Family Services of Westchester’s Junior Board Announces Seven New Grants, Totaling $10,500, to Youth and Family Programs

04/12/2013

Port Chester, NY- Family Services of Westchester (FSW), a longstanding, private not-for-profit, non-sectarian agency that provides social and mental health services to families and children in Westchester County, announced today that its Junior Board has awarded seven grants totaling $10,500 to FSW programs that provide critical social services to youth and families across the county.   In just two years, the Junior Board has raised $40,000 and has handed out nearly $20,000 in grants to FSW programs through its Youth Enrichment Fund.

Founded in January 2011, the FSW Junior Board is a group of young professionals and emerging leaders residing in Westchester County who are dedicated to promoting FSW’s mission and increasing awareness of the organization’s youth programs through a variety of educational, recreational and service initiatives.  The Junior Board’s Youth Enrichment Fund provides targeted, supplemental funding to FSW’s youth and family programs.  Below are highlights of the new grants awarded to benefit hundreds of children and families in Westchester.        

  • Yoga for Special Needs Preschoolers – Twenty-five students in FSW’s Prime Time program will benefit from a year of weekly yoga classes. The classes are designed to help them self-regulate and remain “steady” throughout the school day, helping them achieve an optimal state for learning.
  • Enrichment Classes for Children of Incarcerated or Recently Released Fathers – Eight children will receive scholarships to attend enrichment classes with their fathers. These classes offered by the City of Yonkers Department of Parks, Recreation & Conservation including karate, tennis, cooking, crafts, theater and dance..   
  • Playground at Rochambeau School – This grant will go toward designing and building a safe, welcoming playground, with state-of-the-art equipment in partnership with KaBOOM!, a national non-profit dedicated to saving play for America’s children.  The playground will be utilized by 230 Head Start and Universal Pre-K students currently enrolled at FSW’s Rochambeau School site in White Plains.  The community at-large will also use the playground.
  • New Site for Social Stars After-School Respite Program – Seed money will allow FSW to bring its successful Yonkers-based Social Stars Respite Program to youth in Mt. Vernon and New Rochelle.
  • Acquisition of Car Seats – With the acquisition of car seats, the Early Childhood Respite social worker[s] will be able to transport parents and their young children to various types of community and cultural activities with the goal of making them feel less isolated and more involved in their communities.
  • Mothers of Bedford Film Screening and Panel Discussion – This grant will allow FSW’s EMERGE program for incarcerated mothers to host a documentary film screening of “Mothers of Bedford.”  A panel discussion will follow with the filmmaker, Jennifer McShane and industry professionals.  The audience of 200 will be targeted to include employees of DSS, Family Court, and professionals working in children’s mental health. This event will help raise awareness of the challenges of the re-entry process and helping to link mothers with mental health services and support in their communities.
  • Young Men’s Peer Group and Trip to Empower Leadership Sports & Adventure Center – Following the model of the Young Women’s Peer Group funded by the Junior Board, young men from families suffering from Severe Emotional Disturbance (SED) will meet biweekly with program coordinators to discuss teen issues, reproductive health and substance abuse prevention. The program will culminate with a trip to Zip line Canopy Tour at Empower Leadership Sports & Adventure Center in Middletown, CT.

“It’s an inspiration to see Westchester’s distinguished young professionals and emerging leaders’ unwavering dedication to advancing the mission of FSW through their philanthropic efforts,”  said Susan B. Wayne, President and CEO of FSW.  “On behalf of these FSW programs and the many youth and families who participate in them, we thank the Junior Board and their supporters for their tremendous generosity.”

“When we founded the Junior Board just two years ago, it was only a dream to imagine awarding over $10,000 to fund seven unique and powerful initiatives,” stated Leslie Chang, Chair of the Junior Board of FSW.  “Today’s announcement is a true testament to the power of our Youth Enrichment Fund and we hope that the latest grants will offer opportunities to impact FSW youth and families for a lifetime.”

Next Fundraiser to Benefit the Junior Board Youth Enrichment Fund – May 16th 

The Junior Board will host their third annual wine tasting at Tarry Wine in Port Chester on May 16 from 7:00pm – 9:00pm.  10% of each bottle purchased and 15% of each whole case purchased will benefit the Junior Board and their Youth Enrichment Fund, which focuses on enriching the lives of the children and youth in FSW’s programs through special programs, field trips, and service projects.  Tickets and details are now available at https://www.facebook.com/events/618361551511338/.

About the Junior Board of FSW

The Junior Board of Family Services of Westchester (FSW) is comprised of volunteers who support the Board of Directors and promote the mission of FSW through educational, fundraising and service initiatives.  As a group of community-minded and philanthropic young professionals and emerging leaders, the Junior Board helps to raise FSW’s visibility as well as identify and connect resources to the organization. 

FSW was founded in 1954 and runs more than 50 social service and mental health programs for all ages, including Head Start, Big Brothers Big Sisters, Adult and Youth Residences and AmeriCorps. Visit www.fsw.org for more information.

Interested in Joining the Junior Board?

Interested in becoming involved with the Junior Board and giving back to those in need living in Westchester County?  If so, please click here or contact Gerry Goldberg at 914-305-6834, ggoldberg@fsw.org.