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April: Lt. Governor Antonio Delgado Visits Center for Family Life at PS 1

On Tuesday April 9th, we were honored to have New York State Lieutenant Governor Antonio Delgado visit CFLSP’s programs at PS 1 where he was able to see first-hand some of our innovative youth development programming. The Lt. Governor learned about the work of CFLSP through Amiya Castro, former PS 1 participant who is now an Excelsior Service Fellow in the Lt. Governor’s office. Amiya fondly remembered her years participating in CFLSP programs at PS 1, stating she has not found any place quite like it since. 

Amiya currently supports the work of the newly-created NYS Office of Service and Civic Engagement, led by the Lt. Governor, to inspire stronger communities through public service opportunities. This office plans to support service organizations and initiatives like ours, with the goal of building an active community and network for service and civic engagement across the state.

During his visit to the PS 1 afterschool program, Lt. Governor Delgado observed members as they participated in visual arts and teambuilding activities that build social, emotional, and problem-solving skills. The Lt. Governor also visited our teen camp group, engaging participants in a productive discussion where they shared suggestions for positive change in New York State. Group members identified reducing pollution and making subways safer as ways that the state government could improve communities. In discussion of growth and the needs of our organization, they advocated for more funding for service projects to help young people grow and learn while making a positive contribution to their neighborhoods.


Lt. Governor Delgado also participated in a roundtable discussion with representatives from our unique “ladder of leadership,” which includes teen camp participants, Counselors-in-Training, AmeriCorps members, and Program Coordinator Jirazel Munoz-Jimenez. The Lt. Governor appreciated learning how our ladder of leadership fosters long-term relationships that enrich our program environments while serving as a pathway for success for participants as they age-up through our programs.

In CFLSP’s ladder of leadership model, participants build leadership skills in elementary school group experiences, move up into middle school service-learning activities and then, in high school, become Counselors-in-Training (CITs) who serve as role models for younger children. CITs become our hiring pool of youth workers and group leaders who staff our elementary and middle school programs during their college years. Group leaders have the opportunity to advance to AmeriCorps service positions where they earn a living allowance and an educational award to support their ongoing education. As a result of our ladder of leadership and investment in community building, we are very fortunate to have many candidates for our robust 74-member AmeriCorps program.

In the roundtable discussion with Lt. Governor Delgado, Kristie Mancell, Division Director for School-Based Programs, advocated for paid service opportunities for high school youth, like our CITs, who are volunteering their time to make a valuable contribution to their community. Providing stipends for youth would allow more young people to participate in service projects.


In reflecting on their roles in the CFLSP program, participants and staff expressed their appreciation for the opportunity to continue to grow alongside other community members while serving as leaders. Lt. Governor Delgado underscored the circular nature of public service, emphasizing that there is a reciprocal relationship between giving and receiving. A CIT echoed this, saying “I get back from young people just as much as I give.”

We are truly grateful to Lt. Governor Delgado, Amiya Castro, and the whole team for coming to visit PS 1. We are inspired by the extraordinary dedication of our volunteers and staff and were proud to share our longstanding service model of youth leadership and community building!

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