The month of June held major milestones for local non-profit Harlem RBI. The community-based youth development organization broke fundraising records with a 20th anniversary gala, announced an $85 million project with Mayor Michael Bloomberg and New York Yankees’ First Baseman Mark Teixeira and ultimately, celebrated the graduation of 33 high school seniors along with more than 200 family and friends in East Harlem.
“This has been a monumental way to mark 20 years,” said Harlem RBI’s Executive Director Rich Berlin. “We are so proud of this year’s graduating seniors and every boy and girl who is part of the Harlem RBI family. Together, we’re raising the expectations for each young person and providing the emotional and academic support needed to graduate from high school and continue their education.”
Year round, Harlem RBI serves more than 1,000 boys and girls, ages 5-21, with its unique approach to youth development including participation on a baseball or softball team and engagement in group-based academic and enrichment programming with the ultimate goal of building concrete skills to break the cycle of poverty. Since 2005, 97% of Harlem RBI graduates have received a high school diploma or GED, and 93% were accepted to college. Furthermore, 99% of Harlem RBI youth have avoided teen parenthood. This critical support and impressive results have gained attention from heavy-hitting supporters in New York City.
The organization celebrated its 20th anniversary on June 6 with a gala at Cipriani 42nd Street where a record-breaking $2.25 million was raised for its programs and Teixeira and Cantor Fitzgerald Chairman & CEO Howard Lutnick were honored for their steadfast support. Teixeira recently gave $1 million to Harlem RBI’s capital campaign to build a new home in East Harlem and has launched his own website and social media platform to raise additional funds. Lutnick’s longtime support over the last 10 years makes Cantor Fitzgerald the largest corporate benefactor of the non-profit.
Read the full press release from Harlem RBI on PR Newswire.