Partners In Action
On September 21, 2016 the City of Yonkers enthusiastically accepted the national My Brother’s Keeper (MBK) Community Challenge. Yonkers Mayor Mike Spano immediately tapped Yonkers Schools Superintendent Dr. Edwin M. Quezada and the Executive Director of the Nepperhan Community Center, Rev. Dr. Jim Bostic, as co-chairs of Yonkers MBK. They lead Yonkers MBK in collaboration with many stakeholders.
Yonkers Mayor Mike Spano – Championing Yonkers Interests for 25 Years
Yonkers Mayor Mike Spano has been working to improve the lives of Yonkers residents since he was first elected to the New York State Assembly in 1992. At age 28, he was its youngest member.
Serving as Mayor since 2012, Spano has made securing state support to rebuild Yonkers old, overcrowded school buildings one of his signature efforts.
“It is imperative our community bands together to ensure our children have the essentials tools, skills and environment to succeed in school and beyond,” Spano says. “When our children succeed, Yonkers succeeds.”
Yonkers Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Edwin M. Quezada – Sharing the American Dream
Yonkers Schools Superintendent, Dr. Edwin M. Quezada, has spent nearly his entire career working toward improving the life outcomes of his students. An immigrant from the Dominican Republic raised to believe in the value of a strong education, Quezada moved to the South Bronx as a teenager. Speaking almost no English when he arrived, Quezada credits caring teachers with helping him quickly catch up with his studies and prepare for college.
He began his professional life in accounting and his facility with numbers continues to this day. Quezada followed his heart into education and was soon recognized as an effective and motivated professional.
Since he joined the Yonkers Public Schools in 1994, he progressed through more than a half dozen roles of increasing responsibility including Human Relations Facilitator, Assistant Superintendent for secondary schools, and Deputy Superintendent.
During his decade tenure as Principal of Lincoln High School, he was widely credited with “turning the school around” by dramatically increasing student attendance, graduation rates and the number of college-going seniors while decreasing student suspension and drop-out rates.
“All children must have the opportunity, as I did, to believe the American Dream is truly within their reach,” Quezada says.
Nepperhan Community Center Executive Director Rev. Dr. Jim Bostic – Community All Star
Rev. Dr. Jim Bostic is a Yonkers native and Gorton High School graduate who began his career as an NBA basketball player for the Kansas City Kings and Detroit Pistons. Bostic later spent several winning seasons coaching basketball in New Rochelle and at Iona College.
An active community leader with dozens of civic and athletic awards to his name, Bostic became Executive Director of the Nepperhan Community Center in 2004, which provides a safe nurturing environment where children of all ages are equipped with necessary life skills, and support. NCC offers interactive activities such as academic enrichment, sports, cultural arts, and workshops focusing on building self-esteem, self-confidence, conflict resolution, and team building, while learning to value and appreciate cultural diversity.
“Yonkers accepting the My Brother’s Keeper challenge -- given its past history of court-ordered desegregation-- is a major step toward closing the gaps academically, socially and in terms of employment that have existed for boys of color since I was a child in the Yonkers School District in late 60s and early 70s,” Bostic says.