Invaluable Service Furthers Student Sense of Community and Purpose in Wake of Fatal Fire.
New York, NY — (ReleaseWire) — 02/18/2022 — On January 9, a devastating fire erupted in a Bronx apartment building. Kyle Hassell, a Senior Childcare Worker and Vocational Counselor, led a donation effort among staff and students at the Summit School at Nyack.
The fire in the Bronx left thousands at risk as hundreds of firefighters responded within just two minutes of the call. The fire killed 17 people and injured 63, exhausting NYC Emergency Responders of energy and resources and leaving hundreds of families homeless going into the coldest months of the year. A firefighter and friend told Kyle the news, and he immediately responded by emailing the staff at Summit School to coordinate a donation drive.
Normally, Kyle had been taking students to a local plumbing facility for vocational training. This time, he was recruiting students to take supplies to a donation center. As Kyle and the students packed into their van and rode back to school, a message about Fat Joe’s Bronx Fire Fundraiser aired on New York’s Hot 97. Students said the announcement helped them realize the gravity of the situation and their impact. Recognizable faces in the community stood together to help the unfortunate folks reeling in the aftermath of disaster. For Kyle, a proud New Yorker and Harlem native, the lesson was simple: “In times of strife, you have to put your needs to the side to help other people.”
Kyle’s job as a Vocational Counselor at Summit School is to show students the opportunities they have for growth and success in adulthood. The Summit School is particularly designed for students with learning difficulties and, as such, an important facet of their program is to inform students of the opportunities available to them and guide them that the right education and work ethic will get them where they want to be. According to Kyle, this can be an uphill battle:
“The problem is getting the kids to take advantage of the opportunities. With our population, a lot of kids will say ‘I wanna do it’ but they have emotional problems, anxiety…”
While the real challenge is getting kids to follow through on their goals, Kyle believes that showing students their opportunities and introducing them to individuals and organizations (college, vocational training) is one way to instill a sense of drive. The Summit School student body’s recent philanthropic efforts in the Bronx and beyond are bolstering students’ sense of drive and helping them to overcome the aforementioned personal hurdles. Whether Kyle is introducing students to a career or taking them out to help the community, he aims to teach a valuable lesson on every trip and show students it’s not as hard as it seems to find success and make a difference.
The Summit School at Nyack’s mission is to provide a unified yet individualized and thoughtful approach to therapeutic, academic, and recreational programming. Students receive specialized instruction, guidance, and encouragement to build on their strengths and realize their potential. In our community, all students define and achieve personal success as they embrace their own promising future.
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