Union Settlement is a 127 year-old anchor institution for East Harlem families. This year, we are celebrating our Union Settlement family – a mighty team of 350 dedicated staff, serving East Harlem with unwavering commitment and passion. With many of our team members hailing from East Harlem, their experiences as participants in our programs inform our services and pave the pathway for our organization’s impact. Our team can’t do it without your generous annual contribution. Your donation enables us to deliver critical programming and creates opportunity for more than 10,000 East Harlem residents, including our Union Settlement team members.
DAWN AND DR. RICH REEVES –
Embracing Pathways of Passion
Dawn and Dr. Rich found Union Settlement in their youth when they were children in East Harlem. Married for nearly 40 years with two grown daughters, they have been part of Union Settlement for decades. Union Settlement provided Dawn and Dr. Rich with opportunities for them to discover their own personal and professional passions. Starting as a teen, Dawn held different positions at Union Settlement. Beginning her time at the counseling centers, now she is a group teacher at the Leggett Memorial Child Care Center. “I feel gratification when I know I’ve touched a family. We’re not just helping the child, but we’re helping the whole family. That shows me that I’m really helping to give that child a strong foundation for the future,” Dawn shared. Dr. Rich started as a volunteer over 40 years ago. He is now Union Settlement’s Associate Director of Intervention and Prevention Services, working with disconnected and justice-involved youth. Dr. Rich reflected, “This started as a journey of trying to service my community. Then it became a journey of trying to save a generation of young people.”
CAROLINA AND RUBEN JUAREZ –
A Family Affair
In the late 1990s, Ruben and Carolina Juarez’s family immigrated from Mexico to East Harlem. For Ruben and Carolina, Union Settlement has provided a lifecycle of programs, starting with their mother receiving services shortly after arriving in East Harlem. Carolina, the youngest, attended Union Settlement’s day care on 104th Street and, after finishing high school during the day, Ruben would take ESL classes at Union Settlement in the evenings. In the years that followed, Ruben and Carolina continued with their schooling, moved away, had children, and found their way back to East Harlem. Today, they both work for Union Settlement – Ruben as a Facilities Supervisor, Carolina as a Community Organizer for the East Harlem Community Partnership Program. “There are people here who care – who really want to be here for the community. As someone who’s not only received services, but who delivers them as well, I know how much caring matters. And there will always be someone at Union Settlement who genuinely cares,” shared Carolina. After 30 years, the entire Juarez family has been woven through the fabric of Union Settlement. And, like so many children of immigrants who honor their family’s roots, Ruben and Carolina think often of their journey to East Harlem and the legacy they hope to leave for both their community and Union Settlement.
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