School’s in Session

From left to right: David, Public Services Post Graduate Fellow (Cardozo 14'), Ifeoma, Social Justice Fellow (Columbia 14'), Adam Halper, Legal Services Director, Nkeonyeasua, Proficio Volunteer (Harvard 14') and Nicolas, Proficio Volunteer (NYU 16')

L to R: David, Ifeoma, Adam Halper (Legal Services Director), Nkeonyeasua, and Nicolas

With another school year starting, TFC welcomes a new batch of interns, Proficio volunteers, and fellows into the office.

In the last eight years, TFC has provided credit to over 100 interns, hailing from school such as NYU, CUNY, Columbia, and Fordham. This past summer TFC hosted Rachel (City University of New York School of Law), Rita (New York Law School), and Devin (Hofstra University of Law), who are featured in an upcoming intern vlog.  In the next few weeks and months, various departments will accommodate interns.

The legal department will host two fellows- David from Cardozo and Ifeoma from Columbia -and two Proficio volunteers: Nkeonyeasua (Harvard) and Nicolas (NYU).  While on staff, these students and pro bono legal professionals have an opportunity to learn about an array of legal matters, like guardianship and adoption, and how to secure benefits, like housing and disability, for clients.

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Right to left: Caitlin, Sofia, and Polly

Over the next few months the research staff will enjoy the company of the new research interns- Caitlin (Hunter), Estefani (BMCC), Sylvia (Hunter), and Polly (SUNY Downstate).  While assisting research staff with The Buddy Program study and on-going evaluation of ESLS, they will also collaborate with the social service department, learning the process of survey administration.  Through this, these eager interns will gain knowledge of different assessment tools, such as KIPS, Ages and Stages questionnaire (ASQ) and Social Skills Improvement System assessment (SSIS).

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Sabina

The Family Support and Counseling Program has also welcomed Sabina (Brooklyn College Mental Health Counseling Master’s Program) this semester. Utilizing her previous experience working with children, Sabrina will expand her work to family counseling while at TFC.

TFC opens its doors to interns all year round. If you are interested in interning with the legal department, or becoming a Proficio volunteer, please contact Adam Halper at ahalper@thefamilycenter.org, if you are interested in learning more about becoming a research intern, please contact Casey Castro at ccastro@thefamilycenter.org, and for individuals interested in working with the family services department, please contact Rebecca Kim at rkim@thefamilycenter.org.


Just Like Riding A Bike

I approached the Family Center over a year ago after considering various ways in which I could get more involved in community service. Through my involvement in the Robin Hood Foundation I was aware of the Family Center and the great work that they do. The mentoring program seemed like a great opportunity to get more hands-on and have a direct impact on a child’s life. When it was time to meet my mentee, I was introduced to an incredible boy named Joseph Jr. (JJ). He was a little quiet at first but really he just carries his excitement, energy and curiosity with an understated charm. The getting-to-know-you phase is always challenging for both mentor and mentee, so one of the first things JJ and I did was sit down and make a wish-list of things he would like to do that could be accomplished within the five boroughs of New York City. Some of the notable ones were trying sushi, learning to ride a bike and fishing.

One of our most memorable days was going to the NYC Learn-to-Ride program to get some guided supervision while JJ tackled the task of learning to ride a bicycle. It happened to be late in the season and we found an out-of-the-way location in Brooklyn on one of the last days in the season. It turns out we were the only ones to show up and JJ got tons of one-on-one time with the instructors. Sure enough, within two hours JJ was off and riding on his own, something the instructors said was unprecedented. It has been truly rewarding to spend time with JJ and we have a great rapport. He has such incredible potential and hopefully our time together helps him realize all he is capable of.

-Larry Peck
Buddy Program Mentor