Written by Foundling Guest Blogger, Christina, a Graduate of The Foundling’s Road to Success Program.

My recent semester at Johnson & Wales University was a memorable one, and getting ready to transition from a college Sophomore to a Junior is difficult, emotional, and exciting—all at the same time.

This past semester I began to meet with my academic advisors and they helped me plan the classes I will take over the next two years at school. It’s hard to believe that I’ve now completed two years…I’m halfway done with school, and it’s gone by fast.

Sophomore year was trickier compared to my Freshman year, which is what I expected, so it didn’t come as a surprise. My Abnormal Psychology course was quite intense, and required study time to keep up with the fast pace and new concepts. I was thankful for my Criminal Courts and Deviance classes, however. I learned so much in these hands-on courses, and even got to visit a juvenile facility!  I’m glad I was able to stay motivated, no matter how difficult a class may have gotten, or how difficult a professor may have been.

One thing I can say for certain: I remained focused on my goals and knowing that I completed two years! This has kept me excited for the rest of my college path, and the remaining classes I need to take towards my major in Criminal Justice.

The Foundling has stayed by my side for these past two years, and throughout my adolescence, and I know they continue to support me as I continue to grow and learn. I can’t wait to look back when I’m older at what I was able to accomplish, despite the challenges I had growing up in foster care. Today I have a great relationship with my foster family, and I’m in close contact with members of my biological family too—which is really special and important to me.

This summer is going to be really busy, and the work doesn’t stop. I am interning with The Foundling for a second summer, this time with the Human Resources Team as a Project Assistant (last year I interned with the Business Operations Team).  I can’t wait to learn about the different areas of recruitment, benefits administration, and other HR practices. These are skills I can bring back to campus at Johnson & Wales to continue my success.


The Foundling’s Road to Success program is a tutoring program especially for high school students who are in foster care. Watch this video story to learn more about Road to Success and how our wrap-around education services empower students to succeed in high school and beyond.

Written by Foundling Intern and Guest Blogger, Lattisha M.


The Foundling is proud to now operate and run the city’s Staten Island Community Partnership Program (which became official earlier this year!). Each year, the program hosts an annual Fatherhood Family Fun Day and Resource Fair. Saturday marked the 9th year of the event and hundreds of families attended, including adoptive parents and foster parents.


Over 40 community partners and city agencies participated and included the following organizations: Big Brothers Big Sisters of NYC; Families on the Move of NYC, Inc.; Empire Blue Cross Blue Shield Health Plus; The New York Public Library; Primerica Financial Service; RUMC Head Start, Literacy Inc; Healthcare Education Project; ACS’s Family Assessment Program and their Safe Sleep Initiative; Public Health Solutions Nurse Family Partnership Program; and CABS Homecare.  Thank you to these partners, and everyone else who joined us!


Resources and giveaways were distributed to families and kids—with special items for all of the dads and male role models who attended—and everyone enjoyed games and activities. New York’s radio station, Hot 97, also helped to promote this community event and encouraged attendance across all of Staten Island!


Other attractions during this signature event included a bounce house, face painting, a fitness demonstration, a magic show, and a presentation of an FDNY smoke house (and a demonstration on what to do in case a fire breaks out in your home). The Staten Island Zoo was also in attendance with their outreach table and live animals.


The New York Foundling officially became the backbone organization for the Staten Island Community Partnership Program (SICPP) to work in partnership with the New York City Administration of Children’s Services, Office of Community Engagement and Partnerships to support and strengthen opportunities for children, families, and multi-generational Staten Island residents.


Written by Foundling Intern and Guest Blogger, Liam M.


The men and women involved with The New York Foundling’s Developmental Disabilities program and services have been taking advantage of community activities and events across the city and surrounding counties. And with summer around the corner, including longer and warmer days, the best is yet to come!


Below is a roundup of some of the exciting ways our individuals are keeping busy, and putting into practice the skills they’ve been working on in recent months with their advocates, coaches, and mentors. Together, they’re setting and achieving goals centered on independence, as well as teamwork and relationship building with others.


  • In May, a group of residents based in the Bronx mastered art classes, using different materials and style of paint—like water color and acrylic—to express themselves through artwork, building the techniques and skills to become better painters!
  • A field trip to Old Tapan took place recently where our individuals were able to take the front seat of Go-Karts, and enjoyed the outdoor air and wind driving on the tracks with their house managers and the Direct Support Professionals who provide care for them at home.
  • Last week, hundreds of men and women from The Foundling’s Developmental Disabilities Division attended an annual basketball tournament in Nyack, NY. There were several different teams competing and players enjoyed the drills to help them prepare. Staff from The Foundling served as coaches, referees, and scorekeepers—and the sidelines of the court were filled with cheerleaders!


More events are underway this summer for the men and women in The Foundling’s Developmental Disabilities Division—as well as our other program areas. To learn more and get involved, please email events@nyfoundling.org.


Written by Foundling Intern and Guest Blogger, Liam M.


As students at The New York Foundling’s charter school, Mott Haven Academy wrap up classes for the year, they are still taking the time to enjoy once of a lifetime opportunities, including field trips and activities to help them learn about teamwork, setting and achieving goals, and applying what they’ve learned in the classrooms to real-life experiences.


Here is a recent roundup of what our students ‘scholars’ have been able to achieve in recent weeks:

  • Middle school students were invited to watch the New York Jets take the field for a pre-season practice. Watching an NFL team run drills, sprints and other activities was a blast for the students as they got to see some of their favorite football players. Thank you to the New York Jets for providing our students with an unforgettable experience!


Kids Meeting the NY Jets

Students waiting eagerly to meet their favorite Jets players!

  • 5th graders went on an exciting field trip to Club Getaway in Connecticut to celebrate all of their achievements in the classroom over the past year. Throughout the day, the students were challenged with a multitude of entertaining activities and sports. This was a great bonding experience for the kids as they learned how to develop a sense of community with one another, and encouraged each other to overcome tough obstacles.  Mott Haven Academy would love to thank Club Getaway for providing the children with an exhilarating day in the outdoors.
  • 4th graders performed an impressive ballet recently which told the story of the American Revolution. The students prepared for weeks and learned the techniques and skills of ballet from experts at the Art of the Dance World Academy. Learning the art of ballet as they studied the American Revolution added an element of excitement and passion to the curriculum, tying together history and dance. Special thanks to the Art of the Dance World Academy for providing input and guidance on this incredible performance.


Ballet of American Revolution

4th graders performing their ballet of the American Revolution

  • Mott Haven Academy scholars visited the Met Opera House on the Upper West Side to watch a dress rehearsal of Whipped Cream performed by the American Ballet Theater. Prior to the event, students took advantage of a beautiful day and had a picnic lunch in Central Park. Thank you Met Opera House and the American Ballet Theater for providing the students with an entertaining and impactful day!


Lincoln Square Fountain with Kids

students at the Revson Fountain in Lincoln Square

  • Haven’s middle school students visited Governor’s Island to learn about farming! The students had an awesome and insightful day as they learned different techniques, skills and approaches to farming and agriculture. Mott Haven thanks the staff members at Governor’s island for teaching the students about farming!


Students taking in the atmosphere on Governor’s Island

Students taking in the atmosphere on Governor’s Island

As the 2018-2019 school year is coming to a close, The Foundling would like to applaud and celebrate the teachers, staff, and students at Mott Haven Academy for another successful year! For more updates, please visit Haven Academy’s Facebook page!


This past weekend, The New York Foundling celebrated its 150th anniversary with a host of events which included a Mass at St. Patrick’s Cathedral, a Reunion Day at NYU’s Kimmel Center, and a Block Party Festival in Chelsea. The weekend was a great way for The Foundling to commemorate a century and a half of providing children, families and individuals with developmental disabilities with a dedicated support system.


The Mass, held on June 6, was celebrated by His Eminence, Cardinal Timothy Dolan. Along with the attendance of Monsignor Kevin Sullivan, many Foundling alums, orphan train descendants, Trustees, and Foundling staff members were involved with curating the ceremony as they participated in the procession, readings, and various other roles. Cardinal Dolan led the sermon and shared before hundreds of attendees, “The Foundling has always been a place of miracles.” He added, “The New York Foundling, since its inception in 1869, has always been an outlet for people in need to count on.” The ceremony was open to the public and was followed by a networking reception nearby.


On June 7, families, staff, alumnae, clients, friends and adoptees gathered at the NYU’s Kimmel Center to celebrate Reunion Day. In attendance were 100 attendees that were involved with various networking events throughout the day. Events included guest speakers, panel sessions, workshops, and other special topics. The list of events included “The Orphan Train Movement,” discussed by Shaley George (curator for The National Orphan Train Complex) and “Researching Your Roots,” which featured Maggie Dickinson (Lead tutor of After-school Allies), lllona Dixon (Records Department representative for The Foundling), and Greg Markway (Foundling Descendent, Author, and Psychologist). As well as, “Why the New York Foundling Survives,” examined by Mary Elizabeth Brown (Archivist at Marymount Manhattan College), “Foundling from Past to Present,” talked about by Valerie Russo (Chief Operating Officer of The Foundling), Sister Carol Barnes S.C. (Director of Mission Engagement of The Foundling), Carmen Jirau-Rivera (Chief Program Officer of The Foundling), and Jill Gentile (Senior Vice President of the Developmental Disabilities Division at The Foundling). To finish the event, Kevin Draper (Historian and Tour Director for New York Historical Tours) gave a detailed account of the “New York City History from 1869.” Also, many of the attendees participated in sharing their own affiliation with The Foundling and shared what makes this organization special.


The Final event of the weekend was the Block Party on June 8. The Block Party took place outside of our offices at 590 Avenue of the Americas and was an action packed day with over 1,000 attendees! Families and members of the Foundling enjoyed a day filled with music, entertainment, food, and more. The event had food trucks (catered by Gorilla Cheese NYC, Green Gorilla Kitchen, and Gary’s Steak), face painting, games, and live music. Other vendors that helped provide a wonderful event for The Foundling included City Winery, The ACC (Animal Care Centers of NYC), UnitedHealthcare, MyHeritage, The Door, and the NYC Administration for Children’s Services.


More events to celebrate The New York Foundling’s 150th Anniversary will take place over the next few months, including the 150th Gala Celebration at The Plaza on October 2.


For more information go to www.nyfoundling.org/150anniversary  


In November 2018, several members of The Foundling’s Implementation Support Center (ISC) traveled to Guatemala and met with the leadership team of The Comprehensive Health, Opportunities and Human Rights Programs at the Barbara Ford Peacebuilding Center. And later this month, staff from the Barbara Ford Peacebuilding Center will come to New York City to continue conversations and next steps.


The ISC team worked hand-in-hand with the program team at Barbara Ford Peacebuilding Center to discuss a long-view and identified immediate next steps with implementing several tools that have been successful for The Foundling in the world of evidence-based models work.


“Our goal was to get everyone focused on adherence and outcomes while we build a taste for evidence-based programming. We spent the morning listening to staff and experts describe their projects, their strengths, barriers, and dreams,” says Sylvia Rowlands, Senior Vice President of Evidence-Based Community Programs at The Foundling, and Implementation Support Center Senior Advisor. “We learned so much. On the first day, we spent the afternoon in a quasi-World Cafe exercise and it was an amazing and transformational experience for all of us.


Since 2012, our ISC team has partnered with organizations and agencies across the world to find the research-based program and therapy models that will work best for them and begin utilizing them in their communities to dramatically improve outcomes for children, adults, and families. To learn more about the work of our ISC, visit www.nyfoundling.org/ISC.


Written by Foundling Guest Blogger, Christina, a Graduate of The Foundling’s Road to Success Program.


Freshman year was definitely the year where you brace yourself for the following three years of college. Now that I am in my sophomore year, I feel ready to finish off the remaining years and earn my degree. I keep myself motivated by remembering that the end is going to be very beneficial. Yes, there is a load of school work—I must admit—but when you are determined, nothing is ever too much. This is the year for internships and connections in the criminal justice field, and I can’t wait to get started.


I’m beyond grateful that I’m enrolled in college because I am learning so much about myself about the world. This year has brought many different options and different views on life. I came into college determined to go into the FBI , and now that I am in my sophomore year, I see that there are more fields that interest me other than the FBI (for example a real estate attorney).


The best part about college is that you get to explore and change your mind as many times as you want until you find something that really fits you best!


I’m happy that The New York Foundling is by my side through it all, being there for me, whether I wanted to go into the FBI or become a doctor. Having support while in college is very crucial because many kids may not be as motivated when they don’t have someone there pushing them, or even just being there for them emotionally. I’m excited to finish the rest of this year and to start my junior year with a smarter and stronger mindset…because there is always room for improvement!


The Foundling’s Road to Success program is a tutoring program especially for high school students who are in foster care. Watch this video story to learn more about Road to Success and how our wrap-around education services empower students to succeed in high school and beyond.


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The New York Foundling is proud to yet again be an Official Charity Partner of the 2019 TCS New York City Marathon, happening Sunday, November 3rd. Tens of thousands of marathon runners will join Team Foundling in the 26.2-mile race that weaves throughout New York City’s five boroughs.


The Foundling has 5 guaranteed spots in the 2019 TCS NYC Marathon. We’re recruiting a dedicated team of runners to help us raise much-needed funds to support the children, youth, families, and adults served by The Foundling.


There are two ways to join Team Foundling:


  1. Enter to Become an Official Runner (5 spots available)

We guarantee your spot in the race, pay for your entry fees, and offer perks like fundraising support, team bonding opportunities, T-shirts, and more. If you earn one of these coveted spots on Team Foundling, you commit to fundraising at least $3,000 by October 2019.


These spots will be filled based on a drawing. The deadline to enter your name into the drawing is March 14, 2019.


  1. Become an Unofficial Runner

Already have a spot in the 2019 TCS NYC Marathon? You can make your efforts count even more by fundraising for the kids at The Foundling! Email us at the contact below to learn how.


To join Team Foundling, please contact Elena Walker at Elena.Walker@NYFoundling.org for more information and a chance to enter!


Pictured above: Four of The Foundling’s first cohort of Women in Technology New York (WiTNY) interns.


Five women with the Women in Technology New York (WiTNY) program recently wrapped up their “Winternships” with The Foundling’s IT Services team. This unique 3-week mini-internship taught them how technology platforms and other tools support the work of child welfare and social services nonprofits.


The project they spearheaded during their time at The Foundling was called, “Augmented Intelligence through Machine Learning for Social Services Outcomes.” Their goal was not only to learn about The Foundling’s work, but to also gather and cleanup data, analyze outcomes, and solve problems using cutting-edge technology.


“I see that technology has great potential in nonprofits. With proper use of data, people’s lives can be improved and even changed,” Xuefei, a 21-year-old student from City College of New York, says of her learning experience.


In recent years, there has been an increased push across the technology sector to see more female representation and diversity in the field, something that programs like WiTNY and its partner organizations like The Foundling are actively supporting by giving young women these critical, foundational experiences to kick-start their careers.


“The Foundling has been helpful in advancing opportunities for women by opening positions for everyone. This of course includes women. The Foundling was constantly being nothing but confident in our abilities,” Sydney, who attends City Tech College in Brooklyn, says of her internship.


Maroosha, 19, who studies at City College of New York, reflected on the feeling of acceptance working side-by-side with men and women alike in The Foundling’s IT Services department. “Most importantly, throughout this experience, I felt believed and trusted in,” she says.


More companies and organizations can play an active role in opening doors and building diverse teams, too. One idea? “Companies and organizations can create programs that educate and train women who want to go into the field of technology,” suggests Jacqueline, an intern from New York City College of Technology.


And for more girls, teens, and young adults aspiring to start careers in the tech world, these trailblazers have some advice: be confident.


“Just go for it. It may seem less welcoming and more intimidating because it is a white, male-dominated field, but we are the ones who are going to change that dynamic,” Maroosha says. “We have to change the course for the future that has been set so firmly since the past. If the tech industry is for you, then don’t be afraid to take that leap. Stand your ground and believe in your capabilities to work in the tech industry as a woman. “


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Foundling Chief Program Officer Carmen Jirau-Rivera and ACS Commissioner David Hansell hold a wearable blanket that is safe for sleeping babies. These wearable blankets will be available to families for free at various ACS locations throughout the city. (Photo courtesy Administration of Children’s Services.)


Ahead of a bitter cold, snowy weekend, the New York City Administration for Children’s Services teamed up with The New York Foundling to inform parents about safe sleep practices for the city’s youngest residents.


ACS Commissioner David Hansell and Foundling Chief Program Officer Carmen Jirau-Rivera were joined by officials from the state Office of Children and Family Services and NYC Department of Health at The Foundling’s Crisis Nursery on January 18 to provide safe sleep tips and information on resources available around the city. ACS’ Safe Sleep Initiative educates caregivers on the dangers of unsafe sleep environments, responsible for sleep-related injury and deaths.


Every year, about 50 babies in New York City die from a sleep-related injury; almost one baby every week, ACS noted in a press release. To combat these tragic events, ACS is offering free wearable blankets for babies.




“Sleep-related deaths in infants are easily preventable by adhering to the safe sleep methods, as presented today by the NYC Administration for Children’s Services,” said Bill Baccaglini, President and CEO of The New York Foundling, said in a statement. “With a frigid weekend upon us, I urge parents and caregivers to pick up a wearable blanket that allows babies to sleep safely and warmly. And, of course, we welcome families in need of extra and support and services to visit and learn our Crisis Nursery, a 24/7 haven for parents and children.”


The rule of thumb for safe sleeping? Remember “ABC.” Infants should sleep Alone, on their Backs, in a safety-approved Crib. For more information on infant safe sleep best practices or resources in the community, visit: www.nyc.gov/safesleep or call 311 and ask for Safe Sleep.


Temporary Image for ACS Safe Sleep Press Conference


Families in need of a safe, warm place for their children to stay while dealing with a temporary crises can utilize our one-of-a-kind 24/7 Crisis Nursery, which can be reached through our helpline at any time at (888-435-7553).


If you are in need of a free wearable blanket for your baby, visit one of the following ACS locations:



  • 492 1st Avenue (this location is open after 4pm on weeknights and all day/night on weekends)
  • 150 William Street, 4th Fl.
  • 55 W. 125th Street, 12th Fl.


  • 2501 Grand Concourse, 4th Fl.
  • 1200 Waters Place
  • 974 Morris Park Avenue


  • 1274 Bedford Ave, 1st Fl.
  • 185 Marcy Avenue, 2nd Fl.
  • 404 Pine Street, 4th Fl.
  • 2554 Linden Boulevard, 1st Fl.
  • 345 Adams Street, 9th Fl.
  • 19 Grant Square 


  • 165-15 Archer Avenue, 1st Fl.
  • 90-25 161st Street, 3rd Fl.
  • 92-31 Union Hall Street, 3rd Fl.

Staten Island

  • 350 Saint Marks Place, 5th Fl.