PC4Y to Partner with Innovative Yonkers Organization
The Purchase College Center for Community & Culture, Yonkers (PC4Y) will close its doors and move all of its programming to The PowerLab, a community incubator and co-working space in Southwest Yonkers.
Purchase College and Yonkers city officials opened the PC4Y in downtown Yonkers in Fall 2015. Since its opening, PC4Y has offered educational programs for children, teens, and adults, and has hosted many arts based activities and exhibitions for the community.
“While we are proud of the many partnerships PC4Y has helped foster, it is no longer financially feasible to operate the location due to lack of adequate funding. We remain dedicated to serving the Yonkers community and expanding our relationships through new collaborations. We look forward to partnering with The PowerLab, which is doing important work in the community,” says Barry Pearson, provost of Purchase College.
The PowerLab, a project of the non-profit Community Governance and Development Council (CGDC) with management and operations provided by Purchase alumnus Anthony Bailey ’02 of DMG Partners & Associates, is dedicated to supporting start up businesses, local entrepreneurs, community leaders, and innovative projects.
First opened in September 2017, The PowerLab provides access to office spaces, workshops, training, and individualized business and project assistance, bolstering local minority and women owned businesses.
“The PowerLab’s focus on local economics and social impact is very much aligned with PC4Y’s mission. When I heard about what my alma mater was doing in Yonkers, I approached them about working together to expand The PowerLab’s progressive programming,” says Bailey.
Purchase College and The PowerLab first collaborated this summer at PC4Y when the two organizations joined forces with the Greyston Foundation for a class on entrepreneurship to support start-ups in Yonkers.
Starting in January, Purchase and The PowerLab will partner with Steven Fink, founder and owner of SummerTech/Coditum, to offer KodePal, a one-on-one coding class for children and young adults. KodePal provides hands on instruction to underserved children around the world.
Each Yonkers student has been paired with a SummerTech/Coditum instructor who will work with them remotely once a week via the Google Hangouts screen sharing feature. While this is a new venture in Yonkers, SummerTech/Coditum has a track record of getting students as young as ten years old to code at the college level.
“When Purchase College and The PowerLab approached me about an opportunity to create something special in Yonkers, we knew it would be the ideal community to launch KodePal locally,” says Fink. “By understanding concepts behind coding, students will have a real leg up in whatever career they want to pursue. More than that, by learning coding, we hope that some of the students will become coding teachers in the future and pass on those skills to others.”
Purchase College President Thomas J. Schwarz says, “Purchase College is proud to partner with community-based organizations to provide underserved Yonkers residents with the skills they need to succeed. There is a great deal of creativity, talent, and determination in Yonkers, and we are excited to continue our work and help community members achieve their goals.”