Press Releases

Hunts Point Alliance for Children Honors HPAC Scholar Margaret Carrasco at its Annual Benefit

Medical student is recognized as an example of young people and children in Hunts Point who are “beating the odds’’ through the power of education


Margaret Carrasco honored by HPAC for commitment to excellence.

NEW YORK, NEW YORK February 25, 2015 — The Hunts Point Alliance for Children

(HPAC) held its annual Cocktail Benefit this evening at the Mnuchin Gallery in New York.  More than 150 people attended the event showcasing HPAC’s work to support the educational progress of children in Hunts Point, which suffers from the highest rate of childhood poverty in the nation.

Carl Icahn and ING were sponsors of the benefit. All proceeds will fund HPAC’s birth-to college continuum of programs and services aimed at realizing its vision that every child in Hunts Point is ready for kindergarten, middle school, high school and higher education.

The evening included a rousing performance by SongCorps, an ensemble of fourth and fifth grade boys who are enrolled in HPAC’s program that teaches American history and builds academic engagement through music. Margaret Carrasco, an HPAC Scholar, who is now in her first year at the Carl Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai Hospital was presented with a the Commitment to Excellence award by Dr. Nathan Kase, Dean Emeritus of the school.

“This is a tremendous honor,” Margaret said. “It is also an opportunity to thank everyone at HPAC for the opportunities they have made possible for me and for hundreds of children and their families.”

“Margaret has the talent, dedication and grit necessary to succeed,” said Maryann Hedaa, Founder and President of HPAC. “And she’s not alone. In celebrating Margaret, we are celebrating all the children of Hunts Point, and the growing pipeline of students who are ‘beating the odds’, as Margaret has, through the power of education. “ING is proud to be supporting the good work of HPAC and the children of Hunts Point. We congratulate Margaret on her many accomplishments,” said Sue Yi of ING Capital and an HPAC Board Member.

Margaret grew up in Hunts Point, attending the local Head Start program and elementary school. She won a scholarship to the Riverdale Country Day School from which she graduated with honors. Last spring, she graduated from Stanford University as a member of phi beta kappa and returned to New York for medical school at Mount Sinai. In 2010, Margaret was chosen to participate in HPAC’s Project 2015 program, which provided financial and other support to help students complete their college educations. Margaret and her Project 2015 colleagues are the first “class” of HPAC Scholars to have completed their college educations.

About the Hunts Point Alliance for Children

The Hunts Point Alliance for Children (HPAC) is a collaboration of sixteen individual schools and non-profit organizations committed to supporting children and families living in the Hunts Point peninsula of the South Bronx. The Citizens’ Committee for Children on New York has identified Hunts Point as the most at risk neighborhood to grow up in New York based on economic, employment, housing, health and other factors. Over 59% of the children in the community live in poverty.1

HPAC’s efforts are driven by the vision that Hunts Point children will be ready for kindergarten, ready for middle school, ready for high school, and ready for higher education. In the seven years of its existence, HPAC has been a strong voice for the children of Hunts Point and a conduit for resources to support the schools and organizations in this community. HPAC’s birth to college pipeline provides programming and academic opportunities in the following program areas: Early Childhood Education, Youth Development, Education Transition Counseling, and Family Support Services. On an annual basis, HPAC serves 300 children and young people and reaches 2,000 residents through community events and outreach.

To learn more about HPAC, visit our website, www.huntspoint.org

About ING

ING Capital LLC is a financial services firm offering a full array of wholesale financial lending products and advisory services to its corporate and institutional clients. ING Capital LLC is an indirect U.S. subsidiary of ING Bank NV, part of ING Group (NYSE: ING), a global financial institution of Dutch origin. The purpose of ING is empowering people to stay a step ahead in life and in business.

[1] Citizens’ Committee for Children of New York Report on the Well-Being of Children in 59 Community Districts, February 2015. Available at http://www.cccnewyork.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/01/CCCRiskRankingNYC.pdf