Welcome Saroya Friedman-Gonzalez
New Scout Executive, President, and CEO
of Greater New York Councils, BSA
“I am excited by this opportunity to continue helping young people reach their full potential by providing meaningful developmental experiences,” Friedman-Gonzalez said. “Scouting is a broad-based platform that positions young people to excel through powerful educational, mentoring, outdoor and social programs.”
The Greater New York Councils, Boy Scouts of America (GNYC) has announced that, beginning November 9, 2022, Saroya Friedman-Gonzalez will serve as the President, Chief Executive Officer, and Scout Executive for the 8,000 Scouts and Explorers and over 2,200 adult volunteers in the five boroughs of New York City.
Friedman-Gonzalez has a 23-year history supporting local communities in the non-profit sector. Most recently, she served as the Executive Director for New Yorkers For Children (NYFC), a New York City-based nonprofit organization that provides direct scholarship programs to over 1,000 New York City foster youth annually. In her capacity as Executive Director, she worked with local government and community partners to secure millions of dollars and manage over 30 grants with promising program practices in the field of NYC child welfare.
Prior to working with New Yorkers for Children, Saroya served as Managing Vice President for the National Urban League’s (NUL) Workforce Development Division. While serving in that role she was appointed to the United States Department of Labor’s Advisory Committee on Registered Apprenticeships from 2012 to 2016. A native New Yorker, she received her MPA and MSW from Columbia University and her Bachelor of Science from Skidmore College.
“Saroya’s deep experience and passion for serving youth perfectly align with the mission of the Greater New York Councils,” said Mark Carawan, board chair for GNYC. “Her background and perspective reflect the increasing diversity of the Scouts, and we welcome her skill and knowledge as we provide critical support to the city’s youth.”
As the Scout Executive of GNYC, Friedman-Gonzalez will manage all GNYC business and programmatic elements throughout the five boroughs of New York City, including fundraising, government relations, staffing, and the recruitment and training of volunteers. She will seek to further expand youth leadership development opportunities, after-school educational enhancement, environmental education, career preparedness and relationships with law enforcement and emergency response agencies throughout the city.
“I am excited by the many opportunities for us to grow Scouting throughout the city, serving New York’s many neighborhoods. GNYC will continue to rise to the challenges facing Scouting and Exploring units while leading the way for the future of Scoutingby fostering innovation into our program delivery, building and strengthening our community partnerships, and maintaining a safe and inclusive environment.”
About the Greater New York Councils
Scouting empowers young people by introducing them to careers and preparing them to be active citizens that make ethical decisions. Scouting values emphasize a lifelong appreciation of personal fitness, the prevention of bullying, environmental stewardship and sustainability, character development, and STEM Education. In addition, members experience personal growth though exciting outdoor education opportunities that are enhanced through the merit badge program. GNYC is one of few entirely urban Scouting Councils in the nation. With 69% percent of youth members identifying as BIPOC; the diverse population of NYC is reflected in the members served by the council’s hundreds of neighborhood-based programs, including Scouts of all backgrounds, abilities, and economic means.
While Venturing and Exploring programs have historically served young men and women- the last five years have seen the advent of female members of Cub Scout Packs and Scouts BSA Troops. In New York City 28-percent of Scouts are female, with 15 female troops. GNYC’s programs directly serve a broad range of young people though neighborhood-based Scouting and Exploring units. Scouting advancement programs are designed to enable members to develop healthy habits and make positive choices. To help foster inclusivity and equity among Scouts, BSA recently added the new Citizenship in Society Merit Badge which recognizes and encourages Scouts to educate themselves on matters of diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI).
Exploring is founded on a unique relationship between young people and the organizations present in their communities. In addition to introducing students to potential career choices, this program equips participants with cooperative problem-solving techniques and life skills that can be immediately put to use today, as well as in their future careers. Exploring teaches important life and career skills to young people from all backgrounds through immersive participation and mentorship provided by community and business leaders
GNYC has helped over five million young people become “Prepared for Life” since its inception in the 1920s. The GNYC office and Council Service Center is located at 475 Riverside Drive.
Media Contact: Shea Communications, LLC
George Shea, Allison O’Donnell (212) 627-5766