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Press Release

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Press Release # 050511
May 11, 2005

ACS Press Office
Phone: 212-341-0999

New York City Officials Urge All New Yorkers to Make a Difference in the Life of a Young Person

Children’s Services Commissioner John Mattingly and Other City Leaders to Mentor Youth in Foster Care

NYC Administration for Children’s Services Commissioner John B. Mattingly was joined by City Commissioners and other high level officials Wednesday in announcing the City Leaders Mentoring Initiative, a new program designed by Children’s Services to expand mentoring opportunities for young people living in foster care and throughout New York City. “I hope the overwhelming response we have seen from so many New York City leaders will send a message to all New Yorkers that a commitment to young people is possible for all of us,” said Commissioner Mattingly. “Even those with the busiest schedules.”

Commissioner Mattingly has agreed to become a mentor as part of Children’s Services’ efforts to raise awareness of the important role that mentors can play in the lives of young people in foster care, particularly during National Foster Care Month in May. The commissioner asked his fellow City Commissioners and other officials to join him in this effort, hoping that their participation will encourage men and women throughout the City to also become mentors.

Children’s Services has recruited representatives from all areas of city government to participate in the City Leaders Mentoring Initiative. These “City Leaders” will serve as mentors to young adults currently living in foster care. These teens are interested in career paths such as civil service, business, law, or politics. Through this specifically-designed professional mentoring program, teens in foster care will shadow these “City Leaders” in the workplace to develop a mentoring relationship and to explore career paths and future goals. Through the Initiative, these top City officials will learn about the needs of our City’s most at-risk youth, while these aspiring professionals will benefit from a mentoring relationship with a responsible adult.

Thirteen City officials have agreed to participate so far:

  • P.V. Anantharam, Deputy Director, Office of Management and Budget
  • Joseph Bruno, Commissioner, Office of Emergency Management
  • Eileen Flannelly, Assistant Commissioner, Department of Records & Information Services
  • Linda Gibbs, Commissioner, Department of Homeless Services
  • Jonathan Greenspun, Commissioner, Mayor’s Community Assistance Unit
  • Rose Gill Hearn, Commissioner, Department of Investigation
  • Yolanda Jimenez, Commissioner, Mayor’s Office to Combat Domestic Violence
  • Susan Kupferman, Director, Mayor's Office of Operations
  • Emily Lloyd, Commissioner, Department of Environmental Protection
  • John Mattingly, Commissioner, Administration for Children’s Services
  • Edwin Mendez Santiago , Commissioner, Department for the Aging
  • Jean Mullgrav, Commissioner, Department of Youth & Community Development
  • Joe Perrello, Chief Marketing Officer, NYC Marketing
  • Marla Simpson, Commissioner, Office of Contract Services

Commissioner Mattingly and other participating “City Leaders” stressed that it is possible for even the busiest professional to make a difference in the life of a young person by mentoring a youth at work. Children’s Services’ Central Mentoring Office partners with Big Brothers Big Sisters of New York City, Mentoring Partnership of New York, and Mentoring USA to assist adults in finding appropriate mentoring programs based on their individual needs and availability, and to aid mentoring programs with recruitment and training. The Central Mentoring Office was created as the first critical step in the implementation of Children’s Services’ Mentoring Action Plan, which made it one of the agency’s top priorities to expand and enhance quality mentoring opportunities citywide for children and youth in foster care.

As part of the Mentoring Action Plan, Children’s Services hopes to secure 1,800 mentoring matches by the end of 2006. Currently there are 805 matches among foster youth, while there are approximately 9,000 adolescents living in care. To achieve this goal, Children’s Services has employed its Central Mentoring Office to aid existing mentoring programs with recruitment and training, articulate “best practice” for mentoring programs serving youth in foster care, create additional mentoring programs for youth in high-need areas and enhance New York City residents’ understanding of the value and rewards of mentoring.

In addition, Children’s Services has been collaborating with the Mentoring Partnership of New York City to establish the Mentoring Institute of New York City which will deliver specialized training and technical assistance, and provide networking opportunities and resources. The Institute will be housed at ACS’s Children’s Center and will provide all training to mentoring program coordinators, as well as to perspective mentors and mentees, plus parents and case workers.

Tony Shellman, co-founder and partner of New York City based ENYCE Clothing Company, joined Commissioner Mattingly at today’s announcement to collaborate with Children’s Services’ on additional career-mentoring opportunities. Shellman, who was adopted from foster care at a young age, has been working during National Foster Care Month to encourage other professionals to become involved in foster care, either through mentoring, foster parenting or adoption. He is particularly focused on assisting older youth in gaining the valuable workplace experience they will need to achieve self-sufficiency. This year, ENYCE will begin offering professional mentoring opportunities to young people in foster care who are interested in the world of fashion.

For more information on mentoring opportunities in New York City, New Yorkers can call 311 or visit the Children’s Services web site at www.nyc.gov/acs.

The Administration for Children’s Services is New York City’s first free-standing agency in the City’s history dedicated solely to protecting children and strengthening their families. Established in 1996, the agency oversees the City’s programs of child protection, foster care, preventive services, adoption, child care and Head Start. Led by Commissioner John B. Mattingly, Children’s Services is focused on implementing reforms to improve service delivery and mobilizing all community resources to ensure that children are protected and nurtured within strong, loving families.



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