New director will take over Golden Opportunity

By Kelsey O'Connor | Ithaca Journal | April 21, 2016

Golden Opportunity, a local nonprofit tutoring organization, will be led by a new executive director starting in August.

Golden Opportunity, or GO, was founded in 2005 to help struggling low-income students in the elementary and middle schools of the Ithaca City School District. Students receive two hours a week of free after-school tutoring and remain in the program for multiple years, a news release said.

Marty Kaminksy, the founder of Golden Opportunity and director for 11 years, will join the board of directors. Kolby Harrell, who has worked as a teacher and youth advocate, will replace Kaminsky in August.

Harrell graduated from Armstrong State University in Savannah, Georgia, with a master’s degree in professional communication and leadership with a focus in nonprofit management. He worked with the Savannah-Chatham County public school system as a teacher, youth advocate and curriculum specialist for several years.

“I’m excited to work with GO, the ICSD and community members to let every student know that they matter and that all of us are deeply invested in their success. At the end of the day, I hope we can transform how kids feel about school and their community so they feel empowered to move forward with confidence.”

GO currently has about 60 tutors, Kaminsky said. Tutors are primarily retired teachers who stay with the same student for four years or longer. In addition to expert one-on-one academic help, tutors also provide mentoring for students, often taking them on enriching field trips. During the current school year, GO tutors are working with 70 students in grades 2 through 8 to help them improve their grasp of academic skills and their feelings about school, the news release said.

This article originally appeared in an April 2016 issue of the Ithaca Journal. You can access the original article here