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Friends of Island Academy, Inc.

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Children & Youth, Children & Youth Services, Crime & Law, Rehabilitation Services for Offenders, Youth Development Programs, Youth Violence Prevention

Mission: Friends of Island Academy is dedicated to breaking cycles of incarceration by anchoring, supporting, and building capacity among youth returning home from Rikers Island. 

Programs: Employment Services: Job readiness training, job placement, vocational training, internship opportunities.

Education Services: Assessments via TABE, WRAT & WIAt tests; On-site 4-tier school: 1) basic literacy; 2) adult basic education; 3) pre-GED; 4) GED instruction. Through our funders, Friends also provides college scholarships.

Counseling and Advocacy: Mental health assessments, individual and group counseling including substance abuse recovery.

Mentoring: One-on-one and group adult mentoring between youth and volunteers from the community. Selected youth are also trained to provide group mentoring sessions in public schools. Youth Leadership Training: Public speaking, role modeling training with assignments to lead violence-prevention workshops and programs in public schools and public housing.

Public School Outreach: Utilizing trained youth to serve as peer role models, Friends staff conduct an array of violence-prevention programs during the school day at high-risk public schools, ranging from one-time workshops to daily youth development programs integrated into the schools' curriculum. Friends2Fathers - Public housing: Friends works inside public housing projects with non-custodial fathers, equipping the fathers to provide for their children emotionally and financially. The Women's initiative: specialized services and activities for female participants (therapeutic groups, creative workshops, reproductive health care seminars, parenting workshops, etc.)

Community Stories

2 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

Client Served

Rating: 5

Thanks to friends of island academy I became more responsible and more disciplined of the things I do. Friends of island academy is school site that help young lives. Also thanks to friends of island academy I see a better world. Friends of island academy is a new opportunity to young lives. Meanwhile I became a photographer by the international center of photography thanks to friends of island academy.

Client Served

Rating: 4

I Am A 24 Year Old African American Male & 1st Time Convicted Felon. After Spending 16 Months On Rikers Island & Finally Being Released, I'be Been On A Path Of Struggle & Discouragement. Up Until I Met With Messiah Ramkissoon, A Facilitator Of Friends Of Island Academy Whom Brought Me In To Their Organization Allowing To Meet The Warm Welcoming & Caring Staff, They In Turn Granted Me Access To All Their Jail Releass & Social Services. Since Then I've Been Given The Strength & Support To Continue Tackling The Hardships Of Being A Statistic As Well As Overcoming My Immediate Obstacles With Their Help. With Their Aid In Employment, Housing, & Etc. I Have Been Able To Start Standing On My Feet & Beat The Odds. Thanks To Them I Know I Have Their Continuous Support To Keep Striving To Do Better & Become A Greater Man.