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New American Youth Leadership Corps Fosters Leadership of Immigrant Students, Children of Immigrants in New York

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Press Contact: Thanu Yakupitiyage,  Main Phone: (212) 627-2227 ext. 235,  E-mail: tyaku@nyic.org
New York  (Thursday, April 28, 2016)

New American Youth Leadership Corps Fosters Leadership of Immigrant Students, Children of Immigrants in New York

 New York Immigration Coalition and Citi Community Development Invest in High School Students 

(New York, NY) On Wednesday, April 27th, 24 New York City high school students from across the five boroughs graduated from the first cohort of the New American Youth Leadership Corp (NAYLC), a new initiative launched by the New York Immigration Coalition with the generous support of Citi Community Development. NAYLC was developed to support high schools students who are immigrants or whose families are from immigrant backgrounds in their pathways to success, and in developing their skills in leadership development, financial management, community engagement and civic participation. The first iteration of this ground-breaking initiative ran from February 10th through April 27th; a second cohort for the program will start in late June.

The first cohort of 24 participants included high school students of African, Asian, Caribbean, Latino, and Middle Eastern backgrounds. As part of the program, they engaged in workshops ranging from learning about immigration history, the immigration system including a focus on naturalization, college access, financial literacy, and learning to become better communicators and public speakers. The participants also engaged in volunteer service during the program, which included providing support around language access and interpretation at community events, and supporting immigrant service events focused on citizenship applications, legal services, and identification document services.

“At the NYIC, we believe we have an obligation to foster the development of our city’s young people of immigrant backgrounds,” said Steven Choi, executive director of the New York Immigration. “Thanks to the support of City Community Development we’ve been able to do just that – build the leadership of high school students who are the future of our city. Their training through the New American Youth Leadership Corps will help build a foundation for future engagement and plant the seeds for our city’s future advocates, and we look forward to continuing this program with a second cohort this summer and beyond.” 

 “Citi Community Development is committed to bolstering financial empowerment for New Yorkers,” said Eileen Auld, Director of Citi Community Development’s New York Tri State Market. “The New American Youth Leadership Corps is an excellent opportunity for young people to develop their financial capabilities, learn about the immigration system and the naturalization process, and put their learnings into practice by volunteering at community events. We are proud to partner with the New York Immigration Coalition on this program to develop the next generation of leaders in New York’s vibrant immigrant communities.”

The first cohort of the New American Youth Leadership Corp. 

Haby Sondo¸a student of at Manhattan Center for Science and Mathematics from the South Bronx said about her participation in NAYLC, “My parents are immigrants from Burkina Faso and I've seen them struggle tremendously to keep a roof over the heads of my siblings and I. Before I joined the NYIC’s youth corp, I wasn't fully aware of all the problems my parents faced. I wasn't aware of how many families have been broken up because of the unjust immigration system in America. Because of NYIC, I was able to meet several other teenagers who shared my exact story, who knew what it was like to be the child of immigrants struggling to survive in America. Through group meetings and sharing our stories, I realized that my family was just one of many people affected by America's immigration system. This program has allowed me to gain a stronger understanding of the importance of current events such as immigration reform, and why it is important for me as a teenager keeping up with these new laws and legislations made by the government, because every day is a different chapter in history which will effect myself, and my family members in the future. 

Bralyn Torres, a senior at High School for Health Careers and Sciences, whose family is from the Dominican Republic said, “The NAYLC program helped provide me with valuable life skills and volunteer opportunities to serve immigrant communities. I recently volunteered through the program for a legal clinic for immigrants. I've also learned through the program to be more open and try new things such as opening up and talking to "strangers" that in the long run turned out to be friends.” 

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The New York Immigration Coalition

The New York Immigration Coalition is an umbrella policy and advocacy organization for nearly 200 groups in New York State that work with immigrants and refugees. The NYIC aims to achieve a fairer and more just society that values the contributions of immigrants and extends opportunity to all by promoting immigrants’ full civic participation, fostering their leadership, and providing a unified voice and a vehicle for collective action for New York’s diverse immigrant communities.

Citi

Citi, the leading global bank has approximately 200 million customer accounts and does business in more than 160 countries and jurisdictions. Citi provides consumers, corporations, governments and institutions with a broad range of financial products and services, including consumer banking and credit, corporate and investment banking, securities brokerage, transaction services, and wealth management.

Additional information may be found at www.citigroup.com | Twitter: @Citi | YouTube: www.youtube.com/citi | Blog: http://blog.citi.com | Facebook: www.facebook.com/citi | LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/company/citi

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