Queens Community House’s Beacon Director, Patrick Pinchinat details “New York City’s cyclical fights over funding for afterschool programs in the last few years” in this piece for Youth Today. Despite the challenges, he finds some silver linings in the “budget dance”, adding that his own advocacy and afterschool experience have been beneficial in the quest to save afterschool programs.
“Advocacy doesn’t come easily to any of us. City hall can be intimidating, and the process by which policy decisions get made often feels mysterious. Maybe that’s why so many of us just take a pass on it, even when issues affect us directly. As much as I wish we hadn’t had to fight the afterschool funding battles over the past few years, I’m grateful that our kids were able to find an important life lesson, and develop skills that they’ll be able to put to good use for the rest of their lives.”