Last night GOSO staff members and clients were joined by community leaders, partner organizations and education stakeholders for the grand opening of GOSO’s new Education Center at 1400 Fifth Avenue in Harlem.
We are thrilled to open this brand-new 2,200sf facility that will serve as the home base for our TASC (GED) high school equivalency program, advanced vocational training and other programs that help our guys in their individual quests for self-sufficiency and success. The center will also become the hub for GOSO’s “Coaches Club” program, which brings together participants with mentors who share their career interest in order to give them the skills and insights to navigate school and the job market.
“Education has always played an essential role in GOSO’s mission to empower young men and guide them towards independent and successful futures. Since our start, we have worked to ensure that the young people we serve can earn high school diplomas, GED certificates and college degrees, or enroll in job-readiness, paid internships and vocational programs,” explained Mark L. Goldsmith, GOSO’s President and CEO. “Our new education center will play an incredibly significant role as GOSO continues to grow and expand our reach to more court-involved and formerly incarcerated young men. The center will finally provide a dedicated site for our robust educational program, while increasing critical access to vocational trainings that will put GOSO clients on a path towards academic, financial and personal success.”
Mr. Goldsmith was joined by Dr. Timothy Lisante, Superintendent of DOE’s District 79 and Gloria Ortiz, Founder and former Principal of Horizon Academy, an alternative high school providing educational services to incarcerated adolescents. Also participating in the ribbon cutting were organizations Stand Against Violence East Harlem (SAVE), partner organizations Bronx Freedom Fund and Legal Aid Society, and employer partner GrowNYC for a celebration of the opening. GOSO clients, staff members and community members toured the new facility, and guests learned about GOSO’s education initiatives, counseling, work-readiness, paid internships, and job placement programs.
The center’s vocational training room on the lower level of the educational center houses computers that clients can use to improve technology-related skills and search for jobs. This education space will also allow GOSO to provide OSHA training, construction training for skills like scaffolding and flagging, computer skills training, food service training and more. This adds up to a doubling of capacity for training and education over and above our East Harlem headquarters.
“The work that we do is done with a lot of love and caring. But the Guys are the ones who do it – they do the work. When a young man comes to us, committed and looking to make a change, then we are there for them 100%,” said Mr. Goldsmith.