Dominique R. Jones talks importance of the work Global Kids does for New York City youth

Dominique R. Jones, executive director of Global Kids.
Dominique R. Jones, executive director of Global Kids.
Photo courtesy of Dominique R. Jones

For Dominique R. Jones, supporting kids in school is in her blood.

Jones has served as the executive director of Global Kids, an organization that works to ensure that all youth in New York City have the opportunities that provide them with a path forward to success. Before joining this team, she worked for the Administration for Children’s Services, starting as the Development Director doing fundraising for private sector foundation investment and later taking on the role of Assistant Commissioner for the Office of Youth Development at ACS.

“I definitely know that I had an affinity for the field as young as an elementary school child. I was always really interested in all of my friends and others having opportunities to create and to hang out and to learn more and I wanted to always encourage my friends to participate in things after school,” said Jones. “I just find it quite fitting that for over 50 I’ve continued to drive and worked to establish systems and opportunities for young people to grow and to thrive.”

For the past 35 years, Global Kids has focused on four key pillars of development in school-aged kids and teens: Social/Emotional Learning, Academic Achievement, College & Career Readiness and Global Education. By targeting these areas, Jones says that Global Kids has positioned itself to develop active global citizens who are prepared to engage and succeed through specialized workshops and opportunities for students to expand their education in a non-traditional setting.

“We’re embedded in about 24 New York City public schools where we serve as either a community school provider or an after-school provider; sometimes those kinds of labels kind of mesh together because we’re all a service of the interest of the students in those schools and we work in partnership with school leadership in the community to make sure our young people have what they need,” said Jones. “The community school model is one where I’d like to think of it as addressing the non-academic barriers to academic success, so everything that would prevent a young person from being successful in school, we’re working to address and eliminate that.”

Global Kids works with kids and teens to help them succeed.
Global Kids works with kids and teens to help them succeed.Photo courtesy of Dominique R. Jones

“Then we’re also looking at, ‘How can we support the culture of the school? How can we bring more How can we bring in more resources that will help to serve all of the young people in a school as opposed to a select few?’” Jones added.

Alumni from the program have gone on to work locally and internationally as a result, and many of them in the public sector in some capacity. 

Jones says that the organization is about to launch programming that really leans into addressing education equity.

“As a community school provider, we really working to address education equity and to make sure that young people have what they need to be able to get to school, to be successful in school and to have a really bright post-secondary future,” said Jones. “Global Kids has a mission of helping young people advocate for themselves and their community. I go back to my early beginnings as a teenager wanting to know a lot about the world and wanting to be an advocate around social justice issues. Again, I find it quite fitting that I find myself in an organization that is actually doing that.”

For Jones, it’s incredibly rewarding to see how far kids in the Global Kids program go after their schooling.

“I think we started out with the understanding that these young people could achieve great heights, they could actually do this, but they just needed the opportunity. So from where I sit and from where our staff sits, we just feel like this was really them reaching their fullest potential,” said Jones. “I personally kind of get excited about it and I get it affirms on me and it affirms the decision that I made to really work in this area.”

For the future of Global Kids, Jones hopes that the organization can continue to be present for those who need it in the community while also broadening their reach.

“My wish for Global Kids is to continue to be present and to be engaged in this work in the communities that we’re in and to partner with organizations who are doing the same thing so we can achieve great scale,” said Jones. “We serve 10,000 kids, but that’s just scratching the surface of the number of kids in our school system, in our city.  I wanna make sure and I want all the kids to be a leader in making sure that we’re able to serve all young people and get them engaged in positive things.”

For more information, visit globalkids.org.