"A Choice of Weapons" A film inspired by Gordon Parks, and presented by the Kunhardt Film Foundation.
The students had an unique opportunity to participate in a test screening of a new film about iconic photographer Gordon Parks, best known for documenting the everyday life and injustices facing African American families in a career that spanned over sixty years
Best known for his iconic portraits of everyday Black Americans in all their pain, ordinariness and glory, photographer and filmmaker Gordon Parks shot everything from fashion to Malcolm X, Gloria Vanderbilt, and Muhammed Ali. Parks captured the deep humanity of anyone fortunate enough to be in front of his lens. Using Parks’s career as a historical map through the Black American experience, this documentary film reveals Parks to be a true American treasure. An inspiration to generations, his captivating story is told here by Ava Duvernay, Kareem Abdul Jabbar, Spike Lee, and a host of contemporary photographers who stand on his shoulders.
The Kunhardt Film Foundation invited the summer 2021 students of the Chappaqua Summer Scholarship Program to participate in a preview screening of this new project, set to air on HBO in November. We hope this film will introduce new audiences to an iconic artist, and we would like to hear the thoughts and reactions of young people. A guided discussion followed the film and provided an opportunity to reflect on the documentary and offer us insight - a real life test screening for the resources we will create to help support the film. Click here for more information about the Kunhardt Film Foundation and the screening.
The students loved the film and we were so happy to be able to host the CSSP seniors in person in Chappaqua for the screening. We followed the screening and discussion with a celebratory graduation lunch and pool party. We are very proud of these seniors !
Dear CSSP Family & Supporters:
We would like to express our love for our CSSP students and alumni and recognize that they are on the front line of the pandemic that has swept this nation. Yes, there is the Covid-19 pandemic, that has hit NYC the hardest, and the Bronx in particular, which our students call home. Yet there is a centuries old pandemic, one of racism and hatred, that hasn’t always been front and center in the national psyche. That is until now, with the tragic killings of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and so many others. In this watershed moment, we recognize that many of our young CSSP students are also at the front line of this pandemic of racism and injustice. We stand in solidarity and love with our students and their families as we all demand justice and change. Our world is asking a lot of our young people, in the midst of a global pandemic, being isolated from their schools and friends, and now having to experience the nation face up to the plague of systemic racism, all right on their front doorstep. As individuals, as a nation we must do better. The time is now. We stand arm and arm with our students, declaring Black Lives Matter, as we look to a more just future.
As we look outward to the world to demand justice and change, we also use this time to look inward at our CSSP program and reflect. CSSP asks itself what can we do? While our volunteer program is an academic and cultural enrichment program, the heart of CSSP is the connections between host families, students, teachers and the community that is built from that. Learning about each other’s diverse experiences breeds understanding and empathy. This is the glimmer of hope in these dark times, that our meaningful connections will lead the way to a brighter shared future of equal justice, and a path toward ending systemic racism in our world. We will continue to work towards how we can confront racism in our own community and keep finding ways to promote more connections and understanding from within our program.
When reflecting on the wonderful CSSP students and alumni, our hearts are lightened with hope, because we know that these young people are the answer to a more just future for our country. Their willingness to face adversity, try new things, challenge themselves, and leave their comfort zone each summer gives us great confidence that they can lead the way for their peers and us all. CSSP students broaden our horizons as much as our program has expanded theirs and for that we are deeply grateful.
In the recent words of President Barack Obama, “Build a community. No one does big things by themselves….So be alive to one another’s struggles. Stand up for one another’s rights. Leave behind all the old ways of thinking that divide us - sexism, racial prejudice, status, greed- and set the work on a different path”. The proud CSSP community we have all built is here to help forge that path together to end racism and injustice. History does indeed have it’s eyes on all of us, let’s show them what we’ve got.
With peace and resolve to work for a better and more loving world,
The CSSP Board
Inara de Leon
Jennifer Mebes Flagg
Sparkle for a Cause benefitting CSSP
Please join us at the Crabtree's Kittle House on MONDAY June 17th for Sparkle for a Cause! They will generously donate 30% of your check to CSSP. Details below! Hope to see you there!
The Countdown to Summer BEgins!
We have ten weeks to go before we welcome our CSSP students to our 51st summer in Chappaqua! We can't wait for them to arrive! To kick off the 10 week countdown, I will be profiling a host family, a student, or a teacher each week.
This week I am profiling The Weyne Family. Julie is a pharmaceutical sales executive and her husband John is physician. They have 3 children in elementary and middle school here in Chappaqua. Even with their busy lives, they have found time to open their hearts and home to welcome a CSSP student.
Years hosting for CSSP: Two years and looking forward to our third summer this year!
Why they love hosting: We feel like the CSSP kids enrich our home by sharing their experiences and culture. They are wonderful role models for our own children.
Best memory from hosting: When our student Danny was sitting at our dinner table with 10 lively people and said he had never eaten dinner with so many people and was one of his best dinners!
Advice for potential host families: It is easier then you think! The students appreciate enjoying your usual family activies- making dinner, watching a movie together, hanging with the kids and just talking. They are busy all day at school and really enjoy simple times at home in the evening with your family the 10 week days go by quick!
If you are interested in hosting, check out our hosting page or contact us to get more details! We can connect you with previous host families as well if you would like to get their perspective.
The Board of Directors of the Chappaqua Summer Scholarship Program has appointed Ellen Adnopoz to be its first Executive Director as part of a move to expand its focus on college and career success.
Ellen brings a wealth of experience to her new role, including prior positions at The Posse Foundation (a college access and support program), Scholarship Plus (a college student support program, consulting on development and programming), the Polyphony Foundation (a cultural partnership program, as Executive Director), and the Center for College & Careers at The Guidance Center of Westchester, as a Program Manager.
Ellen is intimately familiar with CSSP, volunteering as a host family for many summers, and serving as a member of the Board since 2007 and as Board Co-Chair since 2016. In addition to updating our operations and donor management, she spearheaded our recent 50th Anniversary Celebration and has begun to develop our program expansion to include alumni networking and mentoring opportunities as well as more formalized college and career support.
She is also a member of the Westchester Children's Association Board of Directors and a past President of the Board of Trustees of the Chappaqua Public Library. Ellen has also worked at JDRF and the Peter C. Alderman Foundation. She had a 25-year career in finance preceding her involvement with nonprofit organizations, including as a principal at Axe Houghton Associates, Inc., an investment management firm, where she managed small capitalization growth equity portfolios for institutional clients. Ellen received a B.A from Skidmore College.
Ellen’s appointment as Executive Director was effective on February 1, 2019.