News Flash


Posted on: September 21, 2021

Mayor Rolison Calls for Creation of City Division of Youth Services

“In the last few years, we have formed the Poughkeepsie Children’s Cabinet with the City School District, created a Youth Grant program, and struck a deal with Dutchess County that will lead to the creation of a new Youth Opportunity Center. Having key city staff in place as these initiatives grow is essential — and the time to do that is now.” 

The Youth Division will include a division head, a shared part-time administrative assistant with the development director, and a bilingual family engagement staff member shared with the Poughkeepsie City School District. That latter position already has been approved by the Common Council. A communication to establish the division was conveyed to the Common Council Monday night by Council members Natasha Cherry, Yvonne Flowers and Chris Petsas.

“The creation of the Division of Youth Services makes perfect sense given the needs of the community and more importantly the needs of those who will one day be the future of our great city,” said Dr. Eric Jay Rosser, superintendent of schools. “Coupled with the work of the Children’s Cabinet and the Poughkeepsie City School District 5 year strategic plan, the Division of Youth Services will elevate the need to develop and implement of a citywide positive youth development strategy, something that the Board of Education, staff and I support 100 percent.” 

Recognizing that children spend only about 20 percent of their time in the classroom, Children’s Cabinets are used by localities around the country to bring together school districts, government agencies, child-serving community organizations and other local stakeholders to improve their ability to collaborate and coordinate youth supports and services.

Launched by the mayor and school superintendent in 2020, the Poughkeepsie Children’s Cabinet includes area college presidents, nonprofit partners, philanthropic and foundation members, community stakeholders and others. The Cabinet has created two citywide Working Groups in “Out-of-School Enrichment and Learning” and “Early Childhood,” bringing together leaders across sectors from the community to make policy and other recommendations. Both of these groups support the idea of establishing a City Division of Youth Services to address young people’s needs as they grow and develop. 

Understanding the need for robust youth programming, the city created the Youth Activities & Opportunities Grant in 2018 and has made available over $500,000 in funds to dozens of different programs. The awards assist local nonprofits by providing funding to support clubs and leagues, other activities and educational initiatives.

“This has been one of our best programs,” Mayor Rolison said. “The city has made some excellent awards to organizations, but with its own Division of Youth, the city will be able to take a more active and direct role in delivering youth services. That should be a paramount goal to everyone in the community.”

Last year, Mayor Rolison and Dutchess County Executive Marc Molinaro struck an agreement in principle to have the County take ownership of the former YMCA on Montgomery Street in Poughkeepsie to build a new Youth Opportunity Center at the site. The Mayor sought and received approval from the Common Council to transfer the property to Dutchess County, which will contribute $25 million for the demolition of the existing decaying structure and the design and construction of the new youth center. 

The center is expected to include educational and healthcare services and childcare and recreation opportunities and will be the home to the county’s Path to Promise initiative, designed to ensure that all young people in Dutchess County, from birth through age 19, have the assets they need to achieve their full potential as they grow into young adults.

 “The county has admirably strengthened its Division of Youth Services and is moving forward with the creation of the youth center. The city has an obligation to dedicate staff and resources to steward youth programming at the city level as well — to complement the county’s work.”

The mayor said creating the Division of Youth Services also would dovetail nicely with his commitment to allocate more than $3 million over the next three years to city parks, improving them for youth, families and all those who make use of these key green and recreational spaces.

The Mayor said budgeting for the Division of Youth Services will be included in his 2022 budget proposal to the Common Council this fall.

Facebook Twitter Email

Other News in Mayor

Poughkeepsie seal

City Extends Its 2024 CDBG Application

Posted on: January 8, 2024
snow plow vertical photo for website this one

Mayor Flowers Declares Snow Emergency

Posted on: January 5, 2024
snow plow vertical photo for website this one

City Prepares for Snowstorm

Posted on: January 5, 2024
Yvoone Flowers 2023 for website this one

Flowers To Be Sworn In As Mayor on Jan. 2

Posted on: December 14, 2023

City Releases Its 2024 CDBG Application

Posted on: November 20, 2023
Poughkeepsie seal

Mayor Releases Preliminary 2024 Budget

Posted on: October 16, 2023
Grand Avenue for website

City Sets Meeting on S. Grand Ave. Project

Posted on: September 26, 2023
PK4Keeps Vertical This One really

City Sets Meeting on Draft Zoning Code

Posted on: September 20, 2023
Kaal Rock Website this one really

City Holds Meeting on Kaal Rock Park Plan

Posted on: September 6, 2023
Poughkeepsie seal

City Secures Grant for Fire Equipment

Posted on: August 15, 2023

City Sets July 4th Fireworks Event

Posted on: June 13, 2023
Malcolm X photo website this one

City Renovates Malcolm X Park

Posted on: June 2, 2023

Grievance Day set for May 23

Posted on: May 19, 2023
Website this one

Main Street Gets Spruce Up Project

Posted on: April 21, 2023
Poughkeepsie seal

City Announces Youth Grant Awards

Posted on: April 11, 2023
Poughkeepsie seal

City Sets Preliminary Paving Schedule

Posted on: March 20, 2023
Poughkeepsie seal

City releases 2023 CDBG Grant Application

Posted on: February 14, 2023
Poughkeepsie seal

City Approves Updates to LWRP

Posted on: January 23, 2023
Poughkeepsie seal

Public Input Sought on LWRP Draft

Posted on: December 15, 2022
Poughkeepsie seal

Nelson Selects Transition Team

Posted on: December 7, 2022
Vinnie Parise this one

Parise Named Deputy Fire Chief

Posted on: December 6, 2022

Transfer Station Closed Due to Fire

Posted on: November 28, 2022
Celebreation of Lights Photo for the Web

Celebration of Lights Delights Crowd

Posted on: November 10, 2022
Youth Director Web Photo

City Names First Youth Services Director

Posted on: October 31, 2022

Chief Franco Offers Safety Caution Tips

Posted on: October 11, 2022
9-11 2022 web

City Holds 9/11 Memorial Service

Posted on: September 9, 2022
PK4Keeps Vertical This One really

Fourth Open House Set for 'PK4Keeps'

Posted on: August 11, 2022
L. Julee Molina Photo website this one

Bilingual Outreach Person Hired

Posted on: August 4, 2022
City of Poughkeepsie housing rainbow photo

City Releases Housing Needs Assessment

Posted on: February 28, 2022