When PowerPlay NYC was founded in 1995, it was a small but ambitious nonprofit that sought to help NYC’s young women in a unique way by focusing on wellness education. PowerPlay NYC uses a combination of fun and engaging after-school activities, sports teams, and mentorship programs that pairs young girls from underserved communities in all five boroughs with strong female role models. By promoting positive self-esteem for young NYC girls through athletics and academic enrichment programs, PowerPlay is lifting the next generation of female leaders.
In 2007, Youth INC and PowerPlay formed an incredibly successful partnership. PowerPlay completed our Celebration program, which teaches fundraising and development skills, and later received a BridgeFund grant of $59,000 to further enhance their development operations.
In 2005 Christie was a bright young teen, but was shy and afraid of public speaking. After her first summer in PowerPlay NYC’s Summer Leadership Academy, the difference was night and day.
“My life has been completely changed by this experience,” Christie told counselors, “from the way I eat to the way I speak.” She returned to PowerPlay in 2006 and served as a junior counselor, and went on to play for her high school softball team.
Christie is now a confident public leader, having become the co-host of the PowerPlay Talk show, where she interviews successful female role models and leaders in NYC for a full-house audience. Christie now plays for York College’s softball team, and is studying to become a physical education teacher. She is also reaching back, working with PowerPlay as a STARS Series assistant coach. “The most important thing we teach girls at PowerPlay,” Christie said, “is that they can achieve whatever they want, as long as they work hard and keep trying.”