I serve on the board of AFJ, an alternative-to-incarceration program for youthful offenders in New York City. AFJ serves more than 600 youth annually with court advocacy services, job training, and social – emotional supports. Over the past three months, I have been truly amazed at the team’s efforts to provide needed support to their program participants. Even during a pandemic and in the face of an economic downturn that has affected their funding, they have managed to move their operation online to serve more than 300 youth. They’ve provided everything from laptops and cell phones to allow youth to remain connected to groceries and funds for utilities to youth whose families lost jobs during the pandemic. All the while, they have continued to provide advocacy to support them as they navigate the court system, a system that often focuses on the punitive in lieu of a plan that addresses their needs and puts them on a path towards a better future
Here are some of the ways you can make a difference:
To see what your gift can do in action, please check out this video about Elsie Flores, a one-time AFJ youth that overcame tremendous obstacles to earn her Bachelor’s of Science in Criminal Justice from John Jay. She also is a member of AFJ’s staff.
Your support goes a long way towards helping AFJ meet this current moment, serving youth in their programs during this time of need.
Board of Directors
Avenues for Justice