March 7, 2024

AFJ Enhances 3-Year HIRE Up Job Readiness Partnership With BlackRock

In this week’s newsletter, Avenues for Justice (AFJ) would like to highlight our partnership with BlackRock through our board member Rebecca Lewinson. In 2020, Rebecca joined Avenues for Justice's Board of Directors through BoardLead. As an AFJ Brand Ambassador, Rebecca has worked with the AFJ team to organize three spring Runs for Justice, in addition to facilitating opportunities for BlackRock volunteers to offer job readiness programming as part of our HIRE Up program. In March 2022, BlackRock profiled Rebecca’s work with AFJ through their social media network, “Brand Ambassadors," reaching BlackRock employees around the globe. 

“BlackRock's engagement with Avenues for Justice Participants exemplifies the power of investing in human potential. Employees have used their skills to foster individual growth and contribute to a more inclusive society, all while supporting a local nonprofit that has been driving meaningful change for 45 years.” ~Rebecca Lewinson, AFJ Board Member and Director at BlackRock

BlackRock’s first engagement with AFJ was in December 2022. The Women’s Initiative & Allies Network (WIN) of BlackRock hosted a job readiness event at our Lower East Side community center. The event included three workshop stations - How to Write A Resume, How to Write A Cover letter, and a station for mock interview practice. Rebecca joined this event and engaged with Participants at the resume and cover letter writing stations. In one-on-one sessions with our Participants, Rebecca provided an insightful perspective on how to highlight prior experience and career goals in a cover letter. In 2023, BlackRock provided two workshops dedicated to job readiness. AFJ Participants were able to work on their resumes, practice mock interviews, and learn the ins and outs of cover letters from working professionals.

In 2024, AFJ is expanding our partnership with BlackRock through quarterly job readiness round-robins where Participants receive personal attention on those three important factors of their hiring journey: resumes, cover letters, and mock interviews. Additionally, BlackRock will offer financial literacy for our Participants and their families to ensure an understanding of their financial wellbeing.

Last week, AFJ and BlackRock partnered for the first joint financial literacy workshop in 2024 with 14 Participants in attendance. Ann, a BlackRock volunteer, remarked how she “loved the personal interactions which helped them generate engagement with AFJ Participants.” The workshop focused on the importance of saving, understanding credit scores, the difference between banks and credit unions, and how to financially plan for the future.  

AFJ is energized by this new offering and as BlackRock Vice President, Olivia McEntee, stated, “the partnership between AFJ and BlackRock is an important one that allows our volunteers to build upon the great foundation of AFJ’s existing internship and job readiness programming. Our volunteers consistently feel energized and rewarded every time they have the opportunity to meet and engage with AFJ Participants.” 

As we continue to expand our internship, employment and job training with certifications programs, it is crucial for our Participants to get the supplemental enrichment programming to help them search for a job, prepare for an interview and learn how to save their first paychecks. Avenues for Justice is grateful to Rebecca, Olivia and BlackRock for their continued support of our young people.


If your company would like to partner with AFJ to provide access, exposure and opportunity for our Participants to gain employment, please email Director of Court Advocacy, Gamal Willis, at


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