5th Annual Super Chefs Sets New Record

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On November 2nd, Change for Kids partnered with 11 nationally-celebrated chefs to raise more than $700,000 at its 5th annual Super Chefs benefit.

Christian Isaiah, Super Chefs student speaker, took center stage and spoke in front of hundreds of guests. This is something he could never have imagined doing a few years ago. “I used to be really shy. But that’s no longer the case thanks to the CFK opportunities I had in school, along with the support of the Brooklyn Landmark community,” he said.

Christian credits CFK programs and experiences throughout elementary school with helping him become the confident, articulate and self-motivated 6th grade student he is today. “I know I’m unique and I’m on the right path,” he said. “I take education very seriously and know it’ll lead me to success.”

Thanks to our incredible Super Chefs supporters, Change for Kids will be able to impact more students like Christian next year as we expand the network of CFK partner schools benefiting from the academic, social and emotional resources we provide.

 Check out a new CFK Video featuring Christian below!

Back to School Update


Welcome from Our New Executive Director, Katrina S. Huffman

I am humbled to exercise my servant-leadership as Change for Kids’ new Executive Director. For the past month, I have been impressed by the staff’s unbridled commitment to invest in NYC’s neediest public elementary schools. I am in utmost awe of our community—from our board, business leaders, principals, and funders—who recognize the importance of bridging the opportunity gap for youth in vulnerable communities.

In my past role as Chief Program Officer at Youth INC, I participated in empowering youth-serving nonprofits through leadership development programs that indirectly affect public school students. I look forward to making a direct impact on NYC’s youth at CFK. Colin Smith did a remarkable job as Executive Director by growing CFK’s community and impact. My focus in the next few years is to develop our network of schools, measure our success, and deepen our influence at our schools.

An investment in our youth is an investment in our future as a city and a nation. As a product of New York state schools from Kindergarten to college, I am eager to work with you to continue this critical work of providing enriching opportunities to NYC’s youth. Together, we will help thousands of students become lifelong learners who excel emotionally, socially, and academically.

Katrina S. Huffman

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CFK Highlight: Two New Partner Schools from the Bronx to the Sea

While students enjoy the last of their summer days, CFK is preparing to welcome two more schools into our network this year—P.S. 6X in the West Farms neighborhood of the Bronx and P.S. 329 in Coney Island, Brooklyn.

  • Principal Tiawana Perez has created a collaborative culture at P.S. 6X with the belief that it takes a village of stakeholders—from parents and staff, to partners like CFK—to educate students. She is teaming up with CFK to meet the social, emotional, and academic needs of her students.
  • Principal Salema Marbury has established numerous student-led initiatives at P.S. 329 to combat absenteeism and help students discover their unique talents. She is partnering with CFK to further expose students to diverse, engaging experiences that prepare them for middle school and beyond.

We cannot wait to start the school year and work with our new and returning partner schools!

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School Spotlight: RBC Volunteers Prep P.S. 142 for Back to School

This summer, more than 200 RBC Capital Markets Interns stepped away from their desks and volunteered their time to help P.S. 142 get ready for the first day of school. To make the day even more special, RBC announced a $25K grant to P.S. 142 for the upcoming school year, which will fund CFK programs and resources. Principal Daphna Gutman reiterated to RBC staff and interns that they are making a tremendous impact on the school community.

RBC interns participated in a variety of projects—from leading arts and crafts with summer camp attendees to creating personalized pencil cases for every student at P.S. 142. The interns left behind the cases filled with all the back to school essentials, including a hand-written note of encouragement.


Welcoming Our New Executive Director


On behalf of the Board of Directors, I am thrilled to share exciting news. After an extensive search, we have named Katrina Huffman as Change for Kids’ new Executive Director! Katrina will officially join CFK at the end of this month.

Katrina brings a wealth of expertise, enthusiasm, and vision to lead Change for Kids into our next stage of growth. She is currently the Chief Program Officer of Youth INC, a venture philanthropy organization that provides leadership development programs and grants to 75 NYC youth-serving nonprofits. Prior to Youth INC, she served as a Program Director at Harlem Children’s Zone and Groundwork.

As a native New Yorker, Katrina is passionate about ensuring that all NYC students receive a quality education. We firmly believe that she will inspire the CFK community to achieve even greater impact in the years to come.

I look forward to introducing you to Katrina soon, and to Change for Kids’ bright future under her leadership.

– Nicolas Koechlin, Board Chair

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P.S. 81 Students Get Moving

In NYC, 1 in 5 kindergarten students are obese, and almost three quarters of elementary school children did not receive the state-mandated minimum amount of exercise last school year. That’s #WhyCFK hosts family fitness events at our partner schools—to get even our youngest students into a habit of physical activity.

P.S. 81 in Brooklyn recently held the school’s Community Wellness Fair. While parents scoured the auditorium and met with multiple community organizations that offer health and wellness services, students participated in fitness activities to get their bodies moving. Some students tried yoga for the first time, while others tested their backward jump roping skills. CFK Board Member Laura Farah joined in on the fun and encouraged students to test their limits!

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