Dear JCCA Trustees,
We wanted to share some recent news and updates from JCCA. Recently, a group of young people from JCCA’s Foster Home Services visited the Lorraine O’Grady retrospective at the Brooklyn Museum. After a long year of social distancing, it was one of the first in-person outings hosted by JCCA’s LEAP (Leadership, Education, and Achievement Pathways) division.
While we are excited to begin offering more in-person enrichment opportunities as the weather gets warmer, virtual activities still offer our young people and partners new ways to connect and grow. Gensler, a leading global architecture firm, recently hosted a career exploration session on Zoom for 28 JCCA teens. The four-session series is part of Gensler’s greater mission to give back to young people who might not otherwise have access to career opportunities in STEM or design, and in the long run, increase diversity and equity across all design fields.
Up on campus, we were not able to host our annual Volunteer Appreciation Dinner—but young people still wanted a way to share their love for the amazing Campus volunteers. Working with a professional videographer, a driven group of teens from PCS and Edenwald produced, directed, and filmed this wonderful video for the volunteers just in time to welcome volunteers back to campus this month. Please take a look.
As a reflection of JCCA’s continued commitment to delivering cutting-edge, high-quality programming, I am also pleased to announce that Ron has been appointed to the board of Child Trends, a national research organization focused on improving the lives of children and youth, especially those who are most vulnerable.
Ron’s leadership has also been recognized in two recent publications—CWLA’s 100th Anniversary Journal, and The Imprint, where he pushed Albany to consider expanding eligibility to New York’s foster parents (“Foster Parents Are Essential Workers and Should Not Be Overlooked,” March 18). While all adults in New York State became eligible for the vaccine shortly after the article was published, JCCA continues to advocate at the city and state levels on behalf of foster parents, children in care, and vulnerable families across New York. In fact, the CWLA article was commissioned in response to Ron’s testimony at a City Council hearing in October 2020 about racial disparities in the child welfare system.
I hope that you have all marked your calendars for June 8th, the date of our virtual Gala. The event is gaining momentum and we are grateful for your generosity and time—we are looking forward to an engaging and successful virtual event.