Youth Advocacy

Cooking Healthy Foods

Sophie was dedicated to youth advocacy – making our world a better place for all, especially for young people.  SGHY continues Sophie’s youth advocacy on a strictly non-partisan basis.  This past year SGHY took on three important causes.

Improved Nutrition in School Meals
After SGHY’s advocacy, the Department of Education prohibited chemical Azodicarbonamide, a substance reported to promote cancer and health risks, from all school meals.

Ending Youth Homelessness
Ending Youth Homelessness – SGHY has joined the nationwide campaign launched by the Ali-Forney Youth Center to make sure every child and teenager lives in a home, not on the street or in a shelter.

The Ali Forney Center is grateful for the early endorsement of Sophie Gerson Healthy Youth of our National Campaign for Youth Shelter. This campaign seeks to bring together the LGBT community with the broader anti-poverty movement to demand a national commitment that every homeless youth in our nation receive shelter and support.  We know this continues Sophie Gerson’s professional and personal commitment to the well-being of all young people. Carl Siciliano,Executive Director, Ali Forney Center

Healthy to Learn
Too many children proceed through school with undetected and untreated medical conditions, harming their health and their learning.  That’s why the Children’s Health Fund has launched the Healthy to Learn initiative – to make sure that children receive screenings and treatment for a range of health conditions that would impede their ability to succeed in school. Sophie Gerson fought for this throughout her career in education and achieved greater health services for students  while serving on the School Board. The Children’s Health Fund appreciates Sophie Gerson Healthy Youth’s early support for the Healthy to Learn Initiative, continuing Sophie Gerson’s commitment.

Healthy to Learn screens and treats for : Asthma, Vision, Hearing, Oral Pain, Behavioral Health, Anemia, Lead and Hunger with follow-up healthcare.

In 2018, as part of the country’s continuing reaction to the Parkland mass shooting and killing, Sophie Gerson Healthy Youth lent its name and organization’s support to the march by Parkland students’ demand and  call for stricter, common sense gun control, including the elimination of access to military style weapons of mass killing.  SGHY cited gun violence, and the epidemic of  lost young lives from gun violence,  as a public health emergency for young people across the nation, including the children SGHY serves.


July 2018

Whereas, Sophie Gerson Healthy Youth (“SGHY”)  is a youth services organization promoting the health and well being of all children, especially middle school aged; and

Whereas, SGHY focuses the preponderance of our activity and mission on the provision of enrichment activities in sports, dance, hands-on science, outdoor nature, cultural interchange, and summer camp, to NYC public middle schools serving children from low income communities; but

Whereas, SGHY from time-to-time takes positions and advocates on pressing child health and welfare issues, as we have in the past on improving school nutrition, ending child homelessness, expanding school entrance medical exams and follow-up, and curbing gun violence plaguing schools and youth; and 

Whereas, as a not-for-profit, non-partisan organization we take such positions strictly from the standpoint of protecting children and improving child health, safety and well-being; and

Whereas,  SGHY cannot therefore be silent in face of our Federal Government’s policy or practice  of separating children of allegedly illegal immigrants from their parents or placing such children in places of incarceration, which inflicts severe, permanent  mental and emotional damage, as well as physical harm, on children; and 

Whereas,  SGHY recognizes that while immigration policy remains a subject of debate in the nation, any policy can be accomplished humanely by keeping children united with their parents and by assuring that children and parents of any immigration status live together in child friendly settings; and 

Whereas,  any immigration policy can also be accomplished by assuring full due process for parents and children who allegedly crossed the border illegally, and that full due process involving court hearings which consider the status of children remains essential for child welfare; 

Therefore Be it Resolved, 

~ SGHY calls upon our Federal Government to make the needs of innocent children a priority in immigration policy and immigration law enforcement, in keeping with our country’s family values; 

~ and to that end, SGHY demands that the Federal Government permanently end the policy and practice of separating children from allegedly illegal immigrant parents; 

~ SGHY further demands that the Federal Government deploy all needed resources to reunite separated children with their parents as quickly as possible; 

~ SGHY insists that the Federal Government under any immigration policy  maintain full due process rights and procedures for all parents and children who the government alleges lack legal immigration or citizenship status, in keeping with our country’s constitutional values;

~ SGHY also calls upon the Federal Government to assure that while such due process plays out children and parents live together in humane settings free from the trappings of incarceration, or confinement in cages;  and 

~ SGHY calls upon the President and the Congress to take all necessary, immediate action to permanently implement all of the above. 


Sophie Gerson Healthy Youth,  in keeping with Sophie Gerson ‘s vision, remains dedicated to the  well-being of every child, which includes  a childhood of peace for every child of every Faith, ethnic, and racial background . As we grieve for the death and injury of every innocent Israeli and Gazan child, we cannot stay silent.

We condemn in the strongest of possible terms the inexcusable and unpardonable atrocities committed by Hamas in their attack on Israel which included the deliberate killing, torture, and kidnapping of infants, children, and adolescents and their families.

We further condemn in the strongest of possible terms the deliberate endangerment by Hamas of Gazan children by placing rocket launchers and other military apparatus in immediate proximity of hospitals and schools while hindering efforts by parents and children to leave those hospital and school zones. 

We call on the United States government to continue to support and  work with Israel to free the hostages and to disarm and dismantle the military and terrorist capability of Hamas and its allies in order to prevent the even more widespread  atrocity against children and their families which Hamas and allies have promised  to pull off, with effort to avoid civilian casualties and meet humanitarian needs of Gazan civilians.  

We call on a new Gazan and Palestinian regime which recognizes Israel’s right to exist and Israel  to then come together to   create a new middle east which ensures lasting  peace,security and well being  for all children of the region.

As an educational organization, we must also call out as one of the root causes of the conflict the use by many Gazan and Palestinian schools, at the command of their overseers, of curricula which indoctrinates children to hate by dehumanizing Israelis and denying Israel’s age old historic connection to its current land. We call for its replacement with a curriculum which accurately teaches the common humanity of Israelis and Arabs and the common linkage of both people to portions of the Middle East,  with programs which promote friendship among Israeli and Palestinian children.


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