Press & Media - Gary R. Altheim, Psy.D." /> Press & Media - Gary R. Altheim, Psy.D." />

Press & Media

InwoodInwood Academy For Leadership

To Whom it May Concern,

Since October 2011 I have been working closely with The Training Institute, a program of Growth and Development Services Inc. (GDS), a community based organization in Washington Heights. Once I became aware and understood the purpose and mission of GDS, I knew that I needed them to start working with families at Inwood Academy for Leadership.


In this short time they have provided a total of 5 parent Reach Your Potential (RYP) Playshops (GDS’ word for fun workshops) during our Saturday school program. They have created a following because no one wants to miss their Playshops once they start attending. Our program started with 7 parents and has grown to as much as 20 at our last Playshop. The hope is that they will continue to come and grow as individuals so that they can truly Reach Their Potential – as individuals and as parents.

As Dr. Gary Altheim and Theonyl Cuevas (MSW) always mention, our parents first have put on their own “oxygen masks” before they can be good parents. And that is what GDS provides, a time for parents to release their anxieties and develop tools and strategies to help them overcome their stressors. That is why 100% of GDS participants are satisfied with the Playshop and invite their friends to come.

What I love about GDS is that they truly understand our population, their environment, the neighborhood, and the struggles. They help parents and staff understand the struggles and the plight of the families we serve. Their depth of knowledge, understanding, and ability to communicate such ideas make them a high quality organization. This is why I highly recommend GDS and The Training Institute to any school that is looking to engage and develop a stronger parent presence in their school.


Christian Guerrero
Director of School Culture

Inwood Academy For Leadership Charter School
93 Nagle Avenue, Ellwood Street Annex
New York, NY 1004