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Poughkeepsie Children’s Cabinet Appoints Jill Roche Gomez as Inaugural Executive Director

The Poughkeepsie Children’s Cabinet board of directors welcomes inaugural Executive Director Jill Roche Gomez.

[Left to right: City of Poughkeepsie Mayor Marc Nelson; Poughkeepsie City School District Superintendent Dr. Eric Jay Rosser; Dutchess County Executive William F.X. O’Neil; Jill Roche Gomez; Rob Watson Jr.; Sally Cross; Andrea Reynolds]

October 19, 2023

Poughkeepsie, NY: The Poughkeepsie Children’s Cabinet is pleased to announce the appointment of Jill Roche Gomez as the nonprofit organization’s inaugural Executive Director.

Gomez is a seasoned nonprofit leader with more than 15 years of experience working with vulnerable youth. Most recently, Gomez served for six years as Executive Director of the Hunts Point Alliance for Children (HPAC) in the South Bronx, where she led the development of the organization’s collaborative work to raise education outcomes for all neighborhood children with a focus on education equity, family-centered program design, and community building.

Gomez received her JD from the University of Pittsburgh and holds a Master of Laws (LLM) in International Law and Human Rights from the University of Maastricht in the Netherlands.

“Jill is a results-oriented, cross-sector leader who knows what it takes to improve youth outcomes for an entire community,” said Children’s Cabinet board chair Rob Watson Jr. “As Executive Director, her collaborative leadership style, operational expertise, and high standards will be invaluable as the Children’s Cabinet begins the critical work of building a comprehensive cradle-to-career system of opportunities for and with Poughkeepsie’s youth and families in partnership with local direct service providers, public schools, government institutions, philanthropy and community stakeholders.”

“This is such an exciting time for the Children’s Cabinet. It is inspiring to see how the Poughkeepsie community has unified around a common understanding of how a cradle-to-career system of support can fundamentally improve the life trajectories of young people,” said Gomez. “I could not be more thrilled to begin working with the vibrant, passionate network of partners and stakeholders in Poughkeepsie who have embraced this vision and are working hard every day to make it a reality.”

Gomez’s hiring comes as the Poughkeepsie Children’s Cabinet begins the implementation of its strategic plan, recently completed with the support of the William Julius Wilson Institute at Harlem Children’s Zone (the internationally-renowned model for cradle-to-career innovation).

The Cabinet also recently received a $175,000 grant from The Wallace Foundation, one of the nation’s largest philanthropies. The funding is being used to support a first-of-its-kind partnership among Poughkeepsie direct service providers The Art Effect, Boys & Girls Club, Community Matters 2, and Family Services. The four organizations are working with the Cabinet to improve access to out-of-school time programming for Poughkeepsie youth ages 11-19.

The Poughkeepsie Children’s Cabinet was launched in February 2020 as a coordinated effort among city leaders to develop a cradle-to-career agenda and system of opportunities. The Cabinet’s Leadership Council is co-chaired by City of Poughkeepsie Mayor Marc Nelson and Dr. Eric Jay Rosser, Superintendent of the Poughkeepsie City School District. The Leadership Council is comprised of representatives from across sectors, including nonprofits, local government, schools, higher education, faith-based organizations, philanthropy, business and healthcare. The Cabinet has received funding support from Dutchess County and the City of Poughkeepsie, local philanthropy, corporate and individual donors.

“In just over three years, the Children’s Cabinet has become an essential forum for our community to come together to find solutions on behalf of Poughkeepsie’s youth,” said Mayor Nelson. “With our strategic plan, we are now channeling those conversations into action. Supporting this type of collective action is one of the best returns on investment we can make as a city. It is a vital part of the solution as we work to continue improving services for Poughkeepsie’s youth as the historic infusion of federal COVID relief dollars ends next year.”

“The Children’s Cabinet is an essential partner for the Poughkeepsie City School District. By taking a school, home and community approach, we have been able to look closely at the many out-of-school factors that impact success in the classroom and in life,” said Dr. Rosser. “By implementing the partnerships and innovations emerging from the Cabinet, both inside and outside of our schools, this approach is already delivering benefits for Poughkeepsie’s children and promises to only accelerate with the hiring of Jill.”

All of the Cabinet’s work is guided by its “North Star” vision that — by 2033 — over 5,000 City of Poughkeepsie young people and their families will be connected annually to transformative cradle-to-career opportunities that place them on pathways to postsecondary completion and socioeconomic mobility.


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