New York Edge

Our Challenge: When we first met with New York Edge:, they presented a very specific communications problem. The largest nonprofit provider of after school programming in New York City, they still weren’t always successful in conveying their unique vision for nontraditional education. Specifically, they wanted a series of media pieces that would demonstrate their commitment to mentorship in the lives of children.

An early idea they brough to the table was a series where they utilized their impressive contacts list to book a collection of interesting professionals, then have these people be interviewed by NY Edge’s CEO about important times in their lives when they were mentored, and how that mentorship shaped their career. This was a good starting point, but we wondered… was there a more powerful concept to be found?

The Solution: It soon occurred to us that this concept was neglecting a uniquely amazing resource: the thousands of children they serve every day. How much more powerful would it be if, instead of hearing people talk about mentorship, we could actually hear mentorship happening in real time?

This led to the creation of Formative a podcast where impressive, successful grown-ups from every professional field are interviewed by 10- to 13-year-olds from New York City public schools. Our young co-hosts get the opportunity to have amazing conversations with people who have real wisdom to share about growing up and finding your place in the world, and our guests get asked questions no professional interviewer would ever think of. For the audience, it’s an irresistible combination.

Results: Over the course of six 10-episode seasons, listenership has grown from hundreds per week to thousands, and the series has secured corporate sponsorship from Macy’s. Guest have included everyone from CEO’s to professional athletes to an astronaut to the Mayor of New York City. New York Edge’s development team has cited the show as an invaluable resource for engaging with new donors and partners.

Recognition: The show has been shortlisted for a 2023/24 Anthem Award for “Sustainability, Environment & Climate – Podcast or Audio”

New episodes released on Thursdays in seasonal batches, on Apple, Spotify, and wherever you get your podcasts.

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“Our dynamic partnership with CitizenRacecar brought our Formative podcast to life. Co-hosted by me and the amazing middle schoolers in our New York City-based afterschool program, we share the educational journeys of leaders across an array of industries. In doing so, our students explore journalism, podcasting, and gain exposure to diverse career paths. We’ve recently expanded our work to engage additional students in creating site-based podcasts covering school and community news. It is a wonderfully enriching experience for all of us.”

–Rachael Gazdick


New York Edge

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