How Westchester’s For the People and Kids Empowers Communities

How For the People and Kids Empowers Communities

How For the People and Kids Empowers Communities

While nature is the backbone of Westchester, many families don’t have access to the natural world that’s all around us. With a love of learning, education, and nature, Westchester mom Jessica M. Colón, decided to foster change on the local level by starting For the People and Kids, Inc.

A non-profit organization, families can find a diverse array of hands-on programming. This includes classes and workshops at local farms, camps, gardens, schools, shops, libraries, and numerous other organizations. Here, families can find bilingual programs; homeschool (and nature-focused) programs at D.I.G. Farm; upcycling workshops; S.T.R.E.A.M. programs; and much more.

Below, we’re sharing more about how this organization stared, their mission, and Jessica’s plans for the future.

Psst…check out more Homeschooling Programs in Westchester

Westchester Family: How did the idea For the People and Kids come about?

Jessica M. Colón: For the People and Kids, Inc. originated as “For the People Consulting,” a venture dedicated to enhancing financial literacy and advocating for individuals in credit and money management.

Inspired by my involvement on a local little league board in The Bronx, the initiative aimed to empower communities and parents. Specifically, those facing socio-economic challenges.

When the pandemic shuttered institutions, including my workplace as a museum educator, I reached out to a group of passionate educators to convene and address the remote education gaps. Thus, this laid the foundation for For the People and Kids. This was driven by the belief in every child’s right to thrive.

How For the People and Kids Empowers Communities

Westchester Family: Tell us more about the vision of For the People and Kids?

Jessica M. Colón: Nurtured by my upbringing on my grandmother’s farm in Puerto Rico, I developed a deep appreciation for nature and a love for learning. This foundation instilled a desire to provide all children with opportunities for exploration and education.  Thus, For the People and Kids was born from this vision—to ignite curiosity and learning in children, regardless of their circumstances.

At the core of our philosophy lies an unwavering dedication to education, with a specific emphasis on fostering a profound appreciation for nature. Through our initiatives, we strive not only to impart knowledge but also to ignite a sense of wonder and curiosity within each participant.

Westchester Family: Tell us more about your programming.

Jessica M. Colón: Our bilingual programs are crafted to unleash the potential of every child while fostering stronger community ties. Our offerings span a wide spectrum of experiences. This includes sustainable after-school initiatives, captivating art workshops, outdoor homeschooling classes, immersive Spring and Summer farm camps, S.T.R.E.A.M. (Science, Technology, Reading, Engineering, Arts, and Mathematics) education, and much more.

Thus, we provide families with a rich tapestry of learning experiences designed to nurture growth and unity. Our ultimate aim is to instill a profound sense of belonging and empowerment in all participants, arming them with the essential tools for success.

Beyond education, we foster positive community relationships through collaboration. Thus, creating a strong support system for youth development. CommUNITY Grown symbolizes the flourishing growth of our communities.

Westchester Family: How do you collaborate with the community?

Jessica M. Colón: Collaboration is central to our mission at For the People and Kids. We proudly became a non-profit 501c3 organization this past September 2023. I began partnering with other non-profit organizations. This includes D.I.G. Farm, Access Nature Project, the Mt. Kisco Farmers Market, and the Mt. Kisco Art Council. Incredibly, this helps broaden access to local resources, fresh food, arts education, cultural experiences, and nature-led programs. Through these partnerships, we foster community engagement. Thus, providing local resources for ALL the people and kids in our communities.

Westchester Family: What are some of your future plans for the company?

Jessica M. Colón: Looking forward, we are dedicated to expanding our impact. Firstly, we aim to develop innovative initiatives that address community needs. Thus, this ensures equitable access of resources for all.

Additionally, we are always seeking new partnerships with local farms, gardens, libraries, and organizations. Additionally, we seek businesses and organizations who can provide scholarships for our summer camps.

Finally, by remaining responsive to our region’s challenges, we strive to create a brighter, more inclusive future for all.

Westchester Family: What do you like to do in your downtime?

Jessica M. Colón: I am a mom, wife, aunt, sister, daughter, and friend. I greatly enjoy my family. Additionally, I embrace the beauty and diversity of Westchester. Whether hiking in the scenic Hudson Valley, attending local festivals, or enjoying leisurely afternoons at home, I have always relished the opportunities for exploration and connection. Finally, I believe in the transformative power of community engagement. I cherish the relationships we build along the way.

Westchester Family: Anything else to add?

Jessica M. Colón: We extend heartfelt gratitude to our supportive community and the resilient families we serve. Together, we are shaping a brighter future for Westchester—one child, one family, and one community at a time. Additionally, with continued dedication and collaboration, we are confident in our ability to effect lasting change and empower future generations.

For additional information, please visit: forthepeopleandkids.com