Archive for the ‘Staff Profile’ Category

Janice L. Shapiro – Director of Professional Development

Janice Shapiro
We are very excited to announce the appointment of Janice L. Shapiro as our new Director of Professional Development!

Janice brings over 17 years of experience and expertise as a grantmaker, trainer, program manager, and fundraising and development consultant to her current position.  She previously served as Managing Director of the Brooklyn Arts Council and Managing Officer, Awards and Creative Development at the New York Foundation for the Arts (NYFA). While at NYFA, Janice created the NYFA Leadership Initiative, a capacity building and grant program for arts leaders based in peer coaching.

As a consultant, Janice trained senior and middle managers at Microsoft in peer coaching, in collaboration with Carter McNamara, founder of Authenticity Consulting and the online Free Management Library. And from 1995-2000, Janice held two positions in philanthropy as Program Associate, Culture at The Pew Charitable Trusts and Assistant to the Director of Philanthropy at the Rockefeller Family Office.

Please contact Janice about Workshops, Customized Training, becoming a Support Center Facilitator, and general questions about professional development. Janice can be reached at 917-522-8302 or

Categories: Staff Profile

Job Hunting as an AmeriCorps *VISTA

September 29, 2010 Leave a comment

Andrea Dispenza

Andrea Dispenza recently participated in NYC Life After AmeriCorps *VISTA, sharing her story about making the transition from AmeriCorps to job hunting in NYC.

Life After *VISTA provides currents VISTAs with:
• A clearer understanding of the marketable skills that VISTA builds
• Strategies for translating VISTA experience into résumé language
• Resources for career exploration, job searches, educational opportunities, travel, continuing in the service field
• Connections to the national network of AmeriCorps Alums

The event was facilitated by Ben Nowell, a Support Center Volunteer Facilitator, and hosted in partnership with Corporation for National Community and the NYC Coalition Against Hunger.

There were eight stations where current VISTAs could hear from “experts from the experts.”

Andrea Dispenza and Frances Wood, both former VISTAs with the NYC Coalition Against Hunger,  had a particularly popular station, Job Hunting as an AmeriCorps Member: Where to Look & How to Tap Your Connections, because current VISTAs could really see themselves in them.

AmeriCorps *VISTA

They said talking to Andrea and Frances made them feel better about where they are now in their lives and also greatly expanded the options they were considering.

Most were just thinking that if they did not get a job at the site where they were serving, they didn’t know what else they would do.

Now they are thinking about other options and feel empowered by the experience they’re getting during their VISTA year.  They see the many places their current work could lead.

Support Center Helps Mold Final Decision

By Shakeela Pegues, Intern, Support Center

As a little girl growing up I always knew that college was part of my dream.  The question was who and what would keep me on the right track to achieving those dreams.  As the years began to pass by I found myself thinking more and more about college and what I wanted to major in.

In the middle of 12th grade, I decided that I wanted to own my own day care center, so I searched for an internship that would help me have a better understanding of the business world.

Shakeela Pegues

Shakeela Pegues

After two months of looking for an internship with the assistance of Futures & Options, I obtained a position with the Support Center for Nonprofit Management.

While working at the Support Center I have enhanced my abilities in time management, marketing, analyzing and sorting data, and increased my typing skills. All of which will be a huge advantage when I begin college in the fall of 2010.

Time management has been a valuable skill in balancing school, work, and my social life.  I have learned how to prioritize and accomplish what is most important and to identify what I can leave for another day.

I have also improved my computer skills.  I not only learned how to complete spreadsheets and sort data, but I have become a better typist, a skill that I have been trying to improve for almost a year.

The goals I set for myself in the 12th grade began to change as my knowledge of the business world increased. Half way through my internship at the Support Center, I realized that the joy I got out of working with kids was being able to interact with them individually.  If I decide to own my own business, I would spend less time with the kids and more time behind the scenes, which was something I did not desire.

I began looking into colleges and found that Mercy College would be the best fit for me because it offered both Early Childhood Education and Business Management, which I could pursue if I would like to become more business oriented in the future.  The faculty and staff at Mercy College are dedicated to supporting my success every step of the way, just as the Support Center has been.

My goals in the next five years are: graduating Mercy College with a masters degree in Early Childhood Education and to be a role model and inspiration to children.

>>> Futures and Options empowers New York City’s underserved youth to explore careers through career development and paid, mentored internships.

Categories: Staff Profile

Hiring an Intern

Written by Andrea Dispenza, Training Coordinator/Marketing Manager, Support Center

Shakeela Pegues, 17, could have gotten a job working in a neighborhood store, but she knew that it would not help her to achieve her dream, which is to own her own business as a child care provider.

Shakeela Pegues

Shakeela Pegues

Instead, she followed the advice of a classmate at Brooklyn Preparatory High School and applied to Futures & Options (FAO) Internship Program.

Shakeela’s persistence and drive paid off when she was accepted into the program and received an internship with the Support Center.

Now she has a job to help her pay for college applications and she is getting hands-on office experience that will help her reach her dream.

When the Support Center was looking for an intern to assist us with administrative tasks, we were instantly drawn to Futures and Options because they provide:

  • Pre-screening and work-readiness training for all interns to ensure that the young people hired are ready to work

  • Individual on-site meetings to provide assistance in developing job descriptions and projects that will benefit both the Support Center and the intern

  • Ongoing support for the supervisors/mentors as well as for the interns

Please join us in welcoming Shakeela to the Support Center!
We look forward to providing her with a meaningful work experience.

To learn more about partnering with Futures and Options
call 212-601-0002 or email

Categories: Staff Profile