Milbank Center Student Shares His Experiences, Speaks out Against Federal Budget Cuts

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On March 21st, The New York City Department of Youth and Community Development hosted a public town hall/information session at The Children’s Aid Society’s Dunlevy Milbank Center. The topic was the potential loss of critical federal funds through the Community Services Block Grant (CSBG). Jacob Torres Jackson, a Milbank Center participant (pictured at left), captivated the crowd when he delivered a speech that recounted his experiences at the Center and his attachment to its staff members and programs.

“Three weeks ago I got my report card and the first place I went to was Milbank. I wanted to show the staff my improvement. The staff was so proud of me and I was so proud of myself because the staff told me I did so great” said Jacob. “That’s what I wanted and needed to hear from my family at Milbank.”

Jacob also shared his fear of the losing important centers such as Milbank, a loss that would not only deeply impact his life but the lives of many of his peers. Last year, NYC received $31.9 million dollars through CSBG, which funded more than 200 community-based organizations and served 30,000 New York City residents. If the funding is cut at the federal level, it would be a devastating blow for NYC. In Harlem alone, it would mean a loss of $3.7 million and would affect 4,000 children and families. “Milbank keeps us kids out of the street… I am so grateful for all they do for me! It’s important that we all speak out against the budget cuts that can affect us youth! No to budget cuts!!!!”

CSBG is a federal program that provides critical funding to states and cities to support a broad range of community-based programs to combat poverty, empower people to achieve self-sufficiency, and revitalize low-income communities. CSBG funding supports programs for youth, families, seniors and immigrants in New York City.

Click here to read Jacob’s entire speech on Congressman’s Charles B. Rangel’s website.

Photo Credit: Lily Kesselman