Mathylde Frontus

On growing up in Coney Island and founding the nonprofit Urban Neighborhood Services

Mathylde Frontus grew up in Coney Island as the eldest child of Haitian immigrant parents who instilled a love of learning and community service. In 2004, she founded Urban Neighborhood Services (UNS), a small multi-service agency on Mermaid Avenue that offers services in the areas of housing, employment, legal referral, financial literacy, counseling, and youth leadership. In addition to her work as UNS’s executive director through 2016, Frontus is also the founder and outgoing chair of the Coney Island Anti-Violence Collaborative – a coalition of stakeholders working to reduce gun violence in the Coney Island community. She has earned multiple degrees including a BSW and MSW from New York University, an MA from the Clinical Psychology program at Teachers College, Columbia University, an MTS from Harvard Divinity School, and PhD from the Columbia School of Social Work, where she is currently an adjunct assistant professor. Frontus has been recognized for her leadership at UNS by the New York State Senate, the Brooklyn District Attorney’s Office, Coney Island Hospital and Courier Life, and was one of 10 national winners in November 2014 to receive the Characters Unite Award from the USA Network.