Checking In: From James Mendolia, director, AFM program

The goal of this forum is to allow us to reconnect and reassure me that you are all OK.

I am going to start…

Most of you know that I direct the AFM program, but you may or may not know that I was born in New York City. Though I have traveled extensively, this is the place I love and call home. While I was worried like crazy about each of my students, it was heart wrenching for me to watch my city and my beaches being beaten by Hurricane Sandy. It came in with a fury and my city seemed unable to defend itself as it was being tossed around – I felt helpless as I watched.

A few days after the hurricane I watched the thousands of people jump into action to help each other. It reminded me once again that it is not simply the skyline, the beaches, the restaurants or the millions of things to do in New York that make my city great: it is the resilience of the city and the people from virtually every part of the world that live here, whether for a temporary or permanent period of time they are and always will be what makes our city great.

So here is to a new start as we re-build… thanks to the runners, workers and volunteers of all ages.