Signature Programs

NYFC serves a dual purpose as both direct service providers and as trailblazers in our field, supporting innovative new programs that inform our work and expand our impact for generations to come.

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If you are a youth or agency worker looking to learn more about NYFC programming and how to apply, please click here

Signature NYFC Programs

There are approximately 8,000 youth in NYC foster care today. Of these, about 250 manage to enroll in college every year, overcoming tremendous odds. This group of young people will not receive the same guidance, support, and tools as their counterparts.

For many of these deserving young people, the resources provided by NYFC will be the only support they receive during their transition from foster care to independent adulthood.

NYFC Signature Programs provide direct services that focus on enrolling youth in college, supporting them through graduation, and helping them to gain the skills they need to enter the workforce feeling empowered.

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The Back to School Package Program

This program provides 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
  • Two gift cards per year for educational expenses such as textbooks
  • Youth development events
  • A heartfelt letter from NYFC staff wishing them good luck with their studies

The Nicholas Scoppetta Scholarship Program

Nick’s Scholars is a comprehensive program that helps students realize their educational and personal goals by providing essential financial, academic, emotional, and peer support services. Services provided include:

  • Individual in-person college advisement and coaching meetings with NYFC’s Youth Academic Advisor
  • Monthly stipends to cover living expenses
  • Tuition assistance and stipends for textbooks
  • Funding for summer or winter courses not covered by financial aid
  • Various networking and community-building social events
  • Referrals to personalized services such as academic tutoring, housing resources, specialized career counseling and private mental health services
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Emergency Grants

NYFC offers a suite of Emergency Funds to meet the needs of youth in and aged out of NYC foster care experiencing a crisis, whether they are in school or not. These include:

  • The Charles Evans Educational Emergency Fund which provides emergency supports to youth who have aged out of foster care and are enrolled in a vocational or undergraduate educational program
  • The In-Care Emergency Fund which provides emergency support, specifically for youth who are still in foster care and in the custody of the Administration for Children’s Services (ACS)
  • Two COVID-Relief Emergency Funds in response to identified need throughout the NYC child welfare field

The Spirit Award

The Spirit Award is a merit-based scholarship awarded to young adults currently or formerly in NYC foster care who are attending a four-year college with plans to complete a bachelor’s degree.

Since 2004, this scholarship has given up to $20,000 annually in scholarship funding to hardworking students. Students can receive up to $10,000 per award.

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The Financial Empowerment Fund

The Financial Empowerment Fund is a merit-based scholarship of up to $5,000 that aims to ease the financial burden of pursuing a college education and to alleviate current debt and/or prevent students from incurring debt.

Each Financial Empowerment Fund scholarship recipient will meet with a Financial Coach – provided by First Republic Bank – once per semester, where they will receive instruction on navigating student loan debt and learn how to establish credit.

The Youth Advisory Board & Peer Mentorship

The Youth Advisory Board (YAB) is NYFC’s signature non-scholarship program.The mission of the YAB is to support NYFC by shaping public awareness and perceptions of children and youth in foster care, and inspiring peers to become advocates in their communities.

In this peer leadership initiative, youth meet on a monthly basis to create community, fight stigma, advocate for change, and educate the public about NYFC programming, resources pertaining to affordable housing, pathways to post-secondary opportunities, college scholarships, and more.

In 2019, the YAB launched its Peer Mentoring Program. In collaboration with youth, NYFC staff designed a comprehensive Wellness Curriculum with modules about mental health, educational success, financial management, and more. NYFC trains Peer Mentors on the elements of the curriculum, who then in turn deliver their knowledge to youth at partnering agencies in a credible messenger model.

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Network to Success

Network to Success (NTS) is NYFC’s signature non-scholarship youth development event. NYFC’s Board of Directors, donors, corporate partners, and other volunteers come together to share their career expertise and engage in meaningful ways with the youth.

The event consists of a panel of experts across various fields, a Q&A, and one-on-one activity stations where volunteers work with youth on skills such as resume writing, interviewing, personal branding, and more. Corporate partners and sponsors of this event have included Macy’s, Thomson Reuters, Paul Weiss, and more!

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