Remembering Gina Rusch
We regret to announce the passing of Gina Rusch, a longtime Union Settlement advocate who dedicated more than 50 years of her life serving East Harlem. After graduating from college in the early 1960s, Gina joined the Peace Corps, serving in the Philippines, and in around 1965 got a job with UNH. She was assigned to work with a number of settlement houses, including Union Settlement, assisting disconnected youth who had dropped out of high school, helping them gain the skills necessary for employment.
When she left UNH she went to graduate school at the Bank Street School of Education and worked a variety of jobs, but then got a call from Bill Kirk, who at the time was Union Settlement’s Head Worker, asking her to lead Union Settlement’s recently-created college readiness program. Gina stayed in that position for about 12 years, helping literally thousands of East Harlem students graduate from high school and enter college.
She was then was promoted to Associate Executive Director, and helped three different Executive Directors lead Union Settlement over the course of about 17 years, before taking early retirement around 2000. She then came back to Union Settlement to serve on our Board of Directors staring in 2005.