New York City Deputy Mayor for Strategic Policy Initiatives Richard Buery announced today that Brooklyn’s only community college—Kingsborough Community College—and Hostos Community College in the Bronx were chosen as the two expansion sites among CUNY campuses for the CUNY Fatherhood Academy (CFA). The announcement took place at LaGuardia Community College, the site of the original 2012 program launch. Joining Deputy Mayor Buery were Kingsborough Community College president Farley Herzek, Hostos Community College president David Gomez, LaGuardia Community College president Gail O. Mellow, CUNY Director of Continuing Education and Workforce Programs Valerie Westphal, and NYC Human Resource Administration’s Office of Child Support Enforcement Assistant Deputy Commissioner for Parent and Community Engagement Alan S. Farrell.
Hostos Community College in the Bronx was also selected as the second expansion site, and LaGuardia Community College will continue to sustain the Fatherhood Academy which began on its campus in 2012. Total funding of $2.1 million will serve more than 200 fathers over the next year at all three sites. Beginning in November 2015, the grant of $441,357, which will be administered by Kingsborough’s Center for Economic & Workforce Development, will allow the College to serve an anticipated 40 young fathers in CFA as they prepare for, and enroll in college and/or training programs.
“Today we are announcing that we are doubling down once again,” said Deputy Mayor for Strategic Policy Initiatives Richard Buery. “We are investing an additional $1 million to expand the CUNY Fatherhood Academy to Kingsborough Community College and Hostos Community College through the Mayor’s Young Men’s Initiative. As the son of a loving father and the father of two sons myself, I know how much a father’s love affects a child’s self-esteem, independence, emotional responsiveness, and more. CUNY Fatherhood Academy is one of the most important investments we can make as a City. By investing in our fathers, we are investing in our future.”
“This is great news for Kingsborough,” said KCC president Farley Herzek. “As an expansion site located in a unique area of Brooklyn, we are excited that we can tap further into a community that also has a great need, so that more young men can be prepared for productive lives and responsible fatherhood. We’re grateful to Mayor de Blasio and the New York City Young Men’s Initiative for recognizing our efforts, for continuing to invest in CUNY, and in particular, for doing so here at Kingsborough.”
CFA, a program of the NYC Young Men’s Initiative (YMI), is a free, 16-week high school equivalency and college preparatory program for resident New York City fathers ages 18 to 24. CFA promotes responsible parenting, college readiness, and work among unemployed and underemployed fathers. Kingsborough, selected through a highly-competitive proposal process, was awarded the grant due to its extensive experience with similar programs and populations, its strong program model, and a commitment to providing significant leveraged resources.
The Fatherhood Academy will adopt many protocols, relationships, and resources adapted for Project Rise, a full-service high school equivalency program for disconnected young adults, which is currently funded at CEWD and two other New York City sites by the NYC Center for Economic Opportunity and the Mayor’s Fund to Advance New York City’s federal Social Innovation Fund grant.
“We’re excited that we can help move young fathers along to opportunities that allow them to provide for their children,” said CEWD Executive Director Babette Audant. “The young men who will be part of the CFA at Kingsborough can look forward to a solid and rewarding program that helps them thrive as fathers while balancing work, school, and other responsibilities.”
“We are excited to be named as an expansion site,” said CEWD Operations Director, Christine Zagari-LoPorto. “We made sure that our proposal included taking advantage of our unique campus for the family day activities and workshops by utilizing our new state-of-the-art STEM lab and garden plots on our KCC Urban Farm site. Working with LaGuardia, the NYC Young Men’s Initiative, and the Mayor’s Center for Economic Opportunity, we look forward to expanding this great program for young fathers in New York City.”
CFA will be supported by Kingsborough’s Office of Student Affairs which will provide referrals to many of their on-campus resources including the Men’s Resource Center, Single Stop, Career Services, and the Child Development Center. Participants may receive benefits screening, money management resources, legal assistance, childcare, as well as health and nutritional information. They will also be provided with resources to aid in their personal growth and development, career exploration and preparation, diversity, and advocacy. CEWD will recruit participants through established and new partnerships with community-based organizations, non-profit organizations including the Bedford Stuyvesant Restoration Corporation, Brooklyn Public Library, and Coney Island Workforce I, among others.
About the Center for Economic and Workforce Development
The Center for Economic and Workforce Development offers workforce training and college readiness programs to residents of Brooklyn, foremost, and beyond the borough. The Center provides New York’s under- and unemployed residents with the training and skills necessary to advance their current careers or continue toward achieving higher educational goals. Since 2006, the Center for Economic and Workforce Development at Kingsborough Community College has been awarded over $14 million by the United States and New York Departments of Labor, the Center for Economic Opportunity/Social Innovation Fund, City University of New York, and private foundations to support educational and workforce training programs.