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About AFC

Our Mission

Advocates for Children of New York (AFC)’s mission is to ensure a high-quality education for New York students who face barriers to academic success, focusing on students from low-income backgrounds.

Our Model

AFC simultaneously works side by side with students and their families, providing the one-on-one guidance and advocacy they need, while pressing for systemic reforms that benefit all students.

Our unique and flexible approach to problem-solving gets students the support they need to succeed, educates and empowers families, and drives meaningful education reform.


Free advice and legal representation

We help families of students who are struggling or experiencing discrimination in school to protect their education-related rights and obtain the educational support their children need.

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Free trainings and workshops

Our know-your-rights trainings for parents, communities, educators, and other professionals equip them to better advocate on behalf of students.

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Policy advocacy

Based on our 50 years of on the ground experience, we conduct policy advocacy that spurs change in the education system and improves education outcomes.

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Impact litigation

When real change will not happen without a court order, our impact litigation provides the most marginalized students protection under the law, gives them the opportunity to receive a quality education, and compels education reform.

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  • Al-Yasid's Story

    Al-Yasid says that the day he found out he would finally be graduating “was one of the best days of my life!” Al is currently applying to college and aspires to a career in music production or media.

  • Mishel's Story

    After Mishel was abruptly sent back to 6th grade, instead of receiving the academic supports she needed to thrive, AFC intervened and helped her persevere and finish middle school on time.

    Mishel in cap and gown
  • Asha and Ayanna's Story

    For six years, AFC and pro bono attorneys represented Asha and Ayanna to make certain the girls received the support they needed to be successful in school.

    asha and ayanna with parents

Learn more about the student populations we serve

Our staff of attorneys, advocates, and education specialists have successfully helped hundreds of thousands of families by providing free legal and advocacy services, including representation at school-related hearings and appeals, and teaching families what they need to know to stand up for their children’s educational rights.