Queens Defenders is pleased to announce its first private foundation funding awarded by the Meringoff Family Foundation.  This $25,000 grant will support Queens Defenders’ Young Adult Leaders Program operating out of the organization’s Outreach Center in Far Rockaway, Queens.

The project will establish a professional development series and summer bootcamp to prepare Young Adult Leaders and Homework Helpers to offer free, high-quality tutoring services to local youth after school at the Outreach Center during the 2020-2021 academic year and via online sessions while social distancing measures are still in effect.

“The Meringoff Family Foundation is thrilled to be the inaugural foundation supporters of Queens Defenders’ Young Adult Leaders program.  We admire how this program focuses on high needs communities that lack strong youth programming, particularly Far Rockaway, and that programming spans after-school tutoring for younger kids and professional development and career exploration opportunities for older kids. 

One of our goals in making this grant is to leverage this funding to help Queens Defenders attract new donors to support their continuum of diversionary programs operating in Far Rockaway and Jamaica, Queens.”

             – Stuart Post, Executive Director, The Meringoff Family Foundation

Queens Defenders’ Young Adult Leaders program provides after school options for young people from the Far Rockaway and Arverne communities age 16-21 looking to gain work experience, explore possible career opportunities, and become leaders in their community.  The program helps Leaders build both the hard and soft skills they will need to be successful in pursuing their future ambitions, including college and entering the workforce.

“Queens Defenders is honored to establish this partnership with the Meringoff Family Foundation and we are extremely grateful for their generous support of our mission, programs, and especially the aspirational young people with whom we work through our Young Adult Leaders program.

The project funded by the Foundation will help our young people further develop their tutoring skills to better serve the 150 elementary and middle-school students who receive after-school support annually through our Outreach Center in Far Rockaway.”

              – Lori Zeno, Founder & Executive Director, Queens Defenders

All youth involved in this program set a post-secondary goal of college, vocational training, or full-time employment.  Queens Defenders’ Community Outreach team of social workers, youth developers and support staff ensure they are prepared to meet this challenge.  Once involved with Queens Defenders, young people learn what it means to work hard, to be relied upon by their peers and community, and – most importantly – develop confidence in themselves and their abilities to see a future filled with possibility.


About the Meringoff Family Foundation: Founded by Stephen J. Meringoff in 2008, the Meringoff Family Foundation’s mission is to make hands-on philanthropic investments primarily in NYC-based nonprofits that are working to level the playing field for young New Yorkers and invest in local kids to help them build a future.  The Foundation’s primary focus is enhancing public education outcomes in NYC and in furthering critical programs in cutting edge medical research and innovative public health interventions.

Learn more at meringofffoundation.org.