Glasswing International

Foster change by investing in a community's existing strengths and resources- its infrastructure and its people.

Photo of Matty Siman
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Written by


  • I am not an employee of BNY Mellon, or an immediate family member of a BNY Mellon employee
  • I am over 18 years of age
  • My organization is incorporated as a non-profit, for-profit, or hybrid organization, or I have a partner that is incorporated and could accept funds on my behalf
  • I have already piloted my initiative and have some initial evidence of impact
  • My organization is headquartered and creating impact in the United States


  • Woman

Where are you making a difference?

New York, NY, 10005

Focus Areas (required)

  • Children & Youth
  • Civic Engagement
  • Development & Prosperity

Date Started

Glasswing International was incorporated 09/25/2007. Glasswing New York City began 04/21/2018.

Organization Type

  • nonprofit/NGO/citizen sector

Project Stage: Select the description below that best applies to your approach.

  • Scaling (expanding impact to many new places or in many new ways)


  • $50k - $100k

Website or social media URL(s) (optional)

Twitter URL

Facebook URL

LinkedIn URL

1.Founding Story: Share a story about the "Aha!" moment that led the founder(s) to get started or the story of how you saw the potential for this to succeed.

Glasswing International is a non-profit organization that empowers individuals by investing in a community's already existing strengths- its infrastructure and its people. Initially founded in Latin America, Glasswing seeks to continue improving the lives of immigrant Latino youth in the United States through our expansion with Glasswing USA. Our team recognizes that barriers to success are rooted in the acculturation process for immigrant youth who prioritize making financial ends met at the expense of investing in their education. Our Youth LEAD Club- Leadership, Entrepreneurship, and Development aims to solve two issues: prioritizing education and giving Latino youth the adequate skills needed for employability and financial success.

2. The Problem: What problem are you helping to solve?

Glasswing works in low-income communities where there are high rates of violence, dropout, and most youth have been raised by a single parent or relative other than their biological parents. Latino youth encounter very little access to financial services, and there are cultural and language barriers preventing them from feeling comfortable accessing financial products which impede them in becoming contributing members of their community.

3. Your Solution: How are you planning to solve this problem? Share your specific approach.

In response to deficiencies in public education and economic opportunities, our Youth LEAD Club seeks to develop and strengthen the competencies and skill sets of youth between ages 15 and 22 through conceptual and practical modules and training on life skills, financial literacy, employability, entrepreneurship, and vocational training. The program also provides personal mentorship through corporate volunteerism, helping each participant to identify and achieve both short- and long-term personal goals. By offering youth access to these types of trainings and development opportunities, the program aims to 1) better prepare them for school-to work transitions, enter the formal workforce, or generate their own income through entrepreneurial activities; 2) establish a peer network, made up of participants, to increase their access to social support and safety; 3) encourage youth to envision a better future for themselves, continue their academic pursuits, and not drop out of school; and 4) improve the community ecosystem. We believe cross-sector partnerships are essential to achieve a strong, sustained impact that shift community attitudes and increase community engagement.

4. Example: Please walk us through a specific example of how your solution is working to solve the problem.

Glasswing is dedicated to developing everyone’s full potential and capabilities. The goal of our Youth LEAD Club is to develop and strengthen key social and life skills and financial, employability, and entrepreneurial competencies; Include access to mentorship and coaching through corporate volunteers, helping youth identify aspirations and develop a plan for the future as well as become self-sufficient, effective agents of change in their own communities.

5a. Too many people in the U.S. have unmet needs for financial products and services. How is your work reaching a population(s) that is currently underserved? If it is not reaching an underserved population yet, how might it in the near future?

Through cross-sector partnerships, our program model transforms traditional public schools into safe, dynamic, and inviting spaces for student learning. This program aims to improve the physical space, upgrade classrooms with materials, engage parents, teachers and the community, and expand the school day through student centered after-school clubs that develop key intellectual, social, and emotional skills.

5b. Please specify if the population you are reaching is underserved due to any of the following characteristics:

  • immigration status
  • language
  • race/ethnicity
  • gender
  • age - youth
  • socio-economic class

6. Marketplace: Who else is addressing the same problem? How does the proposed project differ from these approaches?

Glasswing brings value in that it has worked with Latino youth in their home countries throughout Latin America. Glasswing brings a first hand experience and thus a deeper understanding of the challenges Latino youth face abroad. Given the similarity in demographics between the predominantly Latino migrant population in New York City and the youth with whom Glasswing engages in Latin America, additional funding would support Glasswing in transferring and adapting our work in after-school programming, mental health and wellbeing in the context of New York City’s immigrant youth.

7. Impact: How has your project made a difference so far?

Glasswing has been working across sectors to intervene at the base of the community to build their resilience, primarily through educational and enrichment opportunities for at-risk children and youth, enabling them to thrive despite adversity. At the core of our work is volunteerism and community service, vehicles through which youth are engaged to become active citizens, opportunities that are lacking in society. Glasswing engages school leaders, parents, and other community members and provides them with skill-sets on restorative practices, socio-emotional wellbeing, and trauma-informed care. Recently, Glasswing has piloted cognitive behavioral therapy and mindfulness in 22 public schools in El Salvador. Based on the evaluation results, Glasswing will seek replicating this model in all areas where we operate, including the US.

8a. Spread Strategies: Moving forward, what are the main strategies for scaling your impact?

Promote strategic social investment through the creation of ‘action networks’ among businesses, governmental and non-governmental organizations with the aim of encouraging broader societal participation in improving lives. Glasswing addresses the root causes of poverty and violence through health, education, and community empowerment.

8b. If applicable, which of the following scaling strategies have you launched?

  • Organizational Growth
  • Large Scale Partnerships
  • Industry Standards (labels, certification, awards, etc.)
  • Other

9. Financial Sustainability Plan: What is this solution’s plan to ensure financial sustainability?

We engage across sectors – companies, government, and civil society – that connect school, family, and community, to support and strengthen youth education and community development. By engaging corporate volunteers, Glasswing helps ensure local ownership, buy-in and project resiliency. This cross-sector approach provides us with the partnerships and relationships required to effectively implement at the local level in schools and ensures sustainability by leveraging financial support.

10. Team: What is the current composition of your team (types of roles, qualifications, full-time vs. part-time, board members, etc.), and how do you plan to evolve the team’s composition as the project grows?

Our small, dynamic New York City project team consists of a part-time Project Coordinator, volunteer social worker, and corporate volunteers. We leverage the in-school experience of our Project Coordinator and clinical experience of our social worker with a curriculum co-created with leadership and finance experts, for an effective, low cost approach. The goal is to scale by bringing the Project Coordinate on full-time, increase the role of the social worker and mobilize corporate volunteers.

Help Us Support Diversity! Part 1 - Which of the following categories do you identify with? (optional)

  • Hispanic, Latino/a, or Spanish origin (for example: Mexican, Puerto Rican, Cuba, Salvadoran, Dominican, Colombian)

How did you hear about this challenge?

  • Ashoka page or contact

Evaluation results

3 evaluations so far

1. Overall, would you champion this entry as a excellent example to move forward to the next phase of the challenge and become a semifinalist?

Yes, absolutely! - 33.3%

Yes/maybe - 66.7%

Maybe - 0%

Maybe/no - 0%

No - 0%

2. Is this entry INNOVATIVE?

Yes, absolutely! - 0%

Yes/maybe - 33.3%

Maybe - 33.3%

Maybe/no - 0%

No - 33.3%

3. Is this entry IMPACTFUL on financial wellbeing?

Yes, absolutely! - 33.3%

Yes/maybe - 33.3%

Maybe - 33.3%

Maybe/no - 0%

No - 0%

4. Is this entry SUSTAINABLE?

Yes, absolutely! - 33.3%

Yes/maybe - 0%

Maybe - 33.3%

Maybe/no - 33.3%

No - 0%

5. What are some of the HIGHLIGHTS of strengths of this entry?

Connection to underserved community - 100%

Clarity of Model - 0%

Clarity of Writing - 33.3%

Idea Originality - 0%

Understanding of the marketplace or sector - 0%

Impact measurement - 33.3%

Impact Potential - 66.7%

Financial Sustainability - 0%

Team - 66.7%

Partnerships - 66.7%

Potential to scale - 0%

6. What are some of the areas for IMPROVEMENT of this entry?

Connection to underserved community - 0%

Clarity of Model - 50%

Clarity of Writing - 0%

Idea Originality - 100%

Understanding of the marketplace or sector - 50%

Impact measurement - 0%

Impact Potential - 0%

Financial Sustainability - 0%

Team - 0%

Partnerships - 50%

Potential to scale - 50%


Join the conversation:

Photo of Christopher Rodriguez

Great concept – the networks of civic engagement within a society are not often focused on, but if used correctly can make a big impact

Photo of Matty Siman

Hi Christopher, Thank you for taking the time to read our entry!