(formerly known as Geriatrics Career Development Program)
The Next Generation of Healthcare Professionals
Since 2006, the SkillSpring program of The New Jewish Home has supported New York City youth from under-resourced schools in pursuit of careers in health care. SkillSpring is training the next generation of high-quality, culturally competent health care professionals while generating excitement and enthusiasm for career opportunities in health care serving older adults.
Youth participants are fully immersed into the long-term care setting and provide more than 8,000 hours of companionship, activities and clinical care to older adults each year. The comprehensive curriculum trains young people to appreciate and gain a deep respect for older adults.
HIGH SCHOOL PROGRAM
(10th-12th grade, 14-19 years old)
The three-year High School Program serves 225 students annually in Bronx housing and the Manhattan division. The High School Program provides college readiness, health career exploration activities, internships, professional/older adult mentors, and clinical training. Youth can graduate with as many as five allied healthcare certifications (e.g., Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA), Patient Care Technician), allowing them to immediately seek employment and have supplementary income while attending college.
- 821 graduates since 2006
- 99% high school graduation rate
- 94% are currently employed and/or enrolled in or have completed post-secondary programs
- 84% obtain degrees
- 7 graduates enrolled in medical school
- 1 graduate enrolled in Ph.D. programs
- Over 330 internships awarded
- Graduating classes average $1,000,000 in scholarships/aid annually
WHAT THE HIGH SCHOOL PROGRAM OFFERS TO HIGH SCHOOL STUDENTS
- Scholarships/Stipend for regularly attending participants
- Paid internship during senior year
- Free certification (Certified Nursing Assistant/Patient Care, Technician), SAT Prep, College Counseling/Trips, and Supper/Snack at each location
- Summer Program
- Academic Tutoring
- Professional development
- Skills training/Clinical Experience
Interested in joining the High School Program?
Applications are now being accepted:
Sign up here >>
Roll-in applications are accepted based upon availability.
FOR MORE INFORMATION ABOUT
OUR HIGH SCHOOL PROGRAM:
Please reach out to Nicole Cash, SkillSpring Director, High School Program at email@example.com.
Coming into this internship, I did not know what was ahead of me. Throughout this journey, I stepped out of my comfort zone and was able to obtain skills that will further my health/science career.
Not many people can say they are a Certified Nursing Assistant, at the age of 16, and certified in CPR at the age of 15. GCD made me realize the different aspects of life and going about your career. They truly showed an interest in my life and they helped me every step of the way.
GCD, to me, means a safe zone area where you can be yourself and learn new things every day. Learning to socialize with my mates helped me learn new things because the more people you talk to, the more you learn. It felt really good too.
I see GCD as my family. I enjoy GCD; they really try to help you as much as they possibly can, and you never know when you’ll need their help in the future. I’m grateful for experiencing my first internship with GCD. I was provided with unforgettable memories that have and will continue to benefit my future.
Joining GCD has been the best decision I have made in my life thus far. I had no idea what I wanted to do as a career until I joined GCD. Not only did I explore many careers, but I also found the right path for my future.
I had never thought that becoming a CNA and PCT while being in High School was possible. Also, I am now going to college with a fixed career goal to become a Nurse Practitioner. GCD has shaped me and my future.
Being a member of the program for three years enabled me to grow immensely. I am now positive that I want pursue a career in the medical field. Volunteering in a nursing home and interacting with the elderly helped me to realize that my life will always be meaningful if I devote myself to helping others.
I now know how to act in professional settings. The experiences and knowledge I am walking away with will make me a stronger candidate for any future position.
GCD has changed my life significantly and I’m thankful. I already knew I wanted work in a health-related field, but I had no idea exactly where I wanted to be. GCD provided me a broad insight into the healthcare system. It helped me understand the amount of dedication and energy it takes to take care of someone who is dependent on your support.
This program has helped me become more mature, understand time management and also helped me receive my CNA certification. This is just the beginning of my path to success.
GCD has changed my life in so many ways. It has taught me to step out of my comfort zone and become more social with the people I meet along the way in life. It has also helped advance my career in the medical field by providing me with the opportunity to participate in CNA, EKG, Phlebotomy, and PCT certifications.
Plus, they supported me throughout my college application process. I am grateful to have received opportunities such as the ones provided to me by the GCD program.
GCD has helped me prepare for my future by giving me the chance to take the Certified Nurse Assistant course. Now, I have some experience in the nursing field which will help me get a job and move ahead in the future. I was also taught how to write my resume and other professional skills which will prepare me for any interview I will have.
I have also been given the opportunity take the Patient Care Technician (PCT ) class which gives me EKG Technician, Phlebotomy, and Patient Care Technician credentials.
GCD has prepared me for the future in the best way possible. It has given me vibrant exposure and opportunities I won’t take for granted. I have had experiences while volunteering at The New Jewish Home and I gained medical/ethical knowledge from the seniors and nurses. I was also able to obtain certifications which I will use in the future.
As a senior, I can say GCD has given me a better understanding of what I want to do in the future, and that is supporting others, in the best way possible, by helping to maintain their health and happiness.
GCD has prepared me for the future. I was able to take my first step into the medical field by becoming certified as a CNA and PCT. When I fulfill my dream of being a doctor, I will be able to say that I have worked my way from the bottom to the top.
GCD’s vocational program provided me with experience in patient interaction, infection control, and skilled nursing facility protocol. Additionally, it helped to reaffirm my belief that people are more than their illnesses or flaws. They are all individuals deserving of love and care.
I learned about life, health careers, and compassion from the staff and my mentors. I have also discovered a new personality in myself. I am friendlier, my communication skills have improved, and I care for those not related to me, and more. I have gained my certification as a CNA.
Having this certification makes me a feel like a special person in my family because my Aunties come up to me, now, to find out more information about CNAs. My mentor, Robert, was like a grandfather to me. I was so devastated when I found out about Robert’s passing; I went home that day crying. I will never forget about Robert, may he rest in peace. I am truly thankful to have been part of the GCD program.
In such a short time, I built bonds and become emotionally attached to both the residents and my supervisor. I learned a lot and after the 5 weeks it just reassured me; I know this is what I want to do. The geriatric community is who I want to help, and I know this is where I belong.
My supervisor gave me a gift today to say I was doing a good job and she appreciated having me, which boosted my confidence even more. So I want to say thank you for this opportunity, your patience and words of wisdom. Thank you! Thank you! Thank you !
YOUNG ADULT (YA) PROGRAM
(18-24 years old)
SkillSpring’s Young Adult Program, was launched in 2014 to address the needs of young people who are out-of-school, unemployed, and faced with multiple barriers. This free three-month program engages, trains, and supports disconnected young adults ages 18-24 to begin meaningful career paths in geriatric healthcare.
Successful participants receive training to become either Certified Nursing Assistants (CNAs) or certified Home Health Aides (HHAs). Our on-site staff supports participants with case management and referral services. Additionally SkillSpring’s Young Adult program provides on-boarding services, professional development training, one-on-one coaching, and paid internships, as well as no-cost CNA/HHA training and certification followed by an opportunity for employment at The New Jewish Home.
- 263 young adults have graduated from the SkillSpring Young Adult program
- 76% have been hired by The New Jewish Home
- 54% are either enrolled in and/or have completed further education or training programs post-SkillSpring
YA PROGRAM PARTICIPANTS BENEFIT FROM
- Hands-on clinical skills training
- Contextualized professional development
- Paid internship in a skilled nursing facility
- Daily MetroCards
- Allied healthcare training (CNA/HHA)
- One-on-one coaching
- Motivational professional speakers
- Long-term employment opportunity
- Transitional support for alumni
ALUMNI (WORKFORCE PROGRAM)
Both the High School Program and Young Adult Programs feed into SkillSpring’s Alumni Program, which offers support to SkillSpring’s Alumni in meeting their academic and career goals. Services include ongoing check-ins and tracking, career services, direct connections to professional opportunities at The New Jewish Home, and referrals to outside resources such as free trainings, and professional development programming. Individual sessions are also provided on request to resolve personal issues, to establish and support educational goals, and to support Alumni in marketing themselves and obtaining employment.
All SkillSpring Alumni benefit from the following free services
- Resume and cover letter guidance
- Application assistance (work & college)
- Interview preparation
- References and recommendations
- Support with FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid)
- Direct access to employment opportunities at The New Jewish Home
- Referrals to employment & educational opportunities
- One-on-one life/school/career-planning sessions
- Volunteer/internship/shadowing opportunities at The New Jewish Home
- Public speaking opportunities
- Network-building and mentoring
- Alumni events and workshops
FOR MORE INFORMATION ABOUT THE ALUMNI PROGRAM:
Although I did not end up in the medical field, the GCD program paved a path for me, it gave me a direction to follow and the resources to use when following that direction. Most importantly, the program provided me with a lifelong family.
My advice to current GCD students would be to take advantage of the opportunities offered to you in GCD, college, etc. that will help better prepare you for your future career and engagements. Go out and volunteer, get a better understanding of what your interests are and indulge in activities that will help you grow as a better individual. Do not try to be like anyone else but yourself!”
I am thankful for being a part of the GCD program. This was the first time I started working with residents, volunteering on the floors and having an Elder Mentor. I used to always want to do something when I was on my floor, and tried my best to take initiative. A few years later, I now have the opportunity to work with the Elders and ensure they have the best care possible. The GCD Program showed me that dreams are possible, and it only takes time, dedication, and motivation.
My first teacher, seeing my academic potential, tutored me at her home. I excelled academically ever since. Ms. Villa died before I could thank her, supposedly due to a misdiagnosis. By then I had said I wanted to be a doctor; that took on new meaning after her funeral. I won’t be a doctor, for money, or for people to respect me- I will be one to help people stay alive.
I want to thank the GCD staff for advocating for me & believing in me when I didn’t even believe in myself. Ever since I started putting in an effort, doors have been opening for me. I have the confidence & communication skills to solve problems & work well with others, I have interview skills I need, & I have more experience. I never expected myself to work in the medical field- now I have goals of becoming a Registered Nurse, maybe even a Doctor.
It was such a privilege to be able to work as an Intern at The New Jewish Home. It was amazing; I was able to get along with the staff & the elderly people & interact with them. Now they feel like family to me. I’ve gained lots of experience & it warms my heart to be able to help others; this brings me joy. The staff members were great supporters when times were difficult for me & I wanted to quit & give up. They encouraged me to stay & were confident in me that I was able to complete the program. Even my co-workers whom I worked with saw this potential in me.
STUDENT: High School Program (2016)
“Stay committed; this program will help you in the long run. My family is very proud.”
FUNDER: Pinkerton Foundation
“GCD is such a unique grantee of ours. It’s the most supportive and all-encompassing program. The outcomes get better every year.”
PARTNER: Stanley M. Isaacs Center
“The support is consistent and thoughtful so they get the coaching they need to be successful… I hope the GCD program, going forward, can influence other cities.”
RESIDENT: The New Jewish Home
“The kids from GCD help us in many ways. They call me their mentor. I love them very much.”
PIX 11 Visits Manhattan Campus to Learn About SkillSpring (formerly known as Geriatrics Career Development Program)
PIX 11 reporter Greg Mocker visited our Manhattan campus earlier this week to learn about SkillSpring, our hands-on healthcare workforce training program. The program provides career development opportunities for underserved young people and offers an immediate solution to the acute workforce shortage at aging services organizations. READ MORE.
SkillSpring Featured on CBS 2 News
CBS 2 News featured Francisca Fadairo, a remarkable high school senior in our High School Program. For the past 15 years, The New Jewish Home’s groundbreaking workforce development program has provided underserved high school students with allied health care certifications, college preparation, and invaluable experience caring for older adults. Instead of closing SkillSpring when the COVID-19 pandemic hit, we actually hired our SkillSpring participants so they could continue to receive hands-on training and gain firsthand experience working on the front lines as health care heroes.
- From Adrift High School Student to Accomplished Nurse - Meet Yolaury Hernandez, RN, a successful graduate of The New Jewish Home’s innovative healthcare workforce training program. Participating in SkillSpring propelled Yolaury to embark on a rewarding career caring for others. Yolaury was nine years old when her family emigrated from the Dominican Republic and settled in Washington Heights. “It was very difficult for me,” says Yolaury, “I was unable to speak the language and the culture is so different. As I learned English and made friends, it got easier.”… …Read More
- A Motivated High School Senior Sets her Sights on a Nursing Career - Carmen dreamed of being a Broadway performer, not a health care professional. And then the Geriatrics Career Development Program changed her course. When she was a sophomore at DeWitt Clinton High School in the Bronx, Carmen’s guidance counselor talked to the whole class about a special internship opportunity at The New Jewish Home. The Geriatrics Career Development (GCD) Program is a workforce development program that exposes young people to health care careers, and Health Care Explorers (HCE) is the track… …Read More
- Senator Gillibrand visits our Geriatrics Career Development (GCD) Program! - We were delighted to host Senator Kirsten Gillibrand at our Manhattan campus to meet with students and alumni of our Geriatrics Career Development (GCD) Program! We’re proud to serve hundreds of NYC youth each year. Expanding GCD would help even more young people throughout New York State and beyond pursue rewarding careers and help alleviate the health care workforce shortage. We sincerely thank Senator Gillibrand for taking the time to learn more about GCD and engage with our participants, staff and… …Read More
The New Jewish Home and SkillsSpring are grateful for the funding provided by:
|The Achelis and Bodman Foundation
Phyllis Backer Foundation, Inc.
David Berg Foundation
The J.E. & Z.B. Butler Foundation
Carl Marks Foundation
The John P. & Constance A. Curran Charitable
George Link Jr. Foundation, Inc.
Hyde and Watson Foundation
Price Family Foundation
UJA-Federation Teen Council
|Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr.
Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer
NYC Council Member Mark Levine
NYC Speaker of the New York City Council
Melissa Mark Viverito
NYC HRA Work Progress Program
NYS DOH Child Nutrition Reimbursement
NYS Education Department 21st Century Community