TITLE: Senior Program Officer, Early Childhood & Youth
FUNDING AREAS: Poverty and early childhood education
CONTACT: Visit PeopleFinder for email and phone number (paid subscribers only)
PROFILE: Investing in early childhood and youth education programs is an important step in breaking the cycle of poverty, and it's one focus that the Robin Hood Foundation uses in its mission to end poverty in New York City.
Leading the foundation's efforts in early childhood and youth education is Senior Program Officer Kwaku Driskell, who first joined Robin Hood in October 2005. He's been in the thick of it with engagingly supporting youth for quite some time, starting as a YMCA camp administrator, moving on to the education departments of first the Chicago Children's Museum and then the Brooklyn Children's Museum, and finally three years as a Program Manager at Young Audiences New York just previous to joining with Robin Hood. He also has his bachelor's degree in communications from Northwestern University, and has worked as an actor in addition to his community and non-profit efforts.
Driskell has described how he visits program sites to observe grantees in action. He tries to gauge the hard-to-quantify aspects of programs: Is the atmosphere an inviting one? Is the program really engaging youth? What happens when a young person breaks the rules? He also noted that proven leadership sometimes induces Robin Hood to make riskier investments than it otherwise would.