May 2020 News

From Michael Roberts, Executive Director


Virtual hello from CYD staff!

I hope you and your families are staying safe and healthy! In this remote world we miss seeing our students and each other in person. But, although we are socially distanced but we’re not emotionally distanced!

I am very proud of the way our staff is working closely with our schools and one another, and has come together with creativity and compassion to adapt and adjust our services.

CYD advocates are in touch with students daily and some of the themes include:

  • Mental health and wellness is a struggle, particularly around disruption in their learning and managing the family environment. Finding space to study and learn is a challenge.
  • Fear for family members who at risk or sick with COVID-19.
  • Adapting to remote learning including time management and juggling technologies.
  • Graduation milestones: Proms, Graduation, Senior Trips. How will their hard work and accomplishments be celebrated and acknowledged?
  • How to complete college planning including acceptances and enrollment. Can they still afford college? Is college in NYC a better choice if family finances have changed?
  • How to enroll in alternative postsecondary training pathways during this shutdown.
  • Anxiety about lost internship/job income for themselves, parents, and family.
  • Immigration concerns for those new to the country and those in process for citizenship or temporary citizenship.

We continue to prepare graduating students for life after high school. The college team is busy helping students think through college acceptances and financial aid concerns. Our career team is helping students and parents sign up for unemployment, as well as prepare for jobs when the economy begins to open back up.

During this time, good things are still happening!
Some of the young people we’ve trained as Medical Assistants and EMTs through our Career Academy at Borough of Manhattan Community College are on the front lines of this crisis. We are grateful for the way they are now taking care of us. Brittny’s story is below.

College acceptances are coming in, and our seniors have been accepted and received financial aid at a range of excellent public and private institutions.

Finally, we have created a Resource page that is updated daily and may be helpful not just to our families but to yours as well: https://comprehensiveyouthdevelopment.org/covid-19-resources/

Best wishes to you and your families to stay safe and healthy.

We celebrate Career Academy graduates on the front lines

Since 2015, more than 200 young people have completed CYD’s postsecondary healthcare training program, The Career Academy. This innovative training program for our alumni and other city high school graduates is a partnership with Borough of Manhattan Community College’s Center for Continuing Education and Workforce Development. Graduates have received certification as Medical Assistants and EMTs and are now working at healthcare facilities throughout the NYC region.

Brittny graduated from the Career Academy in 2019 and was certified as a Medical Assistant in February 2020.

Brittny is now an essential worker at Brooklyn Gardens Nursing Home. “The elderly are really suffering during this time. We’re in quarantine at Brooklyn Gardens, which means family members aren’t allowed to visit. I try to keep every resident I am assigned to happy and treat them as if they’re one of my own family. Although I am a little bit afraid I still love this job. I am so glad that I am able to use my training right now.”


Brittny in full work attire