From Poverty To Opportunity Symposium: Creating Supportive Work Experiences for Disconnected Youth

By: Natalie Diratsouian

From Poverty to Opportunity Symposium Series Part 3Panelists:

Moderator:  Greg Hambric, Regional Recruiter at Modell’s Sporting Goods


“Creating Supportive Work Experiences for Disconnected Youth” assessed the ways in which the panelists’ organizations’ representatives assist in providing disconnected youth with opportunities and training that may otherwise be either unavailable or difficult to obtain. The panelists demonstrated that disconnected youths have the potential to be high performers when given the right tools through education, partnership and a proactive approach.

The services outlined by the panelists range from initial resume-building and skill obtainment, to interview preparation, and on-the-job training. Opportunities for a Better Tomorrow (OBT), for instance, provides a service, “Reengagement Tuesdays,” during which the youth who recently obtained a job, works with professionals from OBT for approximately five weeks prior to starting the job. During this five-week period, OBT assesses and identifies the youth’s needs and goals, including: team building, training, childcare, and housing. Additionally, “Reengagement Tuesdays” provide a retention and follow-up service by allowing for some time in which the youths talk to each other and discuss difficult situations that they may encounter in the workplace in order to receive feedback and advice from their peers.

Some successes that the groups have maintained include securing corporate partnerships and identifying the youths’ interests in order to keep them engaged.… <Read More>

Weekly Round-Up October 20th, 2014

Court of Appeals Nomination:

  • Governor Cuomo announced that he is nominating Justice Leslie Stein to the NY Court of Appeals. Justice Stein currently serves as Associate Justice of the Appellate Division (Third Department) of the New York State Supreme Court and has seventeen years experience on the bench in New York.
  • Justice Stein began her legal career in private practice as an attorney specializing in matrimonial and family law. In 2001, she served as acting Albany County Family Court Judge. She also served as Presiding Judge of the Rensselaer County Integrated Domestic Violence Part from 2006-2008. She has served on the New York State Association of Women Judges, the Capital District Women’s Bar Association, and the Women’s Bar Association of the State of New York, as well as, the co-chair of the New York State Unified Court System Family Violence Task Force.
  • On his nomination of Justice Stein, Governor Cuomo said “Justice Leslie Stein has extensive judicial experience and has worked throughout her career to help ensure that women, families, victims of domestic violence, and vulnerable New Yorkers have a voice in our legal system. She has also sought to advance the cause of women and diversity in the legal profession,” The next step is Senate approval after the November elections.


Flu Vaccines Mandated for Pre-Schoolers:

  • The Board of Health has approved mandatory flu vaccinations for children in city licensed day cares and preschools. This will affect children from six months to five years old, totaling around 150,000 children. The rule requires children to be vaccinated by December 31, 2014.
<Read More>

Weekly Round-Up October 13th, 2014

Same-Sex Marriage Legal in 5 More States:

  • The Supreme Court denied certiorari in seven cases from five states in the Fourth, Seventh and Tenth Circuits in which courts had struck down state bans on same-sex marriage, meaning that same sex marriages will be recognized in those states and soon in others. As a result of the Supreme Court’s decision, Indiana, Wisconsin, Utah, Oklahoma, and Virginia will allow same-sex marriage. It is likely that this will affect the courts’ decisions in several other pending lawsuits in the Fourth and Tenth Circuits, which may pave the way for same-sex marriage in: West Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Wyoming, Colorado, and Kansas.  As of the date of the Supreme Court’s most recent decision, 19 of the 50 states and the District of Columbia allowed same-sex marriage. To read more about this decision, please read the article written by NYLS professor Arthur S. Leonard, by clicking here.  For more information, click here.

New Traffic Law: Civil Penalties For Hit and Run Drivers

  • New York State law requires an individual who knows or should know that they have been involved in a car accident involving property damage or injury to remain on the scene so that they may give their contact and insurance information to the injured party or police officer. The information that must be provided to the victim or the police officer includes the individual’s name, residence, license number, and insurance information.
  • Currently, if an individual flees the scene of an accident, there is a maximum fine of $5,000 under State law, but imposing this fine is difficult, due to the nature of a hit-and-run.
<Read More>

From Poverty To Opportunity Symposium: Retaining and Engaging High School-Aged Youth in Afterschool Programs

By: Catherine Barreda

From Poverty to Opportunity Symposium Series box Part 2Panelists:

Moderator: Deborah N. Archer, Associate Dean for Academic Affairs and Professor of Law, New York Law School

NYLS Associate Dean for Academic Affairs and Impact Center for Public Interest Law Co-Director Deborah N. Archer moderated a panel at the “From Poverty to Opportunity” Symposium titled “Retaining and Engaging High School-Aged Youth In Afterschool Programs.” Dean Archer introduced the panel, and the importance of afterschool programs serving as an intervening tool to keep youth engaged in school and to prevent young people from engaging in risky behavior especially during the hours of 3pm-6pm. The objective of this panel was to discuss how the different techniques used by various organizations throughout New York City have proved to be successful at engaging high school-aged young people through fun and innovative afterschool programs. The panel included staff members from several New York City organizations that provide afterschool programs. Each panelist discussed the services provided at his or her organization, and how those services benefit and motivate young people. Please see the summaries below for a description of the key ideas that were shared by each of the panelists.


Lea KixMiller, Program Supervisor, Center for Family Life in Sunset Park (“CFL”), SCO Family Services

Lea KixMiller attributed CFL’s success with teens to both a “diverse and committed staff,” and to the “ladder to leadership” approach taken by the organization.… <Read More>

From Poverty to Opportunity Symposium: Helping Families Advocate for Safe and Adequate Housing

By: Pekhna Singh

From Poverty to Opportunity Symposium Series Part 1

Joanna Sorocki, Program Director at Ridgewood Bushwick Senior Citizens Council
Michael McGhee, Program Coordinator at the Harlem Community Justice Center, Center for Court Innovation
Kathryn Neilson, Program Director at Legal Services NYC-Bronx
Stephanie Rudolph, Attorney with the Community Development Project at the Urban Justice Center

Moderator: Andrew Scherer, Professor at New York Law School

On August 12, 2014, New York Law School hosted a symposium entitled “From Poverty to Opportunity.” This symposium explored a variety of different issues that those plagued by poverty in an urban environment such as New York City face each day, and how non-profit service providers, experts in the legal field, community advocate groups, and other professionals can help.

In the panel entitled “Helping Families Advocate for Safe and Adequate Housing” the panelists briefly described the organizations they work for, cases and issues they deal with often, and the current state of the housing market for those seeking affordable housing.


Ridgewood Bushwick Senior Citizens Council

Ms. Joanna Sorocki and the Ridgewood Bushwick Senior Citizens Council (RBSCC) primarily represent low-income families, the elderly, and individuals with disabilities in rent stabilized housing in the Ridgewood/Bushwick area of Brooklyn and Queens, New York. She manages a team that canvasses the neighborhood and reports its findings and current housing trends back to her and the organization.

Currently, she and her team have seen that the Bushwick/Ridgewood neighborhoods have been subject to extreme gentrification, and as a result, many low-income families and disabled and elderly people have been forced to leave their homes and relocate because of landlord interference and harassment.… <Read More>