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Mission Statement

The Greater Hudson Promise Neighborhood works to create sustainable school-community solutions for children and families within the Hudson City School District through partnerships that value our diverse community and unify efforts to improve academic achievement, strengthen parental engagement, promote physical, emotional, and social well-being, develop leaders for 21st century careers, and establish safe, healthy environments.
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Model / Approach

The Greater Hudson Promise Neighborhood believes in the Theory of Change; if educational and community support are continuous from before birth through college to career, then children will successfully break through the intergenerational cycle of poverty and reach their full potential. By utilizing the strengths-based perspective and valuing the dignity and worth of every person, GHPN is able to focus on building the community of the Hudson City School District to ensure that children and families are given adequate opportunities to thrive from cradle to college to career.

Core Values


Social Justice

We believe that in a vision of society in which the distribution of resources is equitable and all members of society are physically and psychologically safe and secure.

Racial Equity

We believe that it is possible to live in a community, and a society, in which one’s racial identity will no longer predict how one fares in life.

The Dignity & Worth of Every Person

We believe that everybody is unique and worthwhile and that all of the members of our community are valuable.

Breaking the Cycle of Poverty

We believe in providing two-generation programs that work with children and parents to assure educational and occupational success to help families break generational patterns of poverty.

The Importance of Education

We believe in setting high expectations and supporting our children from cradle to college and beyond.

The Power of Community

We believe that the answers to the challenges in our community are found within its members as the experts; we believe that the hearing the voices of our community members is essential to assessing their needs and developing relevant programming and supports.


GHPN Timeline 2011-2016.pptx (2) In December of 2011, the Greater Hudson Promise Neighborhood was chosen as one of fifteen communities in the United States to be awarded a Promise Neighborhood Planning grant through the U.S. Department of Education. Since then, the GHPN has launched various programs and initiatives to support the youth and families of the Hudson City School District from birth through college and career. Additionally, we have partnered with several organizations to build a pipeline of high-quality programs to ensure that students reach their full potential.

Who We Are

Our Team

Joan E. Hunt, LMSW

Project Director

In 2011, Joan received her MSW from Hunter College in Community Organizing, Planning and Development and received her undergraduate degree from New York University, double majoring in Social Work and Africana Studies. As Project Director of the Greater Hudson Promise Neighborhood, Joan has successfully built partnerships with community-based organizations, schools, elected officials, County agencies, municipalities, businesses, youth,families and faith-based organizations to address unmet needs in the Hudson community. Most recently, Joan and her team launched the Greater Hudson Initiative for Children of Incarcerated Parents (GHICIP), a partner in Osborne’s NY Initiative for Children of Incarcerated Parents. Joan is also an Adjunct Professor at Siena College and teaches at Greene Correctional Facility through Hudson Link.

    Nicole Fallon Carney, MSW

    Program Coordinator

    Nicole was born in Rhinebeck, NY and has spent most of her life living in Dutchess County, also spending time studying at Loyola University in Baltimore, MD.  Nicole became interested in psychology and sociology while in high school, and majored in both at Bard College where she received a joint Bachelor’s degree.  She was inspired to work in a helping profession after spending time as a caregiver for her grandmother with Alzheimer’s Disease, and volunteering for the Alzheimer’s Association for many years.  Nicole completed the Master of Social Work program at the University at Albany’s School of Social Welfare in 2017.   She has worked with various populations and age groups, and is extremely passionate about working with the Greater Hudson Initiative for Children of Incarcerated Parents.  Nicole also serves on the ReEntry Task Force, the ReEntry Columbia Board, the Tivoli Free Library Board of Trustees, and is a Psychiatric Technician for the Mobile Crisis Assessment Team of Columbia and Greene Counties.

      Tamarah Jones

      Family Advocate

      Tamarah Jones was born in Valhalla, NY. As a young girl she moved to Hudson, NY. At the age of 10, Tamarah got involved with the Columbia County Youth Project, a community-based program created by Lynn Carr (a.k.a. Ms. Bunny). Through that program, Tamarah became very involved in the community, participating in fashion shows, plays, field trips, advocacy, fundraising, classes and more. It was during her time with the Columbia County Youth Project that Tamarah became passionate about the Hudson community and since has been committed to working to better the City for the children and families that live here. Tamarah has also participated in the Head Start Policy Council beginning as a parent representative and then as the Chair. She completed two years as an AmeriCorps Member with the Hudson PROMISE Corps at the Greater Hudson Promise Neighborhood.  Tamarah was directly impacted by the criminal justice system when her son’s father was incarcerated and readily advocates for others as part of the Greater Hudson Initiative for Children of Incarcerated Parents. She loves to volunteer and help others in any way that she can, and particularly enjoys working with and advocating on behalf of adolescents in the community.

        Serria McGriff

        AmeriCorps Member

        Serria was born in Albany, NY and grew up with seven siblings.  She was raised by a single mother with whom she is still very close.  She previously spent several years working in the nursing field and is now the mother of five children in the Hudson City School District, whom she describes as beautiful and everything that she lives for.  As a previously incarcerated parent, she shares her story to further the work of the Greater Hudson Initiative for Children of Incarcerated Parents and has also become involved with the Capital Region Youth Justice Team, advocating for the rights of children impacted by the justice system.  She describes herself as quiet and shy, and loves to sing, write, and play sports.  She began working as an AmeriCorps volunteer for the Greater Hudson Promise Neighborhood in 2015 and is a wonderful role model and mentor for the young girls in our programs.

          Sharece Johnson

          AmeriCorps Member

          Sharece was born in Queens, NY and moved to Hudson at eight years old.  Sharece graduated from Hudson High School in 2010 and Columbia-Greene Community College with her Associate’s Degree in Arts in 2013.  She is currently pursuing a Bachelor’s Degree in Communications from the University at Albany and hopes to continue her education in social work in the future.  She has been an AmeriCorps for the past three years in the intermediate school.  She has a passion for the well-being of children and wants to help them set and follow through with their goals.  She was always encouraged by her mom to be involved with the community.  She admires the strength of the Hudson community and describes it as a huge family.  She hopes to one day raise her own family in Hudson as well.

            Kayah Payton

            AmeriCorps Member

            Kayah was born and raised in Hudson, NY with her 12 siblings.  She graduated from Hudson High School in 1993 and has become very involved with the Hudson community.  She has 18 godchildren and considers the children of the Promise Neighborhood to be an extension of her family.  She began volunteering with AmeriCorps at GHPN in 2015 and loves working with children and making a difference in people’s lives.  She prepares a hot meal each day for all of the kids and describes cooking as therapeutic for her and she very much enjoys this aspect of her job at Promise.  Prior to volunteering with AmeriCorps Kayah was also a child care provider for 10 years, a substitute teacher in the Hudson City School District for 17 years, and was also a cosmetologist.

              Dylan Giangrande

              AmeriCorps Member

              Born and raised in Brooklyn, NY, Mr. G has always had a passion for the arts, and attended Brooklyn High School of the Arts where he studied fine art.  After moving to Hudson, Dylan wanted to instill his passion for art into the youth of the community.  AmeriCorps granted him the capability to do so, and more specifically to introduce them to urban art.  Dylan spent the past two years volunteering and teaching third through eighth grade students in the Hudson City School District.  He has also spent afternoons in the Hudson After School Program and at the Greater Hudson Promise Neighborhood.  What Dylan likes best about working with the kids in the community is watching them become inspired and express themselves.  Dylan looks forward to developing his art career and simultaneously devoting his time to continue working with youth and adolescents

                Adolfo Lopez

                Americorps Member

                Adolfo grew up between Brooklyn ,NY and Catskill, NY for much of his youth. Adolfo became interested in helping adolescents and the community after several transgressions led to him serving time as a youth. While serving time he learned the power of education and a healthy lifestyle, and the difference this can make in an individual. Adolfo is currently earning his Bachelors degree in Journalism and English from the University at Albany, and plans to pursue his Masters in Social Work from the University at Albany's School of Social Welfare as well.  He has been working with the Promise Neighborhood since December 2016 and describes it as the single most rewarding work he has ever done. He enjoys taking several youth to train in boxing during the week, further instilling the value of  discipline and a healthy active lifestyle. Go Knicks!!

                  Friends of The Promise Neighborhood

                  Kathryn Beilke

                   The Reverend Kathryn Beilke serves as Pastor of the First Presbyterian Church in Hudson. Rev. Beilke holds a Masters of Divinity from Princeton Theological Seminary and her undergraduate degree in Religion and Social Work from Baylor University. She is also certified in Spiritual Direction through Southern Methodist University. Kathryn is a Board Certified Clinical Chaplain and Board Certified Pastoral Counselor by background, having completed three of her four units of Clinical Pastoral Education at Trenton Psychiatric Hospital in Trenton, New Jersey where she came on staff as a spiritual caregiver before being called to Hudson. Rev. Beilke’s special interests in ministry include engaging congregations in community service, activism, and initiatives that address economic, racial, and social justice.

                  David Hyman

                  friends-davidDavid Hyman graduated with his B.A. in Literature from Bard College in 2011. Since then, he has founded his own real estate company, Second Street Dart LLC, and is currently working toward his Master’s in Clinical Social Work at NYU. David works with various local organizations and schools, including Astor Home in Rhinebeck and the Greater Hudson Promise Neighborhood, to help raise funds and awareness for programs that support social betterment.

                  Kamal Johnson

                  Kamal grew up in Hudson N.Y. and graduated from Columbia Greene Community College in 2005 and SUNY New Paltz in 2007, with degrees in History and Early Childhood Education. Kamal has a background in various after-school/summer programs and is well-respected by youth and others in the Hudson community. Kamal works in various forms of the agency Greater Hudson Promise Neighborhood, and is the coordinator of the POPS Fatherhood Initiative. When not at RSYP or GHPN, you can find Kamal on the radio show WGXC Drive Time on 90.7.

                  Wanda Root

                  img_0125Wanda graduated from Antioch College with a BA in the Art of Education.  She is certified in the field of Biography and Social Art.  Wanda has spent much of her adult life within centers of the international Camphill Movement, living and working to build and maintain vibrant communities for mutual help--social-therapeutic settings including people with special needs.   She is currently engaged in teaching, mentoring, retreat- and biography work.  She has a life-long interest in issues of social justice and enjoys being a part of the Greater Hudson Promise Neighborhood.

                  Kari Siddiqui

                  friends-kariKari grew up in Hudson, NY and was thrilled to have the opportunity to return after living in North Carolina, Arizona, and Oregon.  She is now a Senior Policy Analyst for the Schuyler Center for Analysis & Advocacy, where she conducts policy analysis in areas related to child welfare, in order to promote programs and policies that will positively impact the lives of New York's children.  She previously worked with a number of community, arts, and education organizations on program delivery, development, and administration.  Kari earner her Master's degree in Public Administration with specializations in Nonprofit Management and Global Leadership from the Mark O. Hatfield School of Government at Portland State University, and her Bachelor's degree in Romance Languages from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

                  Ruth Tamaroff

                  friends-ruthRuth graduated from Simmons College in Boston with a BS in journalism but soon realized that I’d rather participate in the making of news than writing about it.  She was involved in the Civil Rights and Peace Movements of the 1960s and 1970s and went to the School of Social Services Administration at the University of Chicago where she earned a master’s degree in Community Organization. Shortly after, she became the Executive Director of a Settlement House in the Bronx, NY and introduced a daycare center, after school care, senior citizen programs,  teen programs and a food coop.. In the 1980s Ruth started and ran a computer training company using social work concerns to help the office workers, predominantly women, to transition from typewriters to computers. Ruth is very interested in sharing her knowledge and experience with the Promise Neighborhood in Hudson.

                  Steering Committee

                  • Maria Suttmeier - Superintendent, Hudson City School District
                  • Michael Cole - Director of Community Services, Columbia County Department of Human Services
                  • Jeff Rovitz - Executive Director, Mental Health Association of Columbia-Greene Counties
                  • Tina Sharpe - Executive Director, Columbia Opportunities
                  • Kathy Clark - Director, Hudson Bluehawk Nation After School Program
                  • Erin Cannan - Deputy Director of Bard College Center for Civic Engagement
                  • Deborah Amerling - Director of Services, Columbia County Department of Social Services
                  • Tiffany Garriga - 2nd Ward Alderman City of Hudson
                  • William Hughes, Jr. - 4th Ward Supervisor Columbia County Board of Supervisors, Hudson, NY
                  • Theresa Lux - Executive Director, Catholic Charities of Columbia and Greene Counties
                  • Roxanne Carpenter - Division Director of Children and Family Services, Mental Health Association of Columbia - Greene Counties
                  • Candace LaRue - Candace LaRue & Associates
                  • Ken Hollenbeck - Commissioner, Hudson Department of Youth
                  • Eric Bell - Director, Hudson P.R.O.M.I.S.E. Corps (AmeriCorps), Mental Health Association of Columbia-Greene Counties
                  • Mary Daggett - Director of Community Health Services & Grants, Columbia Memorial Health