Democrat Amanda Septimo Pledges to Prioritize Funding to Increase Access to After School Programs
Amanda Septimo, a Democrat running for State
Assembly, has pledged to prioritize funding to create universal access to after school programs. She is calling for an expansion of the state's Advantage After School Program (AASP) in the South Bronx as a way to increase access in a high-need area.
"There are so many programs in our communities that provide kids with a place to go and be involved in athletics, get academic help, or learn an instrument. In the midst of the opioid epidemic and with gang violence plaguing our communities, our state government needs to do more to ensure our young people have options for safe and fun programs that will steer them away from trouble and drugs," said Septimo.
The funding would be allocated to expand the the Office of Children and Family Services's Advantage After School Program, which partners with community-based organizations to run after school programs. Septimo is proposing to expand the budget as part of a pilot in the South Bronx since there are only two AASP programs there currently.
"After school programs should be an option for all students, regardless of their families' income. When I was growing up, after school programs were instrumental in giving me the skills and passion to be where I am today. I am committed to creating opportunities for our students. Advantage After School Programs are great resources for families, and I want to ensure that more families in the South Bronx have access," said Septimo.
Born and raised in the South Bronx, Septimo has been involved in community activism since she was teenager as a member of A.C.T.I.O.N., THE POINT Community Development Corporation's teen activism platform. She has worked with the Legal Aid Society, with a specific focus on cases involving domestic violence and Spanish-speaking immigrants. She also worked as the District Director for Congressman José E. Serrano (D-15th Congressional District), making her one of the youngest senior staffers in Congress. Most recently, Amanda worked to help working and middle-class families by fighting for stronger worker protections with the Council of School Supervisors & Administrators.
The Democratic Primary will be on September 13th. The 84th District includes Mott Haven, Port Morris, Melrose, The Hub, Longwood, Concourse, Highbridge, and Hunts Point.