A Washington Heights resident, Kevin Acevedo was initially attracted to GDS by the passion and dedication that he saw in the leaders to make a meaningful difference in kids’ lives. “There’s always been a need for this type of work in our neighborhood and I knew then that by joining GDS I can make a difference in my community”. Kevin has seen the success that GDS has had in its mission to empower youth to be the best versions of themselves, become leaders in their fields, capable of influencing more youth. Kevin’s role as a member of the Board of Directors, is to establish and maintain a positive relationship with the neighborhood’s Latino community, as well as provide perspective of what it’s like to grow up in the community that GDS services. Kevin is inspired by those who make something out of nothing. Immigrants who come to this country without even knowing the language and make a life here. Young people who don’t have equal opportunity yet aren’t afraid to reach for their goals. And I’m also inspired by those who follow their vision even when those around them don’t see their vision. Kevin is committed to GDS so that he can witness the new heights GDS will reach in influencing the youth in New York. In 2017 Kevin founded the Uptown Native, showcasing the culture, beauty and pride of Uptown Manhattan. Uptown Native was a platform for artists and advocates from the community and it shed light on ongoing issues. In 2020, all proceeds from online sales were donated to organizations supporting the Black Lives Matter movement. Kevin has earned a master’s in economics and a BA in Mathematics and has spent time volunteering at various food banks as well as the Community Affairs Unit of the Mayor’s Office and the Excel program at GDS! In his free time, he loves making music and making films.