Learn all about the exciting opportunity from filmmaker Tony Gilroy!
CALLING ALL STUDENT FILM MAKERS!
New Yorkers For Children (NYFC) invites you to put your talents to work to help raise awareness for our Back to School Package Program – while raising awareness for your own work, and the chance to win a cash prize!
A panel of film and media professionals will choose the top three films, and NYFC donors will vote for the winner at our gala on October 29th, 2020. The winning video will be featured on the NYFC website for an entire year; and all three videos will be featured on our social media accounts and newsletter.
👋 Who can enter?
Creative storytellers in high school, college, and graduate school studying film, media, graphic design and related fields.
🎥 What should you submit?
A 30-90 second video to inspire people to support our Back to School Package Program. Given the new reality of COVID-19 we look forward to the creative solutions to storytelling that respect the new social distancing guidelines.
📚 Do your homework.
What does it mean to be a youth in foster care?
How would it feel to not have the traditional family and social supports when applying to college, or when looking for solutions to the financial challenges that come with a college education?
As you imagine all of the obstacles that youth in foster care have to face, add not having access to necessary tools like a laptop. How would it affect your ability to succeed in school and stay connected? How would it feel to be stuck without a laptop during the COVID crisis?
Make the case for why support of The Back to School Package Program and NYFC is so vital!
Film submissions are due by midnight on Saturday, August 1st, 2020.
About New Yorkers For Children
New Yorkers For Children (NYFC) was established in 1996 to fill in the gaps within New York City’s child welfare system that government funding alone cannot support. NYFC partners closely with New York City’s Administration for Children’s Services (ACS) and all 27 foster care agencies to protect, ensure, and promote the safety and well-being of NYC’s children and families, with a focus on youth in foster care. NYFC serves nearly 1,000 unique foster youth per year through our Scholarship and Innovative Programs. Around 600 students, aged 18 to 25, participate in our multi-tiered scholarship programming annually.
NYFC focuses on enrolling youth in college, supporting them through graduation, and helping them gain the skills needed to enter the workforce through the following direct-services: The Back to School Package Program (BTS), The Nicholas Scoppetta Scholarship Program (Nick’s Scholars), two Emergency Educational Funds, The Spirit Award, and the Financial Empowerment Fund. Other signature non-scholarship programs and events include The Youth Advisory Board (YAB), Peer Mentoring, and Network to Success. When layered together, as they are designed to be, all of NYFC’s resources collectively provide each youth with post-secondary education support and tools, financial health support and coaching, career development training and mentoring, and a network of peer and adult support.
NYFC focuses on older youth in foster care because they are at their most vulnerable as they transition out of the child welfare system. Nationally, youth in foster care are at a higher risk of dropping out of high school, not enrolling in or graduating from college, and experiencing high rates of unemployment and incarceration. The 2018 ACS Report on Youth in Foster Care states that upon aging out: 75% of youth did not have a verifiable source of income; 99% reported needing housing assistance immediately; only 21% of youth ages 18-21 obtained a high school degree or equivalency; and almost 70% had been involved in the criminal justice system at some point. Nationally, there is less than a 3% chance for youth who have aged out to earn a college degree at any point in their life. Despite the barriers this resilient population faces, however, 70% of youth report wanting to attend college one day. NYFC scholarships and programming serve to address these issues and help change the narrative and outcomes for youth in care in New York City.
The Case for Back to School
Since 1999, The Back to School Package Program (BTS) has provided current and aged out foster youth enrolled in college or a vocational program with the tools they need to succeed. The package consists of a brand-new laptop computer (complete with Microsoft Office Suite and Anti-Virus Protection), $200 per year for educational expenses such as textbooks, and a personalized letter from NYFC staff reminding them that we are thinking about them and wishing them good luck with their studies each semester. To date, this program has supported more than 10,000 foster youth pursuing higher education.
While the Package is considered one of NYFC’s “lighter touch” supports – it impacts the entire population of college age youth in NYC foster care who are pursuing post-secondary education opportunities. Given the new reality of COVID-19 and a more virtual world, students’ access to laptops and technology is more vital than ever. Without Back to School and other NYFC services, this group of young people would not receive the same guidance, supports, and tools as their counterparts who do not experience foster care. A Bachelor’s Degree typically takes 4-5 years to obtain, so the BTS program is designed to provide youth with the tools, resources, and supports needed for their entire college experience, or up to 5 years. NYFC is with our students every step of the way!
The Back to School Package Program is critical for youth attending college, we know that based on the feedback we receive directly from the youth and provider agencies, and yet because it is so light tough it is hard to quantify the entirety of its impact. Even though we know that it is the only program of its kind in NYC that provides a much-needed service and reaches virtually the entirety of its target population, it remains difficult to quantify and measure the program’s impact. How can you measure how much easier it is for a student to complete their assignments and be more competitive in school once they have their own computer? How can you measure their self-esteem, knowing that they have the same tools as their peers? NYFC is one of the only constants in the lives of the young people we work with – how do you measure emotional connection? Our scholars know that our doors are always open to them, and they know they can come to us in an emergency, and we will find a way to support them. We are receiving more requests for laptops now than ever before. Youth in foster care deserve to have the same tools and supports as other students – now more than ever – they just need our help to get them. Will you join us?
This is what we need: YOU!
The next generation of creatives, writers, and filmmakers – to help tell the story of the Back-to-School Package Program.
To learn more about what we do at New Yorkers For Children and the Back-to-School Package Program, please click on the links below to explore further: