Posts Tagged ‘Queens’

Focusing on Education for Family’s Success

Monday, December 1st, 2014

photo 5By John Otis

“It is seldom easy to achieve one’s dreams, but Naomi Bradshaw, 43, wishes it had not been quite so difficult,” writes New York Times Reporter John Otis in this recently published profile in The New York Times Neediest Cases series.

She married and the couple had sons. But marital bliss was short-lived.

“’Things got crazy,’ Ms. Bradshaw said. “He told me that I couldn’t go to work or to school.” She recalled numerous instances of abuse and…said her husband repeatedly threatened to harm her with a cricket bat and large kitchen knives…

“In 2005, she left her husband and took her sons to a shelter…

“As a single parent, Ms. Bradshaw pressed on. She took a job at a printing factory and was adamant that her children focus on their academic success

“’My main thing was for them to stay on top in school,’ she said. All three of her sons are A students and on the high honor roll at their schools. Shaun, (her oldest), is a contender for class valedictorian at the Law, Government and Community Service High School in Jamaica, Queens. He is set to graduate in 2016, and is already enrolled in classes at Queens College, with ambitions to pursue a career in law.

There was time now for Ms. Bradshaw to focus on her own career.  So she turned to Grace Institute, a Catholic Charities affiliate that provides free business training for women in need.

“I wanted a start, a real start,” Ms. Bradshaw said.

“I’m going to keep pushing like I always do,” Ms. Bradshaw said (after graduating the program in October.) “I’m not afraid.”

Congratulations, Donna Corrado!

Tuesday, February 25th, 2014

By Alice Kenny

Photo Credit: Catholic Charities Brooklyn and Queens

Photo Credit: Catholic Charities Brooklyn and Queens

Mayor Bill de Blasio just tapped this former head of Catholic Charities Neighborhood Services in Brooklyn and Queens  to lead New York City’s Department of Aging.

Ms. Corrado kicked off her career with Catholic Charities as an older adult program director before working her way up to chief operating officer.

As a 22-year member of the Catholic Charities community, she brings to her new position our legacy of rebuilding lives, always with compassion and dignity.

Ms. Corrado said her focus would be making the city a better place for the aging where almost a quarter of senior citizens live at or below the poverty line – even with social security benefits.

“This is unacceptable,” she said.  “Our seniors deserve not only respect, but the care and support of our city agencies.”

Watch this video of her appointment now.

 

 

 

Borrowed Hearing Aid Opens New World to Teenager

Thursday, January 10th, 2013

By Alice Kenny

Vladimir Gongora, 17, thought he was the only person who could not hear.

He grew up in Cuyantepeque, El Salvador, an isolated farming village nestled between mountains, that had no health center and, until recently, no road access for cars.

For Vladimir, there was also no school: Because he could not hear or speak, teachers shut him out, his family said.  For years he lingered by the school doors at recess, waiting for other children to exit, waiting for playmates. He communicated only with his two sisters and grandparents, using hand signals they had invented.

But now, as a student at the Lexington School for the Deaf in Jackson Heights, Queens, he has made friends with classmates who are also hearing impaired and is learning sign language and to read and write.

“He wants to work,” said his father, Jose Gongora, who never went to school, “and later get a car.  He dreams a lot, right?”

 Read his story published in The New York Times

Watch a video of him on The New York Times website

Learn about crucial help he received from Catholic Charities.

Venezuelan Finds Asylum & Career in New York

Wednesday, January 2nd, 2013

By Alice Kenny

It is very difficult for Maria Marquez, 33, to talk about her past. She can be specific about certain things, but not many. The danger just feels too real.

“I’m afraid,” Ms. Marquez said anxiously in her Elmhurst, Queens, apartment, an intensity in her eyes. “There have been kidnappings. People killed.”

A refugee from Venezuela, Ms. Marquez turned to Catholic Charities for help.
Read her story published on Sunday in The New York Times.

Beaten, Blinded and Homeless, Young Man Rebuilds Life

Friday, November 16th, 2012

By Alice Kenny

Carlos Castro does not remember the last thing he saw before losing consciousness on March 7, 2003. He collapsed onto a sidewalk in Flushing, Queens, after one of the five attackers he had been fleeing stabbed him in his chest, shoulder and stomach.

But the memory of what Mr. Castro, then 16, first glimpsed when his eyes opened next is indelible. “It was black,” he said. “I had no sight.”

Click here to read about his struggle to recover his sight and care for his elderly mother and the crucial help he received from Catholic Charities Guild for the Blind.