Give Back Like An O.G.
Children of Promise, NYC
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Sharon Content loved working on Wall Street. A genius when it came to numbers, she thought she'd spend her entire career working in finance. But at some point, she says, she realized that the career she'd worked so hard for wasn't her calling. Content wanted to make a meaningful impact in her community — to give back; to help make life better for the people around her.

Content's decision led her to the non-profit sector. She became the director of programs at a youth entrepreneurship program. Then she took on the role of Chief Operating Officer at Pathways For Youth at the Boys and Girls Club in the Bronx borough of New York City. It was there, while working with youth in an incarceration avoidance program that she realized that something was missing.

"Whenever I met a family that was impacted by incarceration, I didn't have a referral," Content says. There was no organization to which she could send her clients — no group which worked specifically with the unique needs of youth whose parents had been imprisoned. So 11 years ago, in the basement of her home, Content started laying the plans for Children of Promise, NYC.

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Courtesy of FIELDTRIP
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The COVID-19 pandemic has disproportionately affected diverse communities due largely in part to social factors such as inadequate access to housing, income, dietary options, education and employment — all of which have been shown to affect people's physical health.

Recognizing that inequity, Harlem-based chef JJ Johnson sought out to help his community maximize its health during the pandemic — one grain at a time.

Johnson manages FIELDTRIP, a health-focused restaurant that strives to bring people together through the celebration of rice, a grain found in cuisines of countless cultures.

"It was very important for me to show the world that places like Harlem want access to more health-conscious foods," Johnson said. "The people who live in Harlem should have the option to eat fresh, locally farmed and delicious food that other communities have access to."

Lack of education and access to those healthy food options is a primary driver of why 31% of adults in Harlem are struggling with obesity — the highest rate of any neighborhood in New York City and 7% higher than the average adult obesity rate across the five boroughs.

Obesity increases risk for heart disease or diabetes, which in turn leaves Harlem's residents — who are 76% Black or LatinX — at heightened risk for complications with COVID-19.

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