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Help us Meet the Moment

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Help Us Meet the Moment

“AFJ has been a very good support system to my family and me. AFJ made sure we all had food and supplies especially when there was barely anything in the store. . I really appreciate the help especially during this pandemic.” – Maya, Avenues for Justice participant

For more than 40 years, Avenues for Justice (AFJ) has supported youth in New York City, keeping them out of prison and providing them with court advocacy, tutoring and mentorship, mental health support and job training. During the past four decades we’ve seen it all – economic highs and lows, the changing faces of many NYC neighborhoods from gentrification, and generations of New Yorkers impacted by an unjust criminal justice system.

In 2020, our city and our nation was faced with a fight against the coronavirus as well as against systemic racism in our criminal justice system. Once again, we were reminded that many communities encounter policing that does not result in their safety and protection, but instead focuses on the punitive.

AFJ has known for years that young adults need tools, support, opportunities and access to fair representation to have a second chance at life, and AFJ provides all of those things. Each year, we serve more than 600 youthful offenders , and more than 95% of our graduates are never convicted of another crime and remain on a pathway to their dreams.

Since March, when the city closed businesses and we were required to shelter-in-place, AFJ continues to Meet the Moment for the youth in our program. Many of our youth faced unimaginable challenges before the pandemic. With the added challenge of a deadly virus, an economic downturn, a racial reckoning and an inability to share physical space with youth in person, AFJ took important action that works:

  • We served more than 300 youthful offenders since the pandemic began;
  • We launched NEW jobs programs, equipping our participants to have training and certifications that will put them on a path for employment;
  • We met essential needs, providing groceries and funds for utilities to youth and their families; and
  • We provided laptops and cell phones to program participants, helping them remain connected to AFJ and their caring staff.

To continue this work, we need your help. A gift to AFJ helps us show up for our youth even when we have to be apart. On example of the difference AFJ can make in the life of our youth is Elise. Elsie faced many challenges while growing up, including family incarceration, addiction, and more. She was left to fend for herself and started selling drugs at age 13. By 16, she was arrested for selling drugs to an undercover detective. Two weeks after this arrest, she found out she was pregnant. Fortunately, Avenues for Justice intervened and she was mandated to our services instead of jail. Her AFJ youth worker, Nelson Valentine, proved that people in this world cared about what she did with her life and gave her a long list of requirements, including curfew. Backed by this guidance and support, Elsie earned her high school diploma while juggling a job plus daily participation in AFJ programs. In 2009, she received her Associate’s Degree in Criminal Justice from the ASA Institute. She has now joined Avenues for Justice as a youth worker. You can hear from her in her own words here.

Right now, New York needs programs like Avenues for Justice. AFJ has a proven track record of making a difference in the lives of youth in our City. It’s what we’ve done for the past 40 years, and we will continue to do so for the next 40 years to come. Here are some of the ways you can make a difference:

  • $100 Friend: pays for workshop supplies, such as yoga mats and easels.
  • $250 Leader: covers a participant’s transportation for two months.
  • $500 Bronze Sponsor: funds one month of virtual workshops.
  • $1,500 Silver Sponsor: covers one computer for participants to use in our lab.
  • $5,000 Gold Sponsor: pays for one young adult's year-round participation in our programs.
  • $20,000 Angel Sponsor: helps AFJ conduct long-term follow-up survey to track quality of life, education, and employment outcomes.

You can make a real impact on the lives of the youth we serve.

Stock Donation Instructions:

Bank: The Bank of New York Bank
Address: 1 Wall St., New York, NY 10286
ABA #: 021000018 Beneficiary: Pershing LLC Beneficiary
Account #: 890-051238-5
Ultimate Beneficiary: Avenues for Justice Inc.
Ultimate Beneficiary Account Number: 33L064269 DTC: 0443

Should you have any questions, please contact: Jamie Wright at 212-259-5022 or via email at

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