de Blasio And Farina Support Mentoring Event On MLK Day

January 16, 2017

NYC Service, in partnership with New York City Football Club, today hosted its Annual Speed Mentoring Event at the Club’s office in midtown Manhattan. Fifty professionals – including New York City FC staff, fans, Cityzens and Club partners, as well as employees of Citi, Goldman Sachs, HBO, JetBlue, and SoulCycle – across a variety of industries will serve as speed mentors to 50 students from Satellite Academy High School, a transitional public school serving New York City’s most at-risk population.

“Each year we ask ourselves how we can honor Dr. King’s legacy through service,” said Mayor Bill de Blasio. “Mentoring our youth and investing in our City’s future is a perfect way to transform his life and teachings into action. I want to thank NYC Service and the New York City FC for creating an opportunity for youth in our City to connect with caring adults. Today and every day, we must remember it is up to us to work together and give back. That is the greatest honor we can give Dr. King.”

“NYC Service welcomes the privilege of engaging New Yorkers in service opportunities to honor the legacy of Dr. King,” said NYC Chief Service Officer Paula Gavin. “Empowering others to serve their communities and strengthen our neighborhoods brings us closer to the dream that Martin Luther King Jr. believed in. Mentoring gives New Yorkers the opportunity to connect and share their stories, experiences, and passions to serve NYC youth. It is an investment in our City’s communities as well as ourselves, and I want to thank New York City FC for their strong commitment and partnership.”

“We are excited to host this year’s NYC Service Speed Mentoring Event on MLK Day, providing a platform for our staff, fans, Cityzens and partners to come together to share knowledge, expertise, and business know-how with students from Satellite Academy, said Jon Patricof, President of New York City FC. “We’re proud that our entire Club has backed this initiative, demonstrating our continual commitment to supporting the next generation of New Yorkers who we feel honored to represent.”

In the spirit of Dr. King’s legacy of community solidarity, the initiative leverages speed mentoring as a way for underserved youth to discover new career and academic opportunities. In a series of short conversations, professionals will provide students with business knowledge, insights into college and career paths and tips for success. The Speed Mentoring Event builds on a larger NYC Youth Mentoring Initiative launched by Mayor de Blasio and NYC Service last week, as well as NYC Service’s “Good for Me, Good for My City” campaign, of which New York City FC serves as a charter member working to engage their NYC-based employees as mentors.

“Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s legacy and message of peace and equality continues to inspire us all today and NYC Service and the New York City Football Club will help cultivate meaningful relationships between students and mentors,” said NYC Schools Chancellor Carmen Fariña. “Mentoring is a powerful tool and through this partnership, students will connect with role models that offer guidance, support and encouragement.”

“Satellite Academy is a transfer high school that serves a diverse population of young adults between the ages of 16 and 20 years old,” said Steve Zbaida, Principal of Satellite Academy High School. “Students come to Satellite Academy to get a second chance at their high school diploma. Along the way they find that our school is really about helping young people see possibilities in their lives. Our partnership with NYC Service and with New York City Football Club presents a unique opportunity for students to meet professionals from different fields who engage them in dialogue that is the impetus for students to think about career possibilities they would not have considered before. Expanding students’ pool of experiences and creating linkages with mentors and role models is critical for generating a transformative experience in the lives of our students.”

“I’m excited to participate in this year’s MLK Day Speed Mentoring Event,” said Tony Larsen, New York City FC Cityzen. “It’s a terrific vehicle for me to give back, make friends, strengthen the community and help support at-risk youth. As an added benefit, it helps me feel closer to the Football Club and City I love. New York City FC has done a great job looking for opportunities to be an actual part of the community, to give and develop our community itself, and to assist in helping Club members find ways to reach others.”

This initiative is just the next chapter of New York City FC’s community work made possible by City in the Community (CITC), the foundation proudly supported by the Club. CITC has already served over 30,000 young people across the five boroughs, using the power of soccer to promote health, education and leadership development as well create safe spaces where programming is free of charge.
About New York City FC

New York City Football Club is an American professional soccer team based in New York City that competes in Major League Soccer. It was announced as the league’s twentieth franchise on May 21, 2013 and is the first and only Major League Soccer Club located within the five boroughs of New York City. Majority owned by City Football Group, which includes Manchester City FC, Melbourne City FC and Yokohama F. Marinos, New York City FC plays its home games at Yankee Stadium, which is also home to minority owner, the New York Yankees.

New York City FC is embarking on its third season in 2017 and has former US National Team captain Claudio Reyna as its Sporting Director and former World Cup winner Patrick Vieira as its coach, in addition to Designated Players David Villa and Andrea Pirlo.

To learn more 

To learn more about NYC Service and connect to volunteer opportunities across New York City, visit

Photo credit: de blasio and Carmen Farina.

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