Senator Montgomery Hosts Lobby Day for Brooklyn Youth Groups

Velmanette Montgomery

February 12, 2009

Albany, NY (February 12, 2009): Brooklyn advocates for School-Based Health Centers (SBHCs) and supporters of the Summer Youth Employment Program (SYEP) visited State Senator Velmanette Montgomery (D-Brooklyn) to ask for her support of their programs in New York's 2009-10 State Budget.

The Senator’s young constituents who came to Albany for "Youth Lobby Day" included members of the Center for Family Life in Sunset Park as well as students from P.S. 307,which operates a SBHC .

"My colleagues and I working to restore the more than $85 million that the Governor has cut from the State’s youth services delivery system."

The Governor’s proposed 2009-10 State Budget does maintain funding for these programs at last year’s level. It includes $23.1 million for SBHCs, and $35 million for the Summer Youth Employment program.

Senator Montgomery, who is the chair of the Senate Committee on Children and Families, said, "The Governor has recognized the extraordinary value of these two vital programs and spared them the significant cuts proposed for other youth services.

There are 212 SBHCs in New York, serving over 200,000 students with comprehensive primary care and mental health services and, in some instances, dental care. Many of the young people served live in communities with a high incidence of drug and alcohol abuse, violence, teen pregnancy, and sexually transmitted diseases. Seventy-four percent of the students are African American and Latino.

The Summer Youth Employment Program (SYEP) provides New York City youth between the ages of 14 and 21 with summer employment and educational opportunities. Participants work in a variety of entry-level jobs at government agencies, hospitals, summer camps, nonprofits, small businesses, law firms, museums, sports enterprises, and retail organizations.