Children's Aid Ambassadors: Ready for the Job

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Children’s Aid has its Ambassadors! Rest assured that New York City’s children have a group of talented and passionate group of youth and parents ready and able to speak up for them.  The Advocacy Ambassadors from each CAS site have been trained over the last couple of weeks and now have the tools to be leaders in our advocacy efforts at the very next press conference, rally or to spread the word using the most popular social networking sites.

Over the next couple of months, the efforts of our Ambassadors will be focused on fighting to protect the more than 47,000 child care and after-school program slots from being eliminated, as proposed in Mayor Bloomberg’s preliminary budget. Children's Aid serves 2,280 children in city-funded after-school and holiday programs and more than 600 more in early childhood programs.

“Children’s Aid calls us Ambassadors, we call ourselves protectors of the people and services that guide, shelter and teach our children while we are at work or school. The city wants to cut budgets and shorten our programs, who is then accountable for those children who then wander aimlessly through the streets with nowhere to go” said Jessica Ortiz, a parent whose child attends the Children’s Aid Society after-school program at Fannie Lou Hamer High School.

Lilibet Mendez, also a CAS parent whose child attends programming at P.S. 50 wonders how a working parent would choose between providing income for her family and the safety of her children if they lose their after-school slot.  “I work full time and live check to check. I depend on the Children’s Aid Society extended day and holiday programs so that I can receive my full check and work in peace knowing that my sons have a safe place to be and are surrounded by a wonderful group of people who care about their well-being and educational needs, they also provide a clinic with a registered nurse so that I don’t have to take any days off from work.”

Thank you to all the CAS Advocacy Ambassadors for taking on the challenge. Stay tuned to learn more about our Ambassadors and as they update us on the various efforts throughout the city over the next couple of months.

Photos by Lily Kesselman