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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

New York State PROMISE announces launch of recruitment, training efforts

ITHACA, NY (October 9, 2014) - New York State PROMISE (Promoting the Readiness of Minors in Supplemental Security Income) is proud to announce the start of recruitment for the PROMISE program, a research initiative developed to improve transition-to-adulthood outcomes for eligible youth who receive supplemental security income (SSI).

"We are thrilled to be starting the recruitment process for NYS PROMISE and are looking forward to this opportunity to work closely with so many local agencies to help eligible youth in our community develop the social, financial, and professional skills they need to excel academically and in the workforce," said Joey DiPiazza, Transition Coordinator in the Albany School District.

NYS PROMISE is recruiting youth who receive SSI and are between the ages of 14 and 16 in the Capital Region. Invited youth and adults who meet eligibility requirements can choose to participate in NYS PROMISE and potentially receive services to achieve better outcomes. Eligible youth and their families will receive a personal invitation to participate and details about attending recruitment events in their region.

NYS PROMISE and its partners, including schools, parent centers, and service providers, will expand recruitment efforts to youth and their families in Western New York and New York City this fall. NYS PROMISE will recruit a total of 2,000 youth by April of 2016.

"We are excited to begin recruiting for NYS PROMISE in Albany and pleased to have such dedicated and enthusiastic partners," said Valerie Malzer, Research Specialist at Cornell University. "This is a significant milestone in moving NYS PROMISE from concept to implementation, and marks the beginning of this initiative's direct work with youth and families and delivering NYS PROMISE services to participants."

NYS PROMISE will also provide trainings and materials for partnering agencies in each region. Project partners will attend statewide meetings two times a year, and will have access to technical assistance, training scholarships and specialized professional development.

"As a social worker, I am well aware of the obstacles that are faced by youth who are living in poverty," said Adene Karhan, Special Education Resource Specialist with the Parent Network of the Capital Region. "Far too many youth are dropping out of school or getting involved in high risk activities because they have no hope for a better future. While I realize that PROMISE will not remove all of the barriers that they face, I feel hopeful that the skills and knowledge that they receive and the relationships that they build will instill a confidence that will help them to reach their greatest potential. If I can help even a handful of youth start on a more positive pathway towards economic independence, I will feel good about the work that I have done."

The NYS PROMISE program is a five-year initiative that strives to increase access to services for eligible youth and their families to improve academic and employment outcomes, increase financial stability, and reduce reliance on SSI. New York State PROMISE is one of six PROMISE awards granted by the US. Department of Education in October of 2013. Partnering agencies include The Parent Center of Western New York, Wildwood Programs, Inc. in the capital area, and Resources for Children with Special Needs (RCSN) in the New York City area, regional schools and service providers.

The NYS PROMISE intervention model was jointly developed by the U.S. departments of Education, Health and Human Services, and Labor, and the U.S. social Security Administration in an effort to improve the service provision and coordination for youth with disabilities who receive SSI and their families.

Contact

For more information regarding the NYS PROMISE Initiative, please contact:

  • Michelle Podolec
  • Yang-Tan Institute, Cornell University
  • 406 Dolgen Hall
  • Ithaca, NY 14853-3901
  • 607.255.2886 (voice)
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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

NYS PROMISE Present First Semi-Annual NYS PROMISE Awards of Recognition

ITHACA, NY (July 1, 2014) The NYS PROMISE is excited to announce John Allen, Special Assistant to the Commissioner of New York State Office of Mental Health and Kevin Smith, Deputy Commissioner of the Office of Adult Career and Continuing Education Services — Vocational Rehabilitation in the New York State Education Department as the first recipients to be honored with the NYS PROMISE award. The award recognizes the outstanding efforts of a NYS PROMISE partner for their 'Exemplary work to advance opportunities for New Yorkers with disabilities.'

NYS PROMISE co-principal investigator Thomas P. Golden of Cornell University says…"John Allen and Kevin Smith played a pivotal role in initiating the grant application, and their leadership has been vital to achieving our grant award, in organizing our initial efforts, and ensuring our success for the future. "Andrew Karhan, the NYS PROMISE project director with the New York State Research Foundation for Mental Hygiene says… "Kevin and John are each well respected in their own right for the leadership they have displayed in making NYS PROMISE a reality, but also through their tireless work to improve employment opportunities and outcomes for New Yorkers."

About the PROMISE Initiative

In an effort to improve the service provision and coordination for youth with disabilities who receive Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and their families, the U.S. Departments of Education, Health and Human Services, and Labor, and the U.S. Social Security Administration have jointly created the five year the national PROMISE initiative. PROMISE is funding 6 states/state consortia, including New York, to develop and implement programming focused on improving transition-to-adulthood outcomes for youth who receive SSI. The NYS PROMISE intervention model is designed to support schools and communities in providing high quality transition services for youth and their families, while recognizing that the needs of each community and student are unique.

Award

The first NYS PROMISE award ceremony will take place on the evening of May 19, 2014 at the semi-annual NYS PROMISE Learning Community in Albany, NY. Over one hundred statewide grant partners are expected to be in attendance.

Contact

For more information regarding the NYS PROMISE Initiative, please contact:

  • Michelle Podolec
  • Yang-Tan Institute, Cornell University
  • 406 Dolgen Hall
  • Ithaca, NY 14853-3901
  • 607.255.2886 (voice)
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For Immediate Release: November 8, 2013

GOVERNOR CUOMO ANNOUNCES $32.5 MILLION FEDERAL GRANT FOR "NYS PROMISE" TO IMPROVE EDUCATION AND CAREER OUTCOMES FOR LOW-INCOME CHILDREN WITH DISABILITIES

Grant to be Distributed to Parent Centers and Provider Organizations in Western NY, Capital Region and NYC and Serve More than 2,000 Children

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced New York State has received a $32.5 million award from the U.S. Department of Education to improve the education and career outcomes for more than 2,000 children with disabilities receiving Supplemental Security Income (SSI) in Western New York, Capital Region and New York City. This funding will allow the State to implement "NYS PROMISE," as part of the Obama Administration's "Promoting the Readiness of Minors in Supplemental Security Income" (PROMISE) initiative.

"Under NYS PROMISE, New York State is joining with non-profit organizations and Cornell University to build a brighter future for thousands of disadvantaged New York children," Governor Cuomo said. "This federal grant will allow us to put NYS PROMISE into action, giving low-income children with disabilities and their families the resources they need to thrive not only in the classroom, but also in society and the workplace. This program will help put this young, vulnerable population on a path towards independence and success."

The PROMISE initiative was proposed by the Obama Administration to improve the provision and coordination of services for child SSI recipients and their families. New York's "NYS PROMISE" initiative will help child recipients achieve better outcomes, including graduating from high school, completing postsecondary education and job training, and obtaining competitive employment in an integrated setting. As a result, these child SSI recipients can achieve long-term reductions of reliance on SSI.

This federal grant will serve more than 2,000 New York children with disabilities who receive SSI and are between the ages of 14 and 16, as well as their families. NYS PROMISE will be implemented across three diverse geographic areas which represent a strong sample of rural, suburban and urban areas in New York State: Western New York, the Capital Region, and New York City. Many of these services will be provided by three "Parent Centers" within those regions: The Parent Network of Western New York, The Parent Network of the Capital Region, and Resources For Children with Special Needs in New York City.

In addition to these "Parent Centers," a network comprised of local school districts within these three regions and up to 50 additional provider organizations will be utilized to provide direct services to children and families under NYS PROMISE. These include: Community Rehabilitation organizations that will provide employment services and vocational rehabilitation; Literacy Zone organizations that will provide literacy, financial literacy and budgetary training services; and Independent Living Centers that will provide services related to benefits planning, peer supports and independent living skills. Funding will be distributed to these organizations based on the impact they have on ensuring that children with disabilities and their respective families have the support necessary for success and independence.

With the assistance of the Cornell University Industrial and Labor Relations School's Yang-Tan Institute, the New York State Office of Mental Health (OMH) and the Research Foundation for Mental Hygiene, Inc. (RFMH) applied for this grant, which OMH will administer over the next five years. The NYS PROMISE approach is based on a nationally-informed, systems-focused, and locally-based model of partnership with local non-profit providers. NYS PROMISE will seek to provide youth and their families with services and supports that will assist in their overall financial self-sufficiency.

For example, youth will have the opportunity to receive assistance in learning key "soft skills" to assist them in becoming employed and can receive specific skill training on the job. Families of the youth will receive education, training, and counseling focused on empowering their child to succeed in school, work, and society.

New York State Office of Mental Health Acting Commissioner John V. Tauriello said, "Individuals with a disability, be it a physical or mental disability, deserve a fair shot at becoming financially self-sufficient. By helping children and families gain the skills they need to succeed in school and at the workplace, we are improving their ability to have successful lives, while expanding the benefits that educated and employed individuals bring to their society."

New York State Department of Education Commissioner John B. King, Jr. said, "Students need all the support they can get to succeed in school and lead healthy, productive lives. This grant will help low income students with disabilities get the support they need do well in school and make successful transitions to college and careers."

Dr. Susanne M. Bruyère, Director of Cornell University's Yang-Tan Institute said, "The Industrial and Labor Relations School at Cornell University is tremendously pleased to have this extraordinary opportunity to partner with the New York State Office of Mental Health and other state agencies on this very exciting initiative. As a land grant college, our commitment to New York State runs deep and long, and we are pleased to be able to contribute Cornell's significant research and disability-focused expertise in this project, testing new approaches and innovations for supporting the successful post high school transitions of youth who receive Supplemental Security Income, and as a result creating new pathways to financial and community independence."

U.S. Senator Charles Schumer said, "These federal funds for the NYS PROMISE initiative can transform the lives of students with disabilities in New York State. With this partnership between local nonprofits, state agencies and universities, children with disabilities and their families will have the recourses they need to follow their dreams, whether that means graduating from high school, completing a job training program or moving on to higher education."

U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand said, "This is an important federal investment for the future of our students and communities. All our students need the tools and resources to succeed and get on a path to achieve their full God-given potential. This will go a long way to help students with disabilities gain the education and training necessary to achieve financial independence and a bright future."

Congressman Charlie Rangel said, "I am pleased that we are providing funding to serve thousands of children who most need our attention to excel in and outside of school. Once again, Governor Cuomo is leading the nation in effectively enacting the President's forward-thinking policies. This is an outstanding example of strategic collaboration of the federal and local governments supporting private-public partnerships to invest in the future of our children and our nation."

Congressman Joe Crowley said, "Every child deserves the opportunity to succeed in life, and this grant will help ensure that young New Yorkers with disabilities have the tools and resources they need to fulfill their educational and professional goals. I'm thrilled New York has received this grant, which will have a real, positive impact on many low-income families across our state."

Congressman Brian Higgins said, "A good education is a fundamental opportunity that should be made available to all students. These funds will go a long way toward making sure that all New York students have the ability to have a successful future."

Congressman Paul Tonko said, "A strong education is the foundation of a good life, and we must come together to help those who need it to have the same opportunity as everyone else. This program will help New Yorkers with disabilities receive a solid education with the patience and care they require. During my time in the New York State Assembly, fighting for mental health parity was a top priority of mine, and I continue to fight for these concerns in Congress. I am glad that Governor Cuomo and his team continue to focus on this very important issue."

Additional news available at www.governor.ny.gov

New York State | Executive Chamber | press.office@exec.ny.gov | 518.474.8418

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