm
Holiday on the Hudson Tree Lighting
December 10, 2016, 4:30pm – 6:30pm


Holiday Tree Lighting in Park Slope
November 26, 2106, 6:30pm – 8:00pm
Atlantic Avenue Christmas Tree Lighting
December 8, 2016, 6:00pm – 8:00pm
Grand Army Plaza Menorah Lighting
December 24, 2016 – December 31, 2016, 6:00pm – 7:00pm

Staten Island

Christmas in Richmond Town & Traditional Tree Lighting
December 4, 2016, 11:00am – 7:00pm

Humanities New York

Humanities New York (HNY) expands the field of the public humanities by supporting projects that activate, frame, or deepen the understanding of what it means to be human. The Grants Program is a statewide resource for support of a wide variety of lectures, festivals, panel discussions, walking tours, and the planning and implementation of exhibitions and other ventures at small and large not-for-profit institutions throughout New York State. Through this program, the Council distributes federal funds from the National Endowment for the Humanities directly to notable projects created by museums, libraries, historical societies, and other cultural and educational organizations.

Projects that address pressing issues and draw strength from community partnerships are encouraged. The Grants Program gives priority to projects that engage hard-to-reach audiences (e.g.: families, groups with special needs, veterans, etc.) or that serve communities from all around the state. From now to 2020, projects that mark the state or national centennials of women’s suffrage are also encouraged. For more information about the 2017 grant guidelines, please visit humanitiesny.org.

The Knicks Poetry Scholars program

The Knicks Poetry Scholars program is a partnership between the New York Knicks and Urban Word NYC that awards full tuition scholarships to the Syracuse University, St. John’s University, Pace University and Mercy College to college bound high school seniors in the tri-state area. This competition aims to celebrate the value of outstanding students who demonstrate leadership qualities, community engagement, and a fresh perspective. Students who want a chance to win a full tuition scholarship should apply to the schools of their choice, and after acceptance, write an essay entitled the “Reason I Write” and submit it and a résumé/CV and small portfolio of poems.

Students are provided with a twelve-week “Creatively College Bound” college prep workshop series where they receive step by step guidance throughout the college and scholarship application process. The complete application includes an essay, poetry portfolio and CV. Special “boot camp” sessions will also be provided for students to not only fill out applications to our partner schools, but also work on their essays and portfolios. The deadline for the application to schools is December 1, 2016 and the deadline for the essay and portfolio is January 15, 2017. To enter, please visit the scholarship website for details.

Breakthrough New York Prize

Breakthrough New York transforms the lives of talented kids from low-income backgrounds by providing free educational support from middle school through college into careers and inspires talented young people to enter careers in education through their students-teaching-students model. The process begins when kids enter the program as sixth graders. Breakthrough identifies high potential low-income students through recommendations from their teachers and guidance counselors. From there, all students apply through a rigorous application and interview process. Students exhibit that they want to work hard and commit to a ten year path to and through college. It’s an extraordinary commitment, and it’s not for everyone. Breakthrough students receive concentrated summer and after school tutoring throughout middle school, and that culminates with help on high school application tests. Breakthrough will specifically educate students and their families to assess schools carefully, and emphasize college prep standards. The process continues in high school, through class meetings, summer enrichment opportunities, internships, career preparation and test prep, and that leads to and through college. Breakthrough does not only provide the student with the tools to succeed in an academic environment, but delivers students who are committed to making themselves and the world better. Breakthrough New York’s goal is to create leaders who break the cycle of poverty in their families and affect positive change in their communities. The deadline to complete the 2017 student application and join the Breakthrough New York class of 2027 is December 1, 2016. For more information, visit btny.org.

2016 International Student Photo Contest: Cities/Urbanization

Carnegie Council for Ethics in International Affairs announces its fourth annual International Student Photography Contest. The topic for this year’s photo contest is Urbanization. According to a 2014 UN report, the world’s urban population is five times as large as it was in 1950, growing from 746 million to 3.9 billion in 2014. From the mass migration out of China’s countryside, to the vast urban sprawl of Mexico City, to the massive growth of cities in the Sun Belt of the United States, urbanization is on the increase throughout the world. While it might mean a path out of poverty and easier access to education for many, it can also increase income inequality and contribute to climate change. Please submit photos that depict urbanization and city life, showing either the advantages or the drawbacks.

The contest will be conducted on Carnegie Council’s Global Ethics Network, their social media platform for exploring the role of ethics in international relations. Check out last year’s winners on the theme of Climate Change, and see below for details on how to participate. All students of every nationality are eligible. Non-students will be disqualified. The minimum age is 13. Please submit photos that depict urbanization and city life, showing either the advantages or the drawbacks by the contest deadline of December 31, 2016. For further details and rules, please visit the Carnegie Council’s website.

2016 International Student/Teacher Essay Contest: Nationalism

Carnegie Council for Ethics in International Affairs announces its eighth annual International Essay Contest, open to teachers and students anywhere in the world. The 2016 essay topic is as follows: Is nationalism an asset or hindrance in today’s globalized world? Nationalism as used here is a broad term and can be viewed in terms of patriotism, economic nationalism, national identity that holds a diverse country together, nativism, a movement that ideologically separates a nation from a supranational organization, or any other logical way you think fit, as long as you define it clearly. The contest requirements are as follows: an op-ed style essay (not academic, footnoted papers); 1,000 to 1,500 words in length; in a Word document, or email format, English language only. This competition is open to teachers and students of all nationalities, limit one entry per person. The contest deadline is December 31, 2016. To review the suggested essay areas of focus and applications details, visit carnegiecouncil.org.

New York Women in Communications

The New York Women in Communications’ Foundation, the charitable arm of New York Women in Communications, will award college scholarships to qualified applicants on the basis of academic excellence, need, and involvement in the field of communications. Residents of the tri-state area and Pennsylvania who are focusing on communication studies are eligible to submit applications for scholarships. A student is eligible even if she is attending a school outside New York, New Jersey, Connecticut or Pennsylvania, as long as her home address is in one of these regions. An appointed NYWICI Scholarship Committee will select the winners. Scholarship recipients will be selected on the basis of academic record, need, demonstrated leadership, participation in school and community service activities, honors, work experience, statement of goals and aspirations, and unusual personal and/or family circumstances. Finalists will be required to attend an in-person interview in New York City on a date in March to be determined by the Scholarship Committee. Recipients of scholarship awards will be notified no later than March and will be acknowledged on-stage at the Matrix Awards Luncheon in April in New York City. Scholarship recipients must provide confirmation of acceptance into an undergraduate or graduate program no later than May. Scholarship funds will be awarded directly to educational institutions in June. Completed applications are due January 27, 2017. For more information, please visit nywici.org.

Have you discovered discoverDYCD?


Looking for an afterschool program in your neighborhood? Need information on improving reading skills or finding the nearest community center? The web application discoverDYCD allows you to search in multiple languages for DYCD-funded programs. You can search by borough, neighborhood or zip code, and discoverDYCD provides contact information, activities offered, and a mapping feature with navigation.
Categories of services include: Afterschool Programs, Family Support, Literacy Services, Youth Services and so much more! We hope you find discoverDYCD useful as you take advantage of the diverse resources and opportunities that New York City has to offer.

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