Michael Van Leuvan has a wife and three kids and lives in the Bronx. He’s thrilled to be earning $20 an hour as the manager of a Mexican fast food restaurant in Manhattan, and he’s hoping to get a 10 percent raise in the near future.
New year; new resolutions! In 2019, we’re resolving to seek out new, informed sources to educate ourselves on the progress of criminal justice reform efforts here in our City and beyond. Knowledge is power, and here are the podcasts, books and films playing in our ears and on our screens, and taking up residence on our bookshelves.
The holiday season just wouldn’t be the same without our favorite annual tradition: our participant holiday party! With 2018 coming to a close and 2019 on the horizon, we took the opportunity to celebrate our participants’ hard work and accomplishments, as we always do — with an awards ceremony! This year’s awards ceremony took place at Harlem Tavern, where more than 50 GOSO clients showed up to celebrate a year of growth and exceptional outcomes.
Getting Out and Staying Out (GOSO) is proud to be part of a coalition advocating in Washington for meaningful criminal justice reform. In particular, GOSO is pushing for reforms to improve prison conditions, enhance productive reentry services and make sentencing changes that will have real positive impacts for our communities and criminal justice-involved young people.
In honor of #NationalAppDay, we spoke with Viveka Hulyalkar, the founder of a social impact app, Beam, and a member of our Action Board! Beam is an easy-to-use app that allows its users to make an impact on social issues by donating part of their everyday purchases at various partner retailers.
In 2018 we opened a site down the street from our main office completely devoted to Education (one of the Three E’s!). The GOSO Education Center is a place where participants come to learn, to explore, and to challenge themselves to grow academically. GOSO is especially committed to supporting young men in their pursuit of higher education. To ensure our participants have the resources they need to succeed, we’ve significantly expanded our educational programming and facilities.
For many, a new year is an opportunity to reset, refresh and set new personal goals. GOSO participant Simeon R. is doing just that, with a focus on education. His goal in 2019 will be to conquer his first semester at LaGuardia Community College, in Queens. Simeon plans to study business in the hopes of becoming an entrepreneur after graduating.
Join us in welcoming Tim Bustle and Jannee Davis to the GOSO team! As Career Managers Tim will focus on our adolescent programming, which allows participants who are still in high school to attend GOSO after school; and Jannee will lead our vocational programs (i.e. OSHA, security training), which provide skills-trainings to connect our participants to better-paying jobs.
“I’ll tell you how I ended up on Rikers Island. Fifteen years ago, I volunteered for PENCIL’s “Principal for a Day” program. I asked to be assigned to the toughest school. A short ride later, I was on Rikers Island in a classroom with a group of young men who inspired me to be a catalyst for change.”
GOSO staff’s work is framed by our Three E’s; each plays an equally critical role in the success of our participants. Education, Employment and Emotional-Well-being: we believe that all three work together to form a foundation on which GOSO Guys can build their futures.