Satara Brown may be young, but she’s already made a huge impact on the lives of hundreds of children in Poughkeepsie.
Brown is the founder of the non-profit organization called Rebuilding Our Children and Community Inc., or ROCC.
What You Need To Know
- ROCC's first back-to-school drive in 2016 distributed school supplies to 60 kids
- More than 90 percent of ROCC staffers are women
- Every other Friday, ROCC holds a food drive so that Poughkeepsie families can put healthy meals on the table
"I was in a community service group while I was in college in Albany, and once I graduated, I was kind of like still giving back to the community in Albany, and I was like, ‘I should do something where I'm from,’ ” Brown said.
So Brown started ROCC in 2015. She and her family started with a back-to-school drive that served 60 kids. The latest back-to-school event served more than 600 children.
Today, Brown leads a team of about 20 people. More than 90 percent of ROCC staffers are women. Brown's mom Judy is the program director.
It’s become a family of community members working together to help the children of Poughkeepsie reach their full potential.
"We do start at age 5, because that’s when kids need it the most," said Brown, “working with elementary-aged kids while they're learning their fundamentals and really learning the ground work that’s going to make them be successful.”
ROCC holds clothing drives, after-school programs, and even a summer camp for more than 75 kids every year. Although a lot of their programming was put on hold because of the COVID-19 pandemic, Brown found a way to continue to support the families they serve. Every other Friday, ROCC holds a food drive so that Poughkeepsie families can put healthy meals on the table.
It's important to Brown, as a young woman of color, for families to see her leading the organization.
"I think that it's really important that I am a woman of color for the parents, and also for the kids," said Brown. "The kids, they run up to me 'you look like my auntie, you look like my cousin!'
"Because they know that this is my organization, it brings a sense of comfort and it brings a level of understanding, and I think that’s why we get such a good response from our families.”
Even with her busy schedule at ROCC, Brown is a youth worker for the City of Poughkeepsie Police Department, and a communications director for another non-profit. She’s also getting her masters’ degree in criminal justice and plans to apply to law school soon.
To find out more about ROCC, go to https://roccpk.org/.