‘Project Pivot’ aims to boost NYC student academic success through expanded social and mentoring programs

Mayor Eric Adams
Mayor Eric Adams.
Photo by Dean Moses

Mayor Eric Adams and Department of Education (DOE) Chancellor David C. Banks announced Thursday the official launch of a brand-new school safety initiative, Project Pivot, which will provide students with access to resources and additional support to ensure improved academic success and social and emotional well being. 

“Project Pivot will utilize our anti-violence community-based organizations to provide safety and violence prevention, student counseling and mentoring, and more at our public schools,” said Mayor Adams during the Oct. 6 announcement. “When our kids know there are caring adults looking out for them and making sure they show up to school each day, they feel safer and perform better academically and socially. Our young people are the future of this great city, and Project Pivot will provide our children with the resources they need to succeed.” 

Made possible by a nearly $9 million investment, Project Pivot places Community Based Organizations (CBO) directly at schools to work with school communities to offer essential services and intervention if needed. The program will operate in 138 NYC schools which were selected specifically based on a combination of safety factors and academics including number of suspensions, disciplinary incidents and chronic absenteeism within the student body.

“This initiative will open doors and present new opportunities to our next generation of leaders and changemakers of New York City,” said Banks on Thursday. “Student safety and wellness is my absolute top priority as schools Chancellor, and I am looking forward to seeing the long-term positive change spurred via Project Pivot.”

The DOE has identified nationally and locally recognized CBOs that specialize in services in the following areas: safety and violence prevention, student leadership and career readiness, student counseling and mentoring and enrichment programs through sports, recreational activities, and the arts, and more.

Partnering CBOs include Black Girls Rock, Elite Learners, National Cares Mentoring, 100 Black Men, Aim High International, Man Up, KAVI, NAACP, Renaissance Youth Center, and the Bronx Youth Empowerment Program, and many more organizations. 

These CBO’s specialize in engaging strategies in young people in skills like violence-intervention and prevention techniques, student counseling and mentoring, career readiness and enrichment like art, recreational activities sports and more.

The Project will operate across schools in every borough; with 51 schools in the Bronx, 37 schools in Brooklyn, 28 schools in Manhattan, 13 schools in Queens, and 9 schools on Staten Island.

Several elected officials applauded the new project, saying it would be a positive influence on many New York communities.

“As an elected official and as the parent of an elementary school student, there is nothing more paramount to me than the health and wellness of our children. With Project Pivot, our young people will not only be connected with the critical resources provided by our stellar community-based organizations — they will be able to walk down pathways to prosperity that were previously thought to be off limits,” said Queens Borough President Donovan Richards Jr. “I look forward to working with the Mayor’s Office and the Department of Education to ensure the success of this program and expand it further in Queens.”