Quick Links & Contacts

ACS

Office of Advocacy
212-676-9421

PYA Goals

EDUCATION

Alternative Schools
GED Programs
Scholarships & ETVs

New York City has a new web portal for teens. Click on www.nyc.gov/teen to find information, resources, and help.

HOUSING

Finding an Apartment
Emergency Services

JOBS

Summer Jobs

SEXUALITY

Morning After Pill info
1-888-NOT-2-LATE

HEALTH

Citywide Clinic List

New York City has a new web portal for teens. Click on www.nyc.gov/teen to find information, resources, and help.

MENTAL HEALTH

Suicide Hotline
212-673-3000

LifeNet Referrals
(24 hours)
1-800-543-3638 (English)
1-877-298-3373 (Spanish)
1-877-990-8585 (Mandarin/Cantonese)

Visit www.nyc.gov/teen and click on "Dating and Friends" and "Feeling Stressed" to learn more.

SPECIAL RESOURCES
Youth In Progress

Hotlines (dating violence, housing, mental health)

ADVOCACY

Legal
Lawyers for Children
1-800-244-2540

Legal Aid (call the office in the borough where you lived when you first went into foster care)
Bronx: 718-579-7900
Brooklyn: 718-237-7100
Manhattan: 212-312-2260
Queens: 718-298-8900
Staten Isl.: 718-981-0219

Education/Special Ed
Advocates for Children
212-947-9779

Legal Aid Society’s Education Advocacy Project
212-577-3342

ETVs (Educational and Training Vouchers)

Featured Story

Abortion: It Was the Right Choice for Me
image by Steven Mattor
Abortion: It Was the Right Choice for Me


During my time in foster care, I have lived in several homes with teen parents. The most memorable teen mom was only 16 when she had her first child, and was getting ready to turn 18 when she had her second. The only people she could depend on were her social workers, and sometimes not even them. She had no family and the fathers of her children did very little to help her. She was very much alone, struggling to raise her kids.

I swore that I was going to be nothing like her. I was going to finish school and get a job before even considering having a child. That was when I was 14. I had never been in a relationship with a guy, so I figured that getting pregnant at an early age would not happen to me.

I Met a Boy

Shortly after my 14th birthday, I began going out with a boy for the first time. He was friends with some of my friends, and was older—17. We had an off and on relationship that didn't involve sex, at least not for a couple of years. Most people assume that being in a relationship as long as ours without sex would take a huge toll on the guy, so I kind of thought that if I didn't eventually give him some, he'd leave me. Soon after I turned 16, we said that we loved each other for the first time and decided to start a sexual relationship.

At first I didn't think that having sex was going to change our relationship, but after a while it did. I think because I lost my virginity to him, it brought us closer together, even though sex isn't all that it's cracked up to be. See, I let TV and movies influence my thoughts about sex. They make it seem like it's this wonderful thing, and that it's all glamorous. Sure, it's OK, but it's also very weird. It feels funny, the positions are funny and it even smells funny. I don't understand why people exaggerate about it so much.

Anyway, my boyfriend and I didn't really talk about it, but we ended up using condoms for birth control. Even though I had never taken any sex education classes at that point, we just had the common sense to know that protection was the best thing for both of us. So every time we'd have sex, we used a condom. Except for that one time.

Seriously, 'You’re Pregnant'

Summer started. Things were going well between my boyfriend and me. Then, as the summer continued, I began to notice some changes in my body. I thought it was because of stress, but decided to go to the doctor anyway. That's how I found out that I was three weeks pregnant. . .

[read more]