Published On: June 9, 202340.4 min read888 words

Oyate Group Celebrates Three Years of Community Leadership with Expansion of Community-Based Programs and Staff


The New York-based grassroots organization is launching a pilot entrepreneurship program and expanding its Beyond Rising internship program and Brandon Hendricks Scholarship with the help of new team member.

NEW YORK – June, 14, 2023 – Oyate Group, a nonprofit organization on a mission to alleviate poverty by creating sustainable and holistic solutions that empower underserved communities all across New York City, is celebrating three years of service to The Bronx, Harlem, Washington Heights and Brooklyn by expanding its community and youth development programs with the help of two new team members and community leaders, Augustina Warton and Alex Reyes.

“Oyate is proud to celebrate three years of service, closing resource gaps and fighting the adverse effects of the pandemic on New York City’s under-served communities,” said Tomas Ramos, founder, president and CEO of Oyate Group. “Over the last three years, we’ve vaccinated 40,000 people against COVID-19, uplifted small businesses, empowered youth, improved public safety and much more thanks to our incredible partners and dedicated team of community activists.”

“We’re thrilled to grow with the addition of two new team members, Augustina and Alex. They bring a level of passion, civic engagement and experience that will create strides for the organization and bolster our programs across New York City’s boroughs. Together, we will continue to uplift our home city,” he added.

Augustina Warton, a multidisciplinary artist, educator and organizer, is joining Oyate Group as its director of programs, overseeing the nonprofit’s youth development programming, small business support, public safety initiatives and more. In addition to Oyate Group, Augustina also serves as an adjunct professor of art education at The City College of New York, weaving identity, culture, community and social justice into the art department’s curriculum.

Alex Reyes, a community organizer, leader and advocate for affordable housing and a path to citizenship for undocumented families, will serve Oyate Group as its program coordinator. Starting as a volunteer for the Oyate Group’s Bronx Rising Initiative knocking on doors in public housing to sign up residents to receive the COVID-19 vaccine from the organization and fighting vaccine hesitancy, Alex will now oversee the day-to-day implementation of the organization’s programs.

Since 2020, Oyate Group has been creating access to health care, preventing gun violence, combating food and housing insecurity, supporting small businesses and empowering our youth through its solutions-based initiatives. Some of the organization’s most impressive feats include vaccinating over 40,000 New Yorkers, deemed “unreachable” by the city, at the height of the pandemic through the Bronx Rising Initiative, conducting a record-breaking gun buyback in December that collected over 200 firearms in Brooklyn, creating the first gift card-paid internship program, Beyond Rising, for undocumented high school students unable to participate in the city’s Summer Youth Employment Program (SYEP) and giving over $100,000 in scholarships to young people in The Bronx through the Brandon Hendricks Scholarship.

Three years on, Oyate Group is now expanding its Beyond Rising Internship Program and Brandon Hendricks Scholarship. From only 20 available spots last year for the paid internship at Fordham University’s administrative offices, Beyond Rising now offers 60 spots and includes Lehman College as one of its participating schools. Established in 2020 to enable Bronx youth to achieve higher education, Oyate Group’s Brandon Hendricks Scholarship now offers $20,000 in aid for two Bronx students in honor of the eponymous rising star who fell victim to the senseless gun violence in the city.

Additionally, the organization is launching a pilot entrepreneurship program, Community Capital, to connect BIPOC aspiring entrepreneurs with financial support and mentoring through Oyate Group’s network of local community leaders.

It will also be premiering its documentary, Chasing the Cure, at film festivals across the country this year and next, highlighting Oyate Group’s swift response to COVID-19 in underserved Bronx communities without access to health care services, resources and reliable information. Chasing the Cure is a Los Angeles Film Award winner, a monthly winner of the Oniros Film Awards, an Official Selection of the Docs Without Borders International Film Festival and a Grand Jury Award winner of the New York International Film Awards.

Oyate Group’s work has earned the organization and its leadership national recognition and honors including a ranking in City & State’s 2023 Bronx Power 100 and Crain’s New York Business 2022 Hispanic Leaders and Executive list for CEO and Founder Tomas Ramos and a Gold Stevie American Business Award in 2022 for the nonprofit’s work through its Bronx Rising Initiative.

Oyate Group’s work has only scratched the surface of what the city needs, but with the help of engaged community leaders and its passionate staff, the organization will continue to uplift everyday lives and ensure no one gets left behind.

Media interested in learning more about Oyate Group and its programs should contact Emiliano Garcia at or (917) 446-7571.

About Oyate

Group Oyate Group is a nonprofit organization with the mission to alleviate poverty by creating sustainable and holistic solutions that empower underserved communities all across New York City. Oyate Group works to create access to healthcare, alleviate hunger, invest in the growth of small businesses and inspire youth to better themselves and their city. Founded in 2020 by Tomas Ramos, the organization’s programs include Bronx Rising Initiative and Uptown Rising Initiative. For more information, visit and follow Oyate Group on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn.

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