Seeds For Success

Foundation for the Future

Our History

In 2017, FoMH’s founders, Pete Eikenberry and Dr. Bonnie Nuzum met with U.S. Congresswoman Nydia Velàzquez and her staff to facilitate connections with Marcy Houses resident leaders and community partners. They had been inspired by a presentation delivered by Cecilia Clark, the President of the Brooklyn Community Foundation, describing adverse community experiences and statistics which were negatively impacting life outcomes of the youth and families in Marcy Houses, NYCHA development. From these conversations, the idea for Friends of Marcy Houses was formed and a mission statement backed by research based program guidelines were established. A diverse board of directors was assembled. 

Marcy Houses is a New York Housing Authority (NYCHA) project built in 1949. It has 27 six-story buildings with 1,705 apartments housing 4,200 residents on 28 acres in an isolated area of Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brooklyn. In various reports, Marcy has been rated, e.g., as the third worst housing project in Brooklyn (unitedgangs.com) or second worst in the US (Newsone).

Latest News

Friends of Marcy Houses Hosts Webinar for NYCHA Residents.

On Friday, April 24th, Friends of Marcy Houses worked with State Senator Julia Salazar to host a webinar providing information to NYCHA residents about resources available during the COVID epidemic.  The event was recorded, and we produced a resource sheet.  Click here to learn about NYCHA rent reduction programs, the unemployment process, and more.

Our Programs

GARDENING TO GROW AT MARCY
MENTORING FOR SUCCESS
COMPUTER LAB
PROJECT CITIZEN W/JUSTICE RESOURCE CENTER
SPEAKER SERIES
ART ENRICHMENT
Music Lessons with Musical Mentors Collaborative

Enrollment

The Friends of Marcy Houses Inc. provides services to children ages 10-14 that reside in the New York City Public Houses Authority, Marcy Houses. If you have a child that could benefit from any of the programs or if you have a child with special need please fill out the form below and we will be in contact with you very soon. 

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Peter Elkenbery

Peter Eikenberry, The Board President and Co-Founder of The Friends of Marcy Houses, is a litigator in private practice specializing in complex commercial litigation in the New York state and federal courts, including employment, art law, contracts, fraud, international, securities, and bankruptcy adversary disputes. Through his work on the New York City Bar Association Committee to Encourage Judicial Service, the diversity of the judiciary in New York has increased greatly. A volunteer civil rights lawyer in Mississippi in 1966 with the Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, Eikenberry’s commitment to advancing civil rights has continued throughout his career and includes his leadership of a human rights mission to Northern Ireland, work as a volunteer counsel at a Federal Detention Center in Texas, service as general counsel of Bedford Stuyvesant D & S Corporation, and as convener and steering committee member of the New York Conference on Immigration Representation headed by Katzmann. His civic and public service activity has included longtime leadership at the Brooklyn Children’s Museum and the Storefront Academy Harlem. A candidate for U.S. Congress in Brooklyn in 1970, he was an elected delegate to the 1972 Democratic National Convention. In the professional arena, Eikenberry has served the Federal Bar Council in several capacities, including editorship of the Federal Bar Council Quarterly where he is now editor emeritus. He is a fellow of the New York Bar Foundation and is a member of the Second Circuit Court Committee on Civic Education. Eikenberry earned his undergraduate and law degrees from The Ohio State University, where he was note editor of the Law Journal and is a current member of its National Council.

David Siffert

David Siffert is a Vice President and Board Member of Friends of Marcy Houses, serving on the Programs Committee and the Hiring Committee.  Siffert is also the Director of Research & Projects at the Center on Civil Justice at New York University School of Law.  Siffert was previously a civil litigator at Boies, Schiller & Flexner and a tax attorney at Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher.  Siffert clerked for Hon. Robert S. Smith, Associate Judge of the New York Court of Appeals, and Hon. Barbara S. Jones, United States District Judge for the Southern District of New York.  Siffert is an alumnus of New York University School of Law (’09) and the University of Chicago (AB ’06)

Erharuyi Idemudia

Erharuyi Idemudia, is an Executive Vice President and Board Member of Friends of Marcy Houses, Inc., serving on the Hiring Committee. Idemudia is also the Global General Counsel of Golden Palm Investments Corporation (“GPIC”) and Africa Health Holdings Limited (“AHH”). In addition to overseeing the companies’ legal strategy, compliance, risk analysis, government relations, business integrity and corporate governance functions, he serves on both companies’ Management Committees and as a director on AHH’s Board of Directors. Idemudia is an alumnus of the University of Texas at El Paso (‘05) and the Ohio State University, Moritz College of Law (’08), where he served as an Articles Editor of the Law Review.

Mark Alpert

Mark Alpert is the Treasurer and member of the Board of Directors at Friends of Marcy Houses, Inc. He is a senior financial counselor at New York Legal Assistance Group, a nonprofit which provides free legal services, financial counseling and engages in policy advocacy to help people experiencing poverty. Prior to joining NYLAG in 2009, he spent his career in the equity research business at several NYC investment firms. He is a Charter Financial Analyst® and a Certified Financial Planner™.

Rhonda Barros

Rhonda Barros is the Secretary and Board Member of Friends of Marcy Houses. Rhonda was previously an Executive Assistant at Eikenberry Law. She is currently an ASA at Weil Gotshal & Manges LLP. Rhonda attended Temple University.

Dominique Bravo

Dominique is the General Counsel of the Roosevelt Institute, a think tank and college campus network that seeks to carry forward the legacy and values of Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt by developing progressive ideas and bold leadership in the service of restoring America’s promise of opportunity for all. Dominique previously founded Pathways to Apprenticeship, a non-profit workforce development agency that assists low-income
people, and in particular, the formerly incarcerated, to access apprenticeship opportunities in the union construction industry. Dominique also previously served as General Counsel to the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists and she co-founded Cumbe: Center for African and Diaspora Dance, a dance and drumming studio and performance space in Brooklyn. She has served on the boards of directors of a number of social service and arts organizations throughout New York City, and currently serves on the board of Friends of Marcy Houses. She also served as a member of Community Board 6 in Brooklyn. Dominique received her J.D. from Northeastern School of Law and a BA from the University of California at Berkeley.

Honorable L. Priscilla Hall

The Honorable L. Priscilla Hall was appointed Justice of the Appellate Division, Second Department by New York State Governor David Patterson in March 2009. Prior to this, Justice Hall served as the Administrative Judge of the Criminal Division of the Kings County Supreme Court. She was elected as to the New York  State Supreme Court in 1993 and  has also served as Judge of the New York State Court of Claims; a Judge of the Criminal Court of New York City, and as Inspector General of the New York City Human Resources Administration. Justice Hall believes that the courts must work to maintain the public confidence in our judicial system and has worked to achieve this objective. She has served as president of the New York State Association of Women Justices, vice-president of the Association of the Bar of the City of New York, chair of the Board of Directors of the Metropolitan Black Bar Association, and president of the Association of Black Women Attorneys.

After graduating magna cum laude from Howard University with the distinction of being a member of the Phi Beta Kappa Society, Justice Hall pursued a Master of Science degree from Columbia University School of Journalism, graduating in 1969. She received her Juris Doctor from Columbia University School of Law in 1973.

Trish Donelly Gilbert

Trish Donelly Gilbert has been a resident of Brooklyn since 1990, and has raised three children in the borough. She holds a bachelor’s degree in History from Brown University and a master’s from Columbia University’s TeachersCollege in International Educational Development and served for two years as a Peace Corps volunteer in Thailand. Trish recently retired from a thirty year career in Leadership and Team Development. In addition to her work with Friends of Marcy Houses, she is a Coach with Safe Families for Children.