Mike Zevon is an innovative, thoughtful, and dedicated leader in the Queens community and is himself an example of the transformative power of afterschool. Mike was recruited into the athletics program of the Queens Community House at the age of 12, as a youth with very little direction, by his future mentor, 2001 PASEsetter Award winner Steve Pullano. Noting the impact this made on his own life, Mike decided to give back to the community and organization, dedicating his life and career to the Queens Community House. Mike’s combined thirty years in the field, and his roots in the neighborhood and the center, give him a legitimacy as someone young people can trust, and affords him a unique opportunity to develop programming that begins with the young person and meets their expressed needs.
After completing the afterschool program himself, Mike returned to Queens Community House and began his career as part of the street outreach program, providing point of entry activities on the streets of Forest Hills, NY. Since then, Mike has been a driving force behind a number of programs including the Advice through Athletics program, the Young Men’s Leadership Institute, Teens for Neighborhood Trees, the Daffodil Project, the Restoration Project of Meadow Lake in Flushing Meadow Park, the Evening Teen Center, Project Unity, and numerous voter registration drives. He has also been the bridge to a number of skill building programs for thousands of young people over the years including Summer Youth Employment, SAT prep courses, leadership groups, counseling, and year round employment.
Mike created one of the most successful break dancing programs in the world which enables young people to get off of the concrete and into a safe and welcoming space. Each year the program draws hundreds of young people, both from New York City and around the world, to practice their art and learn the importance of civic involvement at the Queens Community House.
Mike is always willing to get involved in new and innovative ways to attract and develop youth, and through his work, Mike ensures that youth are only experiencing the finest events, activities and workshops possible. He is an excellent coach and guides youth in problem solving and self-discovery. Mike is naturally gifted at engaging young adults and children in thoughtful communication and dedicates his time to assisting youth in mediating and resolving conflicts or issues that arise in their lives. For over two decades, Mike’s unwavering desire to aide young people in their quest for self-actualization has transformed the lives of numerous young people.
Mike was named NY1’s New Yorker of the Week and his work has been featured in numerous media outlets throughout the city.