Welcome Back!

The students are back! Our offices are bustling again and the halls are filled with new energy and excitement at our three partner schools: Manhattan Comprehensive Night & Day High School, The High School for Health Professions and Human Services, and City-As-School High School. Join us in wishing everyone a great start to the school year and stay tuned for more from CDI!

“I’m ready for a new adventure. Junior year is a big year, and I’m looking forward to joining new clubs, getting more involved with the Young Women’s Leadership Group and finding an internship – especially since I know CDI will be helping me. I’m getting a head start by working on my résumé.” – Brianna Hicks, HPHS Class of 2019

Summertime and the livin’ is…

It’s summer– a time for vacations, new experiences and some fun in the sun! See what some of our students have been up to…

“I have a busy schedule in the summer with SAT prep, summer school and my job at a real estate office, but I go to the gym in the afternoon and I see my friends on Fridays. We usually go to the movies or play pool. I’m pretty good at it. Earlier this summer I took a vacation to visit family and friends in my home country Bangladesh. It was really fun, and I wasn’t ready to leave when it was over.” – Tahmit Kazi

“I like to go to the beach. Recently, I went to Bay Shore on Long Island with my family and friends and we caught crabs –maybe 20 or more! When we returned to the city we went to a restaurant and cooked them. It was delicious.

During the week, I go to Cooper Union for the Summer STEM program. I like working as part of a team. Juan is my partner, and right now we are making a Rube Goldberg machine.”– Wenxin Liu

“I go to Cooper Union for the Summer STEM program, then come back to school to hang out with my friends and go to CDI. I am also preparing to take the SAT test in October and work at a Japanese restaurant. For fun, I like to go to Rockaway Beach and see summer movies. The new Spiderman movie was so good!” – Juan Herran Ocampo

“This summer I have been tutoring students in 2nd through 5th grade at P.S. 112 Dutch Kills in Long Island City. I’ve always been interested in teaching, but after this experience, I don’t think it’s for me. There are so many things a teacher must think about like what type of learner a student is or the best way to teach something. Now I’m more interested in Finance or Entrepreneurship. If I’m not at summer school, studying for the SAT, or at work, I’d be at the beach paddle boarding. My sister is very athletic and taught me. After I learn to paddle board well, I really want to learn to surf. ” – Ian Fernandez

When Preparation Meets Opportunity

Young men from all three of CDI’s partner schools gathered with business professionals at BNY Mellon on Wednesday night for a workshop on preparing themselves for future success. They gained insight into the world of work as speakers and panelists shared their own paths to success before working with students one on one to review resumes and teach the power of the power tie!

CDI is grateful to our generous hosts the BNY Mellon IMPACT Business Resource Group.

Oh, thank heaven for 7-Eleven!

Sal Napolitano presenting the check to Coach Mark Dorman with soccer, volleyball and table tennis members

Good sportsmanship on and off the court has paid off for student athletes at Manhattan Comprehensive Night & Day High School. “The students from Manhattan Comprehensive are always in here, and they are always respectful and well behaved,” said Sal Napolitano, the owner of the local 7-Eleven store on 14th Street between 2nd and 3rd Avenues. “I’m big into the community and this was one way of giving back.” Napolitano applied to 7-Eleven corporate headquarters for a grant to support the school’s athletic teams as part of Project A-Game, a corporate initiative supporting youth sports programming. And the award? $711. CDI and Manhattan Comprehensive thanks Mr. Napolitano and 7-Eleven for this generous support!

Principal takeover at MCNDHS

Student athletes and CDI staff pose for a post-lunch photo with Principal Michael Toise and Principal for a Day Bob Delaney, Jr.

Students and staff may have noticed a new face strolling the halls of Manhattan Comprehensive Night & Day High School this past December when special guest Bob Delaney, Jr. became Principal for a Day.

“I’ve heard so much about what a great educational experience Manhattan Comprehensive provides from my father over the years and my wife keeps me pretty well updated, but I decided it was time to come see for myself,” Bob said. His father is longtime CDI supporter Bob Delaney, Sr. and his wife is Pam Craig, Chair of CDI’s Board of Directors. Bob is a Partner at Crestview Partners in Manhattan.

“It was great to learn how closely the staffs of CDI and MCNDHS work together to address the unique needs of each student. I was so impressed by how deeply everyone I met cared for the students’ well being,” he said.

Acting Principal Delaney started the day over coffee with Principal Michael Toise who prepped him for the role with some school history before handing off the reins. Delaney then took a school tour and made several classroom visits. “This reminds me of my days in high school! It’s been a while since I had to work through these kinds of equations. Sine, cosine… I’ll leave the students to it,” he laughed while visiting Mr. Jurney’s math class. He ended the day swapping stories with students from the soccer, volleyball and table tennis teams on victories, rivals and what is takes to be a great student athlete.

CDI welcomes visitors! If you’d like to come by for a tour or to learn more about CDI’s students and programs, please contact CDI’s Director of Development Andrée Lockwood at andreelockwood@www.cdi-ny.org.


Michael A. Roberts takes helm as CDI’s Executive Director

Students and alumni with CDI's Executive Director Michael A. Roberts.

Students and alumni with Michael A. Roberts.

Comprehensive Development, Inc. (CDI) is pleased to announce that Michael A. Roberts is CDI’s new Executive Director. Michael has served as the Assistant Executive Director since September 2013 and has dedicated his career to serving and working in partnership with young men and women to ensure they achieve their goals for success beyond high school and break generational poverty.

“Michael has such an energy and passion for our mission and the young people we serve. It’s evident in all that he leads on behalf of CDI, and we are excited to move forward into this next stage of growth and development with Michael at the helm,” said Pamela J. Craig, Chair of CDI’s Board of Directors.

While at CDI, Michael has managed programming for young adults ages 14 to 24 at The High School for Health Professions and Human Services and City-As-School High School and overseen the launch of the CDI Career Academy—a sectoral-based training certificate program for recent graduates, now in its second year. He brings more than 20 years experience of youth development and nonprofit management to the role, first from Safe Horizon and later from The Children’s Aid Society. Michael has spoken and provided trainings around the U.S. and has worked at both federal and local levels to develop strategies, programs and positive outcomes for young people to become leaders in their homes, schools and communities while developing the skills needed to compete and succeed in the 21st Century.

Michael earned his Masters of Social Work from Hunter College. He succeeds John J. Mancuso, Jr. who retired after a successful 10 year tenure which included the expansion of CDI from one site to form a network of schools.


CAS’ Internships Offer Experiences and Spark Passions

IMG_9664Twice a year at City-As-School, students gather in the library for the Student Learning Expo to present their portfolio projects – the comprehensive output of their internship work and a requirement for graduation. Internships are an integral part of the CAS curriculum. Students split their time between classes and internships where they get real-world experience. They can chose from hundreds of internships all over New York City, from businesses and organizations, to schools and art galleries. Jennifer Matos has always dreamed of being an animal activist, but wanted to broaden her understanding of human rights issues, so she interned at the Museum of Tolerance. “It really opened up my eyes to the history and ongoing issues that people face around the world. I was a docent and teaching groups of students about the museum gave me so much confidence to speak publicly. I want to pursue wildlife management next year in college, but I also want to continue to be involved in promoting human rights because of this internship.”

Emily Dorta inteEmily Dortarned as an Art Teacher Assistant at her old middle school in the Bronx. “I was interested in working with children with developmental issues and helping them gain confidence and understanding through art. But I”ve never worked in a classroom before, so I wanted to know what it”s really like to be a teacher. I discovered you really need a lot of patience! I”m still really interested in being a teacher but I”m also considering being a pediatrician.”

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