Youth Leadership, Across Difference, for Justice

We Have a New Executive Director!

After a thoughtful process these past few months, the Staff and Board of The City School are excited to share momentous news about the future of this crucial organization.

Our community is beyond excited to announce that Myriam Ortiz is the new Executive Director of The City School. We are looking forward to Myriam's leadership as we move into the next phase of our organization. At the same time, we are saddened but grateful as we say goodbye to Ruby Reyes and Seth Kirshenbaum—our Co-Directors for the past six years.


"Remember this. We be many, and they be few. They need us more than we need them. Another world is not only possible, she is on her way. On a quiet day, I can hear her breathing." - Arundhati Roy

It was 2003 when I traded jobs with my close friend and roommate Constance Kowtna that I began working at The City School as its Bookkeeper. I remember getting lost (like everyone else!) trying to find our entrance. Little did I know that when I finally arrived, I was walking into what would become my community and home for 12 magical years. The spirit of hope and possibility that exists at The City School is unending. I am so grateful it exists and committed to ensure it continues. As Ruby and I transition out of leadership, know that we are just two of many who hold and will continue to hold our community. We truly live Arundhati's words that We Be Many. And on quiet days at The City School (and not so quiet ones), another world is already here.


Over the past nine years, I have been honored and grateful to have The City School be my political place of learning. It is a place like no other. It continues to be a home where a young person finds their voice, strength and power to change the world through a community of support.

In our work, we often use the words community and social justice regularly, not fully understanding the difficulty and hard work it takes to create both. After nine years at The City School, I have been able to build and be a part of creating both for myself as well as for the staff and teens who are growing up and learning to take action here. At The City School, I have been enveloped by both and have been carefully guided from being a young writer to a community leader and activist.


This spring I began a new journey as the new Co-Executive Director for The City School. TCS carries a tradition of commitment to social justice and I am excited for the opportunity to lead this new phase of the work. As a mother and as Latina, I want to spend my time and energy in a place that will strengthen our community and sustain our traditions of youth centered education and social change. I look forward to serving the youth and families of TCS as we embark on this new excursion of community love and leadership.