FCYU140 cover image See all stories from issue #140, Spring 2020

Youth Lobby for More College Access
FYSA heads to Albany
Represent Staff

On January 28, Fostering Youth Success Alliance (FYSA) headed to Albany for its sixth annual Advocacy Day.

FYSA is a statewide coalition of current and former foster youth, nonprofits, and child welfare advocates that pushes for laws that will help youth in care, especially making college affordable and supportive.

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On Advocacy Day, youth, advocates, and staff get to meet face to face with New York elected officials. Youth share their stories to let lawmakers know how best to support foster youth with new legislation.

image by J. Hopper

In 2015, FYSA created the Foster Youth College Success Initiative (FYSCI) to give youth
in care who are already in or about to enter college financial, academic, and social supports.

That year, lawmakers allotted $1.5 million to FYSCI. Since then, they’ve budgeted $21 million, over the last 5 years.

This year, FYSA staff and child welfare advocates had several legislative “asks” for Fiscal Year 2021.
FYSA asked for $7.5 million to close the financial gaps youth face in attending college and also asked for clarification on how students may use the funds. The budget is still being negotiated.

Picture above: Members of FYSA meet with Assembly Member Ellen Jaffee, a champion of foster care from District 97 in Rockland County.

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