Our Annual Meeting on October 15th was a testament to the work of Pete Moses, who will be retiring at the end of this year. Pete spent more than 40 years at The Children’s Aid Society , making huge improvements in the lives and wellbeing of the neediest children of New York, most recently as Chief Executive Officer. In addition to an overview of programs started or expanded under Pete’s leadership, some of the most moving moments of the meeting were comments by those who have used Children’s Aid programs and services over the years.
Nayady Cruz spoke about her long and expansive relationship with Children’s Aid. She immigrated from the Dominican Republic in 1990, met her husband Roberto and started a family, but with a poor command of English she felt somewhat isolated in New York.
She was pregnant with her daughter Dayamara and her son Andy was 4 years old when she was referred to the Children’s Aid Society’s P.S. 5 Early Head Start Program. There she became an active participant in the Family Room and took workshops on family life and how to understand the Department of Education.
The Early Head Start program taught her about educational, emotional and physical development which helped her raise her children and ensure their academic success. Her children attended Summer Camp at Wagon Road, and received medical care at our Clinic. With a deep knowledge of Children’s Aid programs, Nayady was hired to work in the Extended Day Program to help other families.
Fast forward 15 years and she is now working at P.S. 5 as the Parent Coordinator where she teaches parents how to access the same resources that have helped her. Her family also gives back to Children’s Aid and their community. Both Nayady’s daughter Dayamara, and husband Roberto volunteer for the Early Head Start Program and her mother is part of the program for Grandmothers. “CAS is my second home.”
Kathy de Meij, Associate Director of Development, Director of Marketing & Special Events
Photo by Ben Russell