Letter to Mayor De Blasio and City Council

May 5, 2020

Dear Mayor de Blasio and
Speaker Johnson:

As young people who are in or have recently aged out of foster care, we are writing to urge you to continue to support Fair Futures, a campaign to provide all of us in foster care, from 6th grade to age 26, with a coach and tutor to support our academic goals, personal success, and overall well-being.

Fair Futures pairs young people with an individual coach and academic tutor to work with us on not only envisioning our academic and professional aspirations, but by also creating opportunities to access higher education programs and career development resources. Our coaches help us navigate the difficult challenges we collectively face, as well as being there to celebrate our successes. For many of us, our coaches and tutors are the only support system we have, especially when we age out of foster care.

During this time of crisis as our City addresses the dangerous spread of COVID-19, our coaches and tutors are essential to our survival. Over the last few weeks, they have made themselves available around the clock to help provide us the essentials such as connecting us to housing and food resources, helping us move out from CUNY/SUNY campuses into temporary housing, and making sure we have the equipment we need for remote learning. As we continue with remote learning for the rest of school year, our tutors are helping us stay on track academically by supporting us and our caregivers with homework help, online access to education services, and providing crucial technical assistance.

With many of us losing our jobs (amongst those, on-campus and work-study jobs), we are dealing with serious financial anxiety and our coaches are working tirelessly to help us overcome that uncertainty as well. The COVID-19 crisis has left us feeling more isolated, confused and scared than ever and while other New Yorkers will lean on their families to get them through these challenges, we will be counting on our coaches to help us get through this scary time.

Over the last year, many of us have received support from our coaches and tutors. However, there’s a significant percentage of our larger community, particularly those who have recently aged out of foster care, who are still in need as they try to navigate the world on their own. It’s evident that further funding is required in order to help the young New Yorkers who desperately need support.

We are proud to be New Yorkers during this difficult time but our ability to survive during and after this COVID-19 crisis will depend on the support we receive from our City. Therefore, we urge you to fulfill the City’s promise to foster youth and support funding for Fair Futures.

Foster Care Youth
CC: Commissioner Hansell, Members of the Council

See Full Letter and Signatures