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Free To Grow Capstone

Event Free to Grow
June 13th, 2024
6:00pm - 8:00pm
Manny Cantor Center Rooftop
197 East Broadway, New York, NY 10002, USA

Flavia Puello Perdomo is the Chief of Schools for the Office of Community Supports and Wellness within the Division of School Leadership. In this role, she oversees the district wide strategy for advancing student wellness, the nationally recognized Community Schools model, afterschool programming, the districtwide approach to increasing student attendance and reducing chronic absenteeism, and related programming for supporting the needs of vulnerable populations (Students in Temporary Housing and Foster Care) and their families. She also oversees implementation of high quality physical and health education, two essential components of ensuring students are physically, mentally, and emotionally well upon graduation.

Join the 2023-2024 Forefront Fellows to explore new projects that center youth in co-creating liberatory spaces.

The eighth Forefront Fellowship, Free To Grow, reimagines New York City public spaces where youth are free to thrive. Fellows will showcase original projects that explore how youth can reclaim schoolyards, streets, libraries and more. They will also unveil new research on youth-centered outdoor spaces, developed in partnership with the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene and NYC Public Schools.

Flavia Puello Perdomo of NYC Public Schools will deliver keynote remarks on the intersection of public health and public education.

Join our Forefront Fellows — designers, city officials, community-based workers, parents/caregivers, mentors, faith leaders, advocates and more — in learning how adults can address the needs of young people in our city.

2023-23 Forefront Projects

Public Libraries

Advancing teen literacy and leadership at libraries and archives

Youth Reclaiming Streets

Showcasing the powerful history of youth organizing for future changemakers

Growing Up!

Increasing access to play, belonging, and well-being in New York City neighborhoods


Envisioning and building youth-centered spatial futures at NYCHA

Underutilized Public Space

Empowering youth to transform underutilized spaces in their communities

Meet the 2023-24 Fellows

Our 2023-24 Forefront Fellows are an interdisciplinary cohort of designers, community planners, environmental justice advocates, developers and policy experts shaping the future of New York City.

Guest & Accessibility Policies 

Urban Design Forum promotes conversations between invited civic leaders, designers, developers, and advocates. This event is open to the general public.

We strive to host inclusive, accessible events that enable all individuals to engage fully. Please review the following policies:

  • The building entrance, elevators and bathrooms are ADA-accessible.
  • This event will have microphones and speakers.
  • To make this event accessible to young people, we will not serve alcohol but will provide light refreshments and snacks.
  • If you’re not feeling well, please stay home. Face masks are encouraged, but not required. If you have been exposed to someone who tested positive for COVID-19 in the past 10 days, a high-quality, well-fitting face covering is required at all times.
  • Please refrain from wearing strong fragrances to accommodate guests with allergies or environmental sensitivities.
  • If you have other needs, please contact Cat Betances at catherine@urbandesignforum.org
About Forefront

Forefront is a yearlong leadership development fellowship cultivating emerging talent in urban design, development, policy and advocacy. Each year, selected Fellows immerse themselves in on-the-ground, collaborative learning on a topic with pressing importance for the future of New York City.  

Our eighth Forefront Fellowship, Free to Grow, inspires adults to center young people in the built environment.

Continuing Education

This program has been submitted for AIA CES.

Support Our Work

Forefront is supported by the Robert Sterling Clark Foundation and in part by the National Endowment for the Arts. This program is also supported by our Board of Directors, Director’s Circle, and company and individual members. Our programs are made possible by the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of the Office of the Governor and the New York State Legislature.

To learn more about how you can support, please contact Miranda Bellizia, Director of Member Engagement, miranda@urbandesignforum.org.

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