Program 2

For ATI, Re-Entry Participants and Those At-Risk of Criminal Justice Involvement

Digital Literacy with Certification

AFJ offers Northstar Digital Literacy software with over 70 levels of self-paced study and certification available at each level, supplemented by weekly online group instruction and testing led by our Court Advocates.


With the success of our certification programming in 2023, AFJ will now be offering OSHA Safety Education and Training program, along with the Flagger and Scaffold User Training, quarterly; alternating between centers.

Our CPR certifications will also be offered twice per year through our partnership with the New York Junior League (NYJL).

Job Readiness led by Corporate Partners

Launched September 2020,corporate partners facilitate job readiness and financial literacy trainings with mock interviews; resume writing; basics of budgeting, bank and credit accounts; dress for success; and mentoring. The program includes monthly guest speakers who are successful in unconventional careers and job structures (work for hire, freelance, project-based work) to expand the idea of what a career can be. Partners since the launch include First Republic Bank, Island Capital Group, New York Junior League, the Whitney Museum and Slickdeals.

AFJ will also start a new coding class in 2024. The class is intended to bridge the equity gap in STEM education through computer science, project-based learning and teamwork. AFJ wants to help our Participants understand that computer programming can be used as a tool for empowerment. Participants will start off with website design and move on to more complex coding platforms, such as Python. Our new facilitator focuses on individualized attention, but also puts a high value on self-motivation.

AFJ will also be expanding their relationship with BlackRock from quarterly Job Readiness round-robins where Participants receive personal attention on three important factors of their hiring journey: resumes, cover letters, and mock interviews. Beginning in 2024, BlackRock will offer financial literacy for our Participants and their families to ensure and understanding of their financial needs and wellbeing.

Internship Placement Initiative

The 2024 internship series will continue to support and educate all AFJ Participants, those of working age and those under 18, who are striving for financial, professional and personal success.  Starting in 2024, we are excited to continue the structured internship placement program comprising of three cohorts of 10 young individuals each. The AFJ interns will engage in 8-week internships within community-based businesses, receiving a competitive hourly wage of $15 paid by AFJ. The program is designed to foster valuable skills and experiences, with cohorts commencing in February, May, and October.

To ensure comprehensive coverage, the summer months will be supported by the City’s Summer Youth Employment Program (SYEP). The goal is to place 30 Participants in this internship initiative by the end of the year. By participating in this program, AFJ Participants will not only enhance their job readiness but also gain exposure to employment opportunities that may arise beyond the initial 8-week period.

Mental Health

In 2024, AFJ will be partnering with University Settlement to re-introduce our Mental Health 101 workshop. The workshop will serve as an introductory overview, covering common words and definitions used in discussing mental health, of mental health and trauma, the importance of refraining from self-stigmatization, and an introduction to coping skills and how to seek appropriate treatment.

AFJ will be continuing offering one-on-one counseling, available through service agreements with both Muse & Grace and University Settlement. These partnerships will eliminate waiting lists and payment barriers for AFJ participants. AFJ is excited to welcome back The Art Therapy Project (TATP). TATP will be offering an eight-week art therapy group that will be offered at both community centers, alternating quarterly. Bi-lingual and culturally competent workshops on parenting and family therapy concepts are offered to caregivers of participants through a therapist and the Ackerman Institute for the Family.

Supplemental Programming

Teen Empowerment: Our Teen Empowerment workshop has become a popular safe place for our young people to express, develop, and hone their activist voice through knowledge, conversation, and action. There is power within sharing conversation, so we have decided to alternate the in-person workshop quarterly to a designated center whilst also continuing to offer the workshop on a hybrid platform for those Participants who are unable to commute to our centers.

Court Advocates have emphasized the importance of attending Teen Empowerment to Participants and as a result AFJ has seen an incredible increase in attendance with Teen Empowerment proving it to be AFJ’s most popular weekly workshop.

Legal Rights & Responsibilities: Led by Harlem Court Advocate, Brian, AFJ will continue the Legal Rights & Responsibilities workshop which is a weekly series aimed at educating Participants on their legal rights and responsibilities, criminal law, the criminal and juvenile court process, and collateral consequences. All incoming Participants are required to attend at least one workshop to inform them of their own court cases.

Leadership: A volunteer facilitator will teach a new initiative involving a cohort consisting of 5 to 8 Participants, embarking on a transformative journey focused on the "Framework of Becoming a Leader. Throughout this 10-week course, Participants will delve into essential principles such as punctuality, integrity, team development, conflict resolution, project management, and facilitation. These core concepts lay the groundwork for cultivating effective leadership skills. Upon successful completion of the course, individuals will not only emerge as capable leaders, but also have the opportunity to play a pivotal role in instructing and guiding the subsequent cohort.

Mentoring & Volunteering

Mentoring is available to all participants and their families 24/7, as well as referrals to other needed services including substance abuse recovery.

Currently, Avenues for Justice maintains a bank of 65 volunteers, including tutors, who help AFJ Participants with schoolwork, exams and admissions forms to complete high school and advance to college. In 2024, AFJ will be adding a weekly sign up for volunteers to participate in a drop-in study hall. Volunteers will have a designated time and center to sit in community with participants and be available for homework help or individualized tutoring.


Want to join our HIRE UP program? Reach out to us!