EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR NAMED TO LEAD GENERATIONON
Christopher Caruso will head newly-launched global youth movement
New York City (Dec. 10, 2010) – generationOn, the exciting national and global youth service movement launched by Points of Light Institute in October, has named Christopher Caruso as its Executive Director. He will lead generationOn in its mission to empower young people to use their creativity, energy, and passion to solve real-world problems through volunteerism and service.
Caruso comes to generationOn after eight years in the Bloomberg administration. Most recently, he was an Assistant Commissioner for the New York City Department of Youth and Community Development. In that role, he helped launch and was the first leader of the City’s Out-of-School Time (OST) system, the nation’s largest municipally-financed afterschool initiative.
New York City’s OST system established citywide quality standards for afterschool programs and brought much-needed programs to previously underserved neighborhoods, ensuring that more than 60,000 children received comprehensive youth development and educational services at no cost to families.
generationOn brings together “Children for Children” with the best of “The League, and the “Learning to Give” philanthropy curriculum, to develop meaningful volunteer opportunities and resources for children K-12, families, educators and nonprofit organizations. It includes 1,800 Kids Care Clubs and thousands of schools in all 50 states and around the world. Its interactive Web site generationon.org includes programs, ideas, tools, and hands-on opportunities for kids to learn about the issues in their communities and become part of the solution to local challenges. The Hasbro Children’s Fund is supporting the generationOn movement with a gift of more than $5 million over the next five years, the single largest commitment the Fund has made at one time to an initiative.
“Chris’ experience in the government, the nonprofit sectors, working both at a systems level and at the community level, makes him an excellent choice to lead generationOn,” said Silda Wall Spitzer, founding chair of Children for Children and current board member of generationOn. “We look forward to his leadership of this important movement.”
“I am thrilled to be joining generationOn and am privileged to lead an organization with such an important mission,” said Caruso. “Current research shows that engaging children in community service and service-learning helps reduce high-school dropout rates, increases school attendance and promotes civic engagement. My new role with generationOn is a natural and welcome progression of my work to support children and families in ways that empower them and contribute directly to their success.”
Before working in city government, as Program Director for the Children’s Aid Society at a New York City elementary school, Caruso witnessed first-hand the power of engaging kids. The program combined best educational and youth development practices with a wide range of in-house health and social services to ensure that the children were physically, emotionally, and socially ready to learn.
Earlier this year Caruso was one of 18 professionals selected nationwide for the Annie E. Casey Foundation Children and Family Fellowship program, a 20-month leadership program to increase the pool of individuals with the vision and ability to create and sustain major reforms and initiatives that benefit children and families. Caruso holds a B.A. in political science from Providence College and an M.P.A in education policy and nonprofit leadership from Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs. He lives in Queens with his wife and their two children, who attend public school.
About Points of Light Institute
Points of Light Institute inspires, equips and mobilizes people to take action that changes the world. The Institute has a global focus to redefine volunteerism and civic engagement for the 21st century, putting people at the center of community problem solving. Points of Light Institute operates three dynamic business units that share the mission: HandsOn Network, MissionFish and the Civic Incubator, which includes generationOn and AmeriCorps Alums. For more information, please visit www.PointsofLight.org.
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