Programs

Jermaine and Antoinette 2

Meet the 2015 Spirit Award Recipient

Antoinette Kane, speaking at the Spirit Award 2015

Antoinette Kane is a 21 year-old Sociology major, who is beginning her senior year at Bard College. As a leader amongst her peers and within her community, Antoinette exemplifies the core values of the Spirit Award. She has achieved significant academic success and is committed to serving as a positive advocate for change.

When she was four years old, Antoinette witnessed the shooting of her mother. She heroically saved her mother’s life and identified the perpetrator. Giving her mother time to heal, Antoinette moved in with her grandfather and did not return to her mother’s care until she was nine. At the age of 14, Antoinette was placed in foster care and subsequently became responsible for her life decisions and survival. At 18, Antoinette decided to sign herself out of foster care. Determined to achieve success, Antoinette focused on her studies and realized education was the way to overcome the obstacles in her life.

After arriving at Bard College, Antoinette worked to establish herself as a student leader and social activist. She has led protests and campaigns to highlight the severity and prevalence of social issues such as systemic racism and gender inequality. Antoinette also helped launch Bard College’s first-ever peer mentor program, dedicated to helping teens in foster care, both socially and academically.

This educational scholarship will help pay for Antoinette’s academic expenses as she finishes her bachelor’s degree. Antoinette’s ultimate goal is to develop her own nonprofit organization dedicated to education, prison, and foster care reform.

Wrap to Rap 2015

 

Thanks to Macy’s, NYFC’s Board and Friends Committee members, and supporters, NYFC’s 13th Annual Wrap to Rap event was a huge success!

Our 2015 Wrap to Rap Presenting Sponsor, Macy’s, hosted this festive and fun event, on Tuesday, November 17th, at Macy’s Santaland. NYFC’s Board and Friends Committee members, and Youth Advisory Board joined over 40 teenagers in foster care to wrap 700 holiday gifts for young children in care. Throughout the holiday season, the Administration for Children’s Services will distribute these gifts to some of the 11,000 children in foster care in New York City.

Special guests included Terry Lundgren, CEO, Chairman of the Board, President, and Director at Macy’s, Inc., who spoke of the importance of volunteering and supporting our communities; NYFC Board Member and Macy’s Chief Merchandising Planning Officer, Patti Ongman; DJ D-Nice, who spun hip hop and holiday classics; and Board and Friends Committee Members Allison Aston, Eric Brettschneider, Suzy Biszantz, Hana Bitton, Marisa Brown, Susan Burden, Ayla Farnos, Susan Gilroy, Elisabeth Jones-Hennessy, Clare McKeon, and Susan Singh.

NYFC’s Youth Advisory Board (YAB) leaders, Anthony and Peterson, spoke of the tremendous impact NYFC has on youth in foster care, particularly during the holiday season. In addition to providing much needed gifts and joy to children in care, Wrap to Rap reminds our teen volunteers about the importance of giving back to their communities. To conclude the evening, the YAB raffled off prizes for our youth volunteers, including Macy’s and Starbucks’ gift cards, and Amazon Kindles.

NYFC would like to thank our Presenting Sponsor, Macy’s for their generosity and support and our incredible donors for brightening the holidays for children in care!

Futures In Motion: Youth CAN!

NYFC has established a partnership with the Office of Community and Public Health at the North Shore-LIJ, Walgreens Family of Companies, and The Academy to offer a summer vocational training program.

This program will provide you with the opportunity to:

  1. Develop skills, knowledge, and experiences in a professional environment
  2. Access professional development and explore potential career opportunities
  3. Participate in an internship to gain hands-on experience
  4. Identify and prepare for a possible career path in health care or retail
  5. Develop a one-to-one relationship with a mentor

To be eligible you must be:

  1. Between the ages of 20 and 24
  2. Currently or formerly in foster care in NYC
  3. Have at least a high school diploma or GED
  4. Eligible to work in the US (valid ID is required)

The Program

  1. Phase I – 
    1. you will develop professional skills in a series of workshops developed by NSLIJ, Walgreens and FEGS. You are required to attend all sessions each week.
    2. NSLIJ workshops –
      1. Tuesdays, 9am-4pm. Transportation provided at 7:30am
    3. FEGS Bronx Youth Center
      1. Fridays, 9am-2pm, MetroCard provided
  2. Phase II – 
    1. If you successfully complete Phase I of the program, you will be encouraged to apply and interview for a paid part-time internship. The internships will be 20 hours per week for 12 weeks, at a pay rate of $12 per hour. Or you may also apply for a scholarship to complete the New York State Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) training and certification.

Applications

Applications are due Friday, April 10, 2015.

Incomplete or late applications will not be considered.

To apply, click here.

Please email or fax your completed application to:

Catherine Hilyard, NYFC Youth Program Coordinator

Email: chilyard@newyorkersforchildren.org

Fax: 646.257.2931

 

12th Annual Wrap to Rap

On Tuesday, December 2th, New Yorkers For Children (NYFC) hosted Wrap to Rap.  At this annual event benefiting youth in foster care, NYFC Board and Friends Committee members joined over 80 teens in foster care to wrap 1,000 gifts for younger children in care as DJ D-Nice spun hip hop and holiday classics. The wrapped presents will be distributed by the Administration for Children’s Services to children in foster care throughout New York City.

In addition to providing much needed holiday gifts for children in need, Wrap to Rap also serves as a reminder to teens in foster care of the importance of volunteerism and giving back to their communities. Sponsors of the night included the NYFC Friends Committee, The Ainsworth, Macy’s and Paige Management.

Meet the 2014 Spirit Award Recipient

The 2014 Fall Gala marked the 11th anniversary of the NYFC Spirit Award, a $10,000 scholarship awarded annually to a young person in foster care who has demonstrated outstanding leadership skills, a commitment to community, and the determination and ability to overcome the barriers to academic success. Northwell Health sponsored the Spirit Award.

 

Jermaine Christian

Jermaine Christian is a 22 year-old student at New York University. He is in his junior year with a major in Leadership and Management Studies with a concentration in International Business. Jermaine’s academic talent and his ability to overcome life’s challenges make him an excellent recipient of this year’s Spirit Award.

When he was 14 and just starting high school, Jermaine entered foster care. Being in foster care never allowed Jermaine to feel completely settled, as he was always facing unexpected changes. Although he graduated from high school on time, he soon found he was unprepared to deal with the challenges of college, and was forced to withdraw.

While this was a hard lesson for Jermaine to learn, he says “sometimes you have to go through rough times to prepare for greatness.” Soon after Jermaine joined the Year Up program, where he was introduced to Nicholas Scoppetta and Susan Magazine, and learned about New Yorkers For Children. While attending New Yorkers For Children’s Network to Success event, he realized the importance of a college degree in order to secure a better future.

Jermaine was accepted into New York University where he received a 3.9 GPA during his first semester. He joined NYU’s Gentleman of Quality Club, a civic-minded brotherhood that promotes leadership, scholarship and service. he also joined the New Yorkers For Children’s Youth Advisory Board, where he currently serves as Treasurer.

This scholarship will help Jermaine pay for his educational expenses as he continues to pursue his goals and earn his Bachelor’s degree. He says “I still have much to learn, but I’m dedicated to turning a big vision into a brilliant future.”

Back-to-School Package Program

The NYFC Back-to-School Package program provides youth in foster care enrolled in college or an accredited vocational program with the tools necessary to succeed during their entire educational experience. Packages are sent each semester that the student is enrolled in college up to age 25.

FOR YOUNG PEOPLE STILL IN FOSTER CARE:

Young people who are still in foster care will continue to be registered by their agency worker.

 

FOR YOUNG PEOPLE WHO HAVE AGED OUT OF FOSTER CARE:

These young people will be able to apply for their own packages, if they meet the following requirements:

  • Have aged out of foster care in New York City
  • Be under age 25
  • Be registered to attend college or a vocational training program for the upcoming semester

Apply Here

Submit the application to Catherine Hilyard, including a copy of unofficial college transcript and class schedule for this semester

 

Scholarships For Youth In Care

Guardian Scholars Program:

A comprehensive college scholarship program for New York City youth in foster care.

Eligibility Requirements: Applicant must be a highly motivated student currently or formerly in foster care in New York City and attending Hunter, John Jay or Kingsborough as a Freshman or Sophomore in the 2014-2015 school year. If formerly in foster care, applicant must have been in care on or after his or her 16th birthday.

Students participating in the program will receive:

Personalized wrap around services in the form of financial, academic and emotional support
Monthly stipend to help cover educational and living expenses
Connection to academic and personal resources

Guardian Scholars Application

NYFC Spirit Award:

A $10,000 scholarship for one young person in foster care in New York City who is succeeding at any 2-or 4-year college.

Eligibility Requirements: Applicant must be a highly motivated student currently or formerly in foster care in New York City who has completed at least one year of studies at an accredited 2 or 4 year college or university. If formerly in foster care, applicant must have been in care on or after his or her 16th birthday.

The recipient will be a young person who has demonstrated:

Outstanding leadership skills
A commitment to their community
Determination and ability to overcome the barriers to academic success

Spirit Award Application

Questions: please contact Catherine Hilyard at 646.257.2930 or chilyard@newyorkersforchildren.org.

May Is Foster Care Awareness Month

Because no one makes it alone… NYFC is partnering with FosterMore to bring awareness to young people in foster care as well as the unique challenges these young people face. FosterMore is a coalition of not for profit organizations and foundations working to raise awareness of the youth in America’s foster care system.

Despite the challenges of foster care these youth have dreams, ambitions and the potential to succeed. A recent study found that 70% of foster youth plan to go to college. However, like all children, they need guidance and support. Whether that comes from a family member, mentor, friend, teacher or other member of the community, that support can make all the difference.

Visit fostermore.org to learn more.

2015 YOUTH CAN! Program Participants

Youth CAN!

2013 YOUTH CAN! Program Participants

 

The Program

The Futures In Motion: Youth CAN! Program is a pipeline program founded in 2013 to empower youth in foster care, ages 18-23, with the crucial skills, knowledge and support to become competitive in the marketplace. The program consists of an 11 week summer intensive professional skills workshop series. Upon completion of the workshops, our participants have the opportunity to be placed into part-time paid internships with our partner organizations, Northwell Health and Walgreens/Duane Reade, which provides additional hands-on career training.

The Need

Each year 800 foster youth over the age of 18 age out of the system in New York City. Half of all former youth in foster care in NYC, about 1,800 young adults, ages 21-24, are likely to be out of work¹. Of those who were employed, almost a third was working part-time. Of those who were unemployed, one out of six was incarcerated². With the proper tools and support, great progress can be made in helping these individuals access and hold onto employment that leads to self-sufficiency and life-long success.

The Impact

  • 39 youth in foster care have participated in the program to date
  • 34 were placed in internships through the program
  • 1 participant was hired as an Assistant Manager with Walgreens following Phase I
  • 20% of program participants are now employed

 

“I always knew what I wanted to do, but never had a way to get my foot in the door. This program opened the world to me.” — Jahlika, 2015 Youth Can! graduate

 

¹ Center for an Urban Future (2011). “Fostering Careers.” p.14 http://nycfuture.org/pdf/Fostering_Careers.pdf
² Center for an Urban Future (2011). “Fostering Careers.” p.4 http://nycfuture.org/pdf/Fostering_Careers.pdf

 

Back-to-School Package Program

 

 NYFC’s Back-to-School Package Program

 

The Program

 

The deadline for the Back-to-School package has passed.

Application Eligibility requirements
In order to apply for NYFC’s Back-to-School Package Program, each applicant must verify that he or she meets the following requirements:

  • Was formerly in foster care in New York City until at least age 18
  • is currently under the age of 25
  • Is registered to attend college or a vocational training program for the upcoming semester

 

If an applicant meets the eligibility requirements, he or she should submit The Back-to-School Package application to Ellen Ampofo (eampofo@newyorkersforchildren.org). Please note, each application must include an unofficial copy of the applicant’s college transcript and a class schedule for the next semester.
Youth who are currently in foster care must be registered for the Back-to-School Package Program by their agency workers.

Over the years, NYFC has sent thousands of Back-to-School Packages to students in foster care, providing these deserving scholars the tools necessary to thrive during their educational or vocational experiences. NYFC is committed to providing these young people with the resources and support they need to become self-sufficient and successful adults. Each Back-to-School Package is valued at $1,000 and includes a laptop, a Metrocard to help students travel to and from classes, and an Amazon gift card for books.

The Need

Youth in foster care face specific challenges around education. Only 37% of foster youth go onto college, compared to 60% of all high school graduates1. Enrolling is just the beginning, only 2% of foster care alumni ages 25-34 had received a bachelor’s degree, compared to 28% of young adults nationally2. While there are many barriers to graduation, lack of access to fundamental tools should not be one of them.

NYFC’s Impact

 

“Thank you so much, you have no idea how much I appreciate everything you have done to help me further my education. If it wasn’t for people like you, I don’t know if I would have made it this far.” — Vanessa, 2015 Package Recipient

“Receiving my Back-to-School Package was a very special feeling, like someone really cared about me, and my educational goals. The program gives me the motivation to strive towards greater academic achievement!”— Tiffany, 2015 Package Recipient

“You guys are awesome, thank you for making this happen. If it wasn’t for you, I wouldn’t have been able do my PowerPoint Presentation for Public Speaking and write my papers for English. You are truly making a difference in my life, thank you!” — Tony, 2015 Package Recipient

 

 

 

1. Casey Family Programs (2007). “Educating Children in Foster Care” http://www.nrcyd.ou.edu/publication-db/documents/educating-children-in-foster-care.pdf

2. Casey Family Programs (2007). “Educating Children in Foster Care” http://www.nrcyd.ou.edu/publication-db/documents/educating-children-in-foster-care.pdf

 

YAB Annual Teambuilding Retreat

On August 23-24, 2013 New Yorkers For Children Youth Advisory Board (YAB) participated in their first group retreat at the Fairview Lake YMCA in Newton, NJ. This retreat provided an opportunity for YAB members to reflect on their work this past year and plan for the upcoming school year.

This jam packed weekend included team building activities and project management workshops led Ysette Guevara of Minds On Fire (http://www.minds-on-fire.org). The YMCA staff also led the group through a challenging high ropes course. A campfire with s’mores and ghost stories topped off the weekend’s activities. When they were not in their workshops, YAB members were able to explore the beautiful hiking trails of the YMCA, swim in Fairview Lake, and play basketball and volleyball.

This quick trip outside the city provided an excellent opportunity for YAB reflect on their progress and prepare for another exciting year.

Wrap to Rap 2013 Presented by Valentino USA

On Monday, December 9th, New Yorkers For Children (NYFC) hosted Wrap to Rap Presented by Valentino USA.  At this annual event benefitting youth in foster care, Valentino USA and NYFC Board and Friends Committee members joined over 80 teens in foster care to wrap 1,000 gifts for younger children in care as DJ D-Nice spun hip hop and holiday classics. The wrapped presents will be distributed by the Administration for Children’s Services to children in foster care throughout New York City.

In addition to providing much needed holiday gifts for children in need, Wrap to Rap also serves as a reminder to teens in foster care of the importance of volunteerism and giving back to their communities. As the Presenting Sponsor of Wrap to Rap, Valentino USA employees will be volunteering at the event in lieu of hosting their own holiday party for the second year in a row. The partnership is an opportunity for NYFC supporters, like Valentino USA, to connect with the foster care community and give back for the holidays.  Additional sponsors include: The Ainsworth, Fiji Water and Paige Management.

The night’s special guests included Wendy Kahn, Dayssi Olarte de Kanavos, Lauran Tuck, Ayla Farnos, Allison Aston, Marisa Brown, Clare McKeon, Susan Gilroy, Susan Burden, Dana Auslander, Brian Mazza, Eric Brettschneider, Susan Magazine, and DJ D-Nice, among others.

NICHOLAS SCOPPETTA SCHOLARSHIP PROGRAM (formerly NYFC Guardian Scholars Program)

The Program

The NYFC Nick’s Scholars Program is a working partnership between the private sector, foster care agencies, CUNY and Private Colleges in New York City designed to support our students most effectively. NYFC believes education provides a solid foundation for the path towards success and self-sufficiency. This comprehensive program provides wraparound support to current and former foster youth, enrolled at any CUNY or Private College in New York City. The Nick’s Scholars Program is designed to close the educational achievement gap of foster youth by providing essential financial, academic, and emotional support. The program helps students to improve their educational and personal outcomes.

For questions, contact:
Ellen Ampofo
Youth Academic Advisor
New Yorkers For Children
450 Seventh Avenue, Suite 403
New York, NY 10123
Tel: 646.257.2937
Fax: 646.257.2931
Eampofo@newyorkersforchildren.org

Applications are currently closed. 

Meet Our 2013 Spirit Award Recipients

The 2013 Fall Gala marked the 10th anniversary of the NYFC Spirit Award, a $10,000 scholarship awarded annually to a young person in foster care who has demonstrated outstanding leadership skills, a commitment to community, and the determination and ability to overcome the barriers to academic success. Northwell Health sponsored two Spirit Awards in honor of the 10th Anniversary.

Crystal Cameron

Crystal Cameron is a 23 year-old student at Hunter College. She will be starting this year with advanced standing in the R.N. Pathway program at the Hunter-Bellevue School of Nursing. Crystal’s ability to overcome life’s challenges and her unwavering commitment to a career in nursing make her an excellent candidate for this year’s Spirit Award.

When she was 16, Crystal entered foster care after receiving the life changing call that her father had been killed. At age 17, she gave birth to her daughter, who provided her with the motivation to focus on her education. Crystal graduated high school and started college at LaGuardia Community College, where she was recognized as an honors student and was on the Dean’s List for three semesters.

At the same time that she was entering the nursing program at LaGuardia, Crystal was transitioning out of foster care without a permanent home to live. She found herself struggling in the challenging nursing program amidst instability in her personal life. Despite all that she was facing outside of school, Crystal persevered through the program and completed her requirements.

This past June, Crystal graduated from LaGuardia with an Associate’s Degree in Applied Science. She was chosen as the pinning ceremony leader for her nursing program, planning the prestigious ceremony and speaking in front of her classmates and professors. In August she passed her National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses.

This scholarship will help Crystal pay for her educational expenses as she continues to pursue her goals and earn her Bachelor of Science in Nursing. Crystal’s dream is to become a Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist (CRNA) and a motivational speaker for young girls in foster care. Crystal feels proud to share her story and feels that “if you just have one person who believes in you, it can make all the difference.”

Zinyusile Brian Khumbula

Zinyusile Brian Khumbula is a 20 year-old sophomore at Pace University studying Public Accounting. His drive for academic success, along with his desire to serve his community, makes him a deserving candidate for this year’s Spirit Award.

Brian was born in Zimbabwe and raised in both Zimbabwe and South Africa. He moved to the United States in September of 2009 and has been in foster care since he was 17.

Brian has taken an active role in improving foster care for other young people. He is a member of his agency’s Youth Council, which meets with the agency President to talk about issues youth in care are facing and generates solutions to support these young people. Brian is described as a “positive force” in these meetings for his insightful comments, words of wisdom, and willingness to provide support to his peers. He believes that being a leader is not about showing power, but about “working together and helping each other for a greater cause.”

Brian works full time at Fishs Eddy and recently began working for his agency part time in the Bridges to Health program. He is also a youth advisor for Minds On Fire, an organization dedicated to helping young people enter adulthood with confidence, curiosity and compassion.

The Spirit Award scholarship funds will help Brian remain at Pace University and afford the expenses of a private college. Brian’s goal is to become a social entrepreneur and open daycare facilities that would allow low income families to receive quality care for their children. He wants to use his story and the opportunity presented by the Spirit Award to help others.

Sign Up for the 2013 NYFC Vocational Conference
Sponsored by BNY Mellon

This all day conference is an opportunity for youth, ages 14-21, to learn the skills needed to get and keep a job, and to get connected with workforce development agencies in NYC. An email was recently sent to the educational and vocational specialists at your agency about this conference. The Vocational Conference will include professional skills workshops, practice job interviews, networking, and opportunities to connect with job readiness programs, including Year Up, Next Generation Center, and FEGS. For agency workers, a free two hour professional development workshop will be presented by Workforce Professionals Training Institute (WPTI).

For more information and to register for the conference, please go to: https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/CapturingACareer

Raffle prizes for youth and agency workers

Free giveaways for all youth who attend

Lunch and snacks provided

DETAILS:

Thursday July 25, 2013

10 am-4 pm

NYU Global Center, 238 Thompson St.

Take the A, B, C, D, E, F, or M to the W 4th Street Station, or the N, R to the 8th St – NYU station, or the 6 to the Bleecker St. station, or the 1 to the Christopher St – Sheridan Sq. station.

Scholarships for Youth in Care

Guardian Scholars Program:

A comprehensive college scholarship program for New York City youth in foster care.

Eligibility Requirements: Applicant must be a highly motivated student currently or formerly in foster care in New York City and attending Hunter, John Jay or Kingsborough as a Freshman or Sophomore in the 2013-2014 school year. If formerly in foster care, applicant must have been in care on or after his or her 16th birthday.

Students participating in the program will receive:

Personalized wrap around services in the form of financial, academic and emotional support
Monthly stipend to help cover educational and living expenses
Connection to academic and personal resources

Guardian Scholars Application

NYFC Spirit Award:

A $10,000 scholarship for one young person in foster care in New York City who is succeeding at any 2-or 4-year college.

Eligibility Requirements: Applicant must be a highly motivated student currently or formerly in foster care in New York City who has completed at least one year of studies at an accredited 2 or 4 year college or university. If formerly in foster care, applicant must have been in care on or after his or her 16th birthday.

The recipient will be a young person who has demonstrated:

Outstanding leadership skills
A commitment to their community
Determination and ability to overcome the barriers to academic success

Spirit Award Application

Questions: please contact Lindsay Adamski at 646.257.2935 or ladamski@newyorkersforchildren.org.

Futures in Motion: Youth CAN! Program

New Yorkers For Children (NYFC) is partnering with the Office of Community and Public Health (OCPH) at the North Shore-LIJ Health System (NSLIJ), Walgreens and FEGS to offer an educational/vocational training program for youth aging out of foster care, aimed at enhancing their health and well-being and preparing them for sustainable employment. 

see more

North Shore-LIJ Health System and NYFC Launch ACT

LIJ Health System and NYFC Launch ACTIn June 2013, North Shore-LIJ Health System and New Yorkers For Children (NYFC), in partnership with FEGS Academy, launched the Accelerated Career Training Program (ACT), an educational and vocational training program to empower youth, ages 18-23, who are currently in or have recently aged out of foster care. Youth participating in the ACT Program gain crucial skills, knowledge, and support to become competitive in the marketplace and to explore possible career paths in health care.

For the 2013 cycle, 10 youth were selected for the pilot program through a competitive process that included an application, personal statement, and interview. 7 youth graduated from Phase I of the program. The remaining 3 youth decided to pursue other postsecondary or employment opportunities. 2 youth were placed in the EMT certification training program at NSLIJ’s CLI (valued at $950/per student) and 3 youth were placed in part-time paid internships in NSLIJ’s various departments (20 hours/week, $12-15/hour). As youth begin to transition from their internships to long-term employment opportunities or postsecondary options, NYFC will track their progress over time.

Questions about the program can be directed to Catherine Hilyard, Youth Program Coordinator at chilyard@newyorkersforchildren.org.

 

2012 Vocational Conference Sponsored by BNY Mellon

On June 28, 2012 New Yorkers For Children (NYFC) hosted its BNY Mellon sponsored 2012 Vocational Conference: ‘Looking to a Brighter Future’ at the Fashion Institute of Technology. Over 100 youth in foster care and agency workers attended the event which offered a variety of interactive workshops focused on resume writing, job interviews and networking skills. The day-long conference included youth-led discussions on finding a job, mock interviews led by BNY Mellon volunteers, and a job fair connecting youth with employment and vocational training opportunities. The agency workers participated in a separate workshop led by the Workforce Professional Training Institute (WPTI) on preparing youth for the job search. This is the second year that the conference has been sponsored by BNY Mellon.

The annual Vocational Conference is a joint effort between NYFC, the Administration for Children’s Services (ACS), BNY Mellon, and New York City foster care and workforce development agencies. NYFC would like to especially thank the tireless BNY Mellon volunteers who were on hand to provide practice interviews, staff the conference, and assist youth throughout the day.

Charles Evans Emergency Educational Fund

 

The Program

 

 The Charles Evans Emergency Educational Fund accepts applications on a rolling basis.
Download the application hereFor more information, please contact our Youth Academic Advisor, Ellen Ampofo at eampofo@newyorkersforchildren.org

The Charles Evans Emergency Educational Fund assists young people who were formerly in the foster care system with emergency funding to advance and complete their educational endeavors. This Fund is run in close partnership with ACS, where staff members do an initial application review and make recommendations to NYFC. These emergency funds meets vital housing needs, tuition and other academic costs.

The Need

Youth who have been in foster care are often forced to make the difficult transition into adulthood without traditional family support. These students are living on their own, surviving paycheck to paycheck while balancing their responsibilities as students. When a financial emergency hits, these students face a tough decision between continuing their education and leaving school in an attempt to earn the necessary funds.

NYFC’s Impact

$41,480.76 was distributed in 2015 to 25 young people.

“Thank you so much for giving me the opportunity to stay in school and finish my semester. Without the funds I wouldn’t have been able to do so.” – Sandra

 

YAB Presents The Reading Road

On May 19, 2012, the NYFC Youth Advisory Board (YAB), sponsored by Tuck’s R.U.S.H. for Literacy, planned and organized a Dr. Seuss themed literacy event called ‘The Reading Road’ for young children in foster care.  Throughout the morning, children traveled from station to station, overcoming obstacles, exploring new possibilities and cultivating a love for reading.  Special guests Lauran and Justin Tuck joined YAB members, NYFC Young Associates, and NYFC volunteers to share stories, games, and crafts with children in foster care.

The event began with a reading and dramatic interpretation of Dr. Seuss’s Oh the Places You’ll Go’ to demonstrate that reading is both fun and essential for a bright future. Children then enjoyed face painting, crafting their own books and bookmarks and games to practice their vocabulary and letters.  While children read and played, their foster parents enjoyed stress-relieving yoga with NYFC Friends Committee member Rory Hermelee and participated in a workshop lead by Jumpstart, demonstrating how to encourage reading in their households. Every child in attendance left with a copy of Justin Tuck’s children’s book, ‘Home-Field Advantage’,  an Oh the Places You’ll Go’ pop-up book and a backpack filled with a comforting stuffed animal and warm blanket, all of which were donated by the Tuck family and NYFC supporters.

2012 Wrap to Rap Presented by Valentino USA

On Wednesday, November 28th, NYFC hosted the 10th Annual Wrap to Rap Presented by Valentino USA. Over 75 teens in foster care joined Valentino USA staff and NYFC Board and Friends at the Ainsworth in Chelsea to wrap 1,000 gifts for younger children in care. The wrapped presents will be distributed by the Administration for Children’s Services to children in foster care throughout New York City.

Special guests included DJ D-Nice, who spun hip hop and holiday classics; Justin Tuck, NYFC’s 2012 Nicholas Scoppetta Child Welfare Honoree and NY Giants Defensive End; and Board and Friends Committee Members Allison Aston, Megan Gray, Eric Brettschneider, Marisa Brown, Susan Burden, Lynne Echenberg, Lise Evans, Ayla Farnos, Susan Gilroy, Zani Gugelmann, Alison Harmelin, Rory Hermelee, Lauran Kenny, Victor Kubicek, Julie Macklowe, Amy McFarland, Elisabeth Noel Jones, Dayssi Olarte de Kanavos, Nicholas Scoppetta, Susan Shin, Lauran Tuck, and Vanessa Weiner von Bismarck.

In addition to providing much needed holiday gifts for children in need, Wrap to Rap also serves as a reminder to teens in foster care of the importance of volunteerism and giving back to their communities. Valentino USA employees chose to give back for the holidays by sponsoring and volunteering at Wrap to Rap instead of having their own holiday party. Additional sponsors include The Ainsworth, Baked by Melissa, Fiji Water and Paige Management.

New Yorkers For Children would like to thank the staff of Valentino USA for celebrating the holidays with New York City’s teens in foster care.

You can support this program by making a donation to ensure that New York City’s children in foster care are not forgotten this holiday season.

Meet Our 2012 Spirit Award Recipient

Brian is a 21-year-old sophomore majoring in Criminal Justice and minoring in Social Work at SUNY – Genessee Community College in upstate New York. Brian’s academic talent, unwavering commitment to community service, and determination to succeed, despite facing significant obstacles, make him an outstanding and deserving recipient for this year’s Spirit Award.

After the death of his mother, Brian entered foster care at the age of nine with one sister and two brothers. Brian has been able to persevere through life’s most difficult challenges. During his senior year of high school, Brian moved to four different foster. With his grades suffering and becoming increasingly more frustrated, he thought his only option was to drop out of high school and look for a job. Brian’s life and aspirations changed after his foster care agency sponsored a trip to a local college. Realizing he wanted to go to college, Brian enrolled in an alternative high school program where he could work during the day and attend classes in the evening. He graduated from the program with perfect attendance, a Regents diploma, and a citizenship award.

As captain of his middle school soccer, baseball and basketball teams, Brian learned how to be a leader from an early age. As a teenager, he served as the Chairman of his foster care agency’s Youth Advisory Board, a committee that provides peer-to-peer mentoring for other youth in foster care. In this role he co-chaired a college trip to Washington DC for 25 youth and has mentored and tutored many boys in his foster care agency. He is currently organizing a support group for children in foster care who have lost their mothers. Brian’s compassion and empathy in his work with these young men are evident to all who work with him.

The Spirit Award scholarship will assist Brian to pay for his college expenses as he transfers to a four-year college. Brian’s ultimate goal is to graduate from college and one day be married and raise a family. He also hopes to return to his foster care agency to work with youth in foster care.

Meet Our 2010 Spirit Award Recipient

Kadidjia, a 20 year old college student who is in her second year at Borough of Manhattan Community College, is the recipient of the 2010 New Yorkers For Children Spirit Award.  She is currently pursuing her Liberal Arts degree and intends to switch to a four-year college to study Biology.  Her dream is to attend medical school and become a gynecologist.

Kadidjia entered care at the age of 12 after her father forced her to leave home.  She lived in a series of foster homes, attending different schools with every move.  Eventually, she was returned to her birth family.  Lacking a stable home life and support system, Kadidjia ran away and found herself homeless at 13 years old.   She soon came to believe that the only way for her to better her life was through an education, at which point she signed herself back into care and re-enrolled in high school.  As a result of her academic achievement and determination to attend college, she graduated from high school one semester early.

In college, Kadidjia’s academic and extracurricular activities exemplify her tremendous desire to succeed despite her tumultuous childhood.   She served as President of the Scholarship Club and was a member of the Academic Senate.  She is currently a Student Ambassador, a peer mentor, a volunteer at the Women’s Health Center at Metropolitan Hospital and a member of the NYFC Youth Advisory Board.  She is also participating in the Cornell Pathway to Success Program, a program for motivated and intellectually curious community college students, who are interested in pursuing a bachelor’s degree at Cornell.

Kadidjia’s strength has allowed her to set and achieve her own goals and to assist others to reach their own.  Focusing her efforts on disadvantaged youth, Kadijia shares her experiences in hopes of inspiring youth in care who are in need of guidance.  She plans to use the Spirit Award to prepare for the MCAT and assist her with medical school tuition.

Meet Ladasha, One of NYFC’s Newest Guardian Scholars!

Born into a family of three brothers and one sister, Ladasha is very proud to be the first person in her family to attend college. Ladasha is a 21-year-old freshman studying Early Childhood Education at Kingsborough Community College. She is a bright, energetic, and lively young woman with big dreams.

Three years ago, her journey in college got off to a rocky start. She was enrolled in a four-year college in Brooklyn, but struggled while juggling a full-time course load and a full-time job to pay for rent, food, and living expenses. It was simply too much. Ladasha decided to take a leave of absence to save up money for school. She was also preparing to age out of foster care and realized she would no longer have the support system of her foster care agency.

Ladasha now attends Kingsborough Community College, a two-year college in Brooklyn, that is a better fit for her needs. However, this time it feels different. Ladasha was recently awarded a scholarship through the Guardian Scholars Program. “It feels great to know that someone is out there helping me with my education.” She adds, “When I started college again I was wondering how I was going to be able to afford school supplies and textbooks as well as keep a roof over my head. With New Yorkers For Children’s support, I feel a huge burden lifted off my shoulders. I can focus on my school work.”

In her spare time, Ladasha enjoys volunteering, playing volleyball, listening to poetry, and spending time with her family and friends. She is also an active member of the NYFC Youth Advisory Board, group of highly engaged high school and college students in foster care who serve as advocates for other children and youth in care in New York City. This past May, she and her fellow members organized a literacy event to instill a love of learning and reading in younger children in foster care.

“I want to be a second grade school teacher. I want to work at Mount Pleasant Cottage School, the same school I went to while I was in foster care. I want to give back to youth in foster care,” says Ladasha. “Your help motivates me to help other students. Your support changes lives.”

Make a donation to the Guardian Scholars program

2012 Educational Conference Sponsored by Neuberger Berman

NYFC held its fourth annual Educational Conference sponsored by the Neuberger Berman Foundation on April 12, 2012 at John Jay College of Criminal Justice to help high school students in foster care plan for post-secondary education. The conference was a joint effort between NYFC, the Administration for Children’s Services (ACS), foster care agencies, and educational organizations throughout New York City. This year, Planning Committee members Harry Berberian of Graham Windham, and Cassie Magesis of the Goddard Riverside Community OPTIONS Center, worked with Kathleen Hoskins of ACS, to create workshops specifically tailored to foster care agency workers. Agency workers were able to discuss educational planning and assessment, gain valuable resources, and network with their colleagues at other agencies.

The conference opened with a panel of youth currently or formerly in foster care discussing their educational experiences at city, private, and state schools. Joining the panel was Moderator Antwuan Walker, an alumnus of the foster care system, who spent eight years working as an Educational Coordinator for the Administration for Children’s Services before becoming a math teacher for the New York City Department of Education. After panelists offered advice to their peers, youth attending the event were able to ask questions and get answers about what steps they should take to start the application process. Following a lunch catered by the Next Generation Center, the students attended workshops led by The OPTIONS Center, HESC, and Foster Care to Success on topics such as financial aid, the application process, selecting a college, and college life. Many students also took advantage of the Resource Fair where they learned about special opportunity programs, college access organizations, and scholarship opportunities. One lucky student walked away with a laptop computer raffled at the end of the day, and other students won gift cards or Kindles, and everyone left with a gift bag including a resource pack filled resources to help them begin their journey to college.

Meet Our 2011 Spirit Award Recipient

Christina is a 20-year-old junior studying Nursing at Stony Brook University. She is the recipient of the 2011 New Yorkers For Children Spirit Award. Christina’s academic achievement, commitment to community service, and her motivation to succeed in school despite significant obstacles make her an outstanding and deserving recipient for this year’s Spirit Award.

Christina never envisioned herself going to college. At a young age, she and her siblings were placed in foster care and moved from home to home. She was later taken in by a caring foster family and it was then she felt cared for and supported for the very first time. When Christina was placed in foster care, she was determined to assist other youth in foster care who face similar struggles. She hopes to be a role model and inspiration to abused and neglected youth, and instill the message that they can achieve anything with perseverance and hard work.

Christina’s interest in community service began with her involvement as the President of the Ushers Ministry at the St. Albans Baptist Church. In this role, she developed leadership skills by guiding and managing her fellow ushers through their weekly tasks at the church. Christine’s sense of service is evident with her active involvement with campus activities. She is the Vice President of her school’s Alternative Spring Break Program, whose mission this year was to help restore the Florida Gulf Coast after the devastating effects of the oil spill. She is also the Community Service Chair for Habitat for Humanity and is part of the Pre-Nursing Society. In addition, she has written several articles for Represent Magazine, a magazine written for youth in foster in care by youth in foster care.

The Spirit Award scholarship will assist Christina to pay for her college expenses and to fund a future opportunity to study abroad. She aspires to become a registered pediatric nurse and to travel the world offering free medical care to those in need.

Meet the Health Care Network to Success Panelists

Adam Aponte, M.D., Assistant Dean for Diversity and Inclusion
Hofstra North-Shore-LIJ School of Medicine

Dr. Aponte is responsible for the recruitment and retention of a diverse student body to the medical school, as well as assisting in the development of “pipeline programs” at the School of Medicine that cultivate a diverse student body for the future. Dr. Aponte currently serves as the Medical Director for the Brownsville Community Development Corporation; an Article 28 licensed Federally Qualified Health Center serving the Brownsville community in Brooklyn, New York. Dr. Aponte was born and raised in East Harlem, New York, the product of Puerto Rican parents. He attended the public school system in New York City and in 1986 was admitted to City College of the City University of New York where, in 1990, he graduated with a BS in Biology. In 1990 he was admitted to the Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York and received his MD degree. Dr. Aponte performed his residency in Pediatrics at the Mount Sinai Hospital, which he completed in 1997. He has been board certified in Pediatric Medicine since 1997. Upon completion of his residency training he began working with the Children’s Aid Society. In 2000, Dr. Aponte was appointed Chair of Pediatrics for North General Hospital located in New York. In this capacity he was responsible for developing innovative programs to boost the care received by children in the East and Central Harlem neighborhoods. Dr. Aponte dedicates his life to working on increasing the diversity of the healthcare workforce and feels strongly that diversity will help to address the many health disparities witnessed in underserved and minority communities.

Heather Philippe Butler, ASA, RCA , Senior Echocardiogram Technologist
Long Island Jewish Hospital

Heather Philippe Butler currently serves as the Technical Echo Lab Director at LIJ Hospital at the North Shore-LIJ Health System. In her role as a registered Echo Technologist, Heather performs echocardiograms, stress and pharmacological echocardiograms for patients on a daily basis. In addition she serves as an educator to new cardiology fellows and echo students. Prior to joining the North Shore-LIJ Health System 13 years ago, Heather served as an Echo Technologist at New York University Hospital and Mercy Hospital. She is a graduate of New York University School of Diagnostic Ultrasound and LaGuardia Community College.

Sandra Lindsay, RN, MSN, CCRN, Nurse Manager
NSLIJ- Lenox Hill Hospital

Sandra Lindsay currently serves as Nurse Manager for the Medical Intensive Care Unit and the Medical Telemetry Unit at Lenox Hill Hospital, where she is responsible for the daily operations of her unit as well as leadership, guidance and motivation to a diverse staff of over 60 employees. Sandra started as a student nurse at Lenox Hill 18 years ago and has been a Nurse Manager for the past three years. She was selected as a 2011 High Potential Participant in North Shore-LIJ’s High Potential Employee program.
She received her Master’s in Nursing from Herbert Lehman College and her BSN from St. Joseph’s College. She also holds Executive Leadership and Financial Management Certificates from Cornell University. Sandra was born and raised in Jamaica West Indies. She immigrated to the United States in 1986 to further her education. She is excited at the opportunity to share her experience with and inspire young adults.

June E. Scarlett, MSc, MPH, Senior Associate Dean for Administration and Assistant Professor of Science Education
Hofstra North-Shore-LIJ School of Medicine

June E. Scarlett, MSc, MPH, is the Senior Associate Dean for Administration for the Hofstra North Shore-LIJ School of Medicine. Senior Associate Dean Scarlett works with Dean Smith in establishing the new School at Hofstra University, recruiting faculty and administrators, and worked on the school’s preliminary accreditation. Since 2004, Senior Associate Dean Scarlett has served as the Senior Administrative Director of the Department of Medicine at the North Shore-LIJ Health System. Prior to joining North Shore-LIJ, Senior Associate Dean Scarlett held senior positions at Continuum Health Partners, Inc., New York City Health and Hospitals Corporation, and Community Counseling and Mediation. Senior Associate Dean Scarlett has an MSc in Medical Anthropology from the University of London, University College; an MPH from the Columbia University School of Public Health; and a Bachelor of Arts from Yale University.

Camille A. Pearte, MD, MPH, FACC, Cardiologist
NSLIJ – Lenox Hill Hospital

Dr. Camille Pearte is an attending clinical cardiologist in the Department of Cardiovascular Medicine at Lenox Hill Hospital’s Heart and Vascular Institute of New York. She received her medical degree at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine where she also completed her clinical training in Internal Medicine and Cardiovascular disease. She has a Masters of Public Health with a concentration in Epidemiology from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and also completed a research fellowship at the National Institutes of Health. Dr. Pearte is board certified in Cardiovascular Disease and Nuclear Cardiology and is a Fellow of the American College of Cardiology. Dr. Pearte’s active interests include general consultative cardiology and hospital care, preventive cardiology, noninvasive cardiac imaging and testing, women’s health, quality of care, and improvement of cardiovascular disparities and outcomes in high risk populations.

Erika Faust
Orthodontist, Elite Orthodontics

Dr. Erika Faust is an orthodontist practicing in midtown Manhattan. She is a graduate of Spelman College and Howard University College of Dentistry. She is also a part-time faculty member and attending dentist at Bronx Lebanon Hospital Center. For over 10 years, Dr. Faust has used her dental and orthodontic training as an opportunity to service communities in need. She believes it is important for children in urban communities to be aware of the wide array of careers available to them. She is also active with Operation Smile, an international charity organization that treats facial deformities in children. Her professional affiliations include the American Dental Association, American Association of Orthodontists. Dr. Faust is a native New Yorker and is an avid supporter of the arts, including such institutions as Museum of Modern Art, The Whitney Museum, American Ballet Theatre, and the New York Public Library.

Theresa Williamson
Medical Student, Yale University

Theresa Williamson, originally from Bensalem, PA, attended high school at George School and graduated in 2005. She went on to college and graduated from Yale University with a BS in Molecular, Cellular, Developmental Biology in 2009. At Yale, she was a member of the Varsity Soccer team, co-founded a program to address health disparities and promote wellness at many of New Haven’s homeless shelters, volunteered at Paul Newman’s Camps for Seriously Ill Children, and performed neuroscience research both in the Yale University Child Study Center and the Ludwig Institute of Cancer Research in Sao Paulo, Brazil. Theresa then went straight into medical school at the Yale School of Medicine where she is currently in her 3rd year. As a medical student, she has enjoyed directing community service for Region 7 of the Student National Medical Association, serving as a co-director of patient services and board member of Haven Free Clinic, a co-president of the Student Interest Group in Neurology and Neurosurgery and has continued neuroscience research both at Yale and the Children’s Hospital of Boston.

Henry Engleka
Founder and CEO, P4 Strategy Group and Zibbel, Inc.

Henry Engleka is founder and CEO of P4 Strategy Group and Zibbel, Inc. and has nearly 20 years experience in health care communications, marketing and management. Zibbel, Inc. is a healthcare solutions company that leverages technology to improve health outcomes and delivery. P4 Strategy Group is a healthcare marketing and communications consultancy group. Prior to his current positions, Engleka was a Principal at Widmeyer Communications where he led the Health and Wellness Group and served as a member of the firm’s Executive Management Committee. Prior to his work with Widmeyer, Engleka served as Chief Operating Officer for the Mount Carmel Guild Behavioral Health System managing day-to-day operations. Engleka also served as Assistant Executive Director and Staff Director for the American Psychological Association (APA) in Washington, D.C.

Northwell Health Hosts NYFC Network to Success

On January 12th,  New Yorkers For Children hosted the Health Care Network to Success event at Lenox Hill Hospital, part of the Northwell Health, featuring a diverse panel of professionals from the health care industry. The purpose of Network to Success is to empower young people to start thinking about their careers. Nearly 100 young people in foster care listened as the panelists shared their experiences and inspired the young people to pursue their interests.

After the panel presentation, panelists joined the youth in round table discussions where the young people asked direct questions and engaged in conversations with each of them. NYFC Board and Friends Committee members Nicholas Scoppetta, Susan Burden, Scott Posner, Susan Gilroy, Marisa Brown, Clare McKeon, Amy McFarland, Allison Aston, and Susan Shin were on hand to show their support along with  former ACS Commissioner Ronald E. Richter and Michael Dowling, President and CEO of Northwell Health. Youth participated in a professional skills workshop led by Year Up prior to the panel discussion.

Meet the Panelists

NYFC Hosts 2011 Wrap to Rap

On Tuesday, November 29th, NYFC hosted the Ninth Annual “Wrap to Rap” holiday gift wrapping event. The NYFC Board, Friends Committee, and Youth Advisory Board were joined by 100 teens in foster care to wrap over 1,200 gifts for younger children in care as DJ D-Nice spun hip hop and holiday classics. The wrapped presents will be distributed by the Administration for Children’s Services to children in foster care throughout New York City.

In addition to providing much needed holiday gifts for children in care, Wrap to Rap also serves as a reminder to teens in foster care of the importance of volunteerism and giving back to their communities. Sponsors included The Ainsworth, Paige Management Group, Scotch 3M, Sprinkles Cupcakes and Fiji Water. Volunteers were provided by Credit-Suisse, Tory Burch and Full Picture.

View the 2011 Wrap to Rap Film

NYFC is Celebrating 15 Years with the 15 for 15 Campaign!

Over the past 15 years, NYFC has accomplished a great deal on behalf of youth in foster care in New York City. Here are just a few of our achievements:

In 2011, NYFC sent out over 900 Back-to-School Packages to college-enrolled youth in foster care. The NYFC Back-to-School Package Program began in 1999, when 23 packages were sent to students in care.

NYFC has awarded $992,500 in scholarships for youth in foster care through the NYFC Guardian Scholars Program and Spirit Award. Today, scholarship recipients are gainfully employed in the fields of education, social work, public policy, finance, and technology.

NYFC has directly impacted 2,450 youth in foster care in the areas of employment, education, and life skills through the grants we have provided to the Administration for Children’s Services and other non-profits organizations that serve children in foster care.

Since 2004, over 1,500 youth have learned about post-secondary options and employment through NYFC Educational Conferences, Vocational Conferences, and Network to Success events.

In celebration of 15 successful years of improving the lives of youth in foster care in New York City, we are asking all of our friends to make a $15 donation to help us continue to support the 15,000 children in foster care today.

Meet NYFC Guardian Scholar Vanessa Louis

 

“Attaining a college degree would give me a jump start to chase after my dreams,” writes Vanessa, 20-year-old freshman at Kingsborough Community College, on her Guardian Scholars application.

 

Vanessa is currently pursuing her Associate’s Degree in Business Administration and plans to continue her education and obtain a Bachelor’s degree. She aspires to become an entrepreneur and to start her own business one day.

 

Vanessa is proud to be the first person in her family to attend college. For Vanessa a college degree will help her achieve her dreams and give her the ability to help her community. “In ten years, I want to be able to give youth the opportunity to learn and be independent. I want to give back what was given to me.”

 

Being a part of the NYFC Guardian Scholars Program has boosted Vanessa’s confidence. She says, “I feel like a weight has been lifted from my shoulders knowing that I have a support system at NYFC. Being a part of the Guardian Scholars Program is one of the best things that has ever happened to me. I feel so blessed.”

Thanks to the support of our donors, NYFC has been able to expand the Guardian Scholars Program to more youth in foster care, like Vanessa.

Meet Our Newest Guardian Scholars

Jessica J.
Guardian Scholar, Hunter College

Jessica is a 21-year-old junior at Hunter College studying Childhood Education. Her interest in education and work with children was due to her struggles as a young child growing up in foster care. Placed in foster care at the age of six, Jessica had to learn to fend for herself, grow up quickly, and be strong for her siblings in a very chaotic environment. She and her siblings were placed with their grandmother, and she helped around the household including taking care of her siblings.

She is very active with her local church as a Youth Leader. She leads weekly teen and Bible study groups and his well respected by her peers and youth. She is also a very active member of the NYFC Youth Advisory Board, planning events for younger youth in foster care. In her spare time, she is a dance instructor for children in her community.

She received her Associate’s Degree in Childhood Education from the CUNY – College of Staten Island and will be pursuing her Bachelor’s Degree in Childhood Education from Hunter College in the Fall. She hopes to become an elementary public school teacher or a principal and open a school for at-risk children.

Vanessa L.
Guardian Scholar, Kingsborough Community College

Vanessa is a 20-year-old freshman at Kingsborough Community College studying Business Administration. She is motivated to complete school with an Associate’s Degree and to pursue a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration. She aspires to become an entrepreneur and to start her own business.

Vanessa is very proud to be the first individual in her family to attend college. It was during her time in living upstate New York that revealed her love of learning. She believes going to college is an investment in one self. A college degree would mean endless possibilities and a means to reach her full potential. This means not only achieving her dreams but giving her the ability to help her community.

Vanessa currently works part-time as an usher at the Apollo Theater. She also volunteered for the Boys Club of New York. She also enjoys writing poetry in her free time.

Seong I.
Guardian Scholar, Hunter College

Seong is a 18-year-old freshman on the Pre-Medical Track at Hunter College. She is in the Macaulay Honors Program, a CUNY program for academically gifted students. She is passionate about women’s rights, especially surrounding reproductive and sexual health, and is interested in studying International Relations.

Seong was recently selected as an essay contest winner for Sexuality Information and Education Council of the United States (SIECUS) essay competition on sexual and reproductive health rights of teenagers. She was invited to attend a three-day summit at Washington, DC. She has also participated in the Columbia University Science Honors Program and the Smith College Summer Science and Engineering Program, learning more about human physiology/psychology and women’s global/domestic health issues, respectively. She is currently working at the Susan G. Komen for the Cure Foundation through the YMCA Teen Career Connection Program.

Due to her experiences in foster care, Seong felt a desire to give back to her community. She was the President of Amnesty International chapter at her school and has been civically engaged in the Korean community through her involvement in the Korean American Voters’ Council and the Korean American Youth Foundation.

Amara T.
Guardian Scholar, Kingsborough Community College

Amara is a 20-year-old freshman on the Allied Health Sciences track at Kingsborough Community College. Amara is originally from the Republic of Guinea and moved to the United States with his brother at the age of 16. Both were immediately placed into foster care. He has witnessed tremendous violence and loss in his home country. He quickly learned English and graduated high school a semester early and with Honors.

College has always been a goal for Amara. He was inspired by a friend who graduated from college and achieved his dreams. With hard work, Amara knew he would be able to succeed in college as well. He would be the first member of his family to have the opportunity to attend college. He hopes to inspire his younger brother who is only a few years younger to be on a similar path. Amara has an interest in becoming a Physician’s Assistant or another career in the medical field.

Katia S.
Guardian Scholar, John Jay College

Katia is a 20-year-old sophomore studying Forensic Psychology at John Jay College. She is described as a diligent student whose example inspires the other youth at her foster care agency. She was placed into foster care after losing her mother to a violent act. She did not let this tragedy destroy the dreams she had set for herself. She wanted to fulfill her mother’s wishes for her and her brothers – and that is to pursue a college education.

Katia looks forward to her new journey at John Jay after transferring from Long Island University. As she begins to age out of care, she is also looking forward to finding part-time employment and her own apartment. She will not let adversity stand in her way.

2011 Vocational Conference Sponsored by BNY Mellon

On June 29th, NYFC held the 2nd Annual Vocational Conference sponsored by BNY Mellon at NYU. Over 140 youth in foster care attended the event to explore the professional world and various employment opportunities available to them. The Conference helped attendees gain a greater understanding of essential professional development skills through workshops on resume writing, interviewing, networking, and conducting the job search process. BNY Mellon volunteers were on hand to help coordinate the day-long event.

In addition to participating in the workshops, Conference attendees had the opportunity to interact with a panel of older youth in care who have already embarked on their career paths. Following the panel discussion and workshops, youth had the chance to connect with over twenty-three New York City vocational training and professional development programs that attended the Conference. Not to be left out, over forty agency workers attended a separate workshop about career planning and job resources available to youth who are preparing to age out of foster care.

2011 Educational Conference Sponsored by Neuberger Berman

NYFC held its third annual Educational Conference sponsored by the Neuberger Berman Foundation on April 21, 2011 at John Jay College of Criminal Justice to help high school students in foster care plan for post-secondary education. The conference was a joint effort between NYFC, the Administration for Children’s Services (ACS), Office of Children & Family Services (OCFS), Higher Education Services Corporation (HESC), the Professional Development Program (PDP), foster care agencies, and educational organizations throughout New York City. Members of NYFC’s Youth Advisory Board and the HESC Youth Ambassadors were on hand to set up, check in the attendees, and direct participants throughout the day.

The conference included welcome and opening remarks by Susan Magazine, NYFC Executive Director and Nicholas Scoppetta, NYFC President of the Board of Director. Alfonso Wyatt, Fund for the City of New York, delivered the keynote speech, encouraging and inspiring the youth in attendance to pursue their higher education goals. Anne Williams-Isom, Harlem’s Children Zone, moderated the youth panel of NYFC Guardian Scholars, Youth Advisory Board members, and HESC Youth Ambassadors who discussed their educational experiences and offered advice on taking next steps to apply to college. The students also attended workshops on topics such as financial aid, the application process, selecting a college, and college life. Many students also took advantage of the resource tables set up during lunch on CUNY and SUNY schools, special opportunity programs, college access programs, and scholarship opportunities.

The OPTIONS Center, HESC, and the Education Training Voucher (ETV) co-led the workshops with youth leaders from the NYFC Youth Advisory Board and the HESC Youth Ambassadors Program. Photography was donated by Shu Luan Chen.

Tech Careers Unplugged Network to Success

Click here to watch the film

On March 16, 2011 New Yorkers For Children hosted the Tech Careers Unplugged Network to Success event at Year Up’s Brooklyn office, featuring a diverse panel of professionals from the technology industry. The purpose of Network to Success is to empower young people to start thinking about their careers. Nearly 100 young people in foster care listened as the panelists shared their experiences and inspired the young people to pursue their interests. After the panel presentation, panelists joined the youth in round table discussions where the young people asked direct questions and engaged in conversations with each of them. Nicholas Scoppetta, Susan Burden, Scott Posner, Larry Harris, Susan Gilroy and Alison Harmelin were on hand to show their support along with NYFC Youth Advisory Board members.

Panelists included Christopher Bettin of MajorLeagueSoccer.com; Daniel Butchko, Creative Manager and Events Supervisor at Hedge Funds Care; Glenn Coleman, Operations Associate and Sales Associate at Vandis and NYFC Spririt Award recipient; Andrew Essex, founding editor of Absolute magazine and current CEO of Droga5; Samer Hamadeh, co-founder and CEO of Vault.com and Entrepreneur-in-Residence at Lightspeed; Larry Harris, former CEO of Ansible Mobile and President of Venture Industries, Inc.; Chantel Johnson, IT analyst at Citigroup and NYFC Spirit Award recipient; Jed Kleckner, CEO of Delivery.com; Luis Mercado, Senior Network Engineer at Logicworks; David Minkin, co-founder and publisher of Breaking Media; Troy O’Reilly, IT Risk Management VP at JPMorgan Chase & Co.; Bianca Posterli, editor of MODELINIA.com; Tamara Rambus, Director of Human Resources at Unilever; Stephanie Tayengco, VP of Network Operation at Logicworks; Nathaniel Wice, technology entrepreneur and owner of miShare; Paul Yanover, former Executive VP and Managing Director of Disney Online; and Kenneth Ziegler, President and COO of Logicworks.

Youth also participated in professional skills workshops led by Year Up. Photography was donated by Cynthia Chung Photography and food was provided by the Next Generation Caterers, a New Yorkers For Children grantee.

NYFC 2010 Wrap to Rap

On Tuesday, November 30, NYFC, Selita Ebanks and Keith Bulluck, New York Giants’ All-Pro Linebacker, hosted the Eighth Annual “Wrap to Rap” holiday gift wrapping event sponsored by Walmart and The Ainsworth. The NYFC Board and Friends Committee were joined by 150 teens in foster care to wrap 2,000 gifts for younger children in care as D-Nice spun hip hop and holiday classics. Jay Sean and Red Cafe performed their latest hits and Kanye West made a special guest appearance. The wrapped presents, donated by Walmart, were distributed by the Administration for Children’s services to children in foster care throughout New York City.

Meet Our Newest Guardian Scholars

Melissa S.
Freshman, Hunter College

Melissa is currently a freshman at Hunter College majoring in Nursing. She is a goal-oriented and motivated individual who has always made education her top priority. At the age of 15, she had a son and had to learn quickly to be both a mother and a student. Despite this, she was determined to succeed in school not only to accomplish her own personal goals but to provide a better life for her son. Coming from a family where many did not attend college, she felt the responsibility to be a role model for her siblings and her son. Upon graduating, Melissa plans to pursue her Master’s in Nursing and become a neonatal nurse. She hopes to make a difference in the world.

Sandra G.
Freshman, John Jay College

Sandra is currently a sophomore at John Jay College majoring in Criminal Justice. Sandra is an extremely driven individual who has never let obstacles stand in her way of achieving her goals. She is proud of herself for graduating high school on time with good grades and being accepted into John Jay College, her first choice college. For Sandra, a college education will provide her with the tools and opportunities to make a mark in the world. She aspires to be an attorney. She also works part-time has a group leader in an after school program.

Peterson R.
Freshman, John Jay College

Peterson is currently a freshman at John Jay College and plans to major in Criminal Law. Peterson is very active in his community as an advocate for other youth in foster care. He currently serves as a youth speaker in the ACS Foster Care Youth Speakers Bureau and as a youth advocate for Youth A.W.A.K.E and for New Yorkers For Children’s Youth Advisory Board. He is also active in his agency, working with staff to lead teen workshops on independent living skills. During the summer, he volunteers his time with Habitat for Humanity. He is the first one from his family to attend college. He hopes to be a lawyer to speak and defend for those who cannot do it for themselves. He hopes to inspire other youth that with determination and hope, one can achieve anything. In his spare time he enjoys writing music, poetry, and short novels.

NYFC Youth Advisory Board volunteers at NAC Kids Olympics

 

On June 19, 2010, New Yorkers For Children’s Youth Advisory Board (YAB) volunteered at the the face painting booth for children with severe disabilities at the 5th Annual New Alternatives for Children (NAC) Kids Olympics.  Larry Harris, Nicole Esposito, and Arlenis Sosa were on hand to show their support.  Over 600 NAC children and family members participated in activities including relay races (with and without wheelchairs), rock-climbing, soccer and gymnastics at Chelsea Piers.  These activities enable NAC’s special children to overcome physical and mental obstacles, meet new challenges and build self-esteem; as well as experience team spirit and healthy competition, get lots of exercise, and, most importantly, have a memorable and fun day as parents and friends cheer them on.  Most of NAC’s children are living in poverty; many have had more surgeries than birthdays; and too many have lived the first years of their life in sterile hospital wards, not out of medical necessity but because their families could not care for them at home.

The YAB is a group of high school and college students in foster care who serve as advocates for youth in foster care in New York City.  They meet at NYFC once a month to plan events and programs that positively impact younger children in foster care. The YAB also advises NYFC on the needs and desires of older youth in foster care and provides an opportunity for these youth to meet and socialize with one another.

Youth For Yoga

On Monday, March 29, 2010, NYFC hosted Youth For Yoga at Exhale Spa to benefit children in foster care in New York City.   This was NYFC’s first annual Youth For Yoga event and the special yoga class was intended to help younger youth in foster care learn how to manage their emotions through yoga.  NYFC Youth Advisory Board and Friends Committee Members all participated in the class and learned fun and relaxing yoga exercises with the children.

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Guardian Scholars Program

The NYFC Guardian Scholars program is a comprehensive program for youth in foster care who are enrolled at Hunter College, John Jay College, City College, and Kingsborough Community College. These youth are forced to make difficult transitions into adulthood, often without traditional family support. The Guardian Scholars program provides essential financial, academic, and emotional support to help students become successful, self-sufficient adults.

Learn more about the program

Apply to Join the Guardian Scholars Program

The New Yorkers For Children (NYFC) Guardian Scholars program is a comprehensive program for youth in foster care who are enrolled at Hunter College, John Jay College, City College, or Kingsborough Community College. The Guardian Scholars program provides an academic scholarship that can be used towards tuition, room and board, textbooks, school supplies, and other living expenses. NYFC provides the essential financial, academic, and emotional support for Guardians Scholars during their entire college experience.

You must:

•Be a highly motivated student currently or formerly in foster care in New York City

•If formerly in foster care, must be in care on or after 16th birthday

•Be currently enrolled or accepted to Hunter College, John Jay College, City College or Kingsborough Community College

•Be an incoming freshman or sophomore

If you are interested in applying, please view the application below.

Guardian Scholars Program Application

Completed applications must be received by Friday, July 13, 2012 in order to be considered.

Apply to be the next NYFC Spirit Award Recipient

The NYFC Spirit Award is a $10,000 educational scholarship awarded each year to an individual in foster care who is attending a 2 or 4-year college and is succeeding in college. The recipient is a young person who has demonstrated outstanding leadership skills, a commitment to his/her community, the determination and ability to overcome the barriers to academic success, and is willing to represent the experiences and voices of youth in foster care as a spokesperson for NYFC.

You must:

•Be a highly motivated student currently or formerly in foster care in New York City

•If formerly in foster care, must be in care on or after 16th birthday

•Be currently enrolled in a 2- or 4- year college or university

•Have completed at least a full year of college. Incoming freshmen are not eligible.

Applications are due on Friday, July 13, 2012. Late applications will not be considered.

2012 NYFC Spirit Award Application Form

NYFC Spirit Award


 

2015 Spirit Award Recipient, Antoinette Kane

 

The NYFC Spirit Award is a $10,000 scholarship awarded each year to a young person in foster care who is succeeding in college. The recipient is a young person who has demonstrated outstanding leadership skills, a commitment to community, and the determination and ability to overcome the barriers to academic success. The NYFC Spirit Award is presented at the Annual Fall Gala and the recipient becomes a youth liaison to NYFC.

Youth For Yoga

On Monday, March 29, 2010, New Yorkers For Children Youth Advisory Board and Friends Committee members gathered at Exhale Spa to host the first ever Youth For Yoga event to benefit younger children in foster care in New York City. More than 25 youth in foster care (ages 7-10) and 10 Youth Advisory Board members participated in the yoga class, which was led by an instructor from Yo-Yoga. New Yorkers For Children supporters Marisa Arredondo, Jen Creel, Selita Ebanks, Susan Shin and Rory Hermelee were also in attendance to learn fun and relaxing yoga exercises. The hour-long class flew by as the youth and Friends tested out a variety of yoga techniques and poses, including Selita Ebanks’ personal favorite: the “half moon.”

The New Yorkers For Children Youth Advisory Board (YAB), a group of high school and college students in foster care who serve as advocates for youth in care, proposed the Youth for Yoga event as their spring community service project. YAB worked with the Friends Committee to plan the class, which was intended to help younger children in foster care learn how to manage their emotions through yoga.

Special thanks to Exhale for generously providing both their Yoga and Core Fusion Studios for the class. Additional support was provided by Alternative Apparel and Vitaminwater.

Back-to-School Package Program

NYFC staffers worked hard to assemble last semester’s round of Back-to-School Packages for college-enrolled youth in foster care. The packages included essential items like laptop computers, printers, bedding, and backpacks, as well as supplies like notebooks, USB drives, pens, and memo pads. Each student will receive a follow-up package for the spring semester. NYFC has already received numerous letters from the grateful recipients of the Back-to-School Packages. Here are a few of their messages:

“Thank you so much for the Back-to-School Package. It brought tears to my eyes to know that there are still caring individuals in the world.”

“I felt like a little girl opening her presents on Christmas Eve. Thank you for bringing me hope. I will not let you down.”

“Thank you so much for the gift package. I will make the best use of everything…especially the alarm clock!”

Special thanks to all of the supporters of the Back-to-School Package program!

Meet Our Newest Guardian Scholars

Milton B.
Freshman, John Jay College 

An aspiring lawyer, Milton plans to major in Criminal Justice. As a child growing up in Brooklyn, he was fascinated by legal shows on television and began to read law books with the help of an older cousin. His interest in law and politics later led him to become involved in his high school’s Model UN and debate teams. In addition, Milton volunteered during the general presidential election to help get out the vote.

Milton plans to take full advantage of every academic opportunity in order to pursue his dream of becoming a lawyer. He has already begun laying the groundwork for success by interning at a law office and serving as a youth advocate at his foster care agency. His ability to speak on behalf of his fellow youth in foster care will serve him well on his path to a legal career, and NYFC is excited to be a part of his journey.

Katherine V.
Freshman, John Jay College

Katherine entered foster care at the age of three with her younger brother. When her personal circumstances seemed overwhelming, school remained the one constant in Katherine’s life. She always enjoyed learning and took comfort in the stability that school provided. Katherine is thrilled to be the first member of her family to attend college and hopes that her brother will follow in her footsteps.

Katherine will be majoring in psychology, which she hopes will enable her to pursue her dream of working with youth in foster care some day. Katherine is also active in her local community and currently serves on the Youth Council of her foster care agency. Katherine is a bright, outgoing young woman and will be a wonderful addition to the NYFC Guardian Scholars Program. 

 

2010 Vocational Conference

NYFC held its first annual Vocational Conference on February 17, 2010 to help older youth in foster care, who may not be college bound, make next steps onto finding meaningful employment. The conference was planned in partnership with the Administration for Children’s Services, FEGS, FedCap, and New York City foster care agencies.

The youth who attended the event began the day with workshops delivered by FEGS, a grantee of NYFC, on resume writing, interviewing skills, goal setting, and how to conduct a job search. After lunch, which was made by the FedCap culinary program, the youth met with representatives from organizations such as: the New York City Fire Department, US Postal Service, a PC Repair group, a culinary program, the FEGS internship program, the Year Up Program, a dog training group, Barber, a construction training program, and many more. This enabled the youth to learn about different avenues of employment they may not have been exposed to before.

The Vocational Conference was a great success and we are looking forward to hosting it again next year!

New Yorkers For Children Funds Fourteen New Programs in 2009

New Yorkers For Children is dedicated to supporting foster care agencies, preventive services, supportive services, and community-based organizations who assist older youth in foster care. Despite the economic downturn, New Yorkers For Children was able to offer the same level of funding in 2009 as in 2008, thanks to the generosity of our committed supporters.

New Yorkers For Children allocated over $800,000 in funding for programs that serve older youth in foster care through education, mental health services, life skills, and employment training.

Click here to see our 2009 grantees

New Yorkers For Children Funds Fourteen New Programs in 2009

Cardinal McCloskey Services is working to help students in foster care make decisions about their futures before entering high school through the Using the Strategies for School Success Program.

Catholic Guardian Society and Home Bureau is helping youth in foster care in the Bronx, Brooklyn, and Staten Island achieve their high school diploma or GED through individualized counseling, tutoring, and mentoring.

The Children’s Aid Society, one of our 2008 grantees, is connecting teens with practical work experiences that will help to prepare them for adulthood through the Next Generation Center’s Employment Training Program.

FedCap is working to connect youth in foster care with supportive adults to assist them as they transition out of care. The Transitions: Building Relationships and Resources program provides assessments, individualized employment coaching, job training, and job placement.

FEGS supports youth in foster care through the Academy program, which provides young people with comprehensive career education services in order to prepare them for independent adulthood.

The Goddard-Riverside Community Center offers two-part workshops to youth in foster care on college admissions and financial aid through the OPTIONS Center for Educational and Career Choice. OPTIONS provides youth with one-on-one counseling.

Good Shepherd Services, also a 2008 grantee, is hiring a Sanctuary Implementation Coordinator to fully implement the Sanctuary Model throughout the foster boarding home program.

Highbridge Community Life Center is working to reduce abuse and neglect and foster care placement in the Highbridge community of the South Bronx through Bridge Builders, a donors’ and community collaborative with Children’s Services.

The Jewish Child Care Association (JCCA) is using their funding from NYFC to continue implementing the Sanctuary Model into Family Foster Care Programs, a project they began in 2008 with NYFC’s support.

The New York Center For Children, another of our 2008 grantees, is implementing, developing, and expanding a group therapy program to help adolescents make the successful transition from foster care to healthy and productive adulthood.

New York Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children, also a 2008 grantee, is hiring a full-time Master’s level clinician who provides therapeutic services to older youth in foster care to help them transition into adulthood.

The Osborne Association, another of our 2008 grantees, aims to improve permanency for youth in foster care who have an incarcerated parent through the Permanency Enhancement Project.

Safe Space is building on the success of their Far Rockaway Drop in Center (FRDIC), supported by New Yorkers For Children in 2008. They are working to adapt a 12-week curriculum to work with youth in foster care to help them improve their relationships with their current foster parents.

Staten Island Mental Health Society has created the Fostering Transition to Independence program, which delivers an evidence-based model called Transition to Independence (TIP) to youth in foster care who are abusing drugs and alcohol, or who have been impacted by alcohol and drug use in their families of origin.

 

2009 Educational Conference

NYFC held its first annual Educational Conference on April 14, 2009 at John Jay College to help high school students in foster care plan for post-secondary education. The conference was a joint effort between NYFC, the Administration for Children’s Services, foster care agencies, and educational organizations throughout New York City. Members of NYFC’s Youth Advisory Board were on hand to set up, check in the attendees, and direct participants throughout the day.

The conference included a panel of Guardian Scholars, past Spirit Award winners, and Youth Advisory Board members who discussed their educational experiences. Guidance counselors were seated at each table to answer individual questions about the college process. The students also attended workshops on topics like financial aid, the application process, and information about SUNY, CUNY, and local community colleges.

The event was a huge success, and the students came away excited about the prospect of attending college. We are excited to host the conference again this year!

 

Wrap to Rap 2009

New Yorkers For Children hosted the Seventh Annual Wrap to Rap, an afternoon of wrapping holiday gifts for children in foster care, on November 17 at Madison Square Garden. Joba Chamberlain of the 2009 World Series Champion New York Yankees served as the host and Delta Air Lines generously sponsored the event. The NYFC Board and Friends Committee joined over 100 teens in foster care to wrap more than 1,500 toys and gifts. DJ D-Nice spun hip-hop and holiday classics and guests enjoyed a special performance from cast members of Broadway’s Rock of Ages. Wrapped gifts were distributed by the Administration for Children’s Services to children in foster care throughout New York City during the holiday season.

Each year, Wrap to Rap provides an opportunity for young people in foster care to spend time with the Board and Friends of NYFC. In addition, the event serves to remind teens of the importance of volunteerism and giving back to their communities. Special thanks to Delta Air Lines and Madison Square Garden for making this event possible and Wal-Mart for donating over 1,000 toys. Additional support was provided by Scotch brand from 3M, Commonwealth Packaging Company, Alternative Apparel, and Crumbs.

Request For Proposals

New Yorkers For Children is issuing a Request For Proposals (RFP) to foster care agencies, preventative services, supportive programs, and community based organizations that serve older youth in foster care in New York City. NYFC will provide one-year grants to organizations to fund programs that will help prepare older youth in foster care to successfully transition into adulthood. Please note that all applications must be received by NYFC in their entirety by 5:00pm on June 30, 2009.

To submit a proposal, click here.

If you have any questions, please contact New Yorkers For Children’s program manager Naomi Weisel at nweisel@newyorkersforchildren.org.

Sports Network to Success

On June 2, 2009 New Yorkers For Children hosted the Sports Network to Success event at Chelsea Piers, featuring athletes, sportscasters, doctors, writers, and many other professionals from the sports industry. Panelists included Justin Tuck, defensive end for the New York Giants; Alonzo Mourning, former player for the Miami Heat and founder of Alonzo Mourning Charities; Dr. Marvell Scott, sportscaster and sports doctor; Roland Betts, Founder and Chairman of Chelsea Piers; George Pyne, President of IMG Sports & Entertainment; panel moderator Mike Lupica, New York Daily News sports columnist and bestselling author; and many others. Nearly 100 young people in foster care listened as the panelists told stories of their backgrounds and stressed the importance of getting an education. After the panel presentation, panelists joined the youth in round table discussions where the young people asked direct questions and engaged in conversations with each of them.

Members of the Friends Committee and Board of Directors helped to make this event one of our most successful to date, including Selita Ebanks, Kevin Liles, Alina Cho, Dayssi Olarte de Kanavos, Maggie Betts, Ashley McDermott, Susan Burden, Norma Becker, Alexandra Becker, Marisa Arredondo, Martin Gibson Dessoffy, Julie Macklowe, Ayla Farnos, Alison Harmelin, Lydia Fenet, Susan Shin, Allison Aston and Rory Hermelee.

The youth in attendance also participated in a workshop presented by FEGS, where they learned about career options and the sports industry. NYFC thanks FEGS for their support!

Wrap to Rap 2008

On Wednesday, November 19th, nearly 200 teens in foster care were joined by members of the New Yorkers For Children (NYFC) Board of Directors and Friends Committee at the Empire Hotel Rooftop for the Sixth Annual Wrap to Rap.Guests were treated to special musical performances by Sean Kingston and Mario, and LL Cool J’s attendance brought an extra dose of holiday cheer to the teen volunteers at Wrap to Rap.As DJ D Nice spun hip hop classics, volunteers wrapped more than 1500 holiday gifts to be distributed to children in foster care this holiday season.

This annual event brings together the Board and Friends of NYFC and young people in foster care for a fun evening to provide much-needed holiday gifts for children in foster care, as well as reminds teens in foster care of the importance of volunteerism and giving back to their community.Thank you to our generous donors, including Wal-Mart, Scotch 3M, Post-It, Bonne Bell, Sony BMG, Kid Robot, Harajuku Lovers, Burberry, Godiva, Conde Nast, Tommy Hilfiger, Random House, Commonwealth Packaging, Benefit Cosmetics, Alternative Apparel, MTV, Cirque du Soleil, the Whitney Museum, American Apparel, and J. Crew for making this event possible.

Wrap to Rap 2005

Hip hop legends Dana Dane, DJ Whiz (of Kid ‘N Play fame) and D-Nice joined Dayssi Olarte de Kanavos, Renee Rockefeller, Victor Matthews, Marisa Brown, Zani Gugelmann, Alexandra Lind Rose, Valesca Guerrand-Hermès, Donatella Arpaia, Lauren Davis, Martin Gibson-Dessoffy, Amy McFarland, Norma Olarte Becker, Lauren Shortt Pinto, Neva Anton and Eva Anisko to help 20 teens living in foster care at the New Yorkers For Children (NYFC) Wrap 2 Rap holiday party on Wednesday, November 30. NYFC hosted an afternoon of wrapping presents for younger children in foster care at Bellini Restaurant from 4:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. The teens, who are members of the Administration for Children’s Services’ Peer Leadership Council (PLC), wrapped toys for their “Little Angels” – younger children in foster care with whom they have developed peer mentoring relationships. PLC provides young people in foster care between the ages of 14 and 21 the opportunity to develop self confidence, leadership skills and a supportive peer network.

The afternoon’s festivities were set to tunes spun by hip hop idol D-Nice, who played everything from R&B and rap classics to new releases. Each young person in attendance received a goodie bag from Kenneth Cole Productions filled with holiday treats donated from L’Oreal, Altoids, Target, American Greetings, Earnest Sewn, Theory, Nivea, Baby Phat, Philosophy, Abercrombie & Fitch, LeSport Sac, Lippman Collection, ghd, Pixi, Lands End, Vibe, Mac and more! Scotch 3M generously donated wrapping paper, tape, dispensers and bows. Bellini graciously contributed venue, food and beverage for this event.

Wrap to Rap 2004

On Tuesday, November 30th, P. Diddy’s new teen discoveries B5, Hip Hop Legend D-Nice and several of Hip Hop’s hottest artists joined Dayssi Olarte de Kanavos and Norma Olarte Becker, Tinsley Mortimer, Valesca Guerrand-Hermes, Alexandra Lind Rose, Marisa Brown, Lauren Davis, Claire Bernard, Susan L. Burden and 30 teens in foster care at New Yorkers For Children (NYFC) “Wrap to Rap” hip hop holiday party.  NYFC hosted an afternoon of wrapping donated presents for younger children in foster care. The teens who are members of ACS’s Peer Leadership Council (PLC) gave all wrapped toys to their “Little Angels” — younger children in foster care with whom they have developed peer mentoring relationships. PLC provides young people in foster care between the ages of 14 and 21 the opportunity to develop self-confidence, leadership skills and a supportive peer network.

 

The atmosphere of the afternoon’s festivities was set by hip-hop legend D-Nice spinning hip hop classics and new releases at Serafina Restaurant Downtown.  Some of today’s hottest hip-hop artists also stopped by to wrap and rap with the teens including P. Diddy’s teen sensations B5.  One lucky teen won a New Era 59Fifty cap designed by rapper Fabolous.

The PLC teenagers in attendance received holiday treats from Kenneth Cole, NARS, Banana Republic, Ghirardelli, NBA, Le Sportsac, Capitol Records, Philosophy, L’Oreal, Old Navy, Vibe Magazine, Pepperidge Farm, Anthony Logistics for Men, Biotherm, New Era Caps, Steiner Sports, OP Sunglasses, Newman’s Own, Crabtree & Evelyn, Juicy Couture and more!

Wrap to Rap 2006

On November 28th, 2006, members of the Friends of New Yorkers For Children were joined by NYFC supporters and young people in foster care for the 4th Annual Wrap to Rap.  DJ D-Nice set the tone for the afternoon, spinning hip hop classic that were perfect for the impromptu dance lessons that sprang up.  Friends including Joyce Varvatos, Renee Rockefeller, Dayssi Olarte de Kanavos, Martin Gibson Dessoffy, Howard Kuo, Oliver Hammond, and Lydia Fenet were joined by Rachel Roy and Damon Dash, who joined teens in foster care to wrap holiday gifts for younger children in foster care.

NYFC is so grateful to First Republic Bank for hosting this wonderful holiday tradition.

Wrap to Rap 2007

On November 14, 2007 Delta Air Lines and New Yorkers For Children hosted the Fifth Annual “Wrap to Rap”, an afternoon of wrapping gifts for youth in foster care in New York City at Sky360° by Delta.  While DJ Sky Nellor spun hip hop classics, LeAnn Rimes, Damon Dash and the NYFC Friends Committee were joined by 60 teens in foster care to wrap toys and gifts for young children in foster care.  Dylan’s Candy Bar presented a dessert decorating station and biscuits and hot cocoa by Godiva Chocolatier put everyone in the holiday spirit.

Attendees were kept busy wrapping more than 1200 holiday gifts, which will be distributed by the Administration for Children’s Services to children in foster care this holiday season.  Once their hard work was done, teens and Friends showed off their singing skills with karaoke, hosted by Spotlight Live.

Damon Dash emceed a raffle of Microsoft Zune portable digital media players, which went home with two lucky gift wrappers.  As a special thank-you for their hard work, each of the teens received a gift bag including Converse sneakers, Baby Phat sunglasses, Philosophy products, a copy of Scholastic’s Harry Potter, Godiva chocolates, Vitamin Water, and other gifts for the holiday season.

We were also thrilled that SKY360 continued their support of New Yorkers For Children through the holiday season by offering gift wrap services for a nominal fee of $5 per gift.  The proceeds benefited New Yorkers For Children.

NYFC wishes to thank everyone who donated and showed their support to this event. Wrap to Rap would not have been possible without your generosity.

Fashion Network to Success

On June 13, 2007 NYFC brought together influential designers, merchandisers, fashion writers, stylists, and more for a Fashion Network to Success panel. Elie Tahari, John Varvatos, Jim Seuss, Stefani Greenfield, Philip Bloch, Anne Slowey, Fern Mallis, BJ Coleman, Aja Mangum, and Horacio Silva were among the panelists who provided valuable information about their experiences in the fashion industry and how they began their careers.
Members of the Friends Committee and Board of Directors were on-hand to show their support for the 150 young people in attendance, as well as show their gratitude for the panelists who generously donated their time.

Foster Care Alumni Network to Success

On Wednesday, December 5, 2007, more than 100 young people in foster care filled the auditorium at the New School for a Network to Success event featuring a panel of foster care alumni.  Reverend Alfonso Wyatt, the 2006 recipient of the NYFC Nicholas Scoppetta Child Welfare Award, served as the moderator for the evening, and was joined by successful panelists from all walks of life.  2005 NYFC Spirit Award winner Glenn Coleman, who received his degree from Howard University, spoke about the challenges he faced on his path to success and how he was able to overcome them.  Glenn now works in technology sales in New York.  Giselle John, Executive Director of Voices of Youth, spoke about how growing up in foster care motivated her to give back to her community. Commissioner Nicholas Scoppetta, having spent several years of his childhood in foster care, urged young people to persevere in the face of adversity.  We are so grateful to all of our panelists, whose experiences inspired the next generation of New York City’s youth in foster care.

Entertainment Network to Success

New Yorkers For Children hosted our Tenth Network to Success, focused on music, film, and television industries on Wednesday, May 7th at the NYU Kimmel Center. The Friends and Board Members of NYFC were instrumental in securing some of the most successful and prominent professionals from the entertainment industry, including actress Joy Bryant, music video director Hype Williams, film producer of Indiana Jones and the Crystal Skull David Koepp, Warner Music Group EVP Kevin Liles, FOX morning show host Mike Jerrick, and Oscar-winning film producer Bill Goldman. More than 150 young people in foster care were inspired by the panelists, who stressed the importance of education as a safety net when pursuing your dreams.  

Among the NYFC supporters in attendance to celebrate the Tenth Network to Success were Dayssi Olarte de Kanavos, Donya Archer Bommer, Susan Burden, Norma Becker, and Howard Kuo and Rory Hermelee, whose dedication to the planning of this event helped to make it our most successful to date.

In addition to enjoying the panel presentation and round table discussions with the panelists, the youth in attendance participated in a job readiness workshop presented by FEGS. The young people learned about networking and professional etiquette and were able to put their newly acquired skills to use. Thank you to FEGS for their support of this important event.

Hip Hop Network to Success

To kick off 2007, NYFC hosted a Network to Success event that focused on the hip-hop industry. The event took place on January 17th at the NYU Kimmel Center.  Over 150 teens in foster care joined members of the Board and Friends Committee, including Commissioner Nicholas Scoppetta, Susan Burden, Tinsley Mortimer, Dabney Mercer, Fabiola Beracasa, Eva Anisko and B Michael, to listen to and speak with panelists representing all aspects of the hip-hop industry.  Teens in attendance learned hip hop is not just a culture, but can also be a career.

Panelists ranged from artist managers to public relations executives to CEOs of record labels and included Russell Simmons, Damon Dash, Chris Lighty, James Cruz, Danyel Smith, Ebro, Geronimo, Al Branch, Crystal Howard, Conrad Dimanche, and Derrick “D Nice” Jones. They enlightened, inspired and provided insight into careers in the hip hop industry to all in attendance. 

Network to Success

Network to Success events provide high school and college students in foster care with exposure to a variety of industries and potential career paths as they begin to formulate plans for their future. Students are invited to meet a “dream team” of professionals from diverse industries such as sports, fashion, and entertainment and learn about potential careers.

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Annual Vocational Conference

The NYFC Annual Vocational Conference is a planned partnership with the Administration for Children’s Services, FEGS, FedCap, and other New York City foster care agencies. The goal of the event is to help older youth in foster care, who may not be college bound, explore the professional world and different employment opportunities available to them. The day-long conference helps youth gain a greater understanding and confidence in resume writing, goal setting, and interviewing skills, in addition to providing them with the opportunity to meet myriad New York City employers.

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Annual Educational Conference

The Annual Educational Conference is a collaboration between NYFC, the Administration for Children’s Services, foster care agencies, and educational organizations throughout New York City to help high school students in foster care take the next step to apply and enroll in college. The conference provides students with the opportunity to learn about higher education from college students in foster care as well as educational experts. The day-long event helps students gain knowledge about topics such as the application process and financial aid and inspires them to reach their educational goals.

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Youth Advisory Board

The Youth Advisory Board (YAB) supports New Yorkers For Children by shaping public awareness and 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 inspiring New Yorkers of all ages and walks of life to strengthen society.

Wrap to Rap

Wrap to Rap is NYFC’s annual holiday event. Each year before the holidays, the Board and Friends of NYFC and teens in foster care wrap presents for younger children in care. In addition to providing much-needed holiday gifts for children in foster care, this signature program serves to remind teens of the importance of volunteerism and giving back to their communities.

Watch the Wrap to Rap film

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Foster Care Mentoring Institute

Ensuring that youth leave foster care with permanent connections to caring adults is a priority.  This is especially true for young people who will transition from care and will need someone to provide ongoing guidance and support as they navigate the challenges of adulthood.  NYFC supports Children’s Services’ Central Mentoring Office to strengthen and expand mentoring programs for youth in foster care.

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Apply to be the next NYFC Spirit Award Winner!

The NYFC Spirit Award is a $10,000 scholarship awarded each year to a young person in foster care who is succeeding in college. The recipient is a young person who has demonstrated outstanding leadership skills, a commitment to community, and the determination and ability to overcome the barriers to academic success. The NYFC Spirit Award is presented at the Annual Fall Gala and the recipient becomes a youth liaison to NYFC.

The application deadline is June 15th.

2010 NYFC Spirit Award Recommendation Form

2010 NYFC Spirit Award Application Form

 

For Youth in Care

BACK-TO-SCHOOL PACKAGE PROGRAM

The NYFC Back-to-School Package Program provides youth in foster care enrolled in college or an accredited vocational program with the tools necessary to succeed during their entire educational experience. Packages are sent each semester that the student is enrolled in college up to age 25.

**Students who received an Exception to Policy (ETP) are still in care, and therefore will be registered by their agency, not through this application.

Eligibility Requirements

  • Were formerly in foster care in NEw York City until at least age 18
  • Be under age 25
  • Be registered to attend college or a vocational training program for the upcoming semester

 
To Apply

This year’s application is now closed and will re-open in January 2016.

Questions

Contact Catherine Hilyard, Youth Program Coordinator, chilyard@newyorkersforchildren.org or 646.257.2930

 

THE CHARLES EVANS EMERGENCY EDUCATIONAL FUND

The Charles Evans Emergency Educational Fund is set up to help youth who were formerly involved in the foster care system in New York City, ages 21-25, to complete or further their studies or educational endeavors. The Fund assists these youth who encounter an unforeseen or unusual financial emergency that would prevent them from continuing their education without interruption. The Fund’s long-term goal is to use its financial resources to help a wide range of students to graduate from college. The Fund is not intended to be used for routine expenses or as a consistent supplement to a student’s educational funding source. Requests must be urgent in nature.

Download the application

 

WEBSITE FOR YOUTH IN FOSTER CARE

In partnership with Youth Communications and Children’s Services, NYFC launched a new website, the first of its kind, dedicated to the specific needs of youth transitioning out of foster care. The site serves as a significant resource for these young men and women, helping them to make a successful transition to adult life. Young people have the unique opportunity to contribute their own stories to the site, allowing youth to communicate with and learn from each other.

www.youthsuccessnyc.org

Children of Incarcerated Parents Program

The Children of Incarcerated Parents Program (CHIPP) offers a visiting program at Rikers Island and to City, State and Federal correctional facilities for those children in foster care whose parents are incarcerated.  NYFC supports a Special Events and Holiday Program and Photo Program to help ensure that the bonds between children and their parents are maintained.

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Youth Financial Empowerment Initiative

The Youth Financial Empowerment (YFE) initiative is an asset building program for youth transitioning from foster care. This unique financial savings program offers youth in foster care, ages 16-21, the opportunity to save for specific asset purchases (education and homeownership) that will support economic independence. Participants contribute to these accounts with earned income and these contributions are matched with a mix of government and private funds that enable purchase of an approved asset goal.