Today’s guest blogger is Jahna Orzano. Jahna is the Community School Director for the team serving at PS83M in East Harlem.

For the faculty, staff, and non-profit partners here at Public School 83, the holidays are a very busy, yet exciting time of year. We all focus intently on wrapping up the calendar year with a close eye on our progress toward our school goals across academics, attendance, social emotional development, and community engagement. We want to send everyone off for the winter break having achieved great successes, while simultaneously looking forward to welcoming a new calendar year filled with even more growth than the year before.

We also work very hard to identify potential resources that will enable us to send a tangible gift home with each and every one of our students – a tradition that our school has cherished for many years. This is no small feat – with over 440 students in our building, we rely on the generosity of our community to come together to donate gifts for our very deserving students. Our children look forward to this special occasion all year long, and for some of our students, the gifts they receive from us this time of year may be the only gifts they get for the season.

DISH Network this year has already come through for our school when we needed them, and this holiday season was certainly no exception. Right at the time we were searching high and low for donations, not only did DISH donate over $2,000 worth of great toys for our yearly holiday gifts, but they actually invited our students to come spend some quality time at one of the DISH Call Centers in Flushing, Queens (the only Call Center that provides in-language customer support)! Our students were very enthusiastic about the opportunity to travel to a new setting, learn about life at DISH Network, and get to meet some of the generous people who have invested in our families and our school community.

We invited 40 of our hardest-working students to come along for this little adventure. Students excitedly piled onto our school bus and we navigated over the RFK Bridge to the DISH. Upon our arrival, a team of friendly DISH employees met with us and played an engaging literacy game with our whole group while we snacked on some delicious treats they provided! Then, we were lucky enough to get a tour of the whole office, and were able to see some of the folks at DISH hard at work. They even showed us their staff break room, complete with a foosball table! “I want to work here as soon as I get out of school” remarked one of our students. We’re certain this enthusiasm was in response to how excited he was about the actual work, not just the break room, of course.

But that’s not all – students were able to get some quality time with Dmitriy Kurbanov, the Call Center Site Leader. He told us all about the story of how DISH came to be, and talked about the experience of working in this industry in a globalized economy. Our students were incredibly excited to hear him ask us how many of them speak a language other than English fluently (almost all of our students raised their hands). Dmitriy proceeded to tell us about the over 30 different wonderful languages his staff members speak. We were all excited to hear how incredibly valuable it is to be multilingual! Maybe one day our students will start a fulfilling career with DISH Network.


Following our interesting conversation, students met “Santa” (one of the DISH employees dressed up for the kids!) and enthusiastically packed a huge display of donated toys into boxes to take back to our school. We’d like to express a huge thank you to our friends at DISH Network for your generosity this year and for your commitment to supporting out school community! We can’t wait to see you again! Interested in working for this generous company? They’re hiring! Visit them at www.Dish.com/queens.

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