Meets pressing community needs by mobilizing caring New Yorkers in volunteer service.

Greg Drozdek | Team Leader Spotlight

Team Leader, New York Cares

"Greg is a fantastic Team Leader and the contacts at our schools really appreciate him. As a retired educator, he knows how to work with kids and convey the goals of the program to adults. Every time I get a phone call from Greg, he's asking how to grow the program, constantly seeking new schools that need a fitness program." -Sarah Ushay, New York Cares Program Manager

On a recent site visit, Greg did an on the spot backward somersault to demonstrate to the PS 2 M school contact the types of exercises that could be incorporated into their martial arts program. If that's not criteria for securing the December Team Leader Spotlight, we don't know what is!

Meet Greg Drozdek, a volunteer who started leading projects earlier this year and already has 4 immensely popular martial arts programs under his belt. These modified martial arts programs, the first of their kind at New York Cares, help elementary students master balance, strength, and flexibility. Not to mention, provide quite the workout.

Just take Ariela’s word for it, shared after her first time volunteering on Martial Arts at PS 20 M

“Despite the soreness afterwards this was one of my favorite projects I've done. I look forward to returning!”

But to Greg, the best part of leading is the learning potential for volunteers and students alike.

“I enjoy the quiet moment in the gym when all the students line up before the opening bow. Each time I see the students and volunteers ready to learn together, I feel very lucky to be there.”

While running multiple martial arts programs a month may be more than enough for some, it’s not the case for Greg. He happily jumped at the chance to co-lead English Conversation with Young Adults at The Door a few months back after the program lost its long-term Team Leader. Since then, he has helped shape the program’s future, ensuring young adults get the most out of these informal conversations designed to build English language skills.

While there’s no doubt that Greg has quite the leader range - from exercising in the gym to building vocabulary skills in the classroom - his constant strive for improvement and growth, is what landed him as the Team Leader Spotlight for December.

Thank you Greg, for constantly seeking ways to add new benefits to New York Cares programs and leading with such "gusto", to use wording from a Program Manager describing Greg's approach!

  • Volunteer since: 2015
  • Team Leader since: 2016
  • Hours Spent Volunteering: 72
  • Describe in one word what being a Team Leader means to you: Flexibility.
What’s one thing that you never leave the house without before team leading?

An extra t-shirt.

What are you most passionate about?

Education and growth.

What inspires you to continue your work as a Team Leader?

The potential and joy the children bring to class each day.

What is your favorite thing to do in New York?

Going to different neighborhoods and meeting new people.

Interested in nominating a great leader like Greg to be featured in a future Team Leader Spotlight? Submit your nomination here.