Queens Borough President Melinda Katz joined Forestdale supporters, staff, and clients on a beautiful afternoon, Thursday, May 16, 2019, for the Teaching Kitchen ribbon-cutting ceremony and reception. Forestdale’s Chef Hannah MacDonald, who has provided culinary instruction at Forestdale since January of this year, and guest Chef Michael Kimberg coordinated the food preparation by supervising the adolescents in our Culinary Arts Internship Program, highlighting healthy options and proper culinary technique that the youth have learned in Forestdale’s Strong Futures Internship (SFI) program. They did a fabulous job making such dishes as a seasonal fruit bowl with strawberry yogurt sauce, a crudité platter served with hummus and a caramelized onion dip, ricotta phyllo cups, banana bites, and carrot cake with cream cheese frosting, all served beautifully to the guests in silver serving platters. A terrific job! The Teaching Kitchen was first conceptualized by former Forestdale Executive Director Anstiss Agnew, back in 2006. She understood the fact that adolescents aging out of foster care need marketable skills such as food preparation (i.e., culinary arts), and must learn how to stretch their food dollars without sacrificing good taste and nutrition. Bill Weisberg took up that baton when he assumed the role of Executive Director of Forestdale in 2016. Forestdale's Culinary Arts Internship, led by our Strong Futures/Youth Development department, increases the odds for our youth by working with top chefs to prepare the interns with marketable skills for gainful employment, and the lifelong skills to cook healthy, nutritious meals for themselves and their families.


On May 14th, Forestdale staff participated in a Fair Futures Rally at Queens Borough Hall, led by Forestdale Life Coach Alesha Barton (pictured left). Fair Futures is a coalition of nonprofits and other organizations seeking funding from the Mayor and the City Council to provide necessary supports for our youth in foster care, including Life Coaching. This is a really important issue for us and for the youth and families we serve. We have seen over the last couple of years the tremendous impact that supports like Life Coaching can make for our youth.

We were happy to join The New York Foundling, SCO Family of Services, and foster youth to ensure that academic support and coaching continues up until age 26.

This extended support would improve the lives of hundreds of young people in New York City.

As our Executive Director William Weisberg said during his speech, 'It's not that we CAN do this. We WILL do this!"


The Forestdale Annual Benefit raised a record amount to help children in distress who are now able to chart a path toward a lifetime of healthy relationships, productivity, and happiness.
Our wonderful sponsors Horizon Kinetics, Linmar Construction, Anonymous, Algin Management, Silverstein Properties, Restoration Medical Supply, ADP, Cigna, Fulton Street Software, JetBlue, Seyfarth Shaw, vFramework, and Zim Plumbing make it possible to
serve where we are needed most: helping families at their most vulnerable achieve stability through therapy, housing supports, healthcare, material assistance, and many other services.
Early childhood development work has implications beyond childhood, as it sets a child up for a lifetime of success and gives the next generation a head start in life, as well. Our donors and guests generosity will impact hundreds of families each year and have profound ramifications for our neighborhoods and city.
Very special thanks to Honoree New York City Council Member Daneek Miller, guest speakers Mr. and Mrs. J., City Winery, and the Forestdale Board of Trustees and Benefit Planning Committee.

You can add to our success by donating at the link below.

Ensuring that children and families learn, love and laugh
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Ensuring that children and families learn, love and laugh
# of children we protect each year in foster care. 100% who graduated high school were admitted to college.
Families stay together, play together. 400 receiving health services on-site at Forestdale.
Graduation rate for Strong Fathers, where men become great dads

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Forestdale’s mission is to ensure children have the fundamental assets they need to thrive: a safe and loving home, education and career opportunity, and health literacy.

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