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2019

WellCare Champions

Green Bronx Machine

Steven Ritz

Vishnu Mandir

Bharati Kemraj

Kingsbridge Heights Community Center

Janet Athanasidy

National Alliance on Mental Illness

Cynthia Scott

Why Not Care, Inc.

Martin Medina
2019 WellCare Champions

Steven Ritz

Stephen Ritz – Green Bronx Machine

Stephen is the founder of Green Bronx Machine, which pioneered the use of indoor, urban agriculture in the South Bronx. Through his work, Stephen founded the first edible classroom in America, which regularly feeds 450 students. His indoor and outdoor farms across the community provide food, workforce development and community access, while transforming culture and academic performance in schools.

Bharati Kemraj

Bharati Kemraj – Vishnu Mandir

Known as the “Bronx Oprah” Kavita has tirelessly served the community for decades. Through the Hindu temple her father opened in, she provides awareness of and connects the community to resources for those in need. Personally she runs local charity events, back-to-school drives, and health events to improve and educate the community and its youth.

Janet Athanasidy

Janet Athanasidy – Kingsbridge Heights Community Center

During the 1970s and 1980s when the Kingsbridge Heights neighborhood suffered from high crime rates and unrest, Janet and two other concerned mothers founded the Kingsbridge Heights Community Center in an abandoned police station. Today the Center officers resources to Bronx residents from cradle to career. Janet’s work allowed the Center to provide programming that directly addresses community needs and empower the most vulnerable residents.

Cynthia Scott

Cynthia Scott – National Alliance on Mental Illness

Cynthia educates and supports thousands of New York residents each year through her work with the National Association for Medical Illness (NAMI) – New York City. Her work with NAMI-NYC started when she called the Helpline herself. For the past 14 years, Cynthia has been one of the most involved members and volunteers at NAMI-NYC, participating in Our Own Voice programs, teaching the Peer-to-Peer program and working with young adults in the Ending our Silence program to help them break the stigma around mental illness and help friends who may be in crisis.

Martin Medina

Martin Medina – Why Not Care, Inc.

Martin is the founder of Why Not Care, Inc., an organization that donates care packages to benefit the homeless community in New York. This group expanded its outreach after Hurricane Maria to raise donations for hygiene products, food, book bags, toys, and awareness to help the people of Puerto Rico on and off the island. Martin also serves his community through his art – painting murals throughout the city, and his work mentoring children.