Brownsville woman uses life experiences to help city children

Monica Makes It Happen

HUNTS POINT, the Bronx — Kym Hardy Watson is turning her pain into purpose. Watson, who was in the foster care system, was torn from her siblings when she was young. She now leads one of the largest agencies for children and families in New York City.

As the new president and CEO of Graham Windham, Watson takes a hands-on approach to changing lives — and her passion is powered by her past.

“Our lived experience matters,” she said. “It means so much to the families and the kids that we work with.”

Her mission, and the mission of all Graham Windham’s volunteers, she said, is to make sure children live lives “different than the lives we have had.”

Watson, who is the first Black woman to lead the organization, runs a team of 450 employees and 1,500 volunteers. Graham Windham’s programs impact more than 4,000 people, and the organizations runs community centers in the Bronx, Brooklyn and Harlem.

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