Sunday, November 20, 2011

Grand Opening Event at Reciprocity's Holistic Center

It was a beautiful evening in which Reciprocity graduates, staff, volunteers, donors and community gathered to celebrate the historic milestone of opening the first-ever holistic center for homeless youth.  The photos tell the whole story--smiles, joy, hope and inspiration prevailed.
Attendees received a massage, screened a film, sat in meditation, ate vegetarian appetizers and spent time getting to know each other.  What a night!

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Lyssette Horne Screens INVISIBLE film for Texas Homeless Conference

To learn more about Lyssette Horne, youth leader and Production Coordinator at In the Life, click HERE.

Reciprocity Trains Texas Leaders at Regional Conference Oct 12-14, 2011

Today, Taz Tagore (co-founder of Reciprocity) and Lyssette Horne (Reciprocity graduate) screened the Emmy-nominated and homeless youth produced film INVISIBLE: Diaries of New York's Homeless Youth and led workshops training Texas homeless agency leaders in the Reciprocity methodology we call the "Whole Person Approach." Both workshops were well-attended and positively reviewed. The workshops may lead to new opportunities for Reciprocity to train and develop new models for the largest Texas homeless shelters and youth agencies. Stay tuned!

For more information on the conference, visit Texas Homeless Network
Annual Conference in Dallas, TX

Reciprocity Workshop Description (Delivered on October 12, 2011)
Employing a Whole Person Approach: A New Model for Serving At-Risk, Homeless and LGBTQ-identified Youth
What does it mean to integrate the physical, emotional, spiritual and intellectual needs of an at-risk young person? How can social workers, case managers and youth development practitioners help youth identify, reflect upon and achieve critical milestones across the full spectrum of their needs? This interactive session will introduce the Whole Person approach used by the Reciprocity Foundation in New York City to support homeless and incarcerated youth. Using film clips from an Emmy-nominated film about youth homelessness, this interactive session will expose practitioners to the Whole Person frameworks, proven hands-on approaches and recent case studies, in which this approach helped a young person break the cycle of poverty, enroll in college, find meaningful work and heal from a history of abuse.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Reciprocity Student Isis King Kicks Off New Season of America's Next Top Model

On the season premiere of Tyra Banks’ hit show America’s Next Top Model, transgender contestant Isis King returned as a fan favorite. Isis got her start on the show posing as a model for a Cycle 5 episode focused on youth homelessness. On the next season, she returned as a fierce contestant, despite the physical challenges of modeling as a transgender female, prior to her gender reassignment surgery.

Founded by Taz Tagore and Adam Bucko in 2004, the Reciprocity Foundation ( has helped countless homeless youth from all five boroughs of New York City to transcend poverty, isolation and a lack of direction. Through intensive counseling, yoga, meditation, media training, college preparation and career coaching, the organization helps homeless youth like Isis King start careers in creative sectors such as film, television, fashion and design.

“Isis was a charismatic, intelligent student who is passionate about fashion design and modeling,” says Adam Bucko, co-founder of the Reciprocity Foundation. “But as a transgendered woman who lived in a homeless shelter, she faced more obstacles than other aspiring designers and models. That’s where we came in. We helped train Isis to handle the challenges of success while retaining her integrity.”

This season of America’s Next Top Model will be more challenging than ever. The contestants are not about to let Isis steal the spotlight—and Isis, who is beloved as the first transgender model to achieve fame after RuPaul, is not willing to be defeated.

“Isis is back on America’s Next Top Model to do more than model,” said Taz Tagore, co-founder of the Reciprocity Foundation. “She wants to knock down barriers for people with a different sexual orientation. She’s become a leader to thousands of young women of all sexual orientations.”

During her time as a student at the Reciprocity Foundation, Isis honed her knowledge of the fashion industry and her design skills. She also learned how to network with fashion industry leaders and to compete in a hyper-competitive industry.

Reciprocity co-founder Adam Bucko said, “At the outset, Isis was like many of our students—passionate about fashion but unable to translate her vision into a career. We helped her develop the skills to become a leader and a role model in America. By the time we introduced Isis to Tyra Banks and Jay Manuel, she was prepared to take advantage of the opportunity.”

For more information about the show, click here.

For an exclusive video about Isis and her time at Reciprocity, click here.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Reciprocity Launches New Rich-Media Website

Today, the Reciprocity Foundation launched it's new website. Using the WordPress platform, the new site is filled with rich media--photos, videos and films that reflect the creativity of homeless and foster care youth.

Highlights include:
  • Invisible--the Emmy-nominated film co-created by seven Reciprocity students and CW/PIX can be viewed on the site;
  • New photos from the Reciprocity Foundation's programs will be uploaded each month so that you can meet the students who are leaders in the making;
  • A completely new programs page that includes detailed frameworks, models and examples of our "Whole Person" approach;
  • Previews of our latest films and videos will be posted on the Home page...a new youth project will be launched every month;
  • A new Donate page enables visitors to sponsor the new Reciprocity holistic center for homeless youth, attend a Reciprocity gathering or invest in the next Reciprocity film.
Click here to view our new site...but prepared to be inspired to action!

Friday, August 26, 2011

Derek Cobb performs with Alvin Ailey Dance Company

Reciprocity graduate Derek Cobb--dancer, singer, songwriter and model--has an upcoming performance with the Alvin Ailey Dance Company. It's his 3rd performance with the company and he'd appreciate the support of the Reciprocity community.

The performances will be at the Ailey Citigroup Theater on:

August 27th @ 7pm
August 28th @ 3pm
August 28th @ 7pm

Tickets can be purchased here. Click on the link beneath the photograph on the home page.

Derek says, "I am super excited to hit the stage again and I can't wait to see the other dancers perform as well. I hope to see you there."