Jay Mota first and foremost is a proud father of 4 children. Two daughters and two sons. He is a veteran of the US Marine Corps and Army National Guard. Starting at a very young age it was his passion to serve and protect others. Jay has studied at NYU and Fordham University with degrees in business management, marketing, and communication. His current role outside of the foundation is as a Certified Financial Planner with a practice in NY and NJ. His experience with community programs has ranged from serving as the chairman for a local chamber of commerce to being a contributing member of the board for the YMCA in upper Westchester NY, a volunteer fireman, and volunteering for several organizations benefiting children. Additionally, he has raised thousands of dollars for charity organizations he represented while running in NYC Marathon 2009 and 2015, Marine Corps Marathon 2010, Chicago Marathon in 2014, and Boston Marathon in 2016.
Jay Mota was born in Manhattan and raised in Bronx NY. As a product of NYC, and with the passion to serve, Jay founded The Building Blocks Foundation to help children learn freely, be confident in the way they look, and fit in with their peers. Working alongside the board he hopes to help the over 105,000 homeless children in the NYC public schools.
Meaghan was raised in the suburbs of New York City. Her mother and grandmother were both teachers in the New York City Public Schools. From a young age Meaghan had a love and desire to work with children. She received her Undergraduate degrees in Elementary Education from Saint Thomas Aquinas College and her Masters Degrees in Early Childhood and Early Childhood Special Education from The College of New Rochelle.Meaghan is currently in her tenth year of teaching at PS 103 in the Bronx, this year in a Special Education Kindergarten and First grade class.
Last year when returning from child care leave with her two young boys, Meaghan faced the changes that had occurred in the four years since she had been out. She immediately noticed the dramatic increase of number of students in her class who were homeless or living in temporary housing. It was heartbreaking. There is such a significant need to help these children. This has now become another priority of Meaghan’s desires to improve the lives of as many children as possible.
Dr. Maisonet was drawn to pediatric emergency medicine during medical school, when through a National Health Service Corps Scholarship, she worked in an inner-city clinic in Philadelphia. There, she saw how crack cocaine devastated families and neighborhoods. She knew then that she wanted to care for patients in the inner city, a desire that led her to become a pediatrician at Montefiore Medical Center.
At Montefiore, Dr. Maisonet is honored to care for so many children. At the Hispanic Center of Excellence at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine, she was one of the first recipients of the Faculty Development Scholarship and was able to study and obtain a Master of Science degree in the Clinical Research Training Program. This program has given her the tools to practice clinical medicine in the Emergency Department with a research approach, particularly to examine the way health disparities continue to affect and influence people who live in inner-city areas. .