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Who We Are & What We Do:


Our Origins

The Poughkeepsie Children's Cabinet (PCC) is a collective impact organization that was formed in February 2020 to develop a citywide cradle-to-career agenda for children, youth and families in the City of Poughkeepsie, New York.

The PCC emerged as an outcome of the first-ever Poughkeepsie Summit at Harvard University in August of 2019. This first of its kind summit convened more than 20 local officials and nonprofit leaders to discuss community development opportunities related to the City of Poughkeepsie’s future, with a focus on improving opportunities and shifting conditions for children, youth, and families in Poughkeepsie. The summit was organized by a group of young professionals with deep ties to the City of Poughkeepsie including Rob Watson Jr., James Watson, Kylynn Grier, and Kelsey Donohue. 


The PCC was established to create and catalyze citywide systems of support that ensure all children, youth, and families thrive across all aspects of their lives. By bringing together an entire community of leaders and institutions across sectors, we strive to address Poughkeepsie's pervasive intergenerational challenges of poverty and educational inequities. Together, we will reimagine how decisions that impact children, youth, and families are made.

The PCC is co-chaired by City of Poughkeepsie Mayor Yvonne Flowers and Dr. Eric Jay Rosser, Superintendent of Schools of the Poughkeepsie City School District. The cabinet is composed of a Leadership Council with leaders from faith-based organizations, philanthropy and business, city and county government, nonprofits and community-based organizations, hospitals and health networks, elected office, and other key stakeholders in the City of Poughkeepsie and Dutchess County area.


The PCC will also house working groups that convene subject matter experts to develop programmatic and policy solutions for the consideration of the the Cabinet Leadership Council and the City of Poughkeepsie community at large. Each Working Group will be supported by our Cabinetteam that is dedicated to robust community engagement and outreach.


Our Core Values

Ensure Children and Youth Come First

Cultivate Sustainable Community Leadership

Catalyze Systems of  Opportunity for ALL In and Out-of-School

Embrace Equity, Joy and Justice

Scale Impact  through Citywide Coordination and Alignment

What are Children's Cabinets?

An Emerging Systems Change Approach for Children, Youth and Families

Imagine if leaders of all of the agencies and organizations that serve children and youth in your community came together at one table to improve their collective ability to meet the needs of kids. Picture your superintendent talking with your head of libraries, strategizing with your health commissioner, and collaborating with your summer and after school providers to create a civic ecosystem that enables all children to thrive. We call this a children’s cabinet.

Across the nation, Children's Cabinets are, "advancing a new paradigm for systems of support and opportunity for children and youth using coalition building and policy change. Children's Cabinets are collaborative action bodies composed of agencies inside and outside of government, with responsibilities and interests in seeing children thrive in school and in life." 

A children’s cabinet provides a space for government agencies and community stakeholders (such as your children’s hospital, United Way, or Boys and Girls Club) to create a shared vision for kids in your community and then work together to make that vision a reality. By seamlessly coordinating the supports and services that your community provides, children’s cabinets address young people’s holistic needs as they grow and develop.      

​-Excerpts sourced from Harvard EdRedesign Lab Local Children's Cabinet Toolkit

The PCC is a member of the Local Children's Cabinet Network with 40+ communities across the US and Canada supported by the Forum for Youth Investment, Children's Funding Project and the Harvard EdRedesign Lab. Additionally, the City of Poughkeepsie recently became the 10th community in the nation to join the Harvard EdRedesign By All Means Initiative, a national initiative supporting cities in the development of cross-sector systems of child well-being and education.


What is the Leadership Council?


The Leadership Council is composed of leaders from the faith-based community, philanthropy and business, city and county government, nonprofits and community-based organizations, hospitals and health networks, elected officials and the Poughkeepsie City School District. The Leadership Council convenes leaders of major local institutions with the platform to support high-impact systems-level solutions that serve children, youth and families in the City of Poughkeepsie.


What are Cabinet Working Groups?


Cabinet Timeline at a Glance

February - June 2020

  • Announcement of PCC Executive Committee by the Mayor and Superintendent of Schools (February)

  • PCC secures a startup challenge grant from the Dyson Foundation

  • Initial PCC Executive Committee meetings

  • Launch of Cabinet COVID-19 Response Task Forces.

  • Cabinet Support of PCSD Digital Inclusion Efforts and Citywide COVID-19 Communications and Resources for Families

June - August 2020

  • City of Poughkeepsie receives an invitation to become the 10th community in the nation to join the Harvard EdRedesign Lab By all Means Initiative 

  • Selection of Cabinet-wide metrics of success

  • Finalized fundraising for startup Cabinet staffing 

September- December 


  • Finalize plan for Cabinet Working Groups Launch Co-Chair and Members Nomination Process

  • Selection of Co-chairs for Early Childhood and Out-of-school Enrichment and Learning

  • Design of citywide youth engagement strategy in partnership with Marist College Center for Social Justice Research. 

  • Finalize integrated student supports proposal with Poughkeepsie City School District, Dutchess County Path to Promise and Boston College Lynch School of Education City Connects Program



  • January Launch of Early Childhood and Out-of-School Working Groups

  • Mid-year Launch of additional two Working Groups: College, Career and Civic Readiness; Integrated Health and Human Services

  • Implementation of citywide youth engagement strategy. 

  • Finalization of permanent Cabinet staffing infrastructure. 

  • Begin to finalize working group recommendations for citywide implementation.

Working Towards Equitable Systems of Support

for — and with — Young People

The PCC Working Groups are coalitions of individuals with lived experience and professional expertise tasked with developing a citywide agenda of priorities  in key areas of child and youth development.

Working Groups will be composed of a diversity of community leaders with a demonstrated track record in social impact and who will incorporate the perspectives of key stakeholder groups deeply impacted by issues of equity. Working Groups will guide the decision-making process of the PCC Executive Committee and its institutional partners.

Below we provide key information on our four Working Groups.

The four Working Groups of the Poughkeepsie Children’s Cabinet are time-limited, solutions-oriented interdisciplinary teams focusing on the following topics: 

Early Childhood

This working group seeks to develop strategies to ensure  sustainable long-term investments in early childhood development.


Enrichment and Learning

This working group seeks to address prevalent phenomena such as after school and summer learning loss gaps in academic and extracurricular enrichment along socioeconomic lines.

College, Career and Civic Readiness

The College, Career and Civic Readiness Working Group will focus on developing robust pathways to post-secondary learning and career success, community wealth creation and lifelong engaged citizenship.

Integrated Health and Human Services

This working group will promote the integration of educational services with comprehensive health and social services to address critical barriers to learning and whole child development.  

Learn more about what the working

groups will do by clicking here

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