Elissa Forstmann Moran
President and Director of Programs
Elissa Moran has committed herself to a lifelong pursuit of engaging young adults and their parents in conversations that “matter.” Determined to make character-centered schools and families a reality, Elissa founded Friends of Nick in memory of her brother, Nick Forstmann who actively supported the importance of character and family in education. Elissa has served as the organization’s president and creator/director of programs since 2001. Over 4,000 students and their families, along with 85 principals and teachers across New York City, have learned to develop and sustain core character concepts.
Under her leadership, Friends of Nick develops and delivers character-building programs in partnership with inner city middle schools. After designing the Nick Curriculum, Elissa started with two Archdiocesan schools in Lower Manhattan, and partnered with their teachers to implement the program with eighth grade students. Drawing on her passion and experience in adult education and her conviction that parent inclusion is key to enduring character conversations, she introduced a companion program to welcome parents into workshops with their students to speak from experience and explore together “what really matters.” Nine years later, fifteen schools have benefitted from the partnership, the character programs extend throughout middle school grade levels, and the Friends of Nick educational team continues to grow. READ MORE »
Justin is passionate about making inner city education effective for students, families and educators. Justin joined Friends of Nick in 2003 and currently serves as Lead Educator, responsible for developing program materials, training teachers and inserting intentional character language into the center of classrooms.
Justin has co-developed a series of four training sessions to introduce teachers to the language and strategies of the “character exercises,” which draw on using intentional language and implementing routines already in place at Friends of Nick. He also has co-authored a new 5-class initiative in 6th and 7th grades linking character to language arts and American history. READ MORE »
Friends of Nick Volunteers
We are always honored to have friends of Nick remain an integral part of the substance of our programs. Below is a list of those who have generously given their time to help our foundation serve New York inner-city students throughout middle and high school.
Scholarship Essay Readers
W. Anthony Forstmann
Herb Fitz Gibbon
Sister Maria Pappas
Vernon Taylor III
Award Ceremony Speakers
Dr. Timothy McNiff
Sister Marie Pappas
Vernon Taylor III