CITY Project

Liberty CITY Project’s main focus throughout the school year and summer program is to provide the students with a service learning, youth voice opportunity to improve their community in areas they identify as being in need of improvement, or address community issues and needs.  The change these students strive to make is often carried out through community service acts and civic engagement projects.  These students learn the skills that are sought out by employers and colleges, ultimately helping them become successful and prepared for their future.  Some of these skills include leadership, public speaking and teamwork.  In addition to the school year programming, the summer program adds in a work force preparation component.  The students who participate in the summer program learn additional skills necessary to be productive in the workforce; skills such as time management and work readiness.  The teens learn about work ethic and integrity. 

During 2013 Liberty CITY Project’s (LCP) Summer Employment Program the LCP teen leaders hosted an art and literacy camp for a targeted age group of 2nd-6th graders.  The goal of their camp was to bring about awareness to literacy and get kids excited to read, show how reading and writing can be fun and expressive.  The teen leaders used art as a way to show the youth literacy can be fun.  The teen leaders assisted the youth in developing I am poems that were turned into calendars.  The specific project served was done to get the kids thinking creatively and in turn express that creativity through writing and art expression.  Turning their work into calendars for each camp for youth to keep was done to show the camp youth that they can turn their work into a tangible product.  The teen leaders also worked with each camp’s youth to develop and create books.  This particular project was a huge hit among the youth.  The teen leaders helped the youth identify a topic of their choice, fiction or non-fiction, and started to brainstorm a story or a layout for their book.  Once the youth had their book’s theme, they began to write and illustrate their very own books.  The teen leaders assisted in spelling words they were unsure of and breaking through any “writers blocks” that came up.  The purpose of creating these books was help them practice their writing skills in a creative fun way but to also identify other career choices that involved doing what they just enjoyed doing ; making a book.  Teen leaders spoke about becoming an author, an editor, a publisher and an illustrator; and the importance of reading and writing relating to these and other careers.  One final big project was the production of a play.  The teen leaders helped the camps youth put on the production of the “Science Rules” play.  The camp youth had to read their lines repeatedly to prepare for this play.  Each day the teen leaders would help the camp youth strengthen their reading skills by introducing the importance of expression while reading, and new vocabulary words and definition to words in the play.   The play, much like other activities carried out during the camps, was to get the kids excited about reading.  Teach them reading can be fun when using their imaginations or taking the time to read and ponder on what the author is trying to tell the reader.   Also but how reading with expression can be more exciting and interactive then reading without.   During each camp activity the camp youth were consistently reminded how they could use their developing literacy skills in school clubs/activities and/or in a future career. 

In addition to the literacy camps, the teen leaders continue to identify the need of positive youth mentoring.  To address this, the teen leaders are providing a youth mentoring basketball camp.  The camp will offer the teen leaders the opportunity to mentor younger youth ages 7-13 while providing them with health and wellness education through basketball clinics.  The teen leaders will speak about the importance of staying active and fit through physical activity such as basketball.  The teen leaders will teach the youth basketball skills and work on existing skill development.

Liberty Partnerships Studio Art Experience

Ten BU/LPP students participated in 6 three-hour studio art sessions. The sessions included a visual art project, time to discuss reactions to the process of creating as well as work with mosaics, spirit dolls (creating a representation of a positive aspect of the self), mask making and fabric self portraits (Who Am I?).

Liberty Partnerships Program Studio Visit

Students from the Liberty Partnerships Programs of both Cobleskill and Schenectady visited the WMHT station on July 17 for a tour. The Middle School students were given an introduction to the studios, the editing suites, lighting, and the radio stations! They were also introduced to some of the important work WMHT has been part of over the last three years through American Graduate. They even ran in to a band (Elastic Bond) on the way out of the building. We hope they enjoyed their tour and can bring what they learned back to their communities.

OFA Summer Literacy Project

The Owego Project is an eight -day hands-on collaborative workshop that targets English Language Arts and Technology skills while strengthening the Habits of Mind/Character Development Traits that are so critical to success in school, work, and life. This year, the targeted ELA skills were developing a narrative/story line, understanding and enriching character (written and performed), writing a piece with a strong beginning, middle, and end, reading for comprehension, presenting ideas and listening to ideas in a group, exposure to and referring to other works of film and mythology, and rewriting. The targeted Technology skills were using computer-to computer connections for group work, using imovie, final cut, garage band, and green screen software; using the tools of an HDV Video Camera, lavalier and boom mics, ipad, mac book pro and mac desktop; 

Students learned non-linear editing and use of special effects culminating in a completed film compressed into popular media formats for distribution and sharing.

The Habits of Mind/Character Development Traits on which we the project focused were: 
personal responsibility, empathy, initiative, self empowerment/confidence, and perseverance.

Youth in Government / Advocacy Day 2013

Students from Binghamton High School had the opportunity to meet a few of their legislatures and assemblymen/women at the 2013 Youth in Government/ Advocacy Day.  Students met with Assistant Minority Leader Finch’s representative and spoke with him about how the Liberty Partnerships Program has impacted their lives and the importance his support for the program is to them.  Students got a chance to tour the Capitol Building, see the senate chamber and the million-dollar staircase. A special thanks to Assemblywoman Donna Lupardo who took our students in the assembly chambers, allowing them the opportunity to look around and explore.  Thank you all for your support of the Liberty Partnerships Program, the students and staff who attended had such a great day!

Music and Technology

BU/LPP partner, On Point Productions, opened their doors and welcomed two aspiring production and music students in to get a first hand look at the music production industry and to offer tips for succeeding in this field.

“This was the best day of my life,” comments Dillon of LPP, “I am prepared to do what it takes to make it happen.”

Summer Leadership Trip

BU/LPP students, alumni and staff spent a day in Ithaca, NY visiting the falls as a part of our Youth Advisory Council’s (YAC) leadership outreach and recruitment strategy. YAC leaders spent time talking to individuals about the benefits of participating in a leadership role, responsibilities and expectations, and how to get involved. The day also allowed for students from the different schools to interact and develop bonds different from their norm, and out of their traditional comfort zones. We are still getting positive feedback about our adventure!

Regional Youth Summit
Binghamton and Morrisville Universities, LPP

This year’s regional youth summit took place on July 19 at Binghamton University campus. Students participated in one of two morning workshops:

“All the World’s A Stage”

In this workshop, students explored different ideas of leadership and developed several team strategies through performance exercises and mini-projects as well as other creative and arts-based activities.

“Adventures in Mindfulness”

In this workshop, students explored the concept and practice of Mindful Awareness, and evidenced-based practice that contributes to health and wellness and that promotes increased concentration and attention. During the workshop, students practiced and learned various techniques that can be used as tools for decreasing stress, focusing attention in the present moment and regulating thoughts and emotions. After lunch, students were divided into teams and participated in a campus-wide scavenger hunt!


On June 4, 2013, 130 LPP students joined together to rally and take a stand against bullying. This years event included over 17 youth sponsored activity stations focused on bullying and competing for prizes in the following categories: most informative, most creative and most engaging. Music, entertainment and of course ample refreshments rounded out the event. Despite heavy downpours of rain, approximately 300 people came out to take a stand against bullying. This annual event is co-sponsored by Binghamton Universities Liberty Partnerships Program and the Children & Youth Services Council of Broome County.

Tutors Make a Difference

Andre, who failed the Regents Global History exam several times, was assigned to a tutor to help him prepare. In just 3 months, Andre’s grade in Global History went from a 78 to an 87, he also went on to pass his regents exam. Many of our students struggle with this particular exam, especially the essay portion of the test. We reached out to Beau Thompson, a graduate student of Binghamton University in the Graduate School of Education, to help. Nineteen BU/LPP students benefited from Beau’s consistency, dedication and knowledge. The BU/LPP is grateful to him and the Graduate School of Education for their continued partnership.

Empire Promise Summit

The Annual Empire Promise Summit in Albany, NY never fails to impress and leave a lasting impression on our students. This year we were able to take five deserving BU/LPP students to participate in this statewide, 3-day event, filled with educational and informational workshops, entertainment, and time to meet and interact with LPP students from all over the state. Two of our very own Miss Autumn Loke and Junior Time, were recognized for outstanding service and leadership! We look forward to this event every year! Learn more about Empire Promise!

SCCC Student Achievements

Twenty (20) Junior and Senior LPP participants are enrolled in “Foundations for College Success,” a college preparatory course. Upon successful completion, these LPP students will enroll in Suffolk County Community College’s (SCCC) Freshman Seminar. LPP students will then receive 1.5 college credits upon successful completion of this course. In addition, one LPP high school student has successfully completed a SCCC development mathematics course in the fall 2012, making her eligible to take college-level math and science classes.

Liberty Partnerships Rising Star Program

The Liberty Partnerships Rising Stars Program (LPP) at the University at Albany’s School of Social Welfare (SSW) recently hosted a Youth Summit at UAlbany's downtown campus. The event was designed to engage high school students to strategize solutions to reduce high school drop-out rates caused by teen pregnancy and bullying. Liberty students (youth educators)from Albany High School planned, produced and compiled footage for short documentaries on the topics, and presented their work to peers from the Albany City School District on the day of the summit. The youth educators also engaged their peers in conversation to identify strategies combating teen pregnancy and bullying.

The student created pieces will be part of a national public media initiative funded by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting called American Graduate, which focuses on raising awareness about the high school dropout crisis. The Youth Summit is featured as a web-only broadcast on the WMHT American Graduate Youth Voices website ( The short videos produced by the teens will be used as a catalyst for conversation with other youth groups as well as business community leaders.

SCCC Field Trips

Each year the Suffolk County Community College (SCCC) invites Longwood High School LPP Students to visit the Ammerman Campus in April for a college tour and visit. The students get to meet with some of the professors; tour academic classrooms, laboratories, and the campus library; become acclimated with SCCC’s website for class registration; have lunch on campus; and finally, take a tour of Brookhaven National Laboratory. Students love coming to campus, especially if they have enrolled for the upcoming fall semester. Our LPP junior high school students will be visiting SCCC’s Culinary Arts Center for a Career Awareness Day and will be taking a tour of the facilities on May 10th. The students and staff thoroughly enjoy this experience as it is completely “hands-on.” LPP junior high school students meet with the SCCC Culinary Arts faculty/staff and students for tours of the actual kitchens. Then, they are brought into the Culinary Arts Demonstration Kitchen where they get to prepare a dish. In the past they have been able to prepare crepes with homemade whipped cream! The SCCC Culinary Arts students would not let our students leave hungry, so they always prepare the LPP students a healthy lunch before their departure.

Hunter College Liberty Partnership Program: The Renaissance Gardening and Nutrition Program

Renaissance Gardening and Nutrition Program, a unique service learning project for Hunter College’s Liberty Partnership students, combines hands on gardening and cooking experience with an inter-disciplinary curriculum aligned with Common Core and specifically tailored to our student’s needs and interests. Based out of Harlem Renaissance High School and Vanguard High School, our program serves to foster an appreciation for the natural world, healthy food, and sustainable living, while cultivating a hopeful environment where students and teachers engage with the Earth and their community. In our food science classes at Vanguard High School and Harlem Renaissance High School, students explore the nutritional, cultural, and ethical issues surrounding food, as well as cook healthier versions of much-loved treats. In our gardening program at Harlem Renaissance High School, our students cultivate a greater understanding of interconnectedness, patience, and self-sufficiency while working hands on in the garden. In the face of environmental degradation and a myriad of health issues associated with poor eating habits, our students are armed with critical knowledge that can pave the way for a better future. Serving as an alternative to out of school suspension, and as an inhibitor in truancy and drop-out rates, the LPP Gardening and Nutrition Program engages students in a meaningful way that connects them to their school, their environment, and their community.

2012 Retreat

Susquehanna Valley Liberty Partnerships Program joined with the Morrisville Liberty Partnerships Program to participate in a weekend of team building, fun, and relaxation during a recent overnight retreat. Fifteen people from SV’s LPP participated in the 2012 Retreat hosted by Morrisville Liberty Partnerships. There were a variety of activities throughout the weekend including scavenger hunts, swimming, fishing, hiking, arts/ crafts, and many others with a team-building focus.

On the final night students enjoyed a campfire and dance with music provided by one of the LPP coordinators. They also completed a community service project on the last day by cleaning the cabins and other campsite buildings, and finished with a group hike to clean up the trails. To wrap up the weekend, each participant shared something they enjoyed or learned from the weekend.

Service Learning on the Menu

In Fall 2012, Queensborough’s Basic Skills professor David Rothman’s ESL class participated in a service-learning project with Liberty Partnerships Project Prize, which has had longstanding ties to service-learning at QCC.

This project utilized an increasingly important subject for our nation today: health and nutrition. The Basic Skills students studied nutrition using real food, as well as text and media sources such as the documentary Supersize Me. This prepared QCC students for their trip to a Whole Foods Market in Manhasset, with youngsters from Liberty Partnerships. Once there, students received a guided tour, and ESL students practiced their language skills while learning along with the LPP youngsters about good eating habits, organic food, and keeping an active lifestyle.

The college students read essays to the high school students about food, and as part of a stress on common core standards, they discussed the merits of those papers, thus, preparing them for college-level writing tests and classes through strong examples as well as analysis. At the end of the day, the Liberty Partnership students received free gift certificates to Whole Foods. In addition, generous grants from both Whole Foods Market and Fairway Market were also received to assist with the project.

SCCC Program Activities

Suffolk County Community College’s LPP program holds monthly Parent/ Student Meetings rotating between the Longwood School District and SCCC. A recent highlight included a visit from the Newsday journalists who discussed college preparatory strategies such as scholarship searches, insights about visiting college campuses, and pointers for writing application essays. In addition, we have invited people from the STEM fields to speak to the students and parents about their educational paths and their career choices. In a few cases, some parents have gone back to school in order to change careers because of the inspiration from one of our STEM guest lectures.

SV High's Liberty Partnerships Program students lend a hand in the community

Susquehanna Valley’s Liberty Partnerships students volunteered their time to work at the STAP (Southern Tier AIDS Program) Dinner. Founded in 1984, the Southern Tier AIDS Program provides supportive services to HIV+ persons and state of the art prevention education from nine offices in an eight county area. The students served dinner to over 150 guests of STAP at the Trinity Memorial Episcopal Church, and they also helped clean up after the event. Their help was extremely appreciated by STAP clients and staff members. They helped make the dinner a huge success!!

SCCC Student Recognition

Each year, Suffolk County Community College hosts an LPP Recognition Ceremony which will be held on Thursday, May 9, 2013. This ceremony serves as a platform for the SCCC Administration (President, Vice Presidents etc.) to recognize the hard work and academic achievements of all SCCC LPP Longwood Students.

SUNY Cobleskill LPP’s Summer 2012 Adventure:

Despite an overnight soaker that left tents, sleeping bags, and clothes dripping wet, students and staff of the SUNY Cobleskill LPP had a blast during an all-girls Adirondack Adventure that included white water rafting, tenting, canoeing, hiking, and making (and eating) S’mores. It wasn’t all play, though; as the students marked and cleaned hiking trails within the Adirondack Park while learning about the park’s flora and fauna. Our adventure guides were from the Schoharie County Youth Bureau, a partner of the SUNY Cobleskill LPP.

Tutoring & Mentoring

A beautiful partnership with BU Graduate School of Education has allowed us to provide our students with a dedicated and committed BU Graduate student who has provided yet another FULL day of Regents review!! One grad student has been with me since 9 this morning working with over a dozen students (one on one and in groups) in just one day helping to prepare them for their Global and US history Regents exams next week.

One of our students has greatly benefited from all the help that Beau has given. He has raised his GPA in Global History 14 points in 12 weeks. Beau has gone above and beyond when it came to helping our students this semester. While he was at home during break he compiled review packets to help study for the Global Regents this week, as well as held many all day and early morning study and review sessions. Liberty wants to recognize Beau for all his hard work and dedication.

CITY Project

Welcome to Binghamton University Liberty Partnerships Program, Liberty CITY (Community Improvement Through Youth) Project. We are teen leaders from Binghamton High School. We help the youth in our community by traveling to different parts of the city. We identify youth issues within our school and community; then brain storm solutions to solve these problems. We work hard during the school year planning activities to help the youth to stay active, engaged, and out of trouble though out the summer. We are dedicated teen leaders looking to change our community for the better of our youth.


Binghamton University Liberty Partnerships Program at Binghamton High School

Student of the Quarter Recognition

Andre Rosebure has been selected as Binghamton University Liberty Partnerships Program at Binghamton High School student of the quarter. Andre, a senior who is preparing to graduate from high school and begin his journey through adulthood, faces challenges like most young men and women. However, while working part time and playing basketball for a local CYO team, Andre continues to stay committed to his academics. Andre completes his work and is not afraid to seek out additional help if needed. One such example of Andre’s hard work and commitment is a 14 point increase in one class grade within just 12 weeks! Andre is completing the college application process and has applied to multiple colleges. He has already received an acceptance letter from Mohawk Valley Community College (MVCC) and is awaiting others. He will enroll in the liberal arts program with plans to achieve a business degree.

Marist’ LPP Provides Mentoring to Middle School Students

Marist College’s Liberty Partnerships Program (LPP) uses a mentoring model to provide academic enrichment in STEM and ELA to middle school students. Marist students serve as mentors and meet with their mentees on a weekly basis at the college. Half of the mentors are majoring in Education and they are learning teaching skills. The goal of mentoring is to provide students with academic enrichment and expose them to college.

During Fall 2012, 37 LPP students and 18 Marist students participated in the program. The matches worked-on STEM activities aligned with the science curriculum. Students also had dinner in the dining hall and toured the campus. On the last day parents joined the group for a presentation by the Admissions Office and a meeting with their child’s mentor. This series was provided in partnership with the local chapter of the Association of American University Women (AAUW) and Sodexo. AAUW provided funding to offset the cost of transportation and Sodexo covered 50% of the dinners.

The STEM activities included encryption, building snap circuits, and taking apart computer equipment. An educator from a NYS Environmental Center involved the matches in hands-on activities to expose them to eels in the Hudson River and migration. The matches also competed in an egg-drop activity that was based on the Apollo 13 emergency. The matches worked in teams to design containers that protected the eggs when they were dropped. Each member of the winning team received a DVD of Apollo 13.

According to surveys completed at the end of the semester, all of the LPP students enjoyed meeting with their mentor and completing the STEM activities. The great majority indicated that, as a result of mentoring, they are more interested in science and math, have a better understanding of what it is like to go to college, and believe that they will do better in school. The surveys completed by the mentors were also positive; the great majority indicated that they found mentoring to be personally rewarding and would recommend it as a valuable learning experience.

In addition to the fall 2012 event, Marist clubs have provided assistance for mentoring experiences in public-speaking competitions and a theatrical presentation. Susan Repko, LPP Director, is working with the instructor of Reading Across the Curriculum to develop a practicum experience during the Spring 2013. Marist students will fulfill course requirements by assisting LPP students with ELA assignments aligned with the common core.