Hope Grows in Brooklyn

October 19, 2012

A New Fund Helps Mentor and Train Young Leaders

Last year, friends and family members of a remarkable young Brooklyn turned to the Foundation for help in setting up a fund to honor her life. Before her tragic passing at age 22, Hope Reichbach had been a vibrant presence in local politics and advocacy here in her native Brooklyn. Her loved ones knew that the best way to keep her spirit alive would be by encourage the work of other young people who wanted to give back to their communities.

Thus, the Hope Reichbach Memorial Fund (HRMF) at the Brooklyn Community Foundation was founded to provide scholarships to students who take internships in civic leadership and community organizing. This summer, five outstanding young Br
ooklynites completed the first summer internship program, during which they were placed at five unique organizations in our borough.

Intern Ben Joson went door to door in East New York, speaking to residents on behalf of VOCAL-NY, a grassroots advocacy organization dedicated to building healthy and just communities.

Ariel Estrella wrote about hundreds of public mural projects for Groundswell, a youth arts organization.

As part of her internship with Brooklyn Defender Services, Brenda Grande shadowed attorneys in the courtroom during arraignments and sentencing hearings - an experience that affirmed her aspirations of becoming an immigration lawyer.

Nia Gumbs taught at The HOPE Program, a nonprofit job readiness program, helping its students learn the skills they need to find jobs.

Colleen Mims hel
ped coordinate a major event for the Bedford Stuyvesant Restoration Corporation, a community development organization that partners with residents and businesses to improve the quality of life of Central Brooklyn.

The Hope Fund interns with City Council Speaker Christine Quinn and Councilmember Stephen Levin

In addition to their internships, the Hope Fund interns participated in seven professional and personal development programs, including an introduction to city government with Councilmember Stephen Levin at City Hall, a social-impact career workshop at Echoing Green, and a dinner with local arts activists.

The interns were also grateful for the opportunity to have a paid internship at their respective non-profits. In Ariel's words:

“Out of everything I have learned through my time as part of HRMF, what has truly made an impact on me is the realization that paid internships are vital to community empowerment.”

The fund also provided mentorship and a network of contacts to the interns to enhance their career development. Brenda noted,

“I can happily say that my internship gave me a glimpse of what I can do in the legal field in my future. I was also exposed to many different fields within in the Hope Reichbach staff that I admire both the people and their jobs.”


On Sunday, November 18th at 3 PM the Brooklyn Friends of Chamber Music and the Brooklyn Symphony Orchestra will be holding a benefit concert for the Hope Fund at the Church of St. Ann in Brooklyn Heights. The performance will include Mendelssohn's Octet in E-flat major, Opus 20, and Beavers's concerto for violin, narrator and orchestra. All proceeds will go to The Hope Reichbach Memorial Fund. Tickets can be purchased here.

You can support The Hope Reichbach Memorial Fund by donating here.

To learn how you can establish a fund in honor of a loved one, email Alex Villari at avillari@bcfny.org or call 718-246-6886.

What's GOOD in Brooklyn

Here are a few highlights of news and events we’ve shared with our followers this week. Don’t miss a thing! Like us at Facebook.com/DoGoodBklyn and follow us at Twitter.com/DoGoodBklyn.

Election Night in Brooklyn
Join Brooklyn Community Foundation to watch the returns on one of the closest presidential elections on record. We’ll be at Sheep Station in Park Slope (149 Fourth Ave.) with Happy Hour prices all night, special “I Voted” cocktails, trivia, prizes, and much more. RSVP to development@bcfny.org or on our Facebook event page.

CrossFit South Brooklyn Update: $26,000 and Counting!
Tomorrow, 150 CrossFit members will participate in the Fight Gone Bad competition. In the process, they’ve raised thousands of dollars from their friends and family to support Brooklyn’s nonprofits. Stop by the gym at 597 Degraw Street, between 4th and 3rd Aves, from 9am to 1pm to see the competitors in action!

“The Seeds They Carried”
Did you see yesterday’s huge NY Times story on community farmers in East New York? If not, be sure to read it here, as it features our grantees at East New York Farms!, Weeksville Heritage Center, and the Center for the Study of Brooklyn.