Long Island City native Veronica Franklin has been a committed member of her community all her life, and her dedication to the neighborhood has been especially evident during her fourteen years at the Jacob A. Riis Settlement Neighborhood House. In her time at the agency she has implemented new and innovative services, established measurable participant benchmarks, and been a positive role model for other staff members and the youth they serve. In going above and beyond the call of her duties, and in working with greater efficiency every day, Veronica sets the bar ever higher for herself, her coworkers, and the young people in their programs.
Her “lead by example” attitude and willingness to roll up her sleeves when necessary are hallmarks of Veronica’s success as an afterschool professional and community leader. In partnership with the Joan Mitchell Foundation, she established a weekly Saturday Visual Arts Program that now serves youth from beyond the local neighborhood. Any personal time she might have during her workday she devotes to individual tutoring sessions with participants. Under Veronica’s leadership, in-house testing has seen 96% of youth improve their math and computer skills and 90% improve their English language skills.
Earlier this year, Veronica was awarded the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Service Award by the Astoria/Long Island City chapter of the NAACP. In 2007, Veronica was the recipient of the Bank of America’s Local Hero Award. And perhaps most amazingly, she has accomplished all of this while teaching English and Arts at a nearby school and raising her five children.