Quarterly Highlights: January to March 2024

GiGi’s NYC recently closed out our winter semester, and it was nothing short of amazing! Check out the recap below to read about our remarkable first quarter:

  • Long-time participant, Troy Providenti, was announced as our 2024 Ambassador.
  • We launched our winter programs, which included community-favorite Teen Tastic, as well as a new program in partnership with Best Buddies, their Transitions program. This program provided classroom-based employment training for individuals with Down syndrome ages 14-22.
  • We kicked off our second Career Development Program, GiGi University. Our students had the opportunity to visit the offices at the Royal Bank of Canada (RBC), where they received a tour and learned about the various roles within the bank including lawyers, bankers, security guards and reception.
  • Our participants attended the Broadway show, Once Upon a Mattress, thanks to a generous donation from RBC.
  • Alivia launched its Spring 2024 collection  in collaboration with GiGi’s NYC participant, Victoria Krasny.
  • Our Operations Manager, Rosella, was a guest blogger for Beyond Down Syndrome, a resource home for families with Down syndrome. You can check out the blog here.
  • Our participants had a blast creating robots at MakeInspires, a makers space that provides STEAM education to students in grades K-12. Thank you to our dedicated volunteer T-Age’ Williams for connecting us with Travis Sluss, CEO and Founder, who generously donated this class.
  • Dr. Bonnie Keilty, Professor in the Special Education Department at Hunter College, hosted the March edition of Family Speaker: TableTalk, where she discussed the mission of early intervention and how it “works” based on the most current research. Specific topics included the IFSP, family rights, and what intervention visits look like.
  • The IDEAL School of Manhattan, New York’s only independent K-12+ inclusion school, held a Virtual Open House for our community. 
  • The National Down Syndrome Society generously sponsored an in-person presentation by Dr. Brian Chicoine, MD, on “Forming a Partnership with Your Healthcare Provider.” Dr. Chicoine is the medical director of the Advocate Medical Group Adult Down Syndrome Center in Park Ridge, Illinois and is on the faculty of the Family Medicine residency at Advocate Lutheran General Hospital.
  • We welcomed the newest member of our team, our Programs Manager, Erin Ushakov-Zhang.
  • We celebrated World Down Syndrome Day (WDSD) throughout the month of March:
    • Our 6th Annual Fashion Show was filled with happiness, joy, and inspiration. Everyone had a blast – our participants, our families, our attendees, and even the PIX11 news crew that was present and put together a wonderful news clip.
    • We hosted our Inaugural Broadway Cabaret. It was an evening filled with powerful vocals, captivating stories, and the magic of Broadway. Check out this video to witness this sensational event. 
    • BlackRock invited our participants to their offices to celebrate WDSD. They had a great time networking and crafting together.
    • Crunch Staten Island South held a fundraiser class with GiGi’s NYC as their charity partner. Thank you!
    • AIG displayed art work created by our talented participants at their NY disAbilities & Allies Sixth Annual Art Show.

We are extremely thankful for all our amazing participants, families, volunteers, donors, staff and community partners. We can do what we do because of YOU! 

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