RI Youth Center Shakeup Continues with New Director

April 14, 2018

Just a month after the Roosevelt Island Operating Corporation took over daily management of the Island’s Youth Center at 506 Main Street, following the tense departure of longtime operator the Roosevelt Island Youth Program (RIYP), the Corporation has announced a fresh wave of changes at the Center. 


On Tuesday, RIOC let go of two Youth Center employees, including Director Roy Magsisi, a former RIYP employee who was brought on in March to keep the afterschool program open. Longtime RIOC employee Erica Spencer-EL will be assuming his duties. The piano and homework-assistance classes, previously taught by Magsisi, have been suspended temporarily.


Parents are invited to attend an informational meeting this Saturday, 5:00 p.m., at the Youth Center to discuss the changes and future programming with senior RIOC members. 


Erica Spencer-EL


“We would like to thank Roy for his work in helping keep the Center open for our young people,” said RIOC Chief Operating Officer Shelton Haynes. 


On Tuesday, Spencer-EL was promoted to director of community affairs, which will include responsibility for the Youth Center. 


“I’m looking forward to providing professional and unique programming to benefit the Island’s evolving community of young adults, families, and our growing population of active and involved youth,” she said. The Center’s management is her priority directive. Steven Ayala, Johanne Enama, and Abhipsha “Abby” Mainali all joined RIOC as interim staff members in the past month and will continue to help run the Center’s operations.


At Saturday’s meeting, Haynes and Spencer-EL will discuss the Center’s recent personnel and policy changes, the creation of a Parents Advisory Committee, its planned renovation schedule, and future programming, including an eight-week youth soccer skills workshop and tournament.


The Center is currently open as a drop-in program weekdays 2:45 - 6:00 p.m. for students in grades 2-8 and 6:30 - 8:30 p.m. for youth 13-21.


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