September 2011: A year of innovation
Friends of Nick reported that all of its inner-city partner schools would be taking part in the “Connecting Character to Curriculum” program for the 6th and 7th grade levels. It was so successful last year that all of our partner schools have requested it.
June 2011: Friends of Nick Proudly Announces the Class of 2011 Scholarship Graduates
- Christian Garcia, All Hallows High School
- Hector Marmolejos, All Hallows High School
- Othanya Garcia, Aquinas High School
- Margarita Valencia, Aquinas High School
- Ysmairi Torres, Cathedral High School
- Marabia Smith, Monsignor Scanlon High School
- Debra Terefe, Mother Cabrini High School
- Yaritza Cruz, Notre Dame School
- Reina Mitchell, Notre Dame School
- Nora Torres, Notre Dame School
- Jeremy Nunez, St. Anges High School
- Hayley Bello, St. Jean Baptiste High School
- Linda Castillo, St. Vincent Ferrer High School
- Karina Montenegro, St. Vincent Ferrer High School
- Britany Plummer, St. Vincent Ferrer High School
We would also like to extend a heartfelt congratulations to our largest graduating class to date.
April and May 2011:
Friends of Nick’s Board of Directors, welcomed three accomplished and devoted new friends to the Board: Kathleen Broderick, William Espy and Vernon Taylor III. The Board also announced that it would develop a detailed five-year-plan for future growth and expansion in response to our growing demand.
February 2, 2011 marked the 10-year anniversary of Nicholas Forstmann’s death. Elissa Forstmann Moran mentioned, at that time, she remains most grateful to the work of Friends of Nick which keeps Nick’s legacy alive by spreading his words and principles to inner-city students, their families and their schools across New York.
Friends of Nick was welcomed into the Bronx this year, partnering with two high-preforming schools: St. Athanasius in Hunt’s Point and St. Thomas Aquinas School in Tremont. Both schools will participate in the Nick Curriculum and What Really Matters evening workshops.
Friends of Nick launched a new five-class series entitled “Connecting Character to Curriculum.” Designed for the 6th and 7th-grade levels, “Connecting Character to Curriculum” takes an academic subject and applies to it a laser-like focus on character. 6th grade students explore character as they grow more fluent in language arts, while 7th-graders incorporate character language and a personal perspective into their studies of American History. This further creates the opportunity to invite the parents of 6th and 7th grade into the school for their own What Really Matters workshops.
We opened our second What Really Matters Room at Our Lady Queen of Angels on East 110th Street. Conveniently situated in close proximity to our two other partner schools in East Harlem, Friends of Nick now has a location uptown to welcome students and parents.
Friends of Nick Proudly Announces the Class of 2010 Scholarship Graduates:
- Shelia Bell, Bishop Laughlin
- Amanda Figueroa, Cathedral
- Adam Diaz, La Salle Academy
- Chelsea Nieves, Notre Dame
- Jarrell Harris, Rice High School
- Shaniqua Willis, St. Michael’s Academy
- Masoud Genie Isibido, St. Vincent
- Alexandra Perez, St. Vincent
Congratulations and good luck! In 2011, we will welcome 22 Nicholas C. Forstmann Scholars—our largest number yet!
Friends of Nick celebrated its most productive year to date, with over 695 students and their families. The organization hosted end-of-year celebrations, in Lower Manhattan, East Harlem, and Washington Heights, awarding Nicholas C. Forstmann Memorial Scholarships to nine exceptional students. In addition, we are proud to report that five schools on the Upper West Side have completed Friends of Nick’s four-year program cycle.
Friends of Nick published The Adventures of Little i: Little i Goes to School, the organization’s first comprehensive manual for teachers and principals.
The families of Our Lady of Sorrows completed a community service project, extending Friends of Nick’s character discussion and themes into their neighborhoods. Each family worked to help their communities and then reported back to the school with an account of their “character project.” The school compiled the reports into a book: What Really Matters at Our Lady of Sorrows.
Friends of Nick’s programs commenced at a third East Harlem school, St. Ann’s on East 110th Street. Our Lady Queen of Angels, on East 112th Street, joined St. Ann’s for an evening of parent-student workshops, FON’s first ever joint neighborhood workshop.
Our Lady of Sorrows, a proud Friends of Nick partner for five years, made our character-centered programs the heart of middle school classrooms from 5th to 8th grades.
Our Class of 2009 Scholarship High School Graduates:
- Tiffanie Goris, St. Jean
- Victoria Reed, St. Jean
- Charity Mazzola, Notre Dame
- Jasmine Walker, St. Jean/GED
Congratulations and all the best!
May 2009—Extending Our Reach
Friends of Nick branched out into two new schools in East Harlem: our program now includes nine partner schools throughout the upper Westside and,upper and lower east sides of Manhattan. We are thrilled to welcome Mount Carmel/Holy Rosary and Our Lady Queen of Angels to our network of inner-city partner schools. .
Friends of Nick’s educational team visited 17 high schools and met with over 100 high school students who had “done the Nick” in eighth grade. After meeting these extraordinary and talented young adults, we saw first-hand the enduring impact of our students’ exploration of character language.
The first “What Really Matters Room” was opened in Our Lady of Sorrows School as a resource center for parents and students.
September 2008–April 2009
Intensive teacher training
- Friends of Nick initiated a series of intensive teacher training programs in several partner schools.
- We also developed teacher training materials and introduced a new character, “Little i,” to embody the “ordinary hero” at the core of each person and instruct teachers about best practices.
- Our Program Director and Lead Educator met with the new Superintendent of Schools for the Archdiocese of New York to develop a system-wide sustainable approach for our character-building programs in Archdiocesan schools.
We were proud to announce the first Friends of Nick high school graduate: Joseph Rodriguez of La Salle Academy. Joseph told us that Friends of Nick gave him the vocabulary to express himself and the courage to make new friends. He also said that he kept his Nick workbook and referred back to his experience throughout high school.
President and Program Director Elissa Moran looked “back on this year with a deep sense of gratitude.” FON grew “from within, strengthening our programs while deepening our commitment to the families and communities of our inner-city schools.”
Friends of Nick welcomed to its team Lead Educator, Justin Rivers. Throughout the school year, Justin and Elissa visited classrooms and joined students in their character conversations with good questions and discussions,i.e. “doing the Nick.”
May 9, 2007
The Friends of Nick Foundation was officially launched to support character curriculum in inner city schools
Friends of Nick celebrated its launch as a public non-profit organization. Honoring the memory of Nicholas C. Forstmann, Friends of Nick delivers programs that develop strength of character. The May 9 launch included more than 200 distinguished guests and a growing network of family, friends, business and community leaders, educators, writers. Among the attendees were His Eminence Cardinal Egan of New York; Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg; Lana Wolkonsky, poet and wife of the late Nick Forstmann; Ted Forstmann, brother of Nick Forstmann, founder of Forstmann Little & Co., and chairman of IMG; and writer and journalist Peggy Noonan. Television host Charlie Rose served as Master of Ceremonies.
At the event, Peggy Noonan remarked: “If Nick were here I think he’d dance with joy at the success of the curriculum created in his name. It helps kids and it helps other human beings which, as Nick knew, was the essence of a meaningful life. I think he’d say, ‘This is good.’ And I think as usual he’d be right.”
September 2006- February 2007
Friends of Nick continued to be committed to expanding programs to new schools and communities. From September to February, we trained principals and teachers in five inner-city Archdiocesan schools from Harlem up through the Inwood section of Manhattan. We also hosted a total of 45 “What Really Matters” evening workshops throughout the city
May 2006: Our First Graduation Celebration
FON awarded four scholarships in partnership with The Endowment for Inner City Education and an additional four scholarships through the generosity of Friends of Nick Inc. Over two hundred students, parents, teachers, principals attended the inspiring and enthusiastic celebration. In the coming year, five additional schools will be selected to participate in Friends of Nick’s curriculum for the 2006-2007 school year.
January 2006: “Going Very Well and Getting Set for the Future
Friends of Nick announced that Elissa Moran would assume the role of President and Program Director.
The Nick Curriculum and The What Really Matters Family Program flourished in our four participating schools. With the generous support of friends and donors, the Board of Directors worked to expand the program and award additional scholarships. Migdalia Vias, one of our first Nick teachers from Our Lady of Sorrows, helped give a voice to Spanish-speaking parents who wished to participate in the What Really Matters evening workshops. She traveled to Friends of Nick partner schools, translated the parent program from Spanish to English and most importantly welcomed and encouraged them into our character conversation.
December 2005: “Friends of Nick is Incorporated” and “Reaches New Heights”
Friends of Nick Inc. received approval from New York State to proceed as a corporation applying for permanent 501©3 status as a public non-profit organization.
By December, The Nick Curriculum and The What Really Matters Family Program received system-wide approval from the Department of Education, Archdiocese of New York and was reviewed by the New York Board of Education.
May 2005: “Marking Progress with Scholarship Selection”
The scholarship selection process was refined to feature a panel of five “Friends of Nick,” which would consider students from each partner school
Thanks to Barbara Hackett’s involvement and leadership, Friends of Nick began exploring ways to fund the spread of its character programs throughout New York’s inner-city schools and beyond. This was the beginning of the initiative to form the Friends of Nick Foundation.
October 2004 through May 2005: “Next Steps”
Program Director, Elissa Moran, worked with principals, teachers and the newly appointed Director of Inner-city Schools of the Archdiocese to continue the program initiative in two inner-city schools and to identify two new schools for the following year.
May 2004: “Going Mainstream”
Two Nicholas C. Forstmann Memorial Scholarships were awarded by the Endowment, celebrating the first year of The Nick Curriculum
September 2003 to April 2004: “Early Steps, Early Adopters and ‘doing the Nick’”
The Nick Curriculum was further developed to support a scholarship opportunity for eighth graders within the Inner-City Archdiocesan school system.
The pilot version of The Nick Curriculum and a series of three workshops for eighth-grade students and parents were introduced into two lower Manhattan Archdiocesan inner-city schools: St. Brigid’s and Our Lady of Sorrows. The Nick Curriculum was comprised of journaling and a conversational weekly class focused on character words, such as “courage,” “honesty,” “perseverance,” and “compassion.”. Acknowledging the importance of parent participation in children’s’ character formation, workshops were implemented to encourage dialogues between students, teachers, and parents.
In their enthusiasm, students renamed their 30-class program “doing the Nick.”
September 2002 to August 2003: Remembering Nick in “What Really Matters,” by creating and writing a character program for eighth grade students and their parents.
Elissa Moran designed the pilot version of The Nick Curriculum in order to encourage honest, character-building conversations between students, teachers, and parents. Elissa, drawing on her 25 years of educational experience, worked with educators who were also experienced in the field of character building, and drew on lessons from Nick Forstmann’s book, What Really Matters. As a result, an innovative and interactive character initiative began to materialize.