REAL Skills was founded by Tree Arrington with the intent of promoting academic progress and positive social interactions. Now, over 10 years later, REAL Skills provides multiple initiatives for elementary, middle, and high school students that support these missions. We celebrate our founder, Tree, who passed away in 2020, for his indispensable contributions to Poughkeepsie's youth.
Cleopatra Jordan Johnson (left) is a Brooklyn native who moved to Poughkeepsie, NY in 2007. After participating in the REAL Skills program at the age of 13, Cleopatra completed the Peer Mentors program, being certified in multiple things. She then ventured into Hip Hop Theater for the rest of her high school career, and graduated from Poughkeepsie High School in the top ten percent of her class. Cleopatra then attended the University of Albany, studying Information Science. She returned to REAL Skills in 2017 to volunteer, then as a Teaching Assistant, Administrative Program Coordinator, Associate Director, and Interim Executive Director and is now the Executive Director of REAL Skills Network.