It was an exciting graduation at the Women in Need Homeless Shelter on East 104th Street in East Harlem. The women had just completed The Francine A. LeFrak Foundation Computer Training Program and were ready to take the next step. Their children were in the audience beaming with pride as they watched their mothers receive diplomas.
Blair Feldman, a board member of the FAL Foundation, was incredibly inspired by the ceremony and wanted to get involved. She asked J. Devi, the computer instructor, what the women were learning next. She said Excel and Blair said, “I know Excel, maybe I could help out”.
Blair asked her coworkers at Prager Metis if they could help out at the shelter. They were hesitant at first, because they didn’t know how they would do as teachers, but they decided to give it a try. So, Blair, Angel, Peter, and Jodi went to teach Excel at Win and taught the women Excel. It turned out to be a fulfilling experience for everyone!
“To take some of the skills we use every day and to walk into a homeless shelter where these women have had really unfortunate situations and see them on their computers feeling proud and confident about mastering Excel was so rewarding”, Blair said. “It’s a tool we use every day in our job and take for granted, but with some simple Excel skills these women could land a job or budget their personal expenses," Peter added.
Everyone agreed that Angel made a particularly strong connection with the class. “I just didn’t treat anyone differently and tried to make things relatable to them,” he said. “Everyone was so involved and entertained when Angel was teaching and they really welcomed him into the group,” Peter commented.
This course was created by the Francine A. LeFrak Foundation in partnership with the United Nations Federal Credit Union Foundation. It provides low income women at the shelter with in-demand computer skills for sustainable jobs that bring stability and prosperity to their lives.
The foundation would like to thank Blair, Angel, Peter, and Jodi for not only taking the time out of their schedules but also for touching the lives of these women. Getting involved really makes a difference.
“Much more than money, we need to share our talent with each other; that will make the world a much better place.” - Francine A. LeFrak
Everyone can be a philanthropist; it’s as easy as offering your talent and your time. If you are interested in volunteering with Same Sky or the Francine A. LeFrak Foundation, please reach out to our Executive Director, Jill Abrahams, at email@example.com to find out where your skills could be helpful!