Get to Know Us

Mission Statement

Our mission at Opportunities for a Better Tomorrow (OBT) is to break the cycle of poverty and inequity through education, job training, and employment

Vision Statement

Our vision to strengthen the workforce by serving as a bridge to economic opportunity for youth, individuals, and families in underserved communities is critical for economic recovery during these unprecedented times.

Diversity & Racial Equity Mission Statement

Our diversity & racial equity mission statement confirms our commitment to fostering and maintaining a work environment where diversity, equity, and inclusion are woven into our organizational DNA.  We recognize that structural racism, discrimination, systems of power, and other forms of oppression, give privilege and access to resources, lead to inequities, and have contributed to persistent disparities.  OBT is on an intentional journey to champion and operationalize the values of racial equity, diversity, and inclusion into our organization and the communities we serve. We strive to sustain a culture where all individuals can thrive and feel a sense of belonging, especially those whose voices and experiences have been historically marginalized. We commit our work to breaking oppressive barriers and serving as a bridge to sustainable economic opportunities that will build and strengthen an equitable workforce.

Principles

We emphasize the principles of accountability, confidence, and professionalism to prepare participants for the workforce while developing personal and professional skills.

Values

Integrity: Respecting our commitments, personally and professionally
OBT’s personal and professional integrity is a hallmark of our interaction with our participants, staff, partners, donors, and others.

Excellence: Pushing ourselves and one another to be our very best
Our definition of excellence begins and ends with the high standards we set for providing services to OBT participants, staff, partners, donors, and others. OBT is built around specialized service offerings and programs designed to meet the complex and unique needs of its participants.

Empowerment
: Positive change begins with us
We believe that empowerment is the sense that you are in control of your life. It enables you to make positive decisions, and to take action that will bring you closer to achieving your goals and ambitions. We instill empowerment in our participants, staff, and OBT community

Our Culture

Respect
Our diverse workforce brings perspectives, skills, and experience that we can learn from each other. We believe that it is unacceptable for our spoken and written language and behavior to demean anyone’s physical characteristic, as well as anyone’s ethnicity, gender, race, religion or sexual identity. We as individuals must take responsibility for our words and deeds and respect all people. We are sensitive toward the circumstances of our OBT participants and work collaboratively with each other to achieve their goals.

Teamwork
We willingly do what must be done to assist each other. We provide feedback about meeting each other’s needs and we promptly respond to requests for assistance. We understand that Teamwork is the combined commitment to overcome obstacles. It’s support. It’s encouragement. It’s working together to support our participants’ needs.

How We Do It

Life is not Linear

OBT provides a pathway to opportunity for every person who walks through our doors. We meet our participants “where they’re at” and give them the tools to build their future.

Integrating the Personal
and Professional

Our programs support participants as they earn their diplomas, develop skills, learn a new craft, and gain the confidence to network professionally. We blend academics, technical skills, and workforce training.

Individualized Support

We work with youth and adults, offering mentorship and case management to every student.

Career Coaching
and Beyond

Our Pathways to Economic Opportunity approach ensures that all OBT participants are guided towards their next job opportunity, enrolling in college, or an advanced training program after graduation.

See Our Career Pathways

By the Numbers

30%

Approximately 30% of young adults in NYC are now disconnected from employment and education, making the total a staggering 291,500.

New York City’s unemployment rate has skyrocketed since the pandemic began to 14%. There is also significant underemployment in New York City – when workers work less than 20 hours per week. These serious problems are more evident and compounding in NYC’s communities of color – the very neighborhoods in which OBT has been rooted for decades.

Our programs offer a bridge to economic mobility and stability.

14%
0
New Yorkers

Since 1983, we have helped 15,000 New Yorkers gain the skills and educational credentials they need to succeed.

0%
Program Completions

77% of program participants complete OBT programs successfully each year.

0%
Certifications Awarded

60% of program participants earn industry-recognized credentials while in an OBT program.

0%
Gain Employment or Attend College

52% of program graduates engage in employment or matriculate in college after graduating from our programs

$0
Average Yearly Salary

The average wage of an OBT graduate is $35,000 one year after working with us.

0%
Retention

69% of graduates remain employed or in college after one year.

0%
Participants are Black, Latinx, or Asian Youth

Over 94% of our participants are students of color with diverse academic experiences and skills

Our Supporters

Thanks to the kind and generous support of our donors and sponsors, we’re able to provide no-cost programming to every OBT participant.

See Full List

Meet the Team

OBT Board

Vincent Chirico, ESQ
Chairperson
Chirico Law PLLC

Marc Gross
Treasurer
The Gordon Group

Jillian Hopman
Secretary

Jillian D. Hopman Attorney at Law

Frank Morizio, Jr., CLTC, LUTCF
Chairman Emeritus
The Hotaling Group

Jennifer Baxi
Planned Parenthood Federation of America

Damian Bivona
Development Committee Chair
AST Financial

Kate Allen-Bruce
Bridgewater Associates

Gehan Dabare
CVS Health

Jeff Hao
Strategic Planning Committee Chair
The Hackett Group Inc.

Rachel Kuo
Governance Committee Chair
U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission

Evan Leflore
Google

Sasha Leflore

Dr. Brian R. Mitra
Queensborough Community College

Darrelle Spears
SONY Music Entertainment

Nicholas Yoder
Virgil Quantitative Research

Executive Leadership

Dr. Darlene Williams
Dr. Darlene WilliamsPresident & CEO
Read Bio
Malika Brown
Malika BrownChief of Staff
Read Bio
Chief Program Officer
Rowena Taylor
Rowena TaylorChief Human Resources Officer
Read Bio
Ronald Law
Ronald LawChief Strategy Officer
Read Bio
Vacant
VacantChief Operating Officer

Senior Leadership

Safiya Addison
Director, Communications & Community Partnerships

Jessica Cuttone
Director, Youth Programs –
Sunset Park

Ryan Sheppard
Director, TechStart Program

Ashley Elizabeth Ball
Director, Government Affairs & Public Policy

Serrina Goodman
Director, Customized Trainings & Business Partnerships

Georgia Trim
Director, Adult Education & Literacy Program

Robin Blanc
Director, College Access Program

Stephanie Guzman
Director, Youth Programs – Jamaica

Nichole Briggs
Director, Youth Programs – Bushwick

Michael Salazar
Senior Director, Workforce Innovation

A Tribute to OBT’s Founder

Sister Mary Franciscus

OBT was founded in December 1983 by Sister Mary Franciscus. Her passion and commitment to providing support and opportunities for Sunset Park’s young adults continues to inspire our work today.

Read her Story

Join Our Team

Work with us! We’re seeking passionate people who are committed to making New York a more equitable place. See below for our current job openings.

Career Opportunities

Contact Us

Sunset Park

882 3rd Ave
Suite 10-10NE, Unit 18
Brooklyn, NY 11232
Phone: (718) 369-0303
Fax: (718) 369-1518

Innovation Lab at Industry City

87 35th St
2nd Floor
Brooklyn, NY 11232
Phone: (718) 801-8970

Bushwick

25 Thornton St
Brooklyn, NY 11206
Phone: (718) 387-1600
Fax: (718) 387-5005

Jamaica

168-25 Jamaica Ave
Suite 202
Queens, NY 11432
Phone: (718) 526-2984
Fax: (212) 202-6456

General Inquiry