Today, we are extremely excited to introduce Heather Berstein. Heather first joined our community through New York Cares one year ago, and has been actively involved ever since. She is currently one of our Zumba Program Leaders and is also a member of the GiGi’s NYC Associate Board. Be sure to visit our Friday Zumba classes (there’s one today!) to meet Heather and participate in some fun exercises!
How and when did you first get involved with GiGi’s NYC?
I first got involved with GiGi’s NYC in April 2020 as a New York Cares volunteer during the pandemic. What started out as an experiment teaching Zumba virtually has become a regular weekly project (and a huge hit)!
Why did you decide to join the Associate Board of Directors?
I was so moved by the experiences I had with the GiGi’s students in my Zumba class that I wanted to get even more involved. I expanded my role within GiGi’s NYC and joined the Associate Board in January of 2021.
What do you do on the Associate Board?
The Associate Board hosts 2 to 3 events each year that support GiGi’s NYC. We just hosted our Third Annual Fashion show, for which I was the marketing lead. I helped to create our marketing plan, identifying all the different ways we wanted to spread the word about the event. I also drafted our marketing communications. If you missed the Fashion Show or would like to enjoy it again, please click here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PwkVu7WKs-M!
What does Down syndrome awareness and acceptance look like to you?
Down syndrome awareness and education looks like GiGi’s NYC’s mission – to create a world that is socially just; where individuals with Down syndrome have a voice, and are accepted and embraced in their families, schools and communities.
What from our community are you most proud of?
I am most proud of the accomplishments of our participants and the passion of our team. At a recent Zumba class, quite a few participants told the group that they are going to college! At our recent Third Annual Fashion Show, we saw all the abilities, talents, and support that GiGi’s NYC provides. As someone who works behind the scenes as an Associate Board member and volunteer, I also get to see how hard the team works and the passion behind it. This is what makes me most proud of being a part of GiGi’s NYC.
How do you enjoy spending your free time?
I enjoy spending time with my family and friends, playing board games with my fiancé, learning new things, dancing, and taking long walks outside.
What do you look forward to doing at the Playhouse once we can safely gather there again? Meeting everyone in person!
GiGi’s NYC extends a huge thank you to Heather for all that she does for our community, and hope you will join us in recognizing her immense contributions to our Playhouse!