In the fall of 2006, at the suggestion of the Charles Hayden Foundation, Maryann Hedaa convened a group of community leaders with the goal of increasing academic outcomes and creating a pathway out of poverty by increasing educational opportunities for Hunts Point youth.
Through the spring of 2007, Ms. Hedaa facilitated monthly conversations in which the leaders built relationships and developed a mission statement. Griselle Baret, who was an Americorps volunteer at Saint Ignatius School that year, helped coordinate and manage the logistics of these sessions.
Through a community needs assessment facilitated by Fordham University, it was decided that HPAC would be most effective by providing direct programming to address gaps of programs not currently fulfilled by members of the Alliance.
In July of 2007, Ms. Hedaa and Ms. Baret worked together to incorporate HPAC into a legal not-for-profit organization, cofounding HPAC as it exists today.
At the beginning of the following school year, the Hunts Point Children’s Shakespeare Ensemble was created with 18 fifth and sixth graders. As the students grew, so did HPAC. Today, there are sixteen Alliance Members, including many of the leaders that participated in the initial meetings.
HPAC continues to convene the full Alliance quarterly, and the principals of the seven schools in the Alliance meet monthly.
As an Alliance, we continue to build relationships; introduce new partners and resources; and discuss common challenges, best practices, and aligned strategy as we work together to transform Hunts Point through education, community building, and family support.