A Message from Our CEO, Scott Short

The fall season is upon us, bringing cooler weather, vivid sunsets, and the return of our regular year-round programming. Even for those of us who are no longer beholden to the school calendar, fall seems to invite a return to routine and to the relationships—the connections—that matter most. We recently celebrated these connections at the annual RiseBoro Gala, held at the former Williamsburgh Savings Bank on Thursday, September 29. Our biggest fundraising event of the year, the gala is a celebration of the organizations and individuals whose generosity supports the work we do all year. It is also an opportunity for us to honor the people who make a difference in our communities. This year’s honorees included Dr. Dave Chokshi, the former commissioner of the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, and Jessica Katz, the city’s new chief housing officer. The evening was a huge success, and I want to thank everyone who contributed and celebrated with us. 

Connections strengthen our efforts and our communities, and I am proud of the connections RiseBoro has formed with other nonprofits and community organizations in Brooklyn and beyond. We recently celebrated the groundbreaking of the first of three new affordable housing projects on the Broadway Triangle development site with our longtime partners St. Nicks Alliance, Los Sures, and United Jewish Organizations of Williamsburg. The projects will create 387 new apartments, a workforce development center, a flexible community space, and a non-profit coffee shop that will employ at-risk youth. Scroll down to learn about other recent partnerships, including one that expanded access to free culinary training in Bushwick and one that brought youth from across the city into our offices and community sites. 

Finally, I hope you won’t let the change in weather keep you from connecting with us this fall. The 12th annual ¡CalabazaFest! will be held in Maria Hernandez Park on Sunday, October 30. We will have live music, pumpkin carving, and a costume contest. If you would like to volunteer at ¡CalabazaFest! or any other upcoming events, click here to contact our volunteer manager, Jasmine Montalvo. I hope to see you there! 

In partnership,  
— Scott Short, CEO 

New Partnership Boosts Access to Culinary Job Training 

A new partnership with Hot Bread Kitchen brought the popular free culinary training class to Bushwick, launching culinary careers for immigrant women and women of color in our community. Learn more about how this partnership is opening doors for aspiring chefs and why one student called it “an amazing opportunity.”

Volunteers Needed for ¡CalabazaFest! 2022

Interested in being part of the biggest autumn festival in Bushwick? Volunteer with us at the twelfth annual ¡CalabazaFest! RiseBoro is seeking pumpkin-carving enthusiasts and other general volunteers to help with setup at 10:00 a.m. and break down at 4:00 p.m. All volunteers will receive a fabulous ¡CalabazaFest! t-shirt! To sign up, simply email or call our volunteer manager using the contact information listed below.  

Held in Maria Hernandez Park, ¡CalabazaFest! is a cross-cultural, family-friendly, free costume party that celebrates community, creativity, diversity, and cultural expression. This year’s event will feature a stage with live music, mariachi, and dance performances; a special edition of the RB Farmers Market; pumpkin carving; and a creative costume contest held at 2:00 p.m. We hope to see you there! 

Volunteers Contact: 

Jasmine Montalvo 

[email protected] 


Volunteer Opportunities

Connect with our community of supporters by becoming a volunteer. Below is a list of our current needs. If you don’t see something that interests you, reach out to us for additional opportunities. 

PPE Packing: Assemble personal protective equipment

Mask Delivery: Deliver non-surgical gowns to local schools.

Greeting: Welcome the older adults at one of our senior centers.

Caretaking: Help beautify our senior centers.

Get additional information here!

Or contact Jasmine Montalvo, Service & Volunteer Manager: [email protected].

Preparing the Next Generation of Community Leaders

Every year, NYC’s Summer Youth Employment Program (SYEP) brings young people from across the city into our offices and communities to explore career paths, develop workplace skills, and gain experience that will shape their futures. This summer, we invited more than 100 young people to work with teams across our organization, including our Youth, Seniors, Empowerment, Housing, and Health divisions. Some of our interns shared how their work experiences influenced their plans for the future and helped them grow.

Honoring Connections and Community at Gala 2022

The atmosphere was full of joy and celebration as we honored the importance of connections and community at our annual RiseBoro Gala, held on Thursday, September 29 in the former Williamsburgh Savings Bank. Honorees included Dr. Dave Chokshi, the former commissioner of the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, and New York City’s new Chief Housing Officer Jessica Katz. Thank you to the donors, sponsors, and supporters who made the evening a success and whose generosity fuels our work all year.