November 19, 2018 – The Obama Foundation has announced that the Nepperhan Community Center of Yonkers, in partnership with the Westchester County Department of Correction (WDOC) and the City of Yonkers, has been selected as one of only ten nationwide winners of the Foundation’s My Brother’s Keeper Community Alliance Challenge as one of the National Impact Communities awardees. 

In this truly historic achievement, the Nepperhan/WDOC partnership was selected over 130 other applicants nationwide and was the only award winner with ties to a jail or prison population. The award and associated multi-year funding will work to expand pre-and post-release programs intended to improve the lives of young offenders of color who are set to return to Westchester communities. 

Westchester County Executive George Latimer stated: “I cannot thank the Obama Foundation enough.  A key theme of President Obama’s time in office was hope. The Foundation’s award and our Department of Correction’s partnership with the Nepperhan Community Center will do just that - offer hope to a traditionally underserved segment of our population.”

Over the course of 2018, the Obama Foundation traveled to every region of the United States and heard presentations from a wide variety of public-private partnerships.   The ten winners that were ultimately selected will collectively receive over five million dollars in grant funding and other assistance, and will be recognized by the Obama Foundation at its 2018 Summit in Chicago this week.

WDOC Commissioner Joseph K. Spano stated:  “This is a major award for Westchester County and one which places us ‘on the map’ nationally as a leader in the criminal justice space. Combining a program of this magnitude with our current 28 rehabilitation and reentry programs is going to be a game changer. In the spirit of truly being our brothers’ keepers, the Obama Foundation award will assist us in continuing to provide young offenders with transferable skills that will support a successful transition back to society.” 

First Deputy Commissioner of Correction Louis A. Molina, who assumed a key leadership position with Westchester this March stated: “It is an honor to partner with Dr. James Bostic and the Nepperhan Community Center as one of the National Impact Communities awardees of the Obama Foundation award.  Many young men of color find themselves in our agency’s custody and in the criminal justice system because of adverse childhood experiences.  Nepperhan and WDOC’s partnership will continue to delivering these young offenders with enhanced programming that will truly redirect their life trajectories. In doing so, we hope to break the cycle of multigenerational criminal justice involvement in Westchester communities so deeply affected by crime.

Nepperhan Community Center Executive Director Dr. James Bostic, Th.D said: “The Nepperhan Community Center and the City of Yonkers, recent recipients of President Obama’s National Impact Community Challenge Grant, are excited to be partnering with the Westchester Department of Corrections to impact the lives of young men of color.”

In October, representatives of the Obama Foundation traveled to Westchester for a presentation by WDOC, Nepperhan, the Yonkers Mayor’s Office and the Yonkers Schools Superintendent.  Thereafter, the Foundation representatives, accompanied by a film team, were able to tour the Westchester County Jail and interact directly with several inmates who were participating in its Young Offenders Program.  Other winners include organizations tied to the communities of Oakland, Albuquerque, Boston, Detroit, San Juan (PR), Houston and Los Angeles.