NEW YORK—Deputy Mayor for Strategic Policy Initiatives Richard Buery today announced the expansion of the CUNY Fatherhood Academy (CFA), a program of Mayor Bill de Blasio’s Young Men’s Initiative. With $2.1 million in new funding, CFA will double in size at LaGuardia Community College and will expand to two new CUNY campuses, Kingsborough Community College and Hostos Community College.
“Today we are announcing that we are doubling down on the CUNY Fatherhood Academy once again,” said Deputy Mayor for Strategic Policy Initiatives Richard Buery. “We are investing an additional $1 million to expand the CUNY Fatherhood Academy to Kingsborough Community College and Hostos Community College through the Mayor’s Young Men’s Initiative. As the son of a loving father and the father of two sons myself, I know how much a father’s love affects a child’s self-esteem, independence, emotional responsiveness, and more. CUNY Fatherhood Academy is one of the most important investments we can make as a City. By investing in our fathers, we are investing in our future.”
“In New York City, far too many children grow up without fathers, which research shows has a profoundly negative impact on the life outcomes of a developing child,” said W. Cyrus Garrett, Executive Director of the Young Men’s Initiative. “The CUNY Fatherhood Academy offers our young men a chance to turn this damaging tide and become the nurturing parent they have the potential to be. The Young Men’s Initiative is proud to support the expansion of this critical program, which will increase opportunities for our city’s young and disconnected fathers to become the best dads that they can be.”
The CUNY Fatherhood Academy, started at LaGuardia Community College in 2012 with support from the Campaign for Black Male Achievement at the Open Society Foundations, is a comprehensive program designed to promote responsible parenting and foster economic stability for unemployed and underemployed young fathers through education, employment, and personal development.
Increased familial engagement, attaining a High School Equivalency (HSE) diploma and finding gainful employment are all essential goals of the program. It aims to help young fathers prepare for and enroll in college or training programs, with the understanding that earning a college degree is the most effective path toward providing long-term economic sustainability for themselves and their families. The program serves young fathers 18 to 24 years of age throughout New York City.
Earlier this year, Mayor Bill de Blasio provided LaGuardia Community College with $1.1 million to double the size of the CUNY Fatherhood Initiative.
An evaluation of CUNY Fatherhood Academy by the Urban Institute in 2014 found that participants earn high school equivalency diplomas at rates above the NYS average (61.3% average pass rate among CFA participants, compared to 56.4% average among 19 to 24 year olds in New York State).
Participants also credit CFA with increasing their motivation and their ability to pursue education and employment. The evaluation report highlights CFA’s location on the LaGuardia Community College campus as helping participants develop a sense of belonging and possibility.
And surveys show increased understanding of parenting as well. Participants spend more time with their children, convey stronger relationships with children and their mothers, and show increased financial support.