Who We Are

Success Stories

Success Stories

We understand how difficult it can be to navigate the New York City Department of Education (DOE). Parents can spend an enormous amount of time exploring different programs or simply trying to understand their child’s education rights. The process can be overwhelming. Our more than 40 years of experience means we know the system inside and out. We put our experience to work for children who would otherwise fall through the cracks.

Here are some of our recent success stories; click on each student's name to read more:

Early Childhood

Gabriel, a kindergarten student with speech delays whose first language is Spanish, was placed in a specialized school that was much too low-functioning for him.

Haley has cerebral palsy and developmental delays; her mother came to AFC because she was very concerned that Haley’s kindergarten placement would not promote her physical development.

Izzie was struggling to keep up with her peers in preschool and needed more educational supports in order to progress.

Joseph's mother came to AFC extremely worried about moving him from a full-day, full-year, specialized preschool program to no program at all.

Julian is a 3-year-old preschooler with delays in his language skills, but the DOE failed to provide recommended services.

Mia’s mother called AFC’s Helpline when 3-year-old Mia’s full-day public preschool program told her that she would have to be picked up three hours early every day due to her challenging behavior. 

Micaela is a dual-language learner who is on the autism spectrum and needed an appropriate school placement for kindergarten.

Saleema’s behavioral therapy was eliminated by a DOE representative when she transitioned to kindergarten, despite the unanimous recommendations of her service providers and evaluators that she receive services.

Students with Disabilities

Angenis, a student with dyslexia who was a non-reader at age 12, attended a school that was unable to help him learn to read.

Gloria is a student with a learning disability and anxiety who had difficulty throughout elementary school, but was not referred for special education services until the very end of fifth grade.

Jake had been struggling in school for several years and was far below grade level.

Josh first came to AFC because he was desperate to learn how to read; he was 20 years old but only reading on a first-grade level.

Kalilah, a 14-year-old with a learning disability, was struggling with reading and writing and needed evidence-based literacy instruction.

Kendall, a student with autism, was referred to AFC when his mother needed assistance securing an appropriate high school placement.

Paige, a bright third grade student on the autism spectrum, sat at home for nearly two months waiting for a school placement that would meet her needs.

Tayloni was referred to AFC for assistance with her educational needs as she transitioned back to school after being hit by a stray bullet and paralyzed from the waist down.

Valerie spent years making little academic progress, but each year, rather than provide additional supports or a more appropriate placement, the Committee on Special Education (CSE) would lower her promotional criteria.

Yshamar, a student from Haiti with dyslexia, started ninth grade unable to read and knowing only a handful of letters.

Zio is a child with an autism spectrum disorder who had attended four schools in six years, unable to find one that met his learning needs.

Recent High School Graduates

Al-Yasid is a young man on the autism spectrum who graduated from high school in 2013 after years of hard work.

Asha and Ayanna are twin sisters and talented artists who are college-bound, thanks to AFC's help in securing appropriate school placements.

Christiana has a learning disability and recently graduated from high school thanks to AFC's continued assistance securing the support she needed to learn.

Delayney, one of our 2014 graduates, first came to AFC when she was in 7th grade and her school was failing to meet her needs.

Karla was only two credits away from receiving her diploma when she was pushed out of high school.

Khiry waited at home for four years while the DOE failed to find a school that could provide the accommodations and services he needed so he could attend school and earn his diploma.

Laura has a learning disability and severe anxiety, and when she first came to AFC at age 16, she was failing all of her classes and regularly skipping school.

Omar’s mother first called AFC’s Helpline for assistance when Omar was a 13-year-old seventh grader without a school to attend at the start of the school year.

Ruben was referred to AFC in his second year in high school when his guidance counselor declared that success at school was “unattainable for Ruben,” although he was attending regularly and staying out of trouble.

Immigrant Students & English Language Learners

Carlos is a 16-year-old unaccompanied immigrant youth from Guatemala who last attended school at age 11 and was turned away when he attempted to enroll after arriving in New York City.

Christian is a 19-year-old from El Salvador who was in the 9th grade for the fifth time and whose principal had suggested that he sign himself out of high school.

Jonatan needed assistance enrolling in an appropriate high school, as he was interested in finishing his education but had not attended since arriving in the U.S.

Michelle, a 20-year-old from Haiti, spoke very little English but had dreams of earning a high school diploma and attending college.

Children with Behavioral Challenges & Students Facing Disciplinary Issues

Charlene, a six-year-old special education student, was allowed to attend school for only two hours a day with her mother present in the classroom.

George received an unfair suspension that threatened his ability to graduate.

Geoff was in danger of being incarcerated and needed a specialized school placement that could support his emotional needs.

Glen was being continually suspended from school for minor offenses that were related to his disability.

Steven received a 30-day superintendent’s suspension that violated his rights.

Students in Temporary Housing or Foster Care

Alex was a bright, determined high school student hoping to attend college when she became homeless.

Ashley is a hard-working 19-year-old who faced numerous obstacles on the path to graduation. 

Eric, who entered foster care at age 15, had been out of school for 18 months due to emotional challenges and was ready to give up on ever returning. 

Mark’s family was placed in temporary housing far away from the school he and his sister attended, where they had strong bonds with teachers and friends.

Mary, a student in foster care, was diagnosed with dyslexia and needed appropriate educational services.