GDS Happenings

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The Reach Your Potential Times


Since 1996, Growth and Development Services (GDS) has been a leader in the field of Youth Development, empowering youth and families challenged by emotional, behavioral, educational, and social issues.

GDS’ community-based after school and counseling services are located in the
NYC Armory @ 168th Street in Washington Heights.
GDS announces partnership with David Lynch Foundation (DLF) and Quiet TimeClick here to see Russell Simmons endorsement of GDS and Quiet Time
“I am very happy to be partnering with GDS, to do good work for young people who need it the most,”  Russell Simmons,Philanthropist/Entrepreneur
A Testimonial from a Proud GDS Parent

As a father born and raised in the tough Washington Heights community, I understand the peer pressure and struggles that adolescents face. Our family is genuinely grateful to Dr.Gary and the team for the warm therapeutic counseling services that GDS provides. The “Reach Your Potential” program helped my 9-year-old son mature socially, emotionally, and academically. The GDS staff and interns provided a comfort zone where he was able to vent and express his feelings openly. In addition to providing one-on-one attention, the program helped my child to be more focused. I grew up on programs like this one and it’s sad that most of them have been eliminated due to budget cuts. The GDS program is vital to the children and teens of our community, and we are grateful for its existence.

Testimonial from Alexa, 2014 GDS Mental Health Counseling Intern

It has been my great pleasure and honor to spend my summer interning at GDS. For many years GDS has worked to serve the community’s most vulnerable children and families through the various challenges they face day to day. During my internship, I experienced firsthand the importance and power of GDS’ mission within the Washington Height’s community. After receiving extensive training on the practice of the Reach Your Potential model, I found that this approach is an extremely effective tool when working with youth. The GDS team and children worked together to set individual, group, and community-based goals and I watched the children grow and work toward achieving the goals they set despite the obstacles they face. Their motivation to keep growing captures the inner-strength and confidence each child acquired from the program which is tailored to the individual child’s needs and draws on their unique strengths and differences.   Having the children be able to trust and confide in me as I worked with them is one of the most special rewards I am able to take away from my summer experience at GDS.  As sad as I am to end my work with the children, I can rest assured knowing they will continue to reach their potential!
Community Outreach Campaign
The goal of GDS’ grassroots community advocacy movement is to enhance GDS’ after-school and counseling programs and to bring Quiet Time and other supportive services to the children, adults, and families of Upper Manhattan.
“Unity is strength when there is teamwork and collaboration,
wonderful things can be achieved.” –Mattie Stepanek, Youth Poet/Peace Advocate

Zunilda Foundeur, host of cable TV show Realidades, leads Team GDS!
For more information about our programs and services and/or to join our Community Outreach Campaign, please visit www.excelGDS.orgGrowth and Development Services, Inc. is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization

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