Children's Aid Names Three New Division Directors in Move to Focus on College Graduation

New York - The Children’s Aid Society announced today three senior appointments in its newly formed Early Childhood, School-Age and Adolescence Divisions, part of an organization-wide restructuring, called “Keeping the Promise,” that is designed to create a pathway to college graduation for the children living in poverty whom Children’s Aid serves.

Beginning in January 2013, Children’s Aid programs and services will be reorganized into five divisions. Three will be organized by key stages in a child’s life: Early Childhood (ages 0 to 5), School-Age (ages 6 to 13) and Adolescence (age 14 and up). Two will be organized by service area: Health & Wellness and Child Welfare & Family Services. Collectively, these five divisions will oversee all local Children’s Aid services to children. Additionally, two national Children’s Aid programs, the Carrera Adolescent Teen Pregnancy Prevention Program and the National Center for Community Schools, will continue their work to bring broader initiatives to scale across the country.

The new structure, intended to help the organization become even more focused, client-centered and outcomes-driven, will track children’s progress across four domains aligned with academic achievement and college graduation: education, social-emotional, family and home, and health. “Keeping the Promise” is the result of a three-year business planning process undertaken by Children’s Aid staff and its Board of Trustees.

“The Children’s Aid Society is thrilled to appoint three exceptional professionals to drive our long–term, comprehensive approach to ensuring that all children in our care reach college graduation,” said President and CEO Richard R. Buery, Jr. “In announcing these positions, we commit ourselves to creating a true cradle through college pathway for children regardless of where they start out in life. Through it, we will support children in poverty to reach outcomes in academics, health and wellness, family and home and social-emotional development during key transitions in their lives. These three best-in-class leaders will help guide the way.”

Josh Wallack
Josh Wallack has been named Vice President, Early Childhood Division, which will encompass all of Children’s Aid Society’s Early Childhood programs for children ages 0 to 5 across New York City. In this role, he will lead implementation of a near doubling of services under the City’s new EarlyLearn program, while developing new Head Start, child care, and UPK programs and systems to ensure that children who move through Children’s Aid’s 0-5 programming are prepared to succeed in kindergarten and beyond. Children’s Aid currently serves approximately 1,000 children through these programs.

Wallack comes to Children’s Aid from the NYC Economic Development Corporation (NYCEDC), where as Chief Operating Officer his projects included the Applied Sciences NYC initiative, bringing a new graduate engineering center to New York City; Build NYC, a resource spurring the growth of not-for-profits in the City; and the development of Hunter’s Point South, New York City’s largest affordable housing development since the 1970s. Prior to his work at NYCEDC, he worked on child welfare and childcare policy as Legislative Director for City Councilman Bill de Blasio. He holds an M.B.A. from Harvard University and a B.A. from Yale University.

Drema Brown
Drema Brown has been named to the newly created position of Vice President, School-Age Division, through which she will oversee Children’s Aid’s 16 community schools, 7 community centers, as well as after-school and summer programs, parent education and life coaching programs. The appointment marks an expansion of Ms. Brown’s role as Vice President for Education at Children’s Aid, a position she has held since August 2011. In this capacity, Brown oversaw the launch of Children’s Aid College Prep Charter School, which opened in August 2012 and offers kindergarten and first-grade classes for some of New York’s most at-risk students. Brown will continue to support its full development as a K-5 school.

Brown came to Children’s Aid from New Leaders for New Schools, an organization working to improve the quality of education in urban schools, where she led the design, development and delivery of leadership curriculum for its national principal training program. Previously, Brown served as principal of P.S. 230X Dr. Roland N. Patterson in the Bronx, where she launched a comprehensive plan to dramatically improve student achievement, increase math and reading proficiency, and fund library and technology upgrades. She is a graduate of Yale University and holds an Ed.M. from Harvard University.

Dr. Michael A. Carrera
Dr. Michael A. Carrera, Thomas Hunter Professor Emeritus of Health Sciences at Hunter College of the City University of New York and Adjunct Professor of Community Medicine at The Mount Sinai Medical Center, will serve as Vice President for Adolescence Services and Director of the CAS-Adolescent Pregnancy Prevention Program. Carrera has directed adolescent sexuality and pregnancy prevention programs for The Children's Aid Society in New York since 1970. In his new role, Carrera will continue his work on the national level to promote the pregnancy prevention model he designed, and he will also begin working with all adolescent programs in Children’s Aid schools and centers.

Carrera has designed and helped implement 50 long-term, holistic, adolescent pregnancy prevention programs in 20 states throughout the country. His approach, known as the CAS-Carrera Program, increases sexual literacy and knowledge about the consequences of sexual activity among young people, and helps them develop personal goals and cultivate the desire for a productive future. Proven to reduce teen pregnancies by 50 percent, CAS-Carrera is serving as a model to increasing numbers of family and youth service organizations. The program was identified as “Top Tier” evidence of effectiveness by The Coalition for Evidence-Based Policy, a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization. In 2011, CAS-Carrera was selected as a recipient of a Social Innovation Fund (SIF) award, a federal initiative designed to expand innovative, transformative social programs that have been proven to promote youth development. He will be working with all adolescent programs at Children’s Aid to extend intensive, long-term supports to adolescents to achieve better outcomes in education and life.

A widely published author, Carrera’s first book, Sex, The Facts, The Acts and Your Feelings, has been translated in l7 languages. His two books, Sexual Health for Men: Your A to Z Guide and Sexual Health for Women: Your A to Z Guide, are widely used by health services and child care agencies. He began his teaching career in l959 at a junior high school in the Bronx. He holds a doctorate in education from Columbia University.

About The Children’s Aid Society
The Children’s Aid Society is an independent, not-for-profit organization established to serve the children of New York City. Our mission is to help children in poverty to succeed and thrive. We do this by providing comprehensive supports to children and their families in targeted high-needs New York City neighborhoods. Founded in 1853, it is one of the nation’s largest and most innovative non-sectarian agencies, serving New York’s neediest children. Services are provided in community schools, neighborhood centers, health clinics and camps. For additional information, please call Anthony Ramos at (212) 949-4938/ (917) 204-8214, email or visit

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