Two top New York City officials paid a visit this August to University Settlement's Cornerstone Community Center at Campos Plaza, a comprehensive center in the East Village where neighbors of all ages engage with each other and advance their lives, families, and community.
Commissioner Bill Chong from the Department of Youth and Community Development (DYCD) and Chair and Chief Executive Officer Shola Olatoye of the New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) joined University Settlement's Executive Director Melissa Aase this August to tour the splendid multi-use facility, which includes a gym, theater, digital lab, music room, ceramics studio and library.
The US Cornerstone Community Center offers opportunities for community members to come together over enriching activities like cooking, music, basketball and yoga. It's also a center for neighbors to gather, tackle community challenges and cope with shared tragedies. Young children build their social and leadership skills at summer camp; teenagers learn to be teammates through sports and receive help applying for jobs and exploring career paths; adults and families network and share advice while participating in arts, athletics programming and social groups.
Many community center participants live in NYCHA housing at Campos Plaza, a vulnerable community that benefits from the augmented resources offered by University Settlement. Dereese Huffe and Patricia Troche, Tenants' Association Presidents for Campos Plaza residents, joined as well to offer their valuable insight as community leaders.
The visitors witnessed community members participating in martial arts classes and conversed with young people as they engaged in summer art programming.
At the end of the tour, Chair and CEO Olatoye and Commissioner Chong participated in a conversation with staff and community leaders about ways to improve the community and build on the successes of the site.
To view more photos of the tour, check out our Facebook album.