Now in its fourth year, Part of the Solution’s (POTS) bi-annual breakfast forums have become an important vehicle for discussing issues that most impact our clients. This season’s forum was held on June 15th in POTS’ Community Dining Room. POTS’ Deputy Executive Director discussed findings on how circumstance and stigma may influence a client’s mindset when stepping forward to self-sufficiency, and how to overcome obstacles by setting actionable and transformative goals.
The presentation was followed by a Q & A with panelists:
Unique Braithwaite, Executive Director, LIFT New York
As Executive Director, Unique is responsible for developing the strategic vision and direction for LIFT-New York. In her role, Unique ensures programmatic success through cultivation of key partnerships, rigorous evaluation and a sustainable fundraising strategy. Unique partners closely with the New York team, the regional board and funders to ensure New York’s sustainability and excellence.
Before Unique became the Executive Director, she served as LIFT-New York’s Program Director where she was responsible for the strategic oversight and management of the program. Unique also led the program’s re-launch in the South Bronx and the programmatic shift to exclusively serve families with young children.
Motivated by social justice principles and a fundamental belief in a fair and equitable society, Unique has remained professionally committed to serving under resourced communities throughout her career. Before joining LIFT, Unique was the Director of Staff and Program Development at the GO Project, an early academic intervention program, where she focused on program development and evaluation. Prior to GO, Unique served as the Director of Curricula at iMentor where she designed college and career focused curricula for NYC high school students and their mentors.
Luis Rodriguez, Employment Specialist, The HOPE Program
Luis has been a life coach, meditator and theatre artist for over 10 years. He has a Master’s Degree in Social Science and a Bachelor’s of Science in Human Development and Theatre, both from Binghamton University. He believes that life is a stage and we are simply actors, and his passion is to support others on this stage of life to live, laugh and love the process of reaching their goals.
Rajwantie Sahai, Director of Academics & Enrichment, Go Project
Rajwantie Sahai joined GO Project in April 2015 after accumulating years of diverse experiences in education. Rajwantie launched her career as a high school teacher in Edgard, Louisiana, and as a Teach For America corps member in the Greater New Orleans corps of 2008. She continued teaching in low-income communities in DC and as a volunteer in Honduras and Haiti. Combining her passion for education and youth with her interest in international development, Rajwantie moved on to working with the consulting firm, Social Impact, where she served as a Program Associate and managed several contracts focused on evaluating education, youth, or organizational management programs with USAID. Recently, Rajwantie decided to refocus her career on urban education and in New York City where she also calls home. She earned her Master of Education degree in International Education Policy from the Harvard Graduate School of Education and her Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from Boston College.
POTS would like to express a huge thanks to our panelists and attendees for joining this important discussion.
Here you will find a copy of the presentation slides from the forum. POTS 2017 Breakfast Forum Slides