Tomas Ramos was born in Washington Heights, NYC and is a first-generation Dominican American.
In the late 1980's, Washington Heights was being wracked by the crack cocaine epidemic and the War on Drugs. With Tomas' father incarcerated, Tomas' mother relocated the family to Pennsylvania and then to the Dominican Republic upon his release. Later Tomas moved back to United States with his siblings, leaving his parents in the Dominican Republic. Tomas went on to finish high school and go onto college.
As a student at Temple University in Philadelphia, Tomas' worldview was broadened and his passions for progressive ideas and social justice were deepened. Tomas graduated from Temple in 2010.
Today, as Program Director for Children's Arts & Science Workshops at the Bronx River Community Center, Tomas' mission is to help young people get started on paths to successful lives, regardless of their families' incomes or national origins.
Tomas is reminded every day by those whom he serves that upward mobility can feel like it's out of reach for them. Our educational system isn't equipped to address the needs of many students. Affordable housing is hard to find. And immigration and criminal justice reform are urgently needed.
Every day, Tomas renews his commitment to finding solutions to the challenges that our communities face. He's driven by his belief that residents of the community he loves deserve not just to survive, but to thrive.
Developed a financial literacy program by establishing program goals and outcomes for participants which range from the age of 5 years old to adulthood.
Established a civic engagement project which developed and implemented a curriculum of base-building strategies in conjunction with community education and advocacy.
Collaborated with external partners to create a college and job readiness program.
Planned and organized various events, such as ‘Dads Take Your Child To School’; ‘Men’s Summit’: A conference to empower our young men and boys of color focusing on the negative impact of toxic masculinity in our communities.
Organized community stakeholders across multiple NYCHA developments to ensure that NYCHA released ear-marked monies for technology upgrades in three NYCHA developments. Through his grant writing Tomas was able to secure the upgrades. However, his grassroots organizing helped coalesce a movement.
Advanced a joint advisory board with four major housing developments in the Soundview Neighborhood: Bronx River, Sonia Sotomayor, James Monroe and Soundview NYCHA Developments.
Partnered with restorative justice agencies to facilitate ‘Project Reset: Restorative Justice Program’, a diversion program for low-level offenders to avoid the legal system and receive additional supports.
A pioneer plaintiff of NYC’s ‘Fair Chance Act’ where Tomas was one of the first individuals to sue a large corporation for discrimination. Ultimately he was awarded monetary compensation.
Helped grow his employer’s social service portfolio by securing numerous awards and grants. Some of which include the Beacon Community Center at James Monroe High School Campus, Dykman Community Center and the housing advocacy contract for families living in low income housing in Bronx Neighborhood Advisory Board 9.
Appointed to the ‘My Brother’s Keeper’ planning committee which resulted in the creation of a Young Men’s Initiative Mentoring Program at Bronx River Community Center.