The Hostos Center for Bronx Nonprofits (CBNP) has been very busy since it launched in 2012.

Through various workshops, trainings, and resource sharing, it built a solid network of partners dedicated to helping the 2,500 registered borough nonprofits keep The Bronx strong.

One of its largest accomplishments occurred early in 2016, when the first cohort of 19 graduates completed the Center’s Executive Management Certificate-Plus Program. The goal of the program is to assist nonprofit middle management professionals improve their leadership skills and build the capacity of their organizations.

The program was born from a partnership with Community Resource Exchange (CRE), a nonprofit consulting firm that specializes in serving organizations that have deep roots in urban communities, particularly those groups working to fight poverty, promote equity, and expand opportunity. Using CRE staff and expertise, the curriculum was developed between that organization and the CBNP, including its Executive Director, Eileen Newman.

Newman, who joined Hostos and the CBNP in 2012, called the program an invaluable resource for nonprofit managers who want to address and discuss challenges and work together for the good of the community.

Jeff Ballow is the Director of Leadership & Professional Development and Senior Consultant at CRE. His organization partnered with the CBNP to provide instructors for the program. While CRE staff also has worked with staff at Hunter College, and other institutions of higher learning on similar initiatives, Ballow said Hostos provided the first opportunity to provide a full-scale management development program in a college setting. 

“We were so impressed with this group of participants,” Ballow said. “The CBNP and CRE envisioned this as a 10-month reflection for participants on their effectiveness as managers, and I think the group was provided with an opportunity to do just that — and it's a rare opportunity indeed.”

The two community-based organizations began working together in late 2013 to develop the program, which Ballow said is modeled after a management development program CRE has been offering for years. In total, CRE provided seven staff members who facilitated both “issue discussions” (large-group training sessions) and “action learning” (peer-coaching teams). 

Jill Roche, from the nonprofit Hunts Point Alliance for Children, was among the course’s first graduates. She said the lessons were invaluable and that she truly appreciates the work the Center is doing in the borough.

Ballow said in addition to the valuable time spent reflecting on their management strengths and weaknesses, participants were provided with a toolkit of strategies and techniques to enhance their skills. Their work together, coaching one another in the action learning teams, built on the skill-building work in training sessions and enhanced their insights into their styles, approaches, and practices. 
Aside from the newest cohort, the CBNP in the last three years has hosted more than 22 workshops, trainings, as well as resource sharing and networking events, which have reached 728 Bronx nonprofit professionals and more than 420 organizations that account for more than 16 percent of the registered nonprofits in The Bronx.

The CBNP has also launched its own television show, Mission Bronx through a partnership with BronxNet Television. The 30-minute program hosted by Newman shares stories about the meaningful work being carried out in neighborhoods throughout the borough. Early episodes included, “The Challenges of Creating Nonprofits,” “Housing Organizations,” and “Working With Young Women and Girls.”

The CBNP operates out of Hostos’ Division Continuing Education & Workforce Development.

For more about the CBNP, visit its Facebook page at

About Hostos Community College
Eugenio María de Hostos Community College is an educational agent for change that has been transforming and improving the quality of life in the South Bronx and neighboring communities since 1968. It serves as a gateway to intellectual growth and socioeconomic mobility, as well as a point of departure for lifelong learning, success in professional careers, and transfer to advanced higher education programs. The College’s unique Student Success Coaching Unit provides students with individualized guidance and exemplifies its emphasis on student support services.

Named one of the top 10 finalists for the 2015 Aspen Prize for Community College Excellence, Hostos offers 27 associate degree programs and two certificate programs that facilitate easy transfer to The City University of New York’s (CUNY) four-year colleges or baccalaureate studies at other institutions. The College has an award-winning Division of Continuing Education & Workforce Development that offers professional development courses and certificate-bearing workforce training programs. Hostos is part of CUNY, the nation’s leading urban public university, which serves more than 500,000 students at 24 colleges.