This edition of MetroFocus examines the success of mentoring in the public schools starting with a visit to the not yet two year-old Academy for Software Engineering near Union Square. Reporter Rick Karr shows us how the new public high school is incorporating the iMentor program into the curriculum. It’s a new approach to mentoring that combines face-to-face interaction with weekly emails and four-year long relationships with students. In a follow up interview, iMentor CEO Mike O’Brien tells MetroFocus host Rafael Pi Roman, “We’re trying to partner with the schools that have the biggest college challenge, serving majority first-generation college students from low-income communities, and prove that those students can get into college and complete college at the same rates as their peers all across the country.”
President of the Rockefeller Foundation, Judith Rodin, has some serious suggestions for New York Mayor Bill de Blasio to make the city more resilient and ready to withstand another Superstorm Sandy. The Rockefeller Foundation named New York as one of the first cities to be funded in the new 100 Resilient Cities Centennial Challenge, a project designed to help cities around the world implement urban resilience plans through technical support and funding for the cities to hire Chief Resilience Officers. Rodin recommends that de Blasio move quickly on this. “He absolutely must appoint a Chief Resilience Officer. Our resources will support that individual, and this is somebody who must have the capacity within City Hall to kind of bring all the silos together, knock the relevant heads that need to get knocked.”
NJTV reporter Lauren Wanko has the story of veterans in New Jersey bringing a workhorse from the Vietnam War back to life. The veterans’ mission to restore a 1964 Huey helicopter that served two tours is an opportunity to bond, and Marine Sergeant William Carolan told Wanko, “With this project and projects like this, it will help Americans realize what we’ve sacrificed and what the American people need to remember, so we don’t repeat our past.”
And what do the PBS Masterpiece series Downton Abbey and a Broadway musical have in common? Jazz. It’s 1922 on the British drama and jazz is becoming all the rage upstairs and downstairs. In “After Midnight,” a new musical at the Brooks Atkinson Theatre, the story of the Harlem Renaissance comes to life with the music, history, and rhythm of jazz. Director and choreographer Warren Carlyle and principal dancer Karine Plantadit give us an inside look at what made jazz a sensation in the 1920’s and 30’s.
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