The Nets Project Mission

We are committed to enabling sustainable financial support for educational programs in public schools that target children from low income backgrounds. Our purpose is to alleviate social inequality and increase diversity throughout the neighborhoods in Brooklyn.

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Positive Behavior Intervention Support (PBIS) with PS 676 in Redhook

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PS 676, the Red Hook Neighborhood School, is a small pre-k through 5th grade school near the BQE in Red Hook.

The Red Hook Neighborhood School has 130 students aged 4 to 13 years old, of which 54 % are black and 95 % from families with low income, students who do not live with their families and some students who live in shelters. Principal Figuoera took over in 2018 with a plan to revamp the school, increase diversity, improve teaching methods and provide the kids with all the means they need to excel.

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As part of the Social Emotional Learning (SEL) approach the school is gradually implementing Positive Behavior Intervention Support (PBIS) which combines learning experience with small gratifications for students. Simply put, traditional teaching methods dictate that bad behavior should be punished. Modern methods strive to shift the focus from punishment of misbehavior to the gratification of good behavior. Rewards will be given to students that behave exceptionally and consistently demonstrate  the core values of “Respect, Empathy, Integrity, Resilience, Curiosity”. Students will be rewarded with “Panther Bucks” that can be used to pay at the "Panther store". Funds raised through the nets project will help supply the store with food, ice cream, legos etc.

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Red Hook is a neighborhood beautifully situated by the waterfront in South Brooklyn, on the peninsula next to Carroll Gardens. The neighborhood historically played a crucial role in the American Revolution at the battle of Brooklyn (1780) and later on transformed to a largely industrial neighborhood with a huge smelting plant (1920s and 1930s) and the construction of the cruise ship terminal. In recent years, the streets around Van Brunt became more hip with new distilleries, chocolate factories and wineries opening and local tourists filling the streets on weekends.

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The other side of Red Hook you will get to see if you venture beyond Van Brunt, deeper into the neighborhood: public housing, homeless shelters, a lead contaminated sports track (remains of the smelting plant), police patrols 24/7 and NYPD floodlights illuminating the streets at night.

The team

Alex Christodoulou - Director

I am from Greece and I've spent almost half my life abroad. My education at Cornell University, Mannheim University in Germany and Cass Business School in London, defined my life substantially.  In 2017, I moved to Carroll Gardens, fell in love with the neighborhood and its people. Crossing the BQE on my weekly run I discovered Red Hook, a place that is representative for New York's society - the social and economic rift could not be more pronounced than on this small peninsula right across the street from where I live.

Coming from a family of teachers, I am particularly mindful of the challenges that social and economic discrepancies pose to students in public schools. Drawing from my experience as a co-founder of a mentoring program at Mannheim University, I aim to apply my experience to continue supporting students in the neighborhood. 

Favorite hobbies: Basketball and cooking.

Klaas Jakobs - Director


I am originally from Germany and was fortunate enough to live in many different countries for most of my professional years. In 2017 life brought me to Brooklyn. Brooklyn has a rich history and a wonderful, diverse community, however, the stark socio-economic differences are evident in many parts of the city. Many kids experience significant hardships and are trapped in a vicious circle of poverty and poor education, putting them at a significant disadvantage right from the start, regardless of their potential and to no fault of their own.


I have been fortunate in many ways throughout my life and education opened many doors to me, though I often took it for granted. Seeing the challenging circumstances that these children face, in a system that does not have the means to provide the same opportunities for everybody, I want to help create the possibility for some of these kids to change their path.


Hobbies: Traveling and eating.

Melissa Gonzalez - President

I am a first generation American born and raised in Southern California, received my BS in Environmental Economics & Policy from UC Berkeley and Masters degree from Cass Business School in London. I moved to Brooklyn after having worked in Europe for over 5 years. Coming back to the US has been an extremely rewarding experience, but has also shown me how broken our social and political infrastructure is.


Growing up in the US has taught me that an education means everything. It gives you the power to change your life in whatever direction you choose. My goal is to make a small contribution that allows children the chance to excel academically and socially and to challenge the statistics that say they are unlikely to attain a college level education.


Favorite hobbies: Zumba and visiting cat cafes.


Deborah Chesnoy - Vice President

I am from France and I had the chance to study and work in different countries across Europe for the last 8 years. Education has always been very important to me and I finished university with two masters degrees from the University of Paris 10 and ESCP Paris in 2011.

In 2017, I moved to Brooklyn for work. I discovered a neighborhood full of life, history and diversity. But Brooklyn is also the perfect example of the social and economic disparity that we currently live in, starting as early as primary school.

Because my education allowed me to meet great people while helping me build my confidence and own views, I believe every child should have the same opportunity regardless of where they live or which school they go to.

I want to help and provide the children in our neighborhood with access to quality education and the support they need to succeed.

Favorite Hobbies: Traveling and dogs.


Fundraiser June 21, 2019 - Donor list

Matthew Herman

Deborah & Klaas Chesnoy- Jakobs

George Papachristoudis

Julia & Chris Chen

Megan & Adam Straub

Ruben Puijker

Jason Konstantas


Kindly sponsored by:

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The nets project

62 1st Place 

11231, Brooklyn