About Us

StayUNITED is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization with the mission to create a brighter future for children and youth in New York by improving access to education and promoting civic engagement. Our goal is to develop effective solutions that address targeted challenges in our two focus areas: Education and Health & Wellness. To accomplish these goals, we have created separate programs that include: StayUNITED 4 Kids, Campus Roundtable Series, and StayUNITED Service Scholarship. '50 Acts of Giving Back' is a unique program with a goal to demonstrate the power of the social media in transforming the way acts of social good can be communicated and replicated across the world. StayUNITED is the result of a true passion for service to others. It is our belief that every kindness, every moment of empathy and compassion, every act of true sharing, elevates humanity's potential and all of our actions are aimed to influence the progress of our world. 



Our Story

When founders Ismini & Mark Svensson decided to get married, they came up with the idea instead of having a big wedding reception and honeymoon to use all the funds in order to perform charitable acts all across America. This journey is a tribute to Ismini's father who passed away suddenly at the end of a charity event he organized. '50 Acts of Giving Back' has gone on to be featured on the most prominent news media in the United States and across the world and their story has inspired countless citizens worldwide to perform social good. Through the support they received along this journey, they founded StayUNITED.

 

Founders

Ismini Svensson is the Co-Founder of StayUNITED where she serves as Chairwoman of the board. She is the Founder and the international real estate investment firm Svensson Investments. Prior to establishing Svensson Investments, Ismini worked in Washington, D.C at the Democratic National Committee's Department of Finance. Her involvement in the American political scene allowed her to work alongside senior government officials in the Obama administration. In the years before, she founded and served as President of KConstruction and assisted in the construction of the Olympic Village for the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens. For her leadership and philanthropic work, Ismini has been recognized by officials at the local, state, and federal levels of government across America. She has been featured on prominent news media networks and talk shows worldwide including CNN, NBC, ABC, FOX, CBS, People Magazine and more. Ismini received her Bachelor of Arts and Master's degrees in civil engineering from the National Technical University of Athens. She speaks five languages: English, Greek, Chinese, German, and French. She is a grade 9 pianist. A ballerina since the age of 3, she received multiple honors from the Royal Academy of Dance. Ismini and her husband Mark have one daughter, Rafaela, and reside in New York. 

 

Mark Svensson is the Co-Founder of StayUNITED where he serves as Vice-Chairman of the board. A member of the All-USA Academic team, Mark studied Government at Georgetown University in Washington, D.C. Previously, Mark worked for the law firm Sullivan & Cromwell LLP as part of their prestigious legal assistant program, serving clients including First Horizon National Corporation, British Airways, and Nomura Holdings. He worked for Congressman Eliot Engel on Capitol Hill and served as a Fellow under Secretary Kenneth Salazar at the United States Department of the Interior. For his community leadership, Mark has received special recognition from the White House as well as recognition from officials at the local, state, and federal levels of government across America. For the past four years, he has served as a Commitment Mentor to the Clinton Global Initiative University. He has been featured on prominent news media and talk shows worldwide including NBC Nightly News, CNN, ABC News, Fox News, CBS and more. Mark is a sports enthusiast. He enjoys playing basketball, tennis, and golf. Mark and his wife Ismini have one daughter, Rafaela, and reside in New York.

Recognition

StayUNITED has received awards and recognition for its charitable work from officials at the local, state, and federal levels of government. Here are some examples of honors we have received:

 

United States Senate

2014 Certificate of Recognition in recognition of your steadfast commitment to your community through the work of StayUNITED - Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (NY)

2014 Certificate of Recognition for exemplary achievements and invaluable service to the community through the work of StayUNITED - Senator Charles Schumer (NY)

2014 Letter of Recognition - Senator Dianne Feinstein (CA)

State Government

2014 Certificate of Recognition in recognition and appreciation of service to the community and countless points of inspiration - State Senator Ted Lieu (CA-D28)

2013 Certificate of Achievement in recognition of exemplary achievements and invaluable service to the community through the work of StayUNITED - State Senator David Carlucci (NY-D38)

2013 Certificate of Merit in recognition of outstanding contributions to the community in the areas of health, education, and the environment through the work of StayUNITED - Assemblywoman Ellen Jaffee (NY-D95)

 

 

 

United States House of Representatives 

2014 Remarks in the Congressional Record of the United States Congress in Recognizing StayUNITED - Representative Nita Lowey (NY-D17)

2013 Remarks in the Congressional Record of the United States Congress in Tribute to StayUNITED - Representative Henry Waxman (CA-D33)

2013 Certificate of Special Congressional Recognition for outstanding and invaluable service to the community - Representative Henry Waxman (CA-D33)  

2013 Certificate of Appreciation in recognition of outstanding contributions to the community through the work of StayUNITED - Representative Nita Lowey (NY-D17) 

2013 Certificate of Special Congressional Recognition for outstanding and invaluable service to the community - Representative Eliot Engel (NY-D16)  

Local Government

2014 Distinguished Service Award rendered by the Rockland County Legislature - Rockland County Legislator Barry Kantrowitz (D-NY)

2013 Certificate of Recognition in recognition of service to the people of Los Angeles - Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti

 

 

All contributions to StayUNITED are tax-deductible. StayUNITED is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization with Federal Tax ID Number 46-1703447. 

P.O. Box 24  

 

West Nyack, NY 10994

 

 

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88% Programs​

 

7%   Fundraising

 

5% Administration

 

 

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