What happens when we rely on habits, perceptions and assumptions without knowing the facts?
The human experience has become very complex in this fast-paced, globalized environment; however, there are skills that can help us navigate the challenges and attain positive growth and progress. CAP directly focuses on common obstacles to achieving our greatest potential and raises the tough questions to encourage participants to develop positive solutions.
Through drama and interactive strategies, CAP captures a panoramic view of our society and zooms in on specific issues and behaviors that create challenging issues in our lives. These workshops provide a safe environment where, through a co-intentional process, students carefully examine the choices, decisions and consequences of everyday challenges; raising awareness, discovering solutions and promoting problem solving, decision-making, critical thinking and self-advocacy skills to build the confidence for every participant in achieving desired outcomes.
In 2015-16, CAT began offering workshops addressing Title IX Sexual Harassment and Hazing issues, adding to a menu of other workshops ranging from Financial Literacy and confronting our violent culture, to communicating effectively with a professor, or improving time management.
Current & Recent Partners include:
- College Focus – College Readiness, Retention & Success
- City Council Member Allocations – Parenting, College Readiness
- CUNY LINCT to Success (LINCT) – College Readiness, Student Leadership
- CUNY Black Male Initiative (BMI) – College Retention & Success
- CUNY Coalition for Students with disabilities (CCSD) – Supporting Success
- CUNY GSI/COPE – Supporting Success, Workplace Readiness
- CUNY START
- CTEA-TAP – After-school Youth Theater Program
- CUNY Fatherhood Academy - Responsible Parenting, Economic Stability, Parenting, Student Support
- Future Now
- Homes for the Homeless (H4H) – Parenting, Supporting Success, Anti-Bullying/Anti-Violence
- NeOn - Partnership with The New York City Department of Probation (DOP) and Carnegie Hall’s Weill Music Institute
- Safe Space – Parenting, Supporting Success, Anti-Bullying/Anti-Violence
- Rikers Island – Juvenile Detention
Current workshops include:
A-GAME (Academic Enhancement)
Higher education is available, yet many have not taken advantage of it. This session engages participants through drama and skill-building activities to explore individual strengths and what it takes to succeed academically. Through this collective process, participants will discover strategies and resources to support their academic excellence.
ENOUGH IS ENOUGH—TITLE IX (Sexual Harassment)
CUNY’s policies prohibit sexual harassment and sexual violence of any kind. Through participatory strategies, this workshop will raise awareness of the boundaries, resources and protocol of Title IX policies in order to co-exist and be productive in a safe and secure academic environment.
“WHERE DOES MY MONEY GO?” (Financial Awareness)
Money is hard to manage, especially in one of the most expensive cities in the country. What are our attitudes regarding financial literacy and how we make and keep our money? We will explore these questions and expose what the wealthy already know about making and managing money, through interactive activities in this participatory workshop.
COMBAT CULTURE XL (Violence Prevention)
The inability to cope with war, gun violence, hate crimes and injustice has caused attitudes and behaviors that have negative effects on our society. This workshop examines the origins and consequences of a volatile environment and explores the skills needed to problem solve and prevent adverse consequences.
LAND OF THE FREE… (Health and Wellness)
How do we take care of ourselves as our mental, physical and emotional health are affected by struggles with education, healthcare, inequality, politics? This workshop explores the myths and challenges of living in a world in crisis. Through interactive drama strategies we’ll raise awareness, discover meaningful solutions and define what it takes to be healthy in America today.
TECHNOLOGY TURMOIL (Communication)
Living online has become our societal norm. Technology has advanced faster than we can comprehend. Instant access, cyber-socialization and screen addiction are part of our everyday lives. We become vulnerable to a plethora of social issues that can hurt us. Join us as we explore solutions and best practices to effectively navigate the pros and cons of life in a cyber world.
PARENTING IN THE 21ST CENTURY
Parenting in today’s society presents many challenges never imagined by former generations. This interactive workshop addresses common obstacles, including violence prevention, peer pressure, the generation gap, technology, risky behavior, and academic challenges, while exploring alternatives to reach positive outcomes.
College and Career Exploration
How does a high school senior prepare for college? This interactive session helps participants make better choices in their college and major selection for a future career. Through drama and skill-building activities, participants will discover the options and resources available to help them make informed decisions in their college and career exploration.
Overcoming Barriers (Conflict Resolution)
The process of graduating high school and entering college is filled with obstacles; however, with the right guidance, students can better navigate those challenges by accessing the right resources. This session helps students critically think about the choices, decisions and consequences of their own actions in terms of communication, resilience and self-efficacy to achieve their goals.
Interested in learning more or booking a workshop?
Email Keith Johnston, CAP Director.
- 1,837 High School Students
- 2,238 College Students
- 225 Court-Involved, Incarcerated & Previously Incarcerated Youth
- 58 Sites, including 16 CUNY campuses, 28 High Schools, 3 Rikers Island Detention Facilities, 3 Alternative Learning Centers, and 2 Transitional Housing Sites
95% of participating CUNY Students reported a clearer understanding of consent, after attending CAT’s Title IX workshops.
“I learned how important specificity is. I decided to go home and literally write my goals out to get a vivid image of my future. I need to start narrowing down my future because time is money. This was very motivational. I think it’s great that we discussed the basic issues of life because some things may be hard to endure because we haven’t taken time to reflect.”
“This should be a class. Many people face challenges every day and don’t know how to take the first step. This teaches life lessons.”
“I honestly learned to set up a plan and a back-up plan.”
“The workshop gave me different ideas of how you can contribute to your community as an individual.”
– CUNY Students
“I am prepared to have the hard conversations. The workshop was very informative.”
– Participating Parent
Hear what our participants and partners are saying...
Program leaders at a partner social services agency reported that young single mothers’ critical thinking, decision making, job preparation, communication, and conflict resolution skills, and their sense of personal responsibility, improved after CAT’s Supporting Success workshops.
Teachers at Rikers Island reported improved student interpersonal, communication, anger management, and listening skills after CAT’s Supporting Success workshops.
CUNY faculty members reported improved student communication, critical thinking, and listening skills after CAT’s Success by Degrees workshops.
“You have taught me that in life everyone at times will need someone’s help. I will not be embarrassed to ask for it. For that I am grateful.”
- Student, College of Staten Island
“I loved that the students saw a familiar situation that they could easily relate to and were pushed to view it from a different perspective.”
- Faculty, Borough of Manhattan Community College
“I wish this particular workshop could become a required experience for every CUNY faculty, staff, student, administrator, so we in CUNY could become the catalyst for such discussion citywide, and nation-wide.”
- Professor, College of Staten Island
“The CAT CAP Team is so engaging, informative, and worthwhile. Their work provides a powerful connection with high school and college students. Addressed crucial issues related to students' obstacles in pursuing goals.”
-CUNY SUD All Staff Day Workshop Attendee
Recent Conferences & Trainings:
- Senior University Dean for Academic Affairs Annual CUNY All Staff Conference, NYC - 2014
- Institute for Children, Poverty & Homelessness (ICPH), NYC – 2014
- Because KIDS COUNT Conference, Indianapolis, IN – 2014, 2012
Supporting Excellence Conference: A Public University's Role
In An Age of Mass Incarceration of Communities of Color NYC – 2014
- National AfterSchool Association (NAA) Convention, NYC – 2014
- Civic Corps (Mayor’s office training) professional development, Brooklyn, NY – 2014
- Graduate NYC Conference, NY – 2014
- Webinar working with African American Families - 2014
- CUNY Service Corps, NYC - 2014, 2013
- STAR ESI Professional Development @ Erasmus, NY - 2013
- ESI & Summer Bridge @ BCC, NY - 2013
- Black Male: Re-Imagined II, NYC – 2013
- Black, Latin and Asian Caucus (BLAC), Albany – 2013
- 7th annual Black Male Initiative (BMI) Conference, CSI – 2012
- New England Theater Arts conference, Boston – 2012
Keith Johnston, CLC
Keith Johnston is the Director of the College/Adult Program and co-founded CAT’s Parent Team in 1995. Mr. Johnston oversees several projects that provide interactive learning experiences on independent living skills, conflict resolution, diversity, financial literacy, parenting, college and workplace readiness,. His constituencies range from students and teachers in the CUNY Black Male Initiative, incarcerated youth, Correctional Officers on Rikers Island, Fatherhood Academy, High schools and families in transitional living. Keith is also the founder and director of CTEA TAP, an after-school youth theater program at High School of Construction Trades, Architecture and Engineering. He has developed, directed, and led workshops in many other settings including NYC public schools, CUNY campuses, New York University, Seeds of Peace, professional developments, corporate trainings, and many conferences. He wrote, directed, and co-produced Thriving Teens, a film series on parenting pre-adolescent children for the NYU Child Study Center, and devised and implemented workshops and lectures addressing HIV/AIDS, parenting and violence in South Africa's Townships, colleges and universities.
Keith has a Bachelor’s degree in Humanities (creative writing/acting) from New York University where he received the Founders Day Award (Honors scholar, Deans list, 3X Shimkin Scholar). He is a Certified Professional Life Coach from the Life Coach Institute of Orange County and has an Associate’s degree in Fine Arts from Kingsborough Community College. He has studied at the School of Visual Arts, Henry Street Settlement, Brown University, Jazzmobile, HB Studio, and the Brooklyn Conservatory of Music. As an actor, director, minister and musician, Mr. Johnston has enjoyed a long professional career in theater, film, television, music and radio. He is the co-founder of Back-A-Yard theatre, freelance director/writer/producer at BET and Artistic Director of the American Theatre of Harlem. He joined CAT in 1992.
Associate Program Director
Priscilla Flores, a native New Yorker, currently participates in creating and delivering CAT programs for college students, incarcerated adolescents at Rikers Island, and parents and families in social service agencies and shelters. She began her journey at CAT as a Scheduling Assistant, became Scheduling Coordinator, and then served for two years as both an Afterschool Actor-Teacher and a Program Manager, supporting the High School and College/Adult Programs. Ms. Flores has performed Off-Broadway and Off-Off-Broadway, in productions at Theatre for the New City (The Fake History of George the Last, Brunch at the Luthers, Bread and Puppet Theatre’s Divine Reality Comedy); Bronx Hispanic Festival (Tomando Café), NYC Fringe Festival (Evangeline); and others. She joined CAT in 2004.
Temesgen has been a teaching artist on the CAP team for the past four years. He has used the power of theatre to empower young people and adults in NYC schools, community centers, Rikers Island, CUNY colleges, as well as other national and international venues. Originally from Texas, Temesgen also works as a professional actor.
Director, College/Adult Programs
CAP Associate Program Director
Director of Resource Development