Meet The Team
Chief Executive Officer
John Harrison is the Chief Executive Officer with Community Mediation Services, Inc. (CMS). In this role, John leads a team of professionals providing services to thousands of youth, families and community residents along with institutions throughout the borough of Queens. He has worked with the organization since 1998 and has served in the capacity of Program Director, Director of Youth Development and Entrepreneurial Services and Sr. Associate Executive Director.
John earned a Bachelor’s degree in Sociology from the State University of New York at Old Westbury and a Master’s degree in Social Work from Adelphi University. A strong advocate of positive youth development, John has more than 25 years of experience working with at risk youth and families. John is a co-founder of Rockaway Men United; a male empowerment program that focused on the personal and academic development of young men of color. He has been recognized as a "Community Hero" because of his community service work and has served as a voluntary youth basketball coach for more than 15 years.
John began his professional career providing counseling and permanent housing solutions to young families trying to survive the burden of homelessness. After securing homes for hundreds of families, his desire to make a difference led him to work with high risk adolescents. His intent was to provide guidance before they took any life altering missteps that lead so many of our youth to the doorsteps of various service systems and institutions of incarceration.
Formulating a systemic and institutional understanding of the city’s social ills, John, along with five other team members provided a series of conflict resolution and identity defining workshops for all youth residing in NYC detention centers during the spring and summer of 1998. Using lessons learned from that experience, he developed a series of alternative to incarceration programs for youth involved with the Queens District Attorney’s Office. He later spearheaded a team to research public schools with a particular focus on disciplinary methodology, student/school attachment and parental engagement. These experiences resulted in the development of several programs that intersect with the juvenile and criminal justice systems.
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