The Sylvia Center

Youth-led Change for a Healthy Future

The Bronx, NY   |  www.sylviacenter.org

Mission

The mission of the organization is to educate young people on the connection between food and health while empowering them to lead healthier lives.

Ruling year info

2007

Executive Director

Jonathan Cetnarski

Main address

2417 3rd Avenue Suite 301

The Bronx, NY 10451 USA

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EIN

20-4297703

NTEE code info

Nutrition Programs (K40)

Agricultural Programs (K20)

Youth Development Programs (O50)

IRS filing requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

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Communication

Programs and results

What we aim to solve

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Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

New York City: Cooks for Health

Cooks for Health programming provides culinary and nutrition education through cooking classes. Flexible programming runs for six to 14 lessons, depending on the ages of participants. In Cooks for Health Family classes, a parent or guardian joins participants in the kitchen to prepare the same nutrition-focused recipes.

In all programming, a Chef Educator guides participants through classes as they learn to prepare healthy, plant-based recipes. The Chef Educator emphasizes the role of nutrition in good health and focuses on building participants’ skills, confidence, and food knowledge inside and outside the kitchen.

Population(s) Served
Children and youth
Economically disadvantaged people

Designed for our youngest participants, Full Plate programming builds the foundation for a lifetime of healthy eating by teaching the connection between the food they eat and where it comes from. Lessons focus on building confidence in the kitchen.

Whenever possible, Full Plate lessons are paired with a farm visit, allowing participants to experience the connection between food to farm while learning about agriculture, cooking, and nutrition.

In a series of three or more lessons, Full Plate:

Inspires food exploration
Provides nutrition education
Teaches skills to prepare a healthy snack

Full Plate serves Kindergarten - 5th grade

Population(s) Served
Children and youth
Economically disadvantaged people

The Teen Culinary Apprenticeship prepares 16-18-year-olds to become peer advocates for health and nutrition and provides professional development through food industry-related job opportunities. Apprentices explore food justice and food science as they learn the benefits of plant-forward eating. The apprenticeship runs 16 weeks, with a minimum of 54 hours required to receive school credit.* The program culminates with participants serving as paid Teen Chef Instructors at summer camps with a mission to teach youth in their community about healthy food and where it comes from.

Population(s) Served
Adolescents
Economically disadvantaged people

Where we work

Goals & Strategy

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn about the organization's key goals, strategies, capabilities, and progress.

Charting impact

Four powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

The Sylvia Center was founded in 2007 to address issues in children's health by providing hands-on experiences with growing and cooking healthy food. Now in our ninth year of programs, TSC has developed and codified an innovative and forward-thinking model that teaches cooking as a life skill to fight the obesity epidemic and create new generations of healthier New Yorkers. In 2015, our programs served over 2,000 students in New York City and nearly 1,500 students in Columbia County, helping young people and their families learn to cook. In low-income communities where processed, high-calorie foods are prevalent and healthy whole foods are often scarce, The Sylvia Center provides essential programs that work to counteract the rise of diet-related health problems later in life.

We partner with community-based organizations, schools, and local businesses to deliver nutrition-focused culinary programming in all five boroughs of New York City and Columbia County, New York.

All programs teach skills to identify accessible and nutritious foods and master basic cooking skills and safety. Participants develop life skills, including public speaking, teamwork, and time management, to boost confidence and foster success inside and outside the kitchen. Teen and young adult programs introduce food justice and food science.

Trained instructor teams are composed of chefs, educators, sanitarians, and registered dietitians.

Through a research-based curriculum, participants learn to:

Distinguish between whole and processed foods
Build a healthy plate
Explore new foods
Add flavor healthfully
Understand seasonality
Follow good hygiene and sanitation

Since 2007, we have served over 15,000 participants—youth, teens and family members—in New York City and Columbia County.

In 2016, we are:
-Doubling the ExpandED Teen Apprenticeship program, to train high school students from the Bronx and Brooklyn to teach healthy cooking to kids in NYC summer camps
-Continuing our Cooks for Health program residencies, which are now active in ten community center sites across all five boroughs
-Growing our Train-the-Trainer program, to equip community-based organizations to teach our curriculum on their own
-Offering more need-based scholarships to community and youth groups from Columbia County so they

In 2015, TSC's city programs taught over 2,000 students to cook through the following initiatives: Cooks for Health in NYCHA community centers, the ExpandED Teen Culinary Apprenticeship, and Train the Trainer. We also continued long-standing partnership programs with Green City Force, GrowNYC, and NYU Langone Medical Center.

The Sylvia Center at Katchkie Farm served nearly 1,500 children and their families in 2015, a 19% increase from 2014. 81% of participants came from Columbia County. 19% came from the NYC metro area.

Financials

The Sylvia Center
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Operations

The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

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The Sylvia Center

Board of directors
as of 10/25/2021
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board chair

Cindy Edelson

Chaim Wachsberger

Partner, Chadbourne & Parke, LLP

Trudy Elbaum Gottesman

Philanthropist

Lizbeth Neumark

CEO, Great Performances

Dodi Meyer, MD

Director, Community Pediatrics, Columbia University Medical Center

Michael Pollack

Co-Owner and Managing Partner, Brooklyn Roasting Company

Cindy Edelson

Philanthropist

Nina Freedman

Global Philanthropy and Engagement, Bloomberg LP

Deborah Gardner

Public Relations Consultant

Scott Millstein

Executive Director, Coro New York Leadership Center

Tara Gendelman

Investor Relations

Howard Pulchin

Global Creative Director, APCO Worldwide

Phil Meldrum

President, FOODMatch

Lynn Cole

Courtney Archer-Buckmire

Board leadership practices

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section.

  • Board orientation and education
    Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations? No
  • CEO oversight
    Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year ? No
  • Ethics and transparency
    Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year? No
  • Board composition
    Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership? No
  • Board performance
    Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years? No

Organizational demographics

SOURCE: Self-reported; last updated 05/05/2020

Who works and leads organizations that serve our diverse communities? GuideStar partnered on this section with CHANGE Philanthropy and Equity in the Center.

Leadership

No data

Race & ethnicity

No data

Gender identity

No data

 

No data

Sexual orientation

No data

Disability

No data