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Spring 2015 Newsletter  
Happy spring from the Arab-American Family Support Center!
In this Spring 2015 issue of our newsletter, we are thrilled to be able to report back on all of the wonderful activities our agency and staff have been involved in over the winter months, as well as give you a heads up about some exciting developments happening this spring at AAFSC.
If you want more AAFSC updates, be sure to visit our Facebook and Twitter pages!
Upcoming Events 

AAFSC's Health Fair 
May 15, 2015
Arab American Day of Service
May 16, 2015
AAFSC 21st Annual Gala
May 21, 2015
Academic Exchange Program

We are excited to introduce a new initiative of the Youth Program, the Academic Exchange Program. Beginning in October 2014, college students who are learning Arabic were invited to tutor Arab American high school students in an academic and linguistic exchange. The first hour of the tutoring session consists of one-on-one tutoring geared toward an individual young person’s academic requirements, such as math, English as a second language, social studies, and New York State Regents preparation. In the second hour, the volunteer and the student participate in Arabic language conversation and work to improve the volunteer’s language skills. Rejecting the traditional hierarchical dynamic that often manifests between volunteers and disconnected youth, AAFSC’s language exchange opts for a more egalitarian model of mutual learning. Youth Program Coordinator Anthony De La Rosa says of the program, “It is a relatively new program we are implementing, but we are seeing the foundation both students and volunteers are building together.” If you are interested in participating in the exchange, contact Youth Program Development Assistant Lauren Hawk at

AAFSC's Annual Health Fair
On Friday May 15, AAFSC will host its Annual Health Fair outside our Downtown Brooklyn offices. The fair will feature insurance companies for individuals to learn more about their options, and free health insurance enrollment assistance. There will be health screenings including free blood pressure screenings and mammograms for women, courtesy of American Italian Cancer Foundation. The event will be held at AAFSC: 150 Court Street, Brooklyn, NY 11201 from 9am to 5pm. Hope to see you all there!
NYC Participatory Budgeting 

Participatory budgeting is a democratic economic process where voters get to decide how to spend a part of New York City’s capital budget. In New York’s 33rd District (encompassing Greenpoint, Boerum Hill, Brooklyn Heights and Williamsburg), community members will be able to decide how to spend $1 million in capital funds. This year, the Khalil Gibran International Academy (KGIA) made it to the final 13 projects that community members will vote on. AAFSC is proud to be the lead community partner for KGIA, a remarkable public high school in Brooklyn with a particular focus on Arabic language and culture. Despite recent technology upgrades, KGIA has been experiencing crippling issues with electricity. The proposed project would provide critical upgrades and maintenance to KGIA’s electrical system.
KGIA has the distinction of being one of the first and only public schools in the country with an Arabic language concentration. The school is open to all New York City high schoolers, and is currently in the process of earning International Baccalaureate (IB) accreditation. The staff and students at KGIA are committed to education and they deserve facilities that honor this dedication.
If you live in District 33 be sure to vote the week of April 11 - 19! Anyone who is at least 16 years old is eligible to vote, even if you are not able to vote in electoral elections. 
AAFSC's 21st Annual Gala

AAFSC is pleased to invite all of our supporters and friends to join us at our 21st Annual Gala. Last year we celebrated two decades of service with honorees Hutham Olayan, President and CEO of Olayan America, and Richard Smith, President of the Pinkerton Foundations. This May, we look forward to celebrating another successful year of AAFSC’s commitment to empowering some of New York City’s most marginalized communities. Our wonderful honorees this year, who personify this commitment, are Assad Jebara (pictured above with last year's MC Jack Shaheen), President and CEO Alpha Garment Inc. and AAFSC Board Member, Senator Daniel L. Squadron, and Douglas Jablon, Special Assistant to President & Senior Vice President of Patient Relations at Maimonides Medical Center. The evening will include dinner, speakers, and performances. The celebration will take place the Prince George Ballroom, 15 East 27th Street, New York City from 6:30 to 9:30pm. Purchase your tickets and explore other levels of giving HERE.
EITC Phone-a-thon

On January 31st, nearly 2,000 New Yorkers volunteered in a phone-a-thon to inform the public about the Earned Income Tax Credit, the Child Care Tax Credit, and the nearly 200 tax assistance sites where New Yorkers can file their taxes. Volunteers who speak a second language were in particularly high demand, so as to better reach traditionally underrepresented groups. This is why we want to celebrate AAFSC staff members Salima Sultana, Shumi Akhter, Cynthia Seay, Maha Attieh, Irfan Ahmed and Ambreen Qureshi who volunteered to represent the agency. Our station was even visited by a special guest: Mayor Bill de Blasio, shown above making calls with staff member Irfan. Thanks again to all the volunteers! You can find more info about the New York City Tax Credit Campaign HERE.
Sunset Park Women's Empowerment Day 
On March 21, AAFSC staff members participated in the Sunset Park Women’s Empowerment Day. The event featured workshops, classes and information to encourage women in the Sunset Park community to become more active in all aspects of their lives. Roughly 100 women were in attendance. AAFSC Health Program Manager Maha Attieh provided a presentation on accessing affordable healthcare, Adult Education Development Assistant Irfan Ahmed presented “Going Back to School” for adult learners, and Anti-Violence Program Manager Jamal Alsarraj discussed Domestic Violence. Thanks to NYC Parks and Fidelis Care of NY for coordinating the event, and to all AAFSC staff members who dedicated their time to help empower women in the Sunset Park community. 
Donate to AAFSC Today!
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