Last Wednesday, April 25th, 2018, an evening at a gala hosted by CNN’s John Berman at Pier Sixty at Chelsea Piers, post-Rikers reentry nonprofit Harlem’s Getting Out and Staying Out (GOSO) celebrated a record year of fundraising.
The achievements of the young men they serve and a successful service expansion—which has included opening a new education center in Harlem and increasing program enrollment citywide. GOSO for the first time honored its hardworking volunteers, who come from many different industries and help GOSO clients with essential workforce skills.
GOSO serves more than 2,000 formerly incarcerated and justice system involved young men ages 16 to 24 annually and, since 2004, has worked to level the playing field and empowered thousands of young men to gain financial independence and succeed by providing access to education, employment and counselling services. Several young men were on hand to speak about the services GOSO has provided.
GOSO Board Chair and Goldman Sachs VP Reginald André gave a stirring speech about the struggles young men in poverty go through. He described GOSO as a path to a different life for many young men. Said Andre, “Success is the norm at GOSO.”
Honoree, author and activist Jim St. Germain, whose book A Stone of Hope: A Memoir told his own story of growing up in Crown Heights, and commended GOSO for the important work they do for at-risk youth.
The Horticultural Society of New York, represented by Sara Hobel, Executive Director, was honored for its close partnership with GOSO Works as an employer of formerly incarcerated youth. The award was presented by Davon, a young man who was placed in a Horticultural Society internship after participating in GOSO’s job readiness program, subsequently working his way to a full-time job as Workforce Development Manager.
“GOSO is proud to have celebrated the successes of the hard-working men we serve, as well as another record-breaking year for our organization,” said Mark Goldsmith, President and CEO of Getting Out and Staying Out. “This year was the most successful and well-attended fundraiser for GOSO to date, which will allow us to serve more young men in our East Harlem office, our new education center and on Rikers Island and give them opportunities to level the playing field and thrive in their communities. We are so grateful for the generosity of our supporters and volunteers who give life to our critical programs and help young people get the robust job training, mental health treatment and educational foundation they need to prevent them from going back to prison.”
Law firm Debevoise & Plimpton was awarded the Corporate Partner of the Year award for their hard work volunteering to prepare GOSO clients for entrance into the work force, by participating in mock interviews and interview skills workshops. Debevoise has also provided pro bono legal representation to GOSO clients.
“It is an honor to be recognized by this life-changing organization,” said Debevoise partner Sean Hecker, who accepted the award on behalf of the firm. “We look forward to our continued partnership.”
Photo credit: 1) Jim St. Germain. 2) Mark Goldsmith and Matthew Galligan. 3) Gabriel Hamani and Mark Goldsmith. 4) Sara Hobel and Davon (right), by Steven Barall. 5) Dos Toros Taqueria, 2017’s Employer of the Year co-founders Oliver and Leo Kremer (at left), by Steven Barall. 6) GOSO Chairman Reginald André welcomes guests by Steven Barall. 7) GOSO client Martin by Steven Barall. 8) Sara Hobel and Davon by Studio Brooke. 9) Debevoise & Plimpton’s Sean Hecker (left) and Reginald André, Debevoise & Plimpton by Studio Brooke). 10) GOSO Chairman Reginald André (back), by Studio Brooke. 11) GOSO clients at Chelsea Piers’ Pier Sixty, by Studio Brooke.