"Too often we underestimate the power of a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around." -Leo Buscaglia"
  • Suzanne

    Suzanne Otis is President at P2L. As President Suzanne works to build the capacity and vision of P2L in supporting at-risk students and their families in the areas of academic achievement and social emotional growth.
    Currently, Suzanne overseas operations, development, finance, and evaluation, and provides support to the Board of Directors.
    Suzanne has worked for over 20 years in the youth development field developing a knowledge base in methodologies in child development, social emotional learning, and neuroscience; during this time she has worked in grant writing, evaluation, program design, and curriculum development.
    Suzanne studied economics at Columbia University and worked previously experience in finance and asset management, earning her designation as a Certified Financial Analyst. As a daughter of a psychiatrist and mother of 2 Suzanne is passionate about supporting the emotional and psychological well-being of children. She also devotes time to environmental causes and is a member of several organizations, including the Aldo Leopold Society. She lives in Millbrook, NY with her husband, 2 children, and a small menagerie.

  • Kathleen Shamwell
    Community School Director
    Kathleen Shamwell

    Kathleen Shamwell is the Community School Director at PS 15, P2L’s new school partner under the AIDP (Attendance Improvement Drop-out Prevention) Grant. As a part of Mayor de Blasio’s community schools initiative, Kathleen is active in building strong relationships with school stakeholders, mobilizing resources for students and parents, and developing strategies to bolster school attendance.

    As a member of PS 15’s School Leadership Team, Attendance Team and newly forged Community School Committee, Kathleen creates innovative ways to transform school culture and maximize opportunities for students, parents and teachers. Additionally, she oversees the RISE Program for attendance improvement and dropout prevention as well as the after school program.

    With 10 years experience working in the education and youth development field as an in-class Facilitator and Site Coordinator, Kathleen has collaborated with underserved school communities to provide programming rooted in social-emotional learning. She has facilitated parent and professional development workshops, coached teachers, organized school events, traveled oversees with students, and mentored chronically absent youth.

    Kathleen holds a B.A. degree in English from the College of New Rochelle and resides in Brooklyn, NY. An avid reader and traveler, she hopes to cultivate more programs designed to encourage youth to read more and explore the world.

  • Janet Hope
    Social Worker
    Janet Hope

    Janet Choe is the Social Worker for P2L working at the Spring Creek Community Campus in East New York, Brooklyn. As the Social Worker for P2L, Janet works to positively impact the wellbeing of youth from underserved communities utilizing the school environment as a foundation for academic, emotional, and social growth. Janet’s current work includes mentoring middle and high school students, providing clinical supervision for graduate-level social work interns, and general oversight for on-site P2L staff at Spring Creek Community Campus.

    Janet has a professional background in social services for 10 years in settings such as mental health facilities, schools, and youth organizations. Graduating with her MSW from Columbia University with a concentration in Advanced Generalist Practice & Programming, Janet intertwines her clinical work with programmatic themes to serve the community on a larger scale.

    Janet earned her BA in Psychology & Art History from Rutgers University. She is an art enthusiast who believes that creative expression influences identity development and loves to infuse art into her work with her students. Janet has been living in NYC since 2008, and she considers the city her playground to indulge her love of different cuisines and culture.

Our Mission

At P2L we believe that all children have the creative and intellectual power to be a positive agent in their schools, communities, and lives.
Our students are challenged on a daily basis by stress, violence, and poverty; this impacts their ability to learn, make positive decisions, and form healthy relationships. For many, these challenges are overwhelming: they struggle academically, fall behind, and drop out. P2L works with students, teachers, and parents to change this trajectory. Through mentoring and interactive curriculum based in learning science, child development, social emotional learning, and neuroscience we help students to build self -image, resiliency, and social skills, and we motivate and teach them self-direction, self-management, and goal setting to enable them to become thriving and successful adults.

Our History

We are a dedicated group of educators who have over 10 years of experience working with students empowering them to identify their strengths, set goals and create strategies to stay in school and pursue a path towards post- secondary education, career, and positive and healthy adulthood.

P2L developed out of work that our sister company, The Leadership Program, has been implementing in schools across New York City over the past 20 years. The not-for-profit venue provides an avenue to address the severe and omnipresent needs that many of The Leadership Program's students suffer from.

Research Based Programs

P2L’s programs have been developed in NYC public school classrooms for some of its most at-risk students. Curriculum are research based and grounded in social work, child development, and social emotional development theory. Our After School curriculum has been evaluated and successfully implemented in over 100 schools over the past 10 years and students have consistently shown improvement in pro-social skills, attendance, and school attachment. RISE has also demonstrated increases school attachment and attendance, as well as credit accumulation for program participants. Click here to learn more about our program outcomes.

Case Studies /
Success Stories
Coming Soon

“Too often we underestimate the power of a smile, a kind word a listening ear,  an honest compliment, or the smallest act of  caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around.” -Leo Buscagi

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