2011 Nassau BOCES Education Partner Award Honoree
Great Neck UFSD
Jonathan Zimmerman has long believed that every child deserves a computer and access to the Internet. Therefore, it is no surprise that Zimmerman, a science teacher at Great Neck Middle School for the past 10 years, founded Comp4Kids of NY, Inc. (C4K), www.comp4kids.org, to help bridge the gap in the technological divide that exists on Long Island and throughout the state.
Through his nonprofit organization, Zimmerman collects, refurbishes and distributes computers and laptops free to low-income families and supplies computers at little or no cost to other charitable organizations that service these populations. Last year alone, C4K gave away more than 500 computers to families who couldn't afford one.
"If I can help a small percentage of those kids get the tools they need, then I think I've done my job," says Zimmerman, who left a career on Wall Street and 15 years as an accountant to become a teacher. After receiving a master's in education from Long Island University, C.W. Post Campus, Zimmerman began teaching in New York City and then the Freeport UFSD before becoming a middle school science teacher in Great Neck.
Following his graduation from the State University of New Jersey at Rutgers with a degree in accounting, Zimmerman worked at various certified public accounting firms before landing a position in the tax department of Cantor Fitzgerald, where he got his first taste of philanthropy working on charitable foundations. From there, Zimmerman went to work at several Wall Street firms, including Drexel Burnham Lambert, Cowan & Co., Ladenburg Thalmann and Raymond James. At Ladenburg, he co-founded the minority-owned investment firm Nubian Asset Management, serving as its chief market strategist, and then opened and managed one of the largest branches of Raymond James Financial Services, winning numerous awards and recognitions by organizations. In addition, Zimmerman was a finalist in the New York Mets/Major League Baseball/PEOPLE Magazine "All-Stars Among Us" campaign.
Zimmerman and his wife Dorothy live in Port Washington, N.Y., with their three children.