Latest Blog Posts

New Yorkers For Children featured as Best in Classs on CUNYTV

New Yorkers For Children was recently featured on CUNY TV’s Study With the Best. Executive Director Saroya Friedman-Gonzalez spoke about our signature programs, designed to provide essential resources to youth in foster care throughout their educational journeys. But best of all, NYFC Scholar King Tolen shared his inspiring story of perseverance and determination as he gets closer and closer to earning his college degree.
NYFC is proud to work with The City University of New York and NYC Administration for Children’s Services to ensure that all youth in foster care have the tools they need to succeed.

NYFC LAUNCHES SCHOLARSHIP FUND TO HELP YOUTH IN FOSTER CARE

New Yorkers For Children is pleased to announce that it received $1.187 million dollars from the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation to create and launch the Nicholas Scoppetta Scholarship Fund. The scholarship fund will support academic scholarships covering tuition, books and essential living expenses for students in foster care pursuing undergraduate degrees at the City University of New York (CUNY), as well as private colleges and universities in New York City. Click here to read press release.

MESSAGE FROM NYFC’S YOUTH ADVISORY BOARD PRESIDENT

Hello and Happy New Year!

My name is Peterson Rodriguez and I was recently elected President of the Youth Advisory Board (YAB). I’m looking forward to giving the YAB a fresh start and hope to create positive growth and change! We’re planning exciting new projects and will be more advocacy focused. As a Board, we are strong in unity and teamwork!

The YAB is starting 2016 with an open house to introduce the events we are planning. I’m eager to welcome everyone and offer a sneak peek into the year ahead. Definitely keep a look out because the YAB will be making waves!

Sincerely,

Peterson Rodriguez, 2016 YAB President

Unselfie Collage

#GivingTuesday 2015

This year, NYFC participated in #GivingTuesday, a global social movement in which individuals, families, charities, businesses around the world come together for one common purpose: to celebrate and encourage the joy of giving. #GivingTuesday is a special call to action, especially on social media, and we wanted to be part of this global day of giving in the name of youth in foster care.

Many donations came in for our Back-to-School (BTS) Package Program, which equips scholars with the tools they need to succeed in and out of the classroom. Thanks to our #GivingTuesday donors, NYFC’s BTS packages will be distributed in 2016 to youth enrolled in college and vocational programs. Each package includes a laptop, a 20-trip MetroCard, and a $100 Amazon gift care to purchase books.

NYFC’s very own staff shared their reasons for giving and supporting this important program on social media. They uploaded a collage of their “selfless” selfies to NYFC’s Instagram account.

Due to the campaign’s popularity, NYFC extended our #GivingTuesday outreach from December 1st to December 15th and directed donors to the Double the Donation website (https://doublethedonation.com/giving-tuesday/). Using this link, supporters could determine if their company matched #GivingTuesday gifts and gained access to guidelines and instructions needed for submitting these donations.

Thank you again to everyone who continues to support NYFC and who selflessly gave on #GivingTuesday. We greatly appreciate your contributions and look forward to even more engagement next year!

PicMonkey Collage (Constant Contact)

It’s a Wrap!

Thanks to our generous donors and supporters, our annual Wrap to Rap event at Macy’s on November 17, 2015 was a festive and lively success! The over 700 holiday gifts our volunteer wrapped will bring lots of joy to children in foster care!

NYFC’s Board of Directors, Friends Committee, Youth Advisory Board members, Youth Ambassadors, and Macy’s very own CEO, Chairman of the Board, President, and Director at Macy’s, Terry Lundgren joined forces to wrap over 700 holiday gifts for children in care. These presents will be distributed by the Administration for Children’s Services (ACS) to children staying at the ACS Children’s Center.

After wrapping the donated gifts to the beat of rap songs mixed by DJ D-Nice Jones, volunteers had a chance to hear a captivating “‘Twas the Night before Christmas” story by the one and only Santa Claus, much to their delight. Santa’s happy helpers, the elves were also present and welcomed guests to the Christmas décor of Santaland.

Finally, to conclude the evening, Terry Lundgren, NYFC Board member and Macy’s Chief Merchandise Planning Officer, Patti Ongman, Friends Committee Co-Chairs, Elisabeth Jones-Hennessy and Clare McKeon, and Youth Advisory Board leaders Anthony and Peterson acknowledged the tremendous impact NYFC has on youth in foster care. Anthony and Peterson raffled off prizes for the youth volunteers including Macy’s and Starbucks’ gift cards and Amazon Kindles!

In addition to providing much needed holidays gifts to these children, Wrap to Rap reminds our teen volunteers of the importance of giving back to their communities. Thank you to all for sharing in the spirit of the season and brightening the holiday for a child in care!

Thank You from a Youth CAN! Participant

I have taken some time to internalize what I wanted to say to you all. I have recently been accepted as a part of the Duane Reade/Walgreens family. I was offered and had appreciably accepted a position as an Assistant Store Manager at Duane Reade. Although I was offered this position, I did not obtain it all by myself. During my time as a participant in the Youth CAN program, I took risks I haven’t taken before, gotten out of my comfort zone, and met some amazing people. The program provided me a foundation and resources that allowed me to support my vision toward getting to who and where I want to be. I have learned so much in the courses provided at North Shore LIJ Health System every Tuesday and the wholesome practices given from The Reciprocity Foundation every Friday. From both, I gained and enhanced my soft skills, which will be necessary during my new journey and later on in life. Furthermore, having the chance to work closely with my mentor from Walgreens, Michael, has allowed me to diligently work and focus on things I needed to improve, such as my interviewing skills, resume critiquing, body language and much more.

Overall, I would like to say THANK YOU for all of your determination and effort put into assisting youth, such as myself, with progressing and fulfilling dreams and mostly reaching success. You all have played a huge part in helping me get to where I am today, even if you believe it was the smallest of gestures shown. Every talk I had, advice that was given, laughs shared, memories reminisced, and introduction to someone made all the difference. Remember “Small steps make big feats.” Because of you, I was and am able to excel and utilize all I have learned to become a greater me and overcome whatever I encounter with great courage, skill and strength while helping others to do the same.

Kimberly
Youth CAN! Participant

Wrap to Rap and The Youth Advisory Board

The Youth Advisory Board is a group of young people who support NYFC by shaping public perceptions of children and youth in foster care, and inspiring peers to become advocates in their communities. YAB collaborates with other programs for positive youth development, education, and professional success, while encouraging New Yorkers of all ages and walks of life to strengthen society.

We participate in volunteer events and projects throughout the year. Thank you for joining us to wrap presents for young children in foster care to brighten their holiday season.

In addition to providing much-need holiday gifts for children in foster care, Wrap to Rap also reminds us all of the importance of volunteerism and giving back to the community. Because of you, a child will know that someone is thinking about them this holiday season, and that someone is you.

One of the reasons why we am so thrilled to be able to give back to children in foster care this holiday season is because we were in foster care, ourselves. We know how special it is to wake up on Christmas morning and have a gift to unwrap. It is because of where we come from that New Yorkers For Children is so important to us.

We have to step up and make sure all New York City children get ahead in life. We want to let all the young people here today know that it’s not about where you came from, it’s about where you’re going. Today it is clear that you are all on the right path, volunteering your time to make the holidays brighter for children in care.

Second Chances — Futures in Motion: Youth Can!

Last year marked the second time that I enrolled in the Futures in Motion: Youth CAN! Program.

In my first year in the program I was eager to learn everything however my interest quickly faded at the prospect of getting a job with Summer Youth Employment. I felt bad because the program offered so much but I wanted the instant gratification of having money right now.

Imagine my surprise when I was allowed to apply for the program a second time. I felt like I was intruding in on the new group somehow but I pushed forward and reapplied. I made a vow that this time around I was going to succeed and not miss a single day.

Going back to the classes was refreshing. Unlike my first time, I didn’t know many people in this group so it gave me a chance to really socialize with new people. At North Shore LIJ everyone dresses professionally and the classes are taken very seriously. We learned about finances, CPR training, mock interviews, elevator pitches, cover letters, resume building, and so many other things.

One of the best things about the program was connecting with a mentor who has a big title in one of the partner companies. (The adults ask you a few questions beforehand and based on what you say they match you up with a mentor of similar interests.) I especially like my mentor because we come from similar backgrounds and are both black. Despite him being almost 10 years older I still found him relatable. I could go out with him, talk about any personal issues I might be having, and he’s always available when I need him. I still talk to him to this day.

The friendships I made and the resources I utilized made this a remarkable opportunity that more youth in care should use.
The graduation ceremony we had was the icing on the cake. My mentor and my therapist came out to support me, which made the event all the better. Having all the peers I bonded with along with some of the facilitators made it feel like a school graduation. I was chosen as a speaker at the ceremony and spoke that night about how the experiences made me more well-rounded.

Overall I liked the program. A lot. I completed the first part with no absences, keeping true to my vow. Oh, and my reward for no absences? $300 worth of Amazon Gift cards!

Afterwards, I got started with my internship almost immediately. I continued my internship for about half a year before I couldn’t continue. Although I decidedly chose not to accept a job after my internship ended, it gave me a better perspective on what I would like from a job. These days I continue my passion being a Youth Advocate, helping youth find the resources needed to help them. Futures in Motion: Youth CAN! should be on the top of most foster youths list for programs to enroll in.

Thank you for giving NYC’s youth in foster care
“A Chance in the World”!

On Thursday September 16th, NYFC hosted the 16th Annual Fall Gala at Cipriani 42nd Street.

Steve Pemberton, Vice President Diversity and Inclusion, Global Chief Diverstiy Officer, Walgreens Boost Alliance,  was presented with the 2015 Nicholas Scoppetta Child Welfare Award, due to his steadfast commitment and unwavering dedication to children in foster care. And his continued support of  the Futures in Motion: Youth CAN! program, an educational and vocational training program for children in foster care.

Maya Haile and Marcus Samuelsson, Chef-Owner of Red Rooster Harlem and Streetbird Rotisserie with NYFC’s Inaugural Community Enhancement Award for their dedication to helping youth in Harlem.

The 2015 New Yorkers For Children North Shore-LIJ Spirit Award, a $10,000 educational scholarship was presented to Antoinette Kane for her academic talent and her ability to overcome life’s challenges. To learn more about Antoinette and other Spirit Award recipients click here.

The event, hosted by Friends Committee Member Alina Cho,  raised over $1.25 million and featured dinner, casino games, dancing, and a live auction by Lydia Fenet. Other special guests at the event included Guardian Scholars and additional youth in foster care who are leaders in New Yorkers For Children programs.

The night was Presented by  Chloé. Co-Chairs included Vanessa and Henry Cornell, Lise and Michael Evans, Christine and Richard Mack, and Shirin von Wulffen and Frédéric Fekkai.

In celebration of the event, an exclusive Charitybuzz auction of once-in-a-lifetime experiences will open October 1st and run until October 15th. Including a five night stay at the Montage Beverly Hills and tickets to a taping of Saturday Night Live!

I’m ready now to build up my life

My name is Belrycklah Jean-Baptiste. Everyone calls me Bella. I’m 20 years old. I was born and raised in Haiti. I came to America when I was 15 years old and I was placed in foster care at the age of 16 years.

I joined the Youth CAN! program to help me stay connected with people that can help me in the future. Also it’s great to make good connections because you don’t know where life can take you. However, I meet a lot of great people and learn from them and through them.

While I was attending the program I was having problems at the time but it didn’t stop me from continuing the program. The program served as a welcomed distraction from the problems at home and helped me stay focused and motivated about my life and career and not stress out. The environment was fabulous because everybody was friendly and cared about me and cared about one another.  I’m very proud of myself for completing all the program because it was a bit challenging for me. Thanks to the staff for helping me especially since they did not know what was going on at my house.

After I graduated from this program I got placed in an internship at Franklin General Hospital LIJ. I completed a very successful four months there with some great staff.  I was very excited and grateful. I was also very proud of myself for accomplishing this point in my life.

I was thrilled to get hired as a part-time Nutrition Aide/Dietary Clerk after one month. Now I can say I’m ready to build up my life without having someone to destroy it. This program opened the door for me to be someone in the society and to meet wonderful people that can help me out mentally and educationally. I would like to thank every staff member from NYFC, CLI, FEGS,  NSLIJ and Walgreens for their support and more.