April 20, 2023

Avenues for Justice Launches New Internship Program with Local Small Businesses to Provide a Path Forward to Success for Our Participants

Photos by Tom Benedict of Carben Photography

Avenues for Justice (AFJ) is proud to announce the launch of our new paid internship program in April which will continue our job readiness efforts under the HIRE UP program. By partnering with six small businesses within the neighborhoods we serve, AFJ hopes to remove the financial strain placed on small business owners that comes with adding to their workforce. These partnerships will provide our Participants with equal working opportunities in construction, hospitality, tech, customer service, and more.

Spearheaded by Court Advocate, Shantel Brooks, the initiative, which consists of two8-week cohorts, will provide a path forward to income stability with part-time internships for our Participants and AFJ covering the stipends. In 2023,eighteen Participants have been placed through AFJ’s HIRE UP employment referrals---6 Participants have been placed in paid internships with two local businesses and 12 Participants have been hired by three small businesses.

“We're so excited to finally be launching this new AFJ Paid Internship program and to be collaborating with minority-owned businesses,” says Brooks. “These local businesses are committed to giving back to their community and helping young people gain the necessary skills to excel in the workforce. We look forward to seeing AFJ Participants learn, grow, learn and earn from this experience. Hopefully it inspires other local businesses to connect with us to continue to provide these experiences to more youth.” 

In addition to launching this new internship program, Avenues for Justice is proud to be hosting two upcoming fundraising events including our Spring Run for Justice (May 20th) and the Angel Golf Classic(June 14th). The annual Run for Justice, which began in May2021 as a virtual 5K run, has had over 150 supporters. It has provided 7Participants with free court advocacy and HIRE UP services for job readiness and certification, life skills training, mental and physical health wellness, along with academic support.  

This year, the run will be held in-person and kick off at 10AM with a scenic uptown Manhattan route, finishing at our Harlem community center at 69 E 130th Street. Those who cannot make it in person are encouraged to share a picture or video of themselves running on social media (@avenuesforjustice) in support of our Participants and mission. A few of our Participants, who attend weekly physical activity classes at our community centers, have already started training with AFJ’s fitness instructor in preparation. Register for the event here.

On June 14th, AFJ will be returning from a 4-year hiatus with our Angel Golf Classic taking place at the New York Country Club in Spring Valley, NY. Executive Director and Co-Founder, Angel Rodriguez, combines his lifelong ambitions of becoming a professional golfer and his desire to advance the mission of AFJ with this golf outing which has raised over $800K since launching in 2002. Over the years, the golf classic has brought together AFJ staff and board members with key stakeholders from judges and attorneys, supporters and donors, to volunteers and avid golf enthusiasts. Past tournament sponsors include the John McEnroe Foundation, Morgan Stanley, TD Bank, First Republic Bank, Investors Economic Assurance, and the Damon Giglio Foundation.

Current Sponsors for the 2023tournament include: Rothschild & Co, one of the world's largest independent financial service groups; Rockport VAL, developed by Rick Trepp, founder of Trepp®, is the future of commercial real estate cash flow modeling and valuation and is the long-awaited alternative to ARGUS® and; Island Capital Group, a global real estate oriented merchant bank with investing and advisory platforms. Avenues for Justice has partnered with Backswing Golf Events this year to feature a Beat the Pro contest. Golfers will be able to compete against our featured golf pro, stationed on a par 3, to a fun spin on a closest to the pin contest while raising money for our mission and Participants!  

Please help make our fundraising endeavors a success this year and make sure to register. To partner with Avenues for Justice’s HIRE UP program, contact Gamal Willis at gwillis@avenuesforjustice.com.


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