The mission of The Sylvia Center is to inspire young people and their families to establish independent healthy eating habits — so that they may lead healthy and productive lives.
The Sylvia Center is a part of a movement to develop the next generation of healthy eaters, cooks, and advocates that can fundamentally change the future of food.
We work in partnership with others because we know that we can not do it alone. The problem may be big, and the stakes high, but together we can lift up young people to take their own place at the table.
The Sylvia Center was founded in 2007 by Liz Neumark, CEO of Great Performances, in memory of her daughter, Sylvia. The mission of The Sylvia Center is to inspire young people and their families to establish independent, healthy eating habits — so that they may lead healthy and productive lives.
Through these critical cooking programs in all five boroughs of New York City and in Columbia County, young people learn what fresh food is, how delicious it tastes, and how to prepare nutritious meals on a daily basis. Over the last decade, The Sylvia Center has made a tremendous impact in all five boroughs of New York City, and in schools across Columbia County — serving more than 23,000 since it began in 2007.
The Sylvia Center (TSC) at Katchkie Farm is founded by Liz Neumark and Chaim Wachsberger in memory of their daughter Sylvia. 200 children visit.
TSC’s one-time afterschool classes begin in NYC.
TSC begins offering youth programs at 2 NYC public schools.
The farm hosts 30 day Fresh Food programs.
In partnership with Rachael Ray’s Yum-o! Organization and The Mayor’s Fund to Advance New York City, our youth program is piloted in New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) community centers.
One-time classes become a 6-week course for every student.
Programs shift completely to serve children in the communities where they live, based in NYCHA community centers in Harlem, Brooklyn, Manhattan, and the Bronx. Two teen programs are piloted: NYCHA teen program at Drew Hamilton Community Center and a program for pregnant teens at Inwood House.
In NYC, TSC pilots Cooking Together family program.
As NYCHA transitions community center management, TSC establishes new partnerships with Grand Street Settlement, Harlem Children’s Zone, St. Nick’s Alliance, Graham Wyndham, and Green City Force.
At the farm, in-school multi-week Seed to Plate program is piloted in Columbia County.
In the city, youth, teen, and family classes are offered at 6 NYCHA sites, 5 days a week.
At the farm, Seed to Plate program expands to 3 sites.
In NYC, TSC programs expand to 10 sites, serving all 5 boroughs. TSC partners with ExpandED Schools in a new Teen Apprenticeship to train 25 high school students to teach healthy cooking to day campers in the Bronx. Upstate, Seed to Plate expands to 6 program cycles, and the farm hosts 48 full-day Fresh Food programs.
In NYC, the Teen Apprenticeship expands to two cohorts, in Brooklyn and the Bronx. Upstate, with funding from Berkshire Taconic Community Foundation, TSC launches Healthy Food for All, a multi-week healthy cooking and fresh food distribution program in Hudson after-school programs.
The Sylvia Center celebrates ten years of serving youth and families in New York — a momentous occasion that is celebrated at The Art of Cooking Gala on October 26, 2017. In the last decade, the organization has served more than 20,000 students through programs in New York City and in Columbia County.
The Sylvia Center welcomes new executive leadership with the hiring of Jennifer John in February. As The Sylvia Center’s new Executive Director, Jennifer oversees NYC and Columbia County programs and growth strategy for the organization.
TSC doubled their program sites, cohorts, and added 100 students to their reach for the session.
Meet our amazing team of chefs and educators who are passionate about inspiring young people to eat well.
Teen Culinary Apprenticeship Community Chef